View Full Version : Voigtlander PII Photo
Attached is a photo taken with the new Voigtlander PII. It is a portrait of a Leica photographer that I met in a nature reserve in Singapore. Please note that he has 2 Leica M6 TTL attached with 35mm and 90mm Leica lenses and a Leica 135mm in his bag. My overall impression of the PII is that it is a contrasty lens but in terms of sharpness it is not as sharp as the Ultron 35mm. In fact, the PII has a softness that reminds me of the Color Skopar 50mm/2.5. But the overall construction is better than the earlier generation of CV lenses. I am pleased with this lens.
Looks pretty sharp to me. I was wondering if that lens is difficult to focus, as flat as it is?
Todd, I reckon if you measure sharpness in lp/mm, this PII scores pretty high. I think what Peter means by softness is more to the fact that this lens doesn't create strong 3D impression. I compare it to my Nokton 50/1.5 though because I have no other 35mm lens. I guess it is something to do with aspherical elements?
Focusing is no problem for me. It has a tab. Setting aperture is rather awkward with the lens hood on despites those 'ears'.
Well I must say that the lens is rather compact but the focusing tab makes focusing very easy. But I cannot speak for those with large hands as I wear size 7 gloves (dainty hands!). I forgot to mention that the focusing tab is rather stiff. I think Kris is right about the assumption on the aspherical component that makes images made by the Ultron more plastic and life like than the PII. The PII is not a bad lens but the Ultron is better. :D
Originally posted by Kris
I think what Peter means by softness is more to the fact that this lens doesn't create strong 3D impression.
.....by 3D are you refering to the part of the image that is in focus in relation to the out of focus portion? I hear people refer to an image as having a 3D effect but I always thoght it was in relation to the apeture (i.e. wide open).
Originally posted by Todd.Hanz
[B...but I always thoght it was in relation to the apeture (i.e. wide open).
Not really Todd. Some lenses do create 3D feeling even when everything is pretty much sharp i.e. no bokeh.
Here's one example. Nokton 50/1.5 at either f/4 or f/5.6.
Another sample. Lens is 28mm stopped down to f/8. Not very strong 3D, but perhaps you can see it?
No aspherical element used in this lens and I've never got very strong 3D with this lens. That's why I assume asph elements has something to do with it.
But then Leica 50 Cron has no asph element either and it does create strong 3D impression from what I can see in other people's photos.
And a flat image despite shot wide open. On camera flash kills it.
Those are really nice examples, could you say that the effect may be caused by the fact that both of these images have a solid/non-distracting background and lighting angles which causes the subject to "pop" from the rest of the image ?
I know when setting up lighting for a portrait, I use a "backlight" to seperate the person from the background and give some more depth to the image.
This is an interesting topic and I wonder if the lens construction has an effect or not, it must to some degree.
Light definitely has large contribution to this effect. But the lens also plays a great role IMHO.
How bout this one? The seats don't have solid background but they look prety 3D to me although not as strong as the arches.
Taken by 28mm lens. I sold this lens last week BTW.
in an attempt to answer our question and prove or disprove either of our theories I went to the "Great Google Oracle" and asked for advice. It spit out another thread/post from a well known RFF guru, please read:
It is interesting that both of our thoughts are represented in the comments.
Just received from my first roll with the 35 Pancake 1st version. Taken wide open (2.5), what do you think, some trace of that 'POP' effect here ?
My thery it's something related to much more than the lens and aperture only. May have something to do also with the tonality differences between main subject / background - in-focus/oof areas and also a lot with the light source.
Would be great to be able to isolate the causes of that effect (gee! talking as if this was a lab!) but imo there are simply too many variables, so in the 'real' world this may be an impossible task.
However, in the studio you have a lot more control, may be the test field par excellence.
seeing your BW (tri-x maybe?) with some grain compared to Kris' no grain pics makes me wonder if film doesn't play a role as well. Nice shot!
i think he used xp2.
i was thinking the same thing too.
it's too difficult to properly judge on the net. my cheap prints can look better than my cheap scans etc.
I forgot to add in technical details for my test shot. Film used is Kodak T400 CN, shutter speed 1/125 and aperture is f4. I do agree with backalley photo that prints are much better than scan. The computer monitor is no way to judge lens but it gives one an idea on the lens performance.
I think that's not grain in Oscar's photo. It's scanner noise caused by underexposed negative. I have lots of them too :D That's why many people recommend overexposing negatives by 1/2 or even 1 stop. That B&W photo with clock tower and tram was shot on Delta 3200 shot as if it's ISO1250 and developed as if it's ISO1600. It's very grainy but after reducing it to web size, it looks smooth.
I'm pretty much clueless on what causes this POP. Guess it's a combination of good lighting, lens, colour/tonal and relation between focused and OOF areas. Wouldn't we all love to know how to make photos that POP all the time. :D
we could try carbonation:angel:
ps - pleae feel free to groan at your own discretion
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