ZM 50 1.5 vs CV 50 1.1 vs alt
Old 12-10-2011   #1
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ZM 50 1.5 vs CV 50 1.1 vs alt

Currently investing quite a bit of money in M gear, but due to austerity measures, I'm having to do it whilst wearing my best sensible hat.

I have an M8.2 en route (hopefully) to me and have just ordered the CV 35 1.2 v2. I currently have also a CV 50 1.5, but there is a a small scratch on the front element, so I wish to replace this.

I have circa £1000 to spend, give or take a couple of hundred quid. I was initially looking at the Zeiss 50 1.5, until I started to hear stories about focus shift and the bokeh behaving in a strange way on some M8's.

As I want a fast lens (lets just accept that and not deviate from the actual topic) I immediately then considered the CV 50 1.1, but, for the money (its around £1k new) I wasn't sure about the overall IQ and its fairly ugly bokeh (a minor quibble).

I can't afford a Summilux and a Summicron isn't going to cut the mustard. I want to buy new, so if there are any issues, I can at least attempt a return.

Any suggestions, opinions or alternatives that I may not have considered?

Thanks for your time.

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Old 12-11-2011   #2
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CV 50 1.1 would be nice pair for CV 35 1.2 IMO. dont own one myself, but images I've seen around dont have "ugly bokeh" or bad IQ.

both are big and heavy, which little shadows the benefits of RF system, but speed and narrow DOF are the obvious benefits.
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Old 12-11-2011   #3
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Replace the CV 50 1.5 with another, good copy of the CV 50 1.5.

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Old 12-11-2011   #4
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If you are happy with the CV 50 1.5 performance, why to replace it? A small scratch in the front element will certainly not affect the performance in any way, or almost, but will certainly sell for less because of this. Is a terrific lens, so give it a try on the M8 before you decide. I had a voigtlander lens with a broken rear element that performed very well, except in certain lighting conditions (directly into the sun, for ex.) that's why I am a little skeptical about the influence small imperfections of the glass can have on the final result.
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Old 12-11-2011   #5
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CV 50/1.5 is very nice lens.

With 1000 GBP , you can replace by new CV 50/1.5 or used Sumicron 50/2.
Keep your CV 50/1.5 (if the scratch not affect to IQ), and buy wide lens Zeiss 21 or 24 .
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Last edited by jazzwave : 12-11-2011 at 02:16. Reason: add
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Old 12-11-2011   #6
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Well, they Zeiss 50/1.5 C Sonnar has a very unique look to it - some love it to death, others don't care at all. If you like the typical Sonnar look, then this is the way to go.

The Voigtländer 50/1.1 also exhibits focus shift. Also, you already got a superfast lens with the 35/1.2.

The Voigtländer 50/1.5 is a solid performer, with no issues at all. I had one for some time, and it always delivered. To me, personally, it lacked character - something the Sonnar has got loads of.

Why not a Zeiss 50/2 Planar or Leica 50/2 Summicron? You already have the 35/1.2 for when light gets sparse, and these two 50ies are among the best there are, and are the best alternatives to the CV 50/1.5 should you decide to part with it.
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Last edited by efix : 12-11-2011 at 01:51.
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Old 12-11-2011   #7
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Dear Chris,

Does the scratch really affect image quality? And it'll have even less effect if you draw a very fine line over it with Indian ink.

Actually, using both the Voigtländer f/1.5 and the Sonnar 1.5 side by side led me to the same conclusion as efix: I just liked the Sonnar more. In fact it's the only 50mm I really, really like, apart from the old Noctilux (I've not tried the new one yet).


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Old 12-11-2011   #8
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I don't think that the 1.1 has ugly bokeh, but it does have issues sometimes with bright point lights and strange flare shapes, but you do have to provoke it. It's soft and vignettes a lot wide open, but not unpleasantly so, in my opinion.

It's almost .9 of a stop faster than the 1.5, so if you want fast and (relatively) cheap it's the way to go.
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Old 12-11-2011   #9
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contax Zeiss-opton 50/1.5 + amedeo c to m mount adapter will cost well under 1000usd.
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Old 12-11-2011   #10
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How bad is the scratch? Is it deep into the glass? As roger stated, black filler will prevent it from corrupting the image.

On the lenses: i have both. I prefer the C-Sonnar for a general purpose lens on the M8. The extra speed of the Nokton - valuable for low-light.

Bokeh on the two lenses: I would not consider it a deciding factor.
Focus shift: both lenses have it, and you will need to learn an easy trick to master it. With the lens optimized for wide-open use, focus "ever-so-slightly" closer (leave the image in the RF shifted) to use at F4.
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Old 12-11-2011   #11
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Firstly, thanks for all the valuable replies!

Okay, I'm going to try and respond to a few things first, as obviously, this involves me, money and a lens I won't be able to afford to change any time soon.

Bokeh - to me, it matters and is a deciding factor. Ugly bokeh bothers me and its my opinion that the bokeh that the Nokton 1.1 produces is not the nicest.

I am looking for a consistent, signature theme/look with my lenses and that is going to be achieved, in the main, by using fast glass. f/2.0 isn't going to cut it, so suggestions of a Summicron (as per my initial post) are wasted, really.

I'm not sure, yet, whether the scratch to my CV 50 1.5 (which is a circular shape) is going to affect IQ. I am using it on my M6 currently and only noticed it yesterday - so I'll only be able to see when I get that roll developed. If it doesn't have any detriment to my images, I may consider keeping it. It is a nice piece of glass, otherwise.

The Sonnar initially attracted me as I liked the look it afforded images - it seemed to tick a lot of boxes for me and I was dead set to buy it, until I heard about the focus shift and bizarre bokeh on (some?) M8's.
With my limited budget, I may be more inclined to buy the Sonnar over the Nokton 1.1, if both have some element of focus shift, as I like the way the Sonnar renders, over the Nokton.

I'll probably wait until the M8.2 arrives before I make the decision & try a Sonnar on it. The proof of the pudding, after all.

On top of this, I have no clue if I would be able to get whichever 50mm I chose and the CV 35 1.2 calibrated in the UK for my M8.2. So thats another think to think about. I am attracted by Zeiss' three year warranty, though.

Again, many thanks for your replies - you've given me lots of food for thought
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Old 12-11-2011   #12
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Nokton 50/1.1, wide-open on the M9.

C-Sonnar, wide-open on the M8.

And, an Uncoated 5cm f1.5 Sonnar converted to Leica Mount.

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Old 12-11-2011   #13
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Old 12-11-2011   #14
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Old 12-11-2011   #15
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What about the Millenium Nikkor 50 1.4 with amadeo adapter?
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Old 12-11-2011   #16
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I personally love both lens you mentioned the nokton 1.1 and sonnar 1.5 for different reasons. The sonnar is a sharp, contrasty and high performing lens with a very compact body. Its a great lens that will not disappoint you in any way. Whilst bokeh is really a matter of personal taste, but I find that there's no problem with it and actually find it pleasing.

The nokton is also a gem, with its price and 1.1 dof ability, I think its a very artistic lens. Though yes its quite large and heavy, but it doesn't disappoint. Of course you won't get noctilux quality and the bokeh imho is a bit on the rough side, but generally you won't notiice too much of a difference. For its price, I think its a great lens. I wish they wouldve updated the 50/1.1 to a v2 and give excellent qualities like the 35/1.2 v2 you ordered.
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