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08-18-2008, 05:43 AM   #1
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Volna-9 vs. Voigtlander Nokton 58mm

James borrowed me his Voigtlander Nokton 58mm for a week so I decided to compare it's bokeh characteristics with my Volna-9.

Since not many people own both lenses, I decided to share the result for those who are interested.
Needless to say, I used custom white balance, MLU with two seconds delay and the camera was on a tripod.

First test scene shot at f/16 for reference:

Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f/1.4 @ f/1.4

Full size: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3272/2773442025_ca803b8471_o.jpg

Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f/1.4 @2.8

Full size: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3056/2774538594_fb5516b3f5_o.jpg

Volna-9 at f/2.8

Full size: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3100/2773444011_3f2528c07d_o.jpg

Second test scene shot at f/16 for reference:


Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f/1.4 @ f/1.4

Full size: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3285/2773437785_fe7bc82177_o.jpg

Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f/1.4 @ f/2.8

Full size: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3195/2774519118_25120c6701_o.jpg

Volna-9 at f/2.8

Full size: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3211/2773440063_8e77a07375_o.jpg

After doing all the hard work I will leave the comments for the results to you
Hope it was helpful.


Last edited by Voe; 08-18-2008 at 06:19 AM.
08-18-2008, 05:51 AM   #2
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Great comparison here, Voe.

I think that Volna-9 beats Nokton here. Surpringly, Volna has a more perfect circle against highlight.

At f2.8, there are hardly much difference between the two lenses.

The only bonus I could see is the fact that Nokton can stop down to f1.4 with pleasant and more smooth bokeh.
08-18-2008, 06:01 AM   #3
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Volna has better bokeh than Nokton, but Nokton is much sharper than Volna at 2.8! Maybe good for Volna if you want to take some soft portrait, but other than that, Nokton is much better, imho.
Of course, Volna's bokeh is nicer, smoother, but I could live with "not so good" bokeh for having focused object pin sharp

Last edited by Spex; 08-18-2008 at 08:16 AM.
08-18-2008, 06:14 AM   #4
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I think wide open the Nokton has smoother bokeh than the Volna-9. I't just the OOF circles where Volna-9 excels. Both lenses have very smooth bokeh.
Actually to see how a regular 50mm lens compares to these two, bellow is a Pentacon 50mm f/1.8 at f/1.8:


You can see how busy it is and the OOF circles are much more pronounced. I don't think another 50's lens can beat the Volna-9 and the Nokton in smooth bokeh and OOF circles department. Of course these two are not the sharpest lenses wide open but this is not the point.

If you ask me which one is more pleasant to my eyes, it is the Nokton.


Last edited by Voe; 08-18-2008 at 06:39 AM.
08-18-2008, 06:24 AM   #5
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Wow, that Volna can sure render OOF areas in a pleasant way.

And at a fraction of the cost!
08-18-2008, 08:10 AM   #6
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nice test shots Voe, always enjoy your old school comparisons
the volna definitely looks very smooth. where did you get yours and how much?

Last edited by k100d; 08-18-2008 at 10:56 AM.
08-19-2008, 05:18 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by k100d Quote
nice test shots Voe, always enjoy your old school comparisons
the volna definitely looks very smooth. where did you get yours and how much?
Thanks guys, I am glad it is helpful.

I got mine from eBay for around $100USD.
08-19-2008, 06:14 AM   #8
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Oh my.... I've just ordered the Nokton. I could not help my self....I need and I want this lens.. I know Volna-9 is good but a voice deep inside was telling me that I have to have the Nokton too (I am afraid this explanation is not going to be good enough for my wife) But the rendering is just so beautiful and the build quality is just great!
Now I will have to start selling the lenses that I don't use




Last edited by Voe; 08-19-2008 at 06:19 AM.
08-19-2008, 07:50 PM   #9
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Wow, Voe. That is a hell of a decision.

Do you know that I am using Nokton a lot less these days. More of switching to a zoom (For the time being)
08-20-2008, 05:26 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
Wow, Voe. That is a hell of a decision.

Do you know that I am using Nokton a lot less these days. More of switching to a zoom (For the time being)
Well, partially it is your fault that I bought this lens. I would not buy it if you did not post all those awesome photos made with Nokton, and most importantly letting me borrow this lens I could see the difference with my other fast 50's.

I did not know that you were switching to zoom lenses, but I am sure it is just a temporary switch Nokton delivers rendering that no zoom can come close to and soon you will start using it again.
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