On this article and 15-minute video, I’ll evaluate the Voigtlander 29mm Tremendous Nokton Micro 4 Thirds lens.
Like all the opposite Voigtlander lenses within the Micro 4 Thirds lineup, it includes a stable steel housing, handbook focus, and no digital contact factors. It has 12 aperture blades and the signature de-clickable aperture ring for clean transitions. The minimal focus distance is .37 meters (1.2ft), which falls wanting its sibling’s virtually macro-like close-ups.
It weighs 703 grams, placing it on the heavy, however not insupportable, facet of the spectrum. Oh, and by the way in which, it has an f-stop of zero.eight, making this the quickest manufacturing lens… on the planet.
Okay, so, first issues first. There are some modifications that I need to level out. The primary and most noticeable change is that the aperture ring has knurling all the way in which across the ring making a sort of sharper extra trendy look fairly than the basic look of its siblings.
It additionally options the #29 on the barrel, which is a pleasant contact. The filter ring can be a primary at 62mm. After which, after all, there’s the zero.eight f-stop.
Now, that isn’t advertising fluff. This actually is the quickest manufacturing lens on the planet. However that isn’t the one crown this lens wears. So far as I can inform, this is likely one of the most costly lenses, if not THE most costly lens Voigtlander has ever produced for client buy, coming in at $1,800.
So, what does f/zero.eight really do for you then? Is it a reliable software or only a celebration trick? Bragging rights, maybe? Nicely, the primary thought I had was, “Can the f/zero.eight aperture really justify its $1,800 price ticket?” however after saying it out loud, it felt a bit foolish. As a result of the actual query ought to be: “Why is the world’s quickest manufacturing lens so low cost?”
Nicely, to try it out, I took it to a small studio in North Austin the place I arrange a photograph shoot. And, I wished to do a shoot that may enable me to actually put this lens via its paces. A lens that may let me shoot at f/zero.eight and f/eight. So I’ve settled on attempting one among my favourite eras of pictures: 1950s Golden Period Hollywood Portraits.
Weight and Construct
The lens is really a marvel of engineering and is simply as properly constructed as ever with that steel and glass solely building, however not like the remainder of the Voigtlander lenses, the main target ring on my lens felt a bit stiff. Nonetheless straightforward to show, however much less fluid than I used to be anticipating.
The load appears to be evenly unfold when not on the digicam, however when it’s on the digicam, it does really feel a bit entrance heavy. Nevertheless, just like the Voigtlander 60mm, you don’t actually discover it within the second and it by no means proved to be a hindrance.
Bokeh and Flaring
So, that is going to be troublesome because the model that I selected to doesn’t really function bokeh, as a result of I used principally stable backgrounds. Additionally as a result of studio setting, there may be virtually no flaring. So as a substitute I’ll discuss concerning the roll-off. And boy, does this lens function a number of the finest rendering roll-off I’ve ever encountered on any lens, not to mention a M4/three lens. There may be simply one thing so extremely pleasing how when taking pictures extensive open, there isn’t any harsh or fast fall off. It’s pure, elegant, however exact. This leads me to…
I actually want that I may go in-depth as to how this lens was constructed. Or that I may let you know it elevated sharpness this many proportion factors, however the sincere fact is that, I’m not a lens engineer. I don’t know how they managed to make this lens as sharp as it’s extensive open. The twin achromatic parts are actually doing the heavy lifting right here exhibiting virtually zero chromatic aberration, even at f/zero.eight, even at 200%.
I confirmed these images to a couple cinematographer and photographer colleagues they usually have been met with open jaws. It’s actually exceptional how crisp this lens is and by far and away blows the f/zero.95 lenses out of the water for sharpness and management. I used to be actually not anticipating this, as every part I’ve ever watched shot on ultra-fast lenses has been an enormous blurry mess and that’s most actually not the case right here.
I’ll be the primary to confess that I didn’t perceive why Voigtlander was releasing a 29mm after they already had a 25mm, however I’ll even be the primary to confess that there regardless of the comparatively shut focal distance, this lens actually slices its manner via the remainder of the group to show itself worthy and to deal with this type of shoot the place emulating the depth of area of the outdated eight×10 movie slides generally utilized in Hollywood portraits, I actually don’t suppose there may be one other lens able to producing something remotely correct.
I actually like this lens and actually, I didn’t suppose I used to be going to. Even understanding the standard that Voigtlander produces, it nonetheless managed to shock me. That alone makes me need to proceed to help Voigtlander’s fixed innovation and exploration of what’s attainable with the M4/three mount.
To me, this lens is a really private reminder that inside all of us, there’s a huge artistic universe and we’ve got some ways wherein to discover it. The Voigtlander 29mm might not unlock the cosmos, however it’s a small transfer in direction of a brighter future.
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In regards to the writer: Aaron Arizpe is a photographer, director, editor, and cinematographer based mostly in Austin, Texas. The opinions expressed on this article are solely these of the writer. You will discover extra of Arizpe’s work on his web site, YouTube channel, and Instagram.