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Voigtlaender Prominent 50mm Lenses
Old 01-01-2019   #1
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Voigtlaender Prominent 50mm Lenses

Has anyone compared the Nokton 50.1.5 with the Ultron 50/2?
I have the Nokton, and I love using it.
I wonder if the Ultron is comparable to a collapsible Summicron in overall quality or not.
I have an adapter for using 50mm lenses in Prominent mount to M mount with RF.
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Old 01-01-2019   #2
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Raid years ago I had a Prominent with the Ultron 50/2. I did not have a Nokton so could not compare them but I can say that I remember the Ultron as being rather low contrast but very sharp. It is certainly in my view a lens which is likely to compare well with Leica glass of the period. The Prominent was a lens that was apparently favoured by reporters who used it back in the 1950s mainly because it had a leaf shutter and so could sync with a flash at all speeds up to 1/500th (the maximum speed of that shutter). My point is that they would not have viewed it so favourably if the lenses were not of sufficient quality.

When I had mine in the end I had the 50mm Ultron, the 100mm Dynaron and the Color Skopar 35mm which were all fun to use. The only remnant of the Prominent kit I still own is a Turnit finder which is huge and has lovely optics providing an excellent view of subjects.

I have considered buying such an adapter as yours (I love non mainstream old glass) and one day may just do so (though I know they are far from cheap).
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Old 01-01-2019   #3
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Hi Peter,
I have been using the Nokton quite often on M cameras via an Amedeo Prominent-Contax adapter, plus a Contax-M adapter. I don't need another 50mm lens, but it is the fun of using yet another lens. The Ultron may be a good option here. I also have the 35mm Skoparon and the Turnit Finder.
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Old 01-01-2019   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
Hi Peter,
I have been using the Nokton quite often on M cameras via an Amedeo Prominent-Contax adapter, plus a Contax-M adapter. I don't need another 50mm lens, but it is the fun of using yet another lens. The Ultron may be a good option here. I also have the 35mm Skoparon and the Turnit Finder.
".......the fun of using yet another lens"......Tell me about it! I suffer from this syndrome hopelessly.
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Old 01-02-2019   #5
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The way I see it, which "excellent" 50mm RF lens can you buy these days for $200-$300? The Ultron may provide me with images having a new look. Maybe not!
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Old 01-02-2019   #6
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I just did the deed ... and I ordered a Prominent with Ultron. It was less expensive than buying just an Ultron without a camera. Now I have two Prominent cameras.


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Old 01-02-2019   #7
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I just did the deed ... and I ordered a Prominent with Ultron. It was less expensive than buying just an Ultron without a camera. Now I have two Prominent cameras.



Well done Raid. If you do not need the spare camera and it did not work you could at least use it as a boat anchor - my recollection is that it is HEAVY! Not that I would advocate doing that as they are also a lovely if quirky camera.

I would be interested in seeing your results and hearing of your view on the lens.
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Old 01-02-2019   #8
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The Ultron by itself sells for at least $200, and I paid this much for camera and lens. Yes, I can use one body for spare parts, if needed, or I sell it, and the Ultron will be nearly for free then.

Peter: I will for sure compare the Nokton and the Ultron.
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Old 01-02-2019   #9
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I had the ultron on their Vitessa. It seemed very sharp and pretty good contrast too. I wish I could afford a Prominent to M or LTM adapter. I've had a mint Nokton in the safe for over a year. I just can't see spending $200-$300 for a focus mount adapter, when I have less than that in the lens.
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Old 01-02-2019   #10
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Well, the Nokton is worth the investment regardless how little you have paid for it. I paid $150 for the Prominent with 2 lenses many years ago (Nokton and Skoparon).
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Old 01-02-2019   #11
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Very nice purchase. I still have a very late model Prominent with the little lever under the winding knob. It is in pristine condition and even though I have not used it in years, I would never give it up. I have used both the Nokton and the Ultron on this way back when, and never noticed a huge difference, but considering all the reports of being one of the best lenses of the 50's, I have retained the Nokton and sold off the Ultron. It was a silver faced version which is not terribly common, or I have never seen many.

Again, I use the Nokton on my Contax IIA, interchangeably with the 50/1.5 Sonnar. Again I have the Amedeo adapter and a Prominent adapter which allow it's mounting on the Contax. I also have the much newer 50/1.5 Voigt
(Japanese) Nokton (again not the very latest version which looks like the LTM Nokton of the 50's) and have shot the Prominent Nokton, the 50/1.5 newer Nokton, and the 50/1.5 Sonnar on a Bessa R2. Amazing how these 50's lenses stand up to a super sharp modern lens which I think most agree is a super lens in itself.

For me who could be called an equipment whXXX, half the fun of shooting is trying all these combinations.

Raid, I applaud your choices and it has taken me all I can do to not have purchased a D700 in 2018. Ok there's still 2019!!!

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Old 01-02-2019   #12
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Thank you, Gary. I use all of my lenses when there is time for a certain lens. I also often use a Sonnar 5cm/1.5 and also 5cm/2 both in Contax mount and also in LTM. I also use the more modern CV 50/1.5 LTM which is a great lens, as you know. It is big in size, though, and the older 5cm lenses may be more fun to use instead. The D700 can be very useful with a battery that seems to last for a long time and a CF card with 64 GB capacity and a great buffer time. One of my daughters was not impressed by my D700 and a zoom lens on it. She may like the Leica RF better. She told me "now your camera looks like everybody's camera".
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Old 01-02-2019   #13
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There you go, "Listen to your kids"! My 25 yr old was very disappointed this Christmas that I hadn't dragged out some old beast with the blasting flash. Instead it was a much tamer Fuji X30.

There's always a time and place for all. Your right, it's all about finding the time to play. One thing I'm hoping to happen in 2019, work be dammed!

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Old 01-02-2019   #14
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A few weeks ago I adapted my own ultron lens from a broken vitomatic to a contact mount. I then used a Amedeo contax to ltm adapter.



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Old 01-02-2019   #15
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Well done, Nathan! How do you find the Ultron on the M5 overall? Sharp? Low contrast? Colors?
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Old 01-02-2019   #16
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I have owned both white face version of the Nokton 50 1.5 and Ultron 50 2. Ultron is a very sharp lens when using it wide open. On par with the Leitz 50 2 rigid that I have. Its rendering is smooth. Ultron 50 2 is an extremely underrated lens I would say. You can easily find a very nice copy of Ultron at around $300 or even lower nowadays. Nokton has very dreamy bokeh. I suggest to use Nokton on film camera and its result is amazing. There is no doubt that they are both high quality lens and worth to have a try.

Both rare white face version of the Nokton 50mm f1.5 and Ultron 50mm f2 by Kevin-Xu, on Flickr
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Old 01-02-2019   #17
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Well done, Nathan! How do you find the Ultron on the M5 overall? Sharp? Low contrast? Colors?
Thanks Raid, It was definitely sharp, a little low contrast, but the lens I have has a some cleaning marks on the front element so that may have affected it as well.
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Old 01-02-2019   #18
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I have one on a Vito III. I love the look it produces and hope to use it more in the future once I have more shooting time again.





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Old 01-03-2019   #19
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Originally Posted by KEVIN-XU 愛 forever View Post
I have owned both white face version of the Nokton 50 1.5 and Ultron 50 2. Ultron is a very sharp lens when using it wide open. On par with the Leitz 50 2 rigid that I have. Its rendering is smooth. Ultron 50 2 is an extremely underrated lens I would say. You can easily find a very nice copy of Ultron at around $300 or even lower nowadays. Nokton has very dreamy bokeh. I suggest to use Nokton on film camera and its result is amazing. There is no doubt that they are both high quality lens and worth to have a try.
Thanks for the information, Kevin. I suspected that the Ultron is an undervalued lens, and this is why I got it. I am very used to my Rigid Summicron, so I now know what to expect from the Ultron. It is not in M or LTM, and an adapter or two must be used with the lens. Most likely, the Nokton and the Ultron have similar bokeh and performance at apertures 4.0 and up.
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Old 01-03-2019   #20
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Thanks Raid, It was definitely sharp, a little low contrast, but the lens I have has a some cleaning marks on the front element so that may have affected it as well.
Nathan
Contrast can be adjusted with PP, so it can be used as a positive feature to keep details in high contrast situations where the light is strong.
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Old 01-03-2019   #21
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Thanks for posting your images here, Brian. I wonder if all Ultron lenses are identical. Is it the design that makes it an Ultron?
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Old 01-03-2019   #22
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Thanks for posting your images here, Brian. I wonder if all Ultron lenses are identical. Is it the design that makes it an Ultron?
Dear Raid,

yes, Dr. Tronnier's «Ultron» design was one of his many patentable inventions; have a look here: https://patents.google.com/patent/US2627204/sv
and
https://patents.google.com/patent/US2627205

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Old 01-03-2019   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
Thanks for the information, Kevin. I suspected that the Ultron is an undervalued lens, and this is why I got it. I am very used to my Rigid Summicron, so I now know what to expect from the Ultron. It is not in M or LTM, and an adapter or two must be used with the lens. Most likely, the Nokton and the Ultron have similar bokeh and performance at apertures 4.0 and up.
You are welcome Raid. Nokton and Ultron from the German Voigtlander back in the 1950s have the top build quality and the best performance among its competitors. They failed because of the user-hostile camera body.

About using them with the same adapter you have I have one thing need to mention. If the version of your Nokton and Ultron are from the different period, you may face back/front focus issue when switching from one to another. Because they have slightly different spec among each versions and may over the tolerance of the adapter. I have experienced this issue before. So I need to adjust each of my adapter to fit for one specific lens.
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Old 01-03-2019   #24
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Originally Posted by KEVIN-XU 愛 forever View Post
You are welcome Raid. Nokton and Ultron from the German Voigtlander back in the 1950s have the top build quality and the best performance among its competitors. They failed because of the user-hostile camera body.

About using them with the same adapter you have I have one thing need to mention. If the version of your Nokton and Ultron are from the different period, you may face back/front focus issue when switching from one to another. Because they have slightly different spec among each versions and may over the tolerance of the adapter. I have experienced this issue before. So I need to adjust each of my adapter to fit for one specific lens.
Thanks for the warning! I don't know yet which version Ultron I bought. I have no focus issue with my Nokton when using the Amedeo adapter. I am not sure if he still makes such adapters anymore. I will soon know if I need another adapter or not.
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Old 01-03-2019   #25
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Dear Raid,

yes, Dr. Tronnier's «Ultron» design was one of his many patentable inventions; have a look here: https://patents.google.com/patent/US2627204/sv
and
https://patents.google.com/patent/US2627205

Thank you for this information.

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Old 01-04-2019   #26
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By now irrelevant for your purchase and not a particularly weighty contribution:


A long time ago I got a Prominent with the Ultron. At the time I also had a Leica IIIf with the collapsible Summicron. Both provided colour slides which I found good enough to project on my about 2m wide screen. Never tried to protograph test targets or brick walls with them.



The IIIf was retired in favour of an M3, but the Prominent still sits on a shelf.


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Old 01-04-2019   #27
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I have a Prominent Ultron lens and a Vitessa with an Ultron lens. I don't know if the design is the same, but the images from both are very pleasing to me.
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Old 01-04-2019   #28
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By now irrelevant for your purchase and not a particularly weighty contribution:


A long time ago I got a Prominent with the Ultron. At the time I also had a Leica IIIf with the collapsible Summicron. Both provided colour slides which I found good enough to project on my about 2m wide screen. Never tried to protograph test targets or brick walls with them.



The IIIf was retired in favour of an M3, but the Prominent still sits on a shelf.


p.
Thanks for your input. For me, it is yet another 50mm/2 lens that I can use on my Leica cameras with M mount.
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Old 01-04-2019   #29
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I have a Prominent Ultron lens and a Vitessa with an Ultron lens. I don't know if the design is the same, but the images from both are very pleasing to me.
I paid only $200 for the lens and camera, so it is a small cost overall to get a very good lens that I can explore.
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