Voigtlander 17.5/0.95 at DVinfo.net

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Old April 24th, 2012, 07:15 PM   #1
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Voigtlander 17.5/0.95

A very special package arrived yesterday, an event inspiring enough to do my very first "review" video.

First typed impression: after shooting GH2/AF100 for about a year, I began mildly yearning for that "full frame" aesthetic and thought of buying a used 5D2 or even a D800.

This lens pretty much scratches that itch. That special look from a full-frame fast 35 is right here, in all its robust declickable full-manual glory. Even matches well with my Leica R's.

Eager to hear others' opinions as I formulate my own.
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Old April 30th, 2012, 01:06 PM   #2
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Re: Voigtlander 17.5/0.95

Of course every lens must be first tested with razor-thin-focused/unfocused cats in slow motion.



Next I will test it with unmotivated lens flares and unrealistically low lighting to truly get a sense of what it can do.

I've already been using it on some boringly realistic and practical shoots, and it's been performing swimmingly, but that wouldn't interest anybody (and isn't legally releasable at this time).
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Old April 30th, 2012, 06:31 PM   #3
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Re: Voigtlander 17.5/0.95

What....No Ducks?
How can you test a new lens without Ducks?

The lens looks great Kevin. You made a wise choice.
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Old May 1st, 2012, 01:40 PM   #4
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Re: Voigtlander 17.5/0.95

Thanks for the review Kevin. Do you mind if I pick your brain for an opinion?

I'm eyeballing this lens, but it's tough to justify since I already have a pretty fast Olympus 12mm 2.0 and a very fast Panasonic 25mm 1.4.

If you already had this pair, would you still find this Voigtlander a must-have? I'm curious how a 17.5 might help my work.

I am looking for a lens that work with a Follow Focus. I bought one and had to return it since it worked terribly with the electronic focus mechanism on the 12mm & 25mm. So I know the Voigtlander would be great for that function!

Thanks,
Angelo
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 09:47 AM   #5
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Re: Voigtlander 17.5/0.95

I also have the PL 25/1.4. I don't have a fast 12, but do have the Lumix 7-14.

This lens will definitely work with a follow focus; it also has a forward-mounted aperture ring that is declickable (by simply rotating a collar on the lens). Perfect for video use. That was one of my motivations in buying it was well, since I'm using follow focus more.

It's obvious drawback: price. I justified it by having my desire for a 5D3 or D800 completely satiated, but $1300 is still a tough pill to swallow. I sold a couple of rarely used toys to finance it, otherwise it never would have fit in this year's budget. It also augments the wide end of a set of Leica R primes I've been slowly accumulating for a heck of a lot less than a Leica R 15 or 19 (and compares well optically).

As to the focal length... well, I just like full-frame 35mm. There are a few fast 25's available, and now a couple of decent 12's, but this was the first fast 17 and I jumped at it for that reason. I've had a Kern-Switar C-mount 16/1.8 for a while, which I've really liked despite its heavy vignetting... this is two stops faster and actually covers the sensor, so yay for that.

As to 12, I'm testing this lens with a couple of the screw-on wide angle adapters in my kit. So far the Canon WD58 0.7x has a lot of barrel distortion, but actually seems optically comparable to a cheaper all-manual 12 like the SLR Magic T1.6. It probably wouldn't match the Olympus 12. I still need to get a step ring to fit the 16x9 EXII 0.6x, which may fare better.

Elsewhere I've been shooting with it on a few paid projects from which I can't release footage... overall impressions are that there's significant vignetting above f2, but the lens is tack sharp across the frame at f2 and lower. Above f2, the "artsy" characteristics gradually increase until they reach the f.95 "SloMoCats" sample above... dark vignetting and some corner softening, a touch of CA by f.95.

It's noticeable, but not altogether displeasing or really unexpected... much like the Voigt 25/0.95 but in a focal length I just prefer.

Again, I'll try for something with a little more polish soon.
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Old May 5th, 2012, 08:04 PM   #6
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Re: Voigtlander 17.5/0.95

Threw together something from a short outing with my youngest 2.

Mixture of wide-open (with ultra-hiked shutter speed) and f5.6-8 to get a mix of shallow and deep focus samples

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