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07-15-2011, 09:03 PM   #556
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Certainly agree to your last point, that a limited supply and rising price/demand creates a certain aura, that has little to do with optical or other qualities. I think at various times I am at least guilty of this line of thinking, if not the resulting action of actually purchasing. I've always loved the voigtlander IQ I see on this page and others, but the focal lengths have created some issues. I got the 77 as one of my first lenses, and the proximity in focal length to the 75 and 90 led me away from those two lenses. It was a toss up between the vl 40 and the fa 43, but I've wanted the 43 since I got 77. I recently found older model 43 in good shape so voigtlander lost that battle as well. I've been in the market for a macro for some time, and the voigt IQ, with the 1:1 and solid build simply seems untouchable with the 125. 58 is available as you say, but the 50mm length has never really suited me for some reason. Perhaps I should pick it up while I can, and see whether I can put it to good use. What are your thoughts on the 20? I've heard mixed reviews at least in comparison to other VL offerings.

07-15-2011, 09:19 PM   #557
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QuoteOriginally posted by jurysi Quote
Certainly agree to your last point, that a limited supply and rising price/demand creates a certain aura, that has little to do with optical or other qualities. I think at various times I am at least guilty of this line of thinking, if not the resulting action of actually purchasing. I've always loved the voigtlander IQ I see on this page and others, but the focal lengths have created some issues. I got the 77 as one of my first lenses, and the proximity in focal length to the 75 and 90 led me away from those two lenses. It was a toss up between the vl 40 and the fa 43, but I've wanted the 43 since I got 77. I recently found older model 43 in good shape so voigtlander lost that battle as well. I've been in the market for a macro for some time, and the voigt IQ, with the 1:1 and solid build simply seems untouchable with the 125. 58 is available as you say, but the 50mm length has never really suited me for some reason. Perhaps I should pick it up while I can, and see whether I can put it to good use. What are your thoughts on the 20? I've heard mixed reviews at least in comparison to other VL offerings.
I know what you mean about trying to find the right focal lengths to go with what you have. I myself like to have exactly the right spread from 20 to 300 (since a Contax-Zeiss 28mm is on its way to me now, all I still need is the 300, and the 125 or a 135).

I personally think the VL20 is great, and that at least some of the criticism is due to the difficulties of learning how to use a wide angle lens, and then throw in that the VL 20 is manual focus, which gives a lot of people a hard time with wide angles. Once I started getting the hang of it, I saw the same quality there as I see in all the Voigtlanders.

If macro is an interest, how about the macro-ish VL90? That thing is amazingly sharp, almost seems like a macro in terms of sharpness, and it focuses very close (very compact too for a 90mm). But throw in the fine little macro lens they include with the VL90 and it gets me as close as I want to get. I don't know if you saw my comparison I did a few pages back here between the VL90 with its macro lens against the Raynox 150.

Anyway, good luck on your building your kit.
07-15-2011, 11:07 PM   #558
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QuoteOriginally posted by vinceloc Quote
Hi Frogfish,

I am also looking at that lens. I have only heard good things about the lens, with its only drawback being a f3.5. But even Photozone is very impressed with that lens.
Here's their review: Voigtlander APO-Lanthar 90mm f/3.5 SL (Nikon) - Review / Test Report

If they are selling the lens new, then their price is very good. Cameraquest is selling the SL (old stock) for $599 and the SLII for $589.

Vincent

BTW, do you have any problems focusing accurately with your K5 and CV58/1.4 combination when shooting wide open? I'm thinking of getting a K5, but am hesitant because of their focusing issues (as what some users claim). I mainly rely on the focus assist indicator for accurate focusing, since my eyesight is really bad, and luckily, my k200D is spot on with my CV58/1.4. What's your experience with the K5? Thanks for your input!
Excellent links Vincent ! Thank you. No the lense is used but in perfect condition (no hood).

I'm totally hooked on Voigtlanders, there is just something about them, the quality, the smoothness, the IQ, so that I just can't put them down ! I would have loved to get the 15mm Heliar in preference over the DA15 but I'm afraid there is no way to get it on a PK mount. I'm also looking at some Contax / Leica conversions now too, just haven't had the chance to try them out on camera yet. There's a Contax Zeiss P 85 / F 1.4 MMJ for $600 that is calling my name - I'm looking at how to convert it to PK (maybe the local repair guys can do a Leitax conversion on it).

I haven't had any issues with the CV58 at all. It is a gorgeous little lens now vying with the 43 Ltd for attention ! The focusing issues on the K5 are of course AF related and I haven't experienced any of them either (any BF/FF lenses can easily be adjusted individually in-camera, only takes a few minutes with a test sheet).

The quote below from the report is the only concern I have with the f3.5. The few shots I was able to take in the mall obviously weren't able to isolate the subject, though the sharpness, even wide open, was stunning.

This tiny lens is capable to produce extremely sharp images specifically at "large" aperture settings. Distortions and CAs are non-issues and vignetting isn't really field-relevant even at f/3.5. Typical for all Voigtlanders the quality of the bokeh (the out-of-focus blur) is superb. However, the effect is relatively underdeveloped due to the rather small max. aperture.

Last edited by Frogfish; 07-15-2011 at 11:36 PM.
07-15-2011, 11:10 PM   #559
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QuoteOriginally posted by les3547 Quote
Vincent/Frogfish . . . the VL 90mm is an amazing lens, I never notice it only opens to 3.5 since I seldom need the speed. But regarding Frogfish's concern about bokeh, the VL 90mm does it very well. Here's links to shots where I used the VL 90mm specifically to demonstrate it could do bokeh:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/members/les3547-albums-exploring-digital-...cture18930.jpg

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/members/les3547-albums-exploring-digital-...cture18934.jpg

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/members/les3547-albums-exploring-digital-...cture20590.jpg

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/members/les3547-albums-exploring-digital-...cture18927.jpg

Good luck.
Thanks for those links Les - just gorgeous ! However they were all close-ups and as this is mainly a portrait lens I'm trying to find people shot wide open to judge the bokeh effect.

07-16-2011, 01:06 AM   #560
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Thank you for the 75 write up as well Les. Very interesting.
07-16-2011, 01:07 AM   #561
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
I passed on a Voigtlander 90/3.5 (PK mount) today whilst browsing a camera mall. Anyone have / know much about this lense ? Is it worth the US$430 they are asking ? I did try it on the K5 - incredibly sharp but the slow 3.5 seemed to prevent me getting 3D isolation.
If you use matrix metering remember to make sure the copy you are being offered is the SLII version as they are chipped to allow matrix metering. Not sure how much of a difference it makes but would be a disappointing thing to learn after the fact. It really doesn't matter to me and how I shoot but I am certain it does to others.
07-16-2011, 04:06 AM   #562
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QuoteOriginally posted by snipenekkid Quote
If you use matrix metering remember to make sure the copy you are being offered is the SLII version as they are chipped to allow matrix metering. Not sure how much of a difference it makes but would be a disappointing thing to learn after the fact. It really doesn't matter to me and how I shoot but I am certain it does to others.
Actually it's a SLI - which I prefer because the silver/black version looks gorgeous ! I've not found metering the lenses a problem because I usually use my MF lenses in full manual anyway. But thanks for the tip !

07-21-2011, 08:33 AM   #563
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Here is a question: I have a 40mm Ultron - the only VL I have. I also have an A28/2.8 and M100/2.8. As you can see, there is a gap between the 40 and 100mm ranges. I would like to fill that gap with something. Other than the 70 or 77 from Pentax, could anyone comment on the rendering on the Nokton 58mm? Would it be different enough to NOT be considered too close to the 40 mm Ultron? Should I instead sell the 40, and get the 58, or get both?

If my instinct is correct, then the resolution of the 58 would allow me to crop what I shoot, and "virtually zoom" to what I need. I really like to 40mm Ultron, both as a focal length and as a high quality lens. It has made me partial to VL....

Thanks in advance... because I don't know what to do.
07-21-2011, 10:15 AM   #564
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QuoteOriginally posted by subidoc Quote
Here is a question: I have a 40mm Ultron - the only VL I have. I also have an A28/2.8 and M100/2.8. As you can see, there is a gap between the 40 and 100mm ranges. I would like to fill that gap with something. Other than the 70 or 77 from Pentax, could anyone comment on the rendering on the Nokton 58mm? Would it be different enough to NOT be considered too close to the 40 mm Ultron? Should I instead sell the 40, and get the 58, or get both?

If my instinct is correct, then the resolution of the 58 would allow me to crop what I shoot, and "virtually zoom" to what I need. I really like to 40mm Ultron, both as a focal length and as a high quality lens. It has made me partial to VL....

Thanks in advance... because I don't know what to do.
I have both lenses, and they offer very different perspectives. Right now I am still drooling over my new VL75, but once that wears off I suspect I will return to my opinion that the VL58 may be the best lens ever made for Pentax. I know many believe the VL125 is better, but then unlike me, a lot of people really love macro ability and the kind of super sharpness a macro lens gives. Plus unavailable lenses can be more desirable than one you can still buy new, whether or not they are actually a better lens.

I've used the VL40 for landscape, where the scene is wide enough, because it offers a way to clearly see and control limited features of a big scene. The VL40 also is relatively fast, and indoors it is good for tight spaces. A fantastic lens.

But the VL58 is even faster and, IMO, yields better IQ. True, at F1.4 the picture is very dreamy, but that's been turned into an artistic asset by many photographers. At F2 the lens is sharper, and by F2.8 starts to yield serious resolution through F11. I use it for smaller nature scenes and flower "portraits" (and if I shot people it might be my first choice for a portrait lens), and I use it like I do the VL40 to isolate landscape scenes out of a wider landscape (links to examples below). Mega-resolution, mega-bokeh, vivid color rendering, and excellent speed all in one lens is a good thing.

Also, keep in mind that as you move toward wider lenses, fewer mm make more difference to the field of view. The difference between, say, 15mm and 20mm is far more noticeable than the difference between 85mm and 90mm. That's why you might see more lenses at the bottom of a kit than the top.

In terms of building a kit, I know some people love to collect lenses and have great variety, but others of us prefer (and/or can only afford) one set of lenses to cover the main focal lengths we will use. For example, after deciding to use only primes, I chose 9 FL "spots" I wanted filled with a high quality lens: 20mm, 28mm, 40mm, 55mm, 75mm, 90mm, 135mm, 180mm, and 300mm.

The FL was approximate, i.e., the 20mm spot could be a 21mm, or the 28mm a 31mm, etc. My 55mm spot is filled with the VL58, the lens I use more than any other (but that's my style, not necessarily yours). I still need to fill the 135mm (I'm looking at the Zeiss Jena, which can be had mint for under $200), and the 300mm, which Pentax A seems a good choice. I just acquired a Contax-Zeiss 28mm (I put on a Zeitax adapter), and I am really blown away by its quality (review is in the works). If I had to live with fewer lenses, I could be very happy with the 28mm, 40mm, 58mm, 90/100mm, and 300mm focal lengths.

So to (finally) get to an answer for your question, I think the VL58 would be the perfect lens to serve between your VL40 and 100mm lenses. Now that I have the VL75, I see I could have easily lived with just the VL58 and VL90 (another amazing lens), though the VL75 has a unique IQ I am thrilled to have. Still, it isn't so much of a necessary FL on APS-C (I suspect the 135mm slot won't be all that important either, but I still want it ).

Bottom line, buy that VL58mm before it goes extinct and prices soar through the roof as everyone realizes just how fantastic the lens is!


Sharp flowers, VL58mm at F8:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/members/les3547-albums-exploring-digital-...cture20080.jpg

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/members/les3547-albums-exploring-digital-...cture26353.jpg

Dreamy flower, VL58mm at F1.4:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/members/les3547-albums-exploring-digital-...cture18933.jpg

Landscape, , VL58mm at F8:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/members/les3547-albums-exploring-digital-...cture27667.jpg

Last edited by les3547; 07-21-2011 at 10:21 AM.
07-21-2011, 10:49 AM   #565
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Thanks for your thoughts and sample images, Les. Absolutely helpful. Clearly, I seem to have a similar pattern of growing my lens collection, as yours. Although my A28 is not in the same league as your Zeiss, I quiet enjoy it, although it is a tad bit too warm in its color redering. My main range of images are 28-55 mm; less often do I need to go to 100mm. This week I am using my old 135mm/2.5 bayonet, taking care not to shoot into the light. I did not realize how much I missed it....

I guess I will get the 58, because the price is good for a product of such quality. Further, I suspect it will soon be obsolete, and I may regret the lost opportunity. My final lens collection, I hope, will all be VLs: 40, 58, 90 and 125 (although I am unsure of wide angle coverage at this time).

Much obliged...
07-21-2011, 10:58 AM   #566
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I'm not a 'flower-man' but that first shot is damn gorgeous Les.

You need to stop torturing me with that VL58/1.4 as I've convinced myself I don't need it having the SMC A 28/2.8 (just arrived), Sigma 30/1.4, 43 Ltd, Tak 50/1.4 and the VL50/1.8 that range seems crowded. I was looking at the VLI 90/3.5 but the 75/1.8 seems better (though much rarer and I'm tempted by the 77 Ltd at that FL, but the VL lenses have me hooked).

What I really 'need' is something around 15 and I thought I had found it with the 15mm Heliar - but then I found out it's a rangefinder lens and there's no way, with that registration distance, it is possible to get it onto a K mount Any ideas of alternatives ?

Anyway I started this post with the intention of just mentioning that I have a mint CZJ Electric MC Sonnar 135/3.5 however there is no doubt in my mind that the S-M-C Tak 135/3.5 I have is a better, sharper, lens. Guess I should do some side by side testing to prove it.
07-21-2011, 12:37 PM   #567
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QuoteOriginally posted by subidoc Quote
Thanks for your thoughts and sample images . . . My final lens collection, I hope, will all be VLs: 40, 58, 90 and 125 (although I am unsure of wide angle coverage at this time).
You are most welcome. I have spent the last year+ channeling all my "discretionary" income into building my kit, a kit I hope will last for many years to come (though I did buy a stereo amplifier, which I decided I didn't want after all, and so sold it and promptly bought the Contax-Zeiss 28mm). Of course it is more important to practice using lenses than acquiring them, but on either count I don't think you can go wrong with the VL58.

Regarding wide angle, don't forget the VL20mm, a very nice lens. Of course there's the DA21 and DA15 (or the DA 12-24 zoom), but I prefer full frame lenses because an APS-C sensor makes use of the part of the lens where resolution is best. Plus, if Pentax ever comes out with a FF camera, I'll be set.

To tell you the truth, I prefer the 28mm focal length over any wider angle. I like having the VL20 for those shots where you want to create a more dramatic scene by making use of the extreme depth of field of a wide angle, like focusing on something up close and then having a wide background behind.

But mostly the 20mm feels too wide for landscape (to me), though I do want to practice a lot more before settling on that opinion.

However, I am absolutely comfortable with the 28mm FL right now, it feels like a perfect fit. In fact, on an APS-C camera, 28mm is an exact "normal" (or about as close as you can get since the sensor diagonal is 28.1mm). I'd about given up on finding something of highest quality at 28mm, and so was reluctantly saving for the FA31 (reluctant because of the expense), when I stumbled on reviews of the Contax-Zeiss 28mm praising it. For 1/3 to 1/2 the price of the FA31, it seemed worth a try, and if this first test shot I took is any indication, I think it is going to exceed my expectations.

Last edited by les3547; 07-21-2011 at 06:29 PM.
07-21-2011, 01:27 PM   #568
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
I'm not a 'flower-man' but that first shot is damn gorgeous Les.
Thanks Kevin.


QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
You need to stop torturing me with that VL58/1.4 as I've convinced myself I don't need it . . .
Nope, you need it


QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
having the SMC A 28/2.8 (just arrived), Sigma 30/1.4, 43 Ltd, Tak 50/1.4 and the VL50/1.8 that range seems crowded. I was looking at the VLI 90/3.5 but the 75/1.8 seems better (though much rarer and I'm tempted by the 77 Ltd at that FL, but the VL lenses have me hooked).
Yes, I have wondered how the VL 50 compares; the FA43 and A28 are quite distinct focal lengths though. I love the 58mm focal length, like a short telephoto and it gives a field of view I really like; that's far enough from the the 28 and the 43 to fill a significant spot (and then you could just sell the 50s!).


QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
What I really 'need' is something around 15 and I thought I had found it with the 15mm Heliar - but then I found out it's a rangefinder lens and there's no way, with that registration distance, it is possible to get it onto a K mount Any ideas of alternatives ?
Obviously there's the DA15, which I owned for awhile but sold. I like the VL20 just a bit better, but as I described to Subidoc in the post above, I most prefer 28mm FL wide work. Like you however, I've been exploring to see if there is any special glass (in FF) below 20.


QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
Anyway I started this post with the intention of just mentioning that I have a mint CZJ Electric MC Sonnar 135/3.5 however there is no doubt in my mind that the S-M-C Tak 135/3.5 I have is a better, sharper, lens. Guess I should do some side by side testing to prove it.
Very interesting, I would definitely like to see side by side tests if you ever get the time. I have been researching the Zeiss Jena for about six months, comparing pictures and opinions from threads at other websites. I know this Sirens reviewer thought very highly of the Zeiss.

In terms of looking for alternatives

Last edited by les3547; 07-21-2011 at 10:31 PM.
07-21-2011, 03:35 PM   #569
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QuoteOriginally posted by les3547 Quote
To tell you the truth, I prefer the 28mm focal length over any wider angle. I like having the VL20 for those shots where you want to create a more dramatic scene by making use of the extreme depth of field of a wide angle, like focusing on something up close and then having a wide background behind.
For the same reason, I don't really use the 18-55 I have, even though on bright days, it can prove interesting. I'll hang on to my A28, and keep a look-out for its zeiss counterpart in the future. I hear the M28 or K28/3.5 are better than my A28.

On another note, you have an amazing back-yard. Looks like grape wines in the back...
07-21-2011, 10:16 PM   #570
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I think I'll have to see if I can find the VLII58/1.4 and take some shots side by side with VLI50/1.8 (which I love).

Some great info and links there Les - thank you !

On the subject of adaptors there is also this (which you have doubtless seen already) Amazon.com: Kipon Voigtlander Retina DKL Mount Lens to Pentax Body Adapter: Camera & Photo for using DKL mount lenses on the K mount. Kipon make pretty good adaptors. A DKL to M42 is only around $30 BTW.

Those DKL mount Voigtlander 135mm f4.0 Super-Dynarex go for around US$100 over here with the 2.8 versions around US$150. The f4.0 look much nicer though with the silver banding The 200/4 goes for US$200-400 when you can find them. There's even a Skopagon 40/2 if you have SU$1,000 to spare !
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