Sell 35/1.2 Nokton to buy 28mm Zeiss?
Old 02-16-2008   #1
Johann Espiritu
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Sell 35/1.2 Nokton to buy 28mm Zeiss?

Hi all,

I just bought a Zeiss 50 Planar which I'm thoroughy enjoying and now I find that 35mm is too close to it in view to keep. Thinking of selling it to buy a Zeiss 28mm Biogon...

Good idea? Will I miss f/1.2?

Thanks in advance,

Johann
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Old 02-16-2008   #2
Rafael
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Will you miss 1.2? Only you can say. It depends entirely on your shooting style and preferences. What I can say is that both lenses are excellent performers. The Biogon does pair very nicely with the Planar. What is more, the two lenses sell for similar prices on the used market and neither is particularly rare. So, if you do sell the Nokton to buy a Biogon you will not be making an irreversible decision. Good luck.
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Old 02-16-2008   #3
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I would say that unless you find 1.2 critical to your work the biogon is the way to go. You are losing over two stops but gaining a much smaller lens. Bear in mind that CV are releasing a 35 1.4 soon and it if performs well, it might offer you a lens to pretty well replace the 35 1.2 if you decide later on that you want the speed. you can then select the right lens depending on usage. the 35 1.4 CV looks very small indeed.
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Old 02-16-2008   #4
Johann Espiritu
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Thanks for the input. Going for the Biogon really seems like the "logical" decision. The only thing really stopping me form selling the Nokton is that it's the limited edition chrome version, for which only 300 were made (supposedly).
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Two possible sets or series
Old 02-16-2008   #5
noimmunity
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Two possible sets or series

A total amateur, I have the lenses you are discussing. Any combination could be satisfying and you should not feel let down by any of them.
A good question to ask is: How might your needs grow in the future? Will you eventually want to go wider than 28?
I think you could be looking at two distinct set ups:
a) 21-28-50
b) 18-25-35-50
Keeping the pretty chrome Nokton and Planar you now have, you could consider getting the ZM 2.8/25 instead of the 28. I find the 25/50 pair is a great duo, and they can easily accomodate a 35 in between. At max aperture, the 35 Nokton will allow you to do shots that neither the 28 nor the Planar 50 would allow. Plus the rendition of the Nokton is great all across the field, and if the tests in japanese photo mags are any indication (as noted here) the bokeh of the big Nokton wide open is probably still preferable than the new 35/1.4 . Finally The ZM 18 is a fantastic way to round out the wide end of things.
If you want to specify/maximize portability and low silhouette, then ditch the Nokton and get the 28. In fact, you might also consider switching to the C Sonnar as well since it is smaller than the Planar (switching may depend on what subjects you shoot). Then you could augment that with a ZM 4.5/21 for the ultimate in Zeiss stealth. And as Turtle says go for the 35/1.4 if you need it...
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Old 02-16-2008   #6
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the 28 and 50 pairing makes sense to me, just as 35 and 75 pair well. especially if you find the 35 and 50 *close* in focal length.
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Old 02-16-2008   #7
mfogiel
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Johann
The real problem, is that you should keep the Nokton AND buy the Biogon...
There are 3 good reasons for that:
1- the Nokton is a very good lens, and in fact it is the fastest lens around, as you can shoot it at 1/15th easily, what's more the dof wide open is still useable for a reasonably close portrait and the bokeh is very pleasant
2- the Nokton is the most universal lens available, as it can be used across a very wide range of apertures and is performing well close up and at infinity - if you have to take just one lens with you, then that's the one - just get a 400 iso film, a ND or a dark red filter for outdoors, and you are set
3- if you can take 2 lenses with you, then the 28 and 50 mm combo is outstanding, so a good 28mm will expand your photographic possibilities especially outdoors, while a 50mm will separate better human subjects. If you feel the 28 and 35 mm are too close, just go for the Biogon 25mm and you will have a more versatile kit, particularly for landscape.
A Nokton 35 shot at f1.4:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/5917703...87144/sizes/l/

Last edited by mfogiel : 02-16-2008 at 08:03.
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Old 02-16-2008   #8
northpole
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My experience with 28mm lenses has been that they are, more often than not, just that little bit too wide. I realise that we all have different requirements but I can't help but think that Leica M's were made for 35mm and I just couldn't be without one!

My suggestion is similar to those above - the Biogon 25mm is an exceptional lens and would provide you with a logical differential to provide the 35mm lens with it's own territory and offer you a fantastic wide angle vista for those occasions when you need it.

Peter
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Old 02-16-2008   #9
vol72
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Johann, I really enjoy your 35 Nokton photos on flickr. I enjoy the OOF character of the Nokton in your work. Although I own a 35 Summicron ASPH, I have never been a fancier of the 35 focal length (which is why my 35 Summicron is now for sale), much preferring the 28/50 combination. I now use a 50 ASPH and 28 Summicron for a majority of my photos, but I am tempted by the 35 Nokton because of its beautiful tonality and speed. Johann, only you can decide what is best for you, but I would caution you to think a while before selling your 35 Nokton. You make wonderful images with this lens; why not save for the 28 ZM if you want, but hang on to your Nokton until after you buy your 28 lens, then you can decide if the Nokton is superfluous.
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Old 02-16-2008   #10
Roger Hicks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northpole
My experience with 28mm lenses has been that they are, more often than not, just that little bit too wide. I realise that we all have different requirements but I can't help but think that Leica M's were made for 35mm and I just couldn't be without one!

My suggestion is similar to those above - the Biogon 25mm is an exceptional lens and would provide you with a logical differential to provide the 35mm lens with it's own territory and offer you a fantastic wide angle vista for those occasions when you need it.

Peter
Dear Peter,

Funnily enough, I'd give exactly the same advice -- buy a 25 -- for exactly the opposite reason, namely, that the 28 isn't wide enough.

For me, a 35 is a 'wide standard' and a 25 is a 'true wide'; a 28 is neither one thing nor the other.

But we are all different. I'm just writing a review of the 18/4 Zeiss for www.rogerandfrances,com. My two most useful lenses are 35/75; my wife's, 50/90. And yet, I prefer a 21 as the third lens, and she prefers an 18. Actually we'd both prefer a 4/16-18-21 Tri-Elmar but then we'd have to fight over it. And find the money...

Cheers,

Roger
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Old 02-16-2008   #11
northpole
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Quote:
Funnily enough, I'd give exactly the same advice -- buy a 25 -- for exactly the opposite reason, namely, that the 28 isn't wide enough.

For me, a 35 is a 'wide standard' and a 25 is a 'true wide'; a 28 is neither one thing nor the other.
Err, Roger, That was exactly what I was fumbling around with words and trying to say!! Thanks!!!

The 28mm to me is a kind of no man's land and yet, the used values of Summicron asph's indicate otherwise (but I suspect that has more to do with M8 owners trying to achieve a 35mm perspective!!).

Peter
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Old 02-16-2008   #12
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keep the 35 1.2! Get a 21 CV and add a 75!
Your ready for anything!
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Old 02-16-2008   #13
back alley
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i say get a 25.
the 25/50 is a great 2 lens combination.
but keep the 35 as it is the perfect one camera/one lens set up for an enjoyable and productive day of shooting.

joe
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Old 02-16-2008   #14
parsec1
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Got to agree with Mr Hicks.I have a 25 biogon and a 50 planar, one on each off my M6ttls and its a teriffic combination.
Peter
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Old 02-16-2008   #15
Rafael
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If you wind up choosing between a 25 and a 28, keep in mind the vf magnification of your camera. The full frame of a .72x vf can approximate the field of view of a 28mm lens. For a 25, you would require an external viewfinder. Of course, this won't be an issue if your camera has a vf of a lower magnification. For some, the necessity of using external viewfinders is an issue. For others, it's not. Just something to keep in mind.
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Old 02-16-2008   #16
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Whatever you do - keep the Nokton - it's hard to find a better all around 35mm lens for RF. If you do go 28 - I'd go with the Hexanon - I like it much better. If you go 25mm- Biogon is the best out there. But KEEP KEEP KEEP Nokton 35/1.2! I only just got one and I kick myself for not doing this sooner!. A wonderful lens.
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Old 02-16-2008   #17
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I have a mint like-new Hexanon 28 I'll gladly trade for your 35 1.2 nokton.

Drop me a PM if you wish.
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Old 02-16-2008   #18
Johann Espiritu
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Thanks for the input, guys. I was almost set on selling the Nokton, but I feel convinced otherwise now.

I may add a 25mm or 28mm to my set (I use a .72 finder, so maybe the 28might work better).

Thanks again!

Johann
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Old 02-16-2008   #19
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Hi Johann,

Lots of good advice but as everyone says focal length is a matter of personal choice. Personally I like 24mm, 35mm 50mm for spacing and then something on the wide side like the Zeiss 18mm .


Another thing some consider is allthough the Nocton is an excellent lens, they eventually rather have something smaller as their often used 35mm. I ended up with two Zeiss Zm Biogon 35mm f2.8 lenses (both black) and if you wanted to consider moving to a smaller 35mm lens, I would certainly be up to trading one of my Biogons plus cash for your 35mm f1.2 Nocton. Thanks!

Dave
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Old 02-16-2008   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by back alley
i say get a 25.
the 25/50 is a great 2 lens combination.
but keep the 35 as it is the perfect one camera/one lens set up for an enjoyable and productive day of shooting.

joe
I agree with this remark. also roger's remark about the 28 focal length should be kept in mind; the 24/25 focal length is a great story teller...
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Old 02-17-2008   #21
Johann Espiritu
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D&A: Do you mean a 35/2 Biogon? I didn't know it came in a 2.8 flavor...
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Old 02-18-2008   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vol72
Johann, I really enjoy your 35 Nokton photos on flickr. I enjoy the OOF character of the Nokton in your work.
I completely agree. Your shots on flickr with the 35mm f1.2 are way too good to pass up! Also, it looks like you shoot in low light pretty often - for times you were pushing 400 speed film 1 stop on your 35mm f1.2 lens, you'd have to be pushing 2.5 stops on the 35mm f2, and 3-3.5 stops on a 25/28mm f2.8.

Unless you really didn't like the results or the experience of shooting with it, I think it would be a shame to loose something that seems to work so well for you. Save up, and get the 25mm biogon to accompany it
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