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Voigtlander Nokton 50/1.2 in M mount - first impressions & more
Old 11-29-2018   #1
alexandru_voicu
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Voigtlander Nokton 50/1.2 in M mount - first impressions & more

Hi everyone,


I finally did it. While not needing any more 50mm lenses (I've got the Zeiss 50/2 and 50/1.5 among others), I decided to buy the new CV 50/1.2. I ordered it from Robert White in the UK and I received it two days ago.


The build quality is absolutely fantastic - and the 12-bladed aperture, with its wide range (from 1.2 to 22) is a wonder to watch. I find the lens to be very compact for it's speed, given that it's rather short (significantly shorter than my Zeiss 35/1.4). All in all, there's nothing to complain about - at least mechanically.


At this point, I must make a confession. I am one of those (annoying) characters who always test a lens when they buy one. My first concern was to test it for proper focus at minimum distance. To my disappointment, I find it to front focus both on my Zeiss Ikon (1.25cm front focus at 70cm distance) and my Leica M6 (0.75cm front focus at 70cm distance). After these findings, I decided to check it for focus shift. And yes, it's there. Not as pronounced as in my C-Sonnar, but it's certainly a thing to consider. In my case, the focus shifted backwards as I closed down and I obtained perfect focus on F2.8 on my Zeiss Ikon and on F2.0 on my M6. In other words, the people at Cosina - much like their counterparts from Zeiss, adjusted the lens for best compromise across all apertures. And this begs the question: do you think it really is the best compromise or should I have it adjusted for F1.2 or F1.4? If so, should I send it to Cosina or to other repairshop?


Otherwise, the lens is very sharp. Even with the slight front focus, the results were very promising. I would say that the 50/1.2 is sharper wide open than my C-Sonnar (wide open).


All in all, I'm pleased, but I agonize whether to adjust it or not. Your suggestions or comments will be greatly appreciated.


Thank you,
Alex



PS My apologies for my English - and for the evident hurry in which I wrote this post.
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Old 11-29-2018   #2
Erik van Straten
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Maybe the rangefinders of your cameras are not well adjusted. To focus a 50mm f/1.2 lens is very demanding. The difference of focus between the two cameras is quite big, but this is not a fault of the lens.


You can adjust the rangefinder of the M6 yourself, simply by turning the big screw on the bottom of the big roller that touches the lens. Use a well fitting screwdriver. You can check the focus by mounting the camera on a sturdy tripod. Remove the backdoor of the camera and put a piece of frosted glass on the film guiding rails. Fix it with adhesive tape. Open the shutter with a wire release and check the focus with a strong loupe on the frosted glass.


Erik.
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Old 11-29-2018   #3
alexandru_voicu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
Maybe the rangefinders of your cameras are not well adjusted. To focus a 50mm f/1.2 lens is very demanding. The difference between the two cameras is quite big, this is not a fault of the lens.

Thank you, Erik. Indeed, there's a difference of 5 millimeters between the two cameras. But they have both been adjusted. The ZI was adjusted by Zeiss in Oberkochen, the M6 by DAG. I trust both my cameras. The 5 millimeters (which I was aware of even before I purchase the 50/1.2) can mean that both cameras are 2.5 millimeters off in opposite directions, which is absolutely negligible. My main concern is the focus shift, which is not the fault of any of my two bodies. Which leads to the question whether I should have the lens adjusted for 1.2 or maybe 1.4.


As for the test itself, I used a tripod and a chart.


Thank you for your input,
Alex
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