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Voigtlander Bessa Leica Mount Cameras Made in Japan by Cosina in partnership with Voigtlander, the many modern Voigtlander Leica Screw Mount and Leica M mount bodies offer inexpensive and often unique options into entering the world of Leica rangefinder photography.

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Old 09-16-2010   #41
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To all those who say your lens has focus shift: are you shooting film or digital?
Mine works fine on both but I'm curious anyway.
Also, I always knew this lens has visible barrel distortion but it doesn't affect the subjects I typically shoot.
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Old 09-16-2010   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photogdave View Post
To all those who say your lens has focus shift: are you shooting film or digital?
Mine works fine on both but I'm curious anyway.
Also, I always knew this lens has visible barrel distortion but it doesn't affect the subjects I typically shoot.
Digital. And yes, I know digital is much more sensitive to that issue than film. Haven't tried it on film. Also, there reportedly are copies without or with only negligible shift - too bad mine wasn't one of those, or I might have kept it.
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Old 09-16-2010   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photogdave View Post
To all those who say your lens has focus shift: are you shooting film or digital?
Mine works fine on both but I'm curious anyway.
I use this lens with both film and digital, but I have only verified the focus shift issue on digital. Frankly, I'm not sure if I ever saw it in my film photographs and I only had a handful of real-life digital photos where I had any problem. Even then, I cannot tell for sure if the issue I was originally seeing was every time due to focus shift or instead my own or subject movement.

Once you know it's there, it's really simple to work around it. The shift is very small, so your best chance of seeing it is putting your camera on a tripod and taking a close-up photo at several apertures.
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Old 09-16-2010   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampguy View Post
the Hexar AF lens has it much worse.
Seriously?
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Old 09-16-2010   #45
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Some of the posts in this thread are evidently in jest... I really would like to have a copy of this lens. I am fortunate to have the 'lux on one of my M6TTLs, but I'd like the CV for my M4-2. What can one do? Fast glass is terribly addictive...
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Old 09-16-2010   #46
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seems that this lens inspires the most polarized debate of any m-mount. very interesting.
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Old 09-16-2010   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efix View Post
Have to object there, mine had backfocus from f/1.4 to f/2, and frontfocus from f/2.4 onwards - or was it the other way round? Anyway, I had to twist my rf alignment to get in-focus shots at f/1.4 so that it then was off at infinity. I don't say it's a bad lens, it might indeed be a great lens for what it is, and there are people who love it to death. I hated it and sold it again within days, got the Biogon 2/35 and was happy :-)
Got exactly the same problem with a lens of a friend of mine I have tried several month !
This lens front focus at f1.4, and backfocus at 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6 with 2.8 beeing the worst (focus shift / DOF). I have made pictures and a complete test on film. No way, that I may have made a mistake on this. And the Sean Reid review of the lens shows exactly the same thing.

So, I never tried to get one, which is a pitty since I love this lens (even the bookeh) ... when the focus is correct ...

I'm still thinking of getting one. Is it possible that the lens of my friend, the ones used by Sean Reid were bad copies ? Is it that the last version of the lens has corrected this problem ?

Does somebody has made focus test with success ?

Thanks for reporting your experience
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Old 09-16-2010   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanmich View Post
Seriously?
Hexar AF, UC Hex, Nikkor 35/1.8 (same basic lens design for all three), 35/1.2 and Nokton 35/1.4 are pretty much on par, Michael. With the AF you can get closer - and it's more pronounced the closer you get. Here is one of my AF test shots (the GAS lamp is straight in real life ):



Also, have a look at the recent M-mount Nikkor 35/1.8 thread.

Note that the new Summilux ASPH has around 2% distortion as well, even more than the previous one.

Last edited by ferider : 09-16-2010 at 09:28.
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Old 09-16-2010   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferider View Post
With the AF you can get closer - and it's more pronounced the closer you get.
Got it, thanks.
I was a bit surprised since I never noticed that bad a distortion on this camera. I certainly don't shoot brick walls with it. It's to good for that
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Old 09-16-2010   #50
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Reading back through this thread I have to conclude that as good as the 1.4 is there are quality control issues with varying reports of focus problems. It seems that some examples have it to a larger extent than others and this is what makes me wary of Cosina's current lens offerings. I'm not comfortable with the prices you have to pay for Leica glass but it does make me lean towards Zeiss ... and I know I'll get shouted down with the inevitable argument ... "Cosina manufactures Zeiss's range so what's the difference?"

There's obviously a big difference and although the 50mm Sonnar C does have a a focus shift issue it's known and it seems to be consistent. Slowly but surely I'm building my collection of Zeiss glass as finances allow and each additional lens blows me away with it's rendering ... particularly in the OOF areas and distortion seems to be minimal in the four examples I now own which is two M mount (25mm Biogon and 50mm Sonnar) and two F mount. (50mm Planar and 35mm Distagon!)

I know Zeiss aren't currently offering a fast 35mm M mount but if they did come up with a 35mm f1.4 that was twice or two and a half times the price of Cosina's lens I would happily pay the premium ... finances allowing of course!
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Hi Roland
Old 09-16-2010   #51
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Hi Roland

Yes, it does manifest in many lens out there. As Brian mentioned, Nikon's first or one of their first zooms, the 43-86/3.5 that sold for 30+ years or so has not only severe barrel, but severe pincusion. I like that lens though

I never noticed it much on the 50/1.4 pre asph lux, until you showed me your uncorrected photo from the SJ museum? or wherever, window shot (damn, I wish I din't see that!), but I do think it is less than say the Hexar AF's, by a tad maybe. Also, my particular J3 has it, but I rarely notice it unless shooting, uh, straight line buildings, etc.

What's interesting is that while it certainly bothers me now that I've seen it, I can accept that it doesn't bother others, and I'm now fine with this. I do think it odd, that here we are in 2010 paying lots of money for lenses with more distortion than a) HBC's 50/2 collapsible cron and b) $59 p&s cameras with plastic lens, but hey, that's what makes this hobby interesting!


Quote:
Originally Posted by ferider View Post
Not for me anyways, Ted.

What bugs me is that it only gets mentioned for this lens, but that many of the other "cult lenses" also distort similarly but it doesn't seem to be an issue; including 35/1.2, 35/2 UC Hex, Nikkor 35/1.8 (LTM and S-Mount), 50/1.4 Summilux, etc.

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Old 09-16-2010   #52
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It's supposed to be a 'classic' rendering right? I would guess that the imperfections were meant to be charms. Not for everybody. The perfect lens far as I can tell is the zeiss 35 2.8. If you want sharp and beautiful I'd opt for that. Or hell! The CV 35mm Color Skopar is fantastic!

Ah lenses. None are perfect. I'm trying to avoid letting too much thought about my optics stop me from making pictures. It's become a problem lately.
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Old 09-16-2010   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
I know Zeiss aren't currently offering a fast 35mm M mount but if they did come up with a 35mm f1.4 that was twice or two and a half times the price of Cosina's lens I would happily pay the premium ... finances allowing of course!
If they did come up with ZM 35/1.4, I wonder if it would be much larger too? Close to CV 35/1.2 in size? It looks like thier new 35/1.4 SLR lens is HUGE!
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Old 09-16-2010   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krosya View Post
If they did come up with ZM 35/1.4, I wonder if it would be much larger too? Close to CV 35/1.2 in size? It looks like thier new 35/1.4 SLR lens is HUGE!

Well I just got my used 35mm f2 ZF Distagon in the post (thankyou Nicky) and it's a fair lump of a lens ... as big as the 1.2 Nokton in fact. I can't say it concerns me much as performance was my priority in choosing this lens so the size is secondary. The new 35mm f1.4 must be a monster though!

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Old 09-20-2010   #55
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FYI, I have let a 500 35/1.2 on ebay slide because I think I will prefer to hate the more compact lightweight 35/1.4...
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Old 09-21-2010   #56
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size is a big plus of the C/V 35/1.4, and has to do with the classic Gaussian design. Any improvement will result in a huge lens.
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Old 09-21-2010   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eieio View Post
Flare easily.. Not quite good OOF rendering..?

Also if it's possible, could you please post those bad pictures which you get from this lens.
I'm looking for reason not to sell my 35/1.2 and buy this lens.

I do love pictures from 35/1.2, but not it weight. Carrying it around make me feel like I'm
holding the brick.
I had the 35f1.4 and 35f1.2 but both are sold.

35f1.4
I bought the S.C. version. I have nothing to dislike about it. In daytime, I use it f8 or f11 and it is very sharp. In low light, the f1.4 is sufficient. I sold it because someone offered a good price for it and my M4P.

35f1.2
I bought it to try since many praise its rendering. Sure it is good and so is the build quality. But the lens eventually got on my nerves as it is big and heavy. It blocks a portion of the VF. It has the same amount of distortion as 35f1.4 (but it does not bother me). The lens just don't feel right as an everyday-carry-everywhere lens. I sold it eventually.

Between this 2 lens, I have more to dislike about the 35f1.2 than the 35f1.4. I will buy a 35f1.4 again anytime. Like Roland said, many who rant about the 35f1.4 has never used it. I am saving up for it.
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Old 10-11-2010   #58
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FWIW, this is what people are talking about when they say the 35 1.4 has distracting bokeh. The light from under the doorway looks like Darth Vader wants inside that church. This is from a 40mm, but in comparing the two I believe the bokeh is the same.



The 35mm 1.2 Nokton was my favorite lens, and to this day I've never found something I've enjoyed more. The signature is beautiful, the bokeh is smooth. At 1.2 it glows. At 2.0 it's as sharp as I could ever want it to be. It was my totally reliable lens. I only sold it because I sold my entire M8 system (mistake #1). More than any other lens I miss this one.

If size is an issue (which I agree with) then I would recommend getting a 35mm 2.5 Skopar as a walkaround lens, and keep the Nokton for when you need the speed.
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Old 10-11-2010   #59
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We just came back from three weeks in Europe. Three bodies, a R4M for my 21f4.5 C Biogon, a M2 for my Nokton 35f1.4 SC and a R3M for the new 75f1.8 (there was also a 12f5.6 along - used sparingly.
So far I have processed 30 of 50 rolls, scanned about 165 shots from those - and at least 70% were shot with the 35f1.4! Not a single shoot rejected because of lens performance issues. Yes it does have some distorsion - but if I was shooting architectural stuff - i would not use a 35 anyway (it would be the C-Biogon 21f4.5 - with NO distorsion!).
I did a couple of quick snaps with a friends new 35f1.4 Summilux Asph. Very good close-up (floating element helps), sharpness looks OK - but the bokeh is ugly - compared to the Nokton 35f1.4 - and it costs $4000 to boot!
Looking at the negatives - I most likely could have done the trip ( about 2700 miles) with only a M2 and the 35f1.4 and not really missed the other lenses - though the 75f1.8 nicely complements the 35.
Check on our Flickr site under the set "Tom's Europe 2010" and there should be at least 100 shots, ranging from ragged edge f1.4 @ 1/4 sec to 1/500 @ f16. All done on either Neopan Presto 400 or Fomopan 400.
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Old 10-11-2010   #60
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Quote:
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I did a couple of quick snaps with a friends new 35f1.4 Summilux Asph... but the bokeh is ugly - compared to the Nokton 35f1.4 -
But it will not have detractors like Lil Nok!
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Old 10-11-2010   #61
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I really don't see why anyone needs to hate this lens. It's compact, sharp and reasonably priced. You want more, you pay more. If you don't like it, don't buy it.

It would though, be interesting to to have a Lightroom lens profile for it - anyone done one?
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Old 10-12-2010   #62
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Yeah this thread is bothering me. I don't know if you realize this but CV actually does make two highly regarded 35mm lenses, they just happen to be called Zeiss, and they cost what world class lenses should cost.

Read reviews. Why would you buy a classic look lens when you obvisouly hate it?
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Old 10-12-2010   #63
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I wouldn't get too bent out of shape over this thread. The title was meant facetiously.

The CV 35/1.4 is really really good. 9 times out of ten the bokeh is entirely agreeable if not downright appealing. 10 times out of 10 you will never find another 35 that offers that combination of speed, size, build quality, image quality, and price.

I have both 35 Noktons. Foolishly thought I would compare and keep one, but that has proved impossible The Big one in chrome looks way too cool on my M8 (where it is one of the best lenses for that camera) and never disappoints image-wise. But sometimes I need something lighter, and the Lil SC Nok is ready to perform. Especially in B&W, the Lil Nok has a very appealing look. In crazy moments I still contemplate selling one of the two and getting another ZM C Biogon 35/2.8 to complement the remaining one, but the problem is, I can't decide which one

For color work, I think the 35 lux asph is way ahead of the lil Nok and just different (better?) than the Big Nok.

Where it all gets really out of control for me is when I start thinking about selling my 28 cron and both of the CV 35s to get a lux asph with a CV 28/3.5 thrown in for good measure
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Old 10-12-2010   #64
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the ONLY problem i have with this lens is the chrome front ring. I almost sold it, but realized i will not find anything in this range that will please me as much.
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Old 10-12-2010   #65
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I got back from Italy in August, taking my R3A + 35/1.4 ... I had also brought the CV 21/4 and my Zeiss 50/2, but found I took most of my shots with the 35/1.4 lens.

After I got the film developed, I was pleasantly surprised -- the 35/1.4 really did a great job. A wonderful lens for the price, IMHO.

I have some samples on my Flickr thread if anyone's interested:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bobby_n...7624642966568/
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Old 10-12-2010   #66
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focus shift is the most overrated lens performance issue on the net, as far as I'm concerned. I've owned some big "shifting" lenses that are now infamous for focus shift, and not once has it shown itself or impacted me in any way in the real world.
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Old 10-13-2010   #67
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Quote:
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focus shift is the most overrated lens performance issue on the net, as far as I'm concerned. I've owned some big "shifting" lenses that are now infamous for focus shift, and not once has it shown itself or impacted me in any way in the real world.
I think it depends, too, on what you shoot and what kind of shift it is. My Nok 35/1.4 exhibits a small amount of shift from f/2.0 - 5.6, but since the depth of field moves back from the point of focus, it is quite easy to use it for shots with people even at minimum distance. By contrast, the ZM C Sonnar that I have, which was optimized for f/2.8 when new, would front focus wide open at MFD, so I eventually had it optimized for f/1.5 (which is where I use that lens most).
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Old 10-14-2010   #68
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It would though, be interesting to to have a Lightroom lens profile for it - anyone done one?
I couldn't find one so I created a profile for the 35/1.4 on a Leica M8.

It's the first time I have tried but it seems to work OK on jpg and tiff files. For some reason it doesn't show up when using straight Leica DNG files.

So if anyone wants to try it please send me a pm with an address that will accept an attachment and I'll email it.
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Old 10-19-2010   #69
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I love everything about the 1.4 Nokton...


...except when it gets this annoying circular flare.
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Old 10-19-2010   #70
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I kind of like that ring flare sometimes!

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Old 10-19-2010   #71
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I love mine but still hunting down for a pre asph 35mmlux.

This CV lens is so small and cheap but handling still not very quite smooth for my liking as compared to my m mount summaron .

But this CV f1.4 lens sure is sharper compared to my cv f1.2

Shot on M8







I feel that for the price and what it can do. Worth every cent I spend for it.

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Old 10-21-2010   #72
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You guys are so cynical about the Nokton 35mm f1.4 lens. Your pointing out how horrible the Bokeh is, the distortion, lens flare. To be quite honest. Not everyone shoots wide open. You can resolve the lens flare issue by putting a filter on. I've seen tons of examples of this lens on flickr and the examples look great. I plan to purchase the Nokton or the Zeiss 35 Biogon f2.8. I'm leaning toward the Nokton 35 1.4. So if any of you don't enjoy it i'll be glad to buy it off your hands to shoot photos with. It will definitley meld into my workflow and look awesome on my Zeiss Ikon.
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Old 10-24-2010   #73
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Dwayne, stopped down I think the lens is pretty great as well. Overall I really like the lens, the bokeh, don't mind the distortion at all, the only issue being the occasional circular flare (I had already tried using a filter, but didn't help, only using a big aftermarket square hood the circular flare is gone). I love having such a compact and fast lens that is so versatile.

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Old 10-24-2010   #74
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Old 10-26-2010   #75
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I had two of these and actually liked the bokeh and didn't find it to flare to much. Focusing issues and field curvature were a totally different matter however. One of them did focus spot on wide open and only back focused closed down (I shouldn't have sold it). The other one back focused with every aperture. I had professional camera service check it out and they said it is just build wrong and very difficult=expensive to repair. They also said that most people with film cameras would probably never have noticed the focusing issue but M9 is ruthless in that way. I would still buy one if I would get a chance to test it out first.
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Old 10-26-2010   #76
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This lens is very sharp. Bokeh is good. Distortion issue is a storm in a teacup.
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Old 10-26-2010   #77
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I can solve the debate in one word: Ultron

The Ultron is a tad slower at f/1.7 and not f/1.4, but it is a better lens.
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Old 10-26-2010   #78
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I can solve the debate in one word: Ultron

The Ultron is a tad slower at f/1.7 and not f/1.4, but it is a better lens.
I had the Ultron and it was a great lens. However it's not as sharp in the middle, it's bigger and it only focuses down to 0.9 meters.
I tested the Ultron and Nokton side by side and decided the Nokton is better for me and sold the Ultron.
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Old 10-26-2010   #79
Mister E
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Quote:
Originally Posted by umcelinho View Post
I love everything about the 1.4 Nokton...
...except when it gets this annoying circular flare.
I love the flare in this shot. It really draws your eye into the subject.
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Old 10-26-2010   #80
Mister E
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Mister E is offline
Join Date: May 2010
Location: I <3 NCPS
Posts: 1,575
I have the 35/1.4 ASPH, probably one of the best 35mm lenses ever made. I love it, I've taken some of my favorite shots with it and if tomorrow I had to replace it I'm sure I could be happy with the 35/1.4 MC CV lens. After seeing so many pleasant shots from stupid leica's copy I'm sold. The 35/1.2 is huge, but nice too. For me I don't think the size difference is worth 1/2 a stop.
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