Leica + Voigtlander 35mm Lenses

Leica Cameras + Voigtlander 35mm Lenses
Leica Wedding Photographer

The photo shows my two Leica camera setup for Leica wedding photography. The lenses are optional.

Leica Cameras

Top – Leica M9 (18MP) released in 2010
Bottom – Leica M8 (10MP) released in 2006

Voigtlander Lenses
Top – Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.2 ASPH ii
Bottom – Voigtlander Color Skopar 35mm f2.5 ii (New!)

Why do I need two 35mm lenses you may ask?

The CV 35f1.2 is perhaps my current favourite Leica M mount lens of all my LM mount lenses. It is sharp wide open at f1.2, produces beautiful bokeh with a shallow DOF and renders images in such a way that they are pleasing to the eye. Why do I need a second 35mm then?  The Nokton 35/1.2 gives great results and is brilliant in low light however if you are stopping the lens down to f2.8 onwards, perhaps for street photography, then it is an unnecessary weight to carry around your neck all day. The 35/1.2 also makes your Leica M camera much more bulky and more easily noticed by others.

My newly purchased CV 35/2.5 ii is one of the smallest Leica M lenses (The MS Optical Super Tripet III Perar 35mm f/3.5 is smaller) and both lightweight and more discreet. Samples will follow but the 35f2.5 is sharp enough for portraits at f2.8 and also renders images beautifully. It really is THE perfect walkabout lens or travel lens, fitting into a large pocket and unlikely to draw attention to itself.

Leica Wedding Photography
One way I could use the pair of lenses and cameras is have the 35f1.2 on my crop sensor M8 giving me an almost equivalent of 50/1.2 (35×1.33=46.55mm). This would be great for low light and portrait photos. I could then mount the 35/2.5 Skopar on my Leica M9 for discrete reportage / documentary style wedding photography where i can work close to my subjects without drawing attention to myself.

Lastly, why buy Voigtlander lenses?

I bought the CV Nokton 35mm f1.2 ASPH ii rather than the Leica Summilux ASPH 35mm f1.4 as I liked the images and preferred the lower cost.

I bought the CV Color Skopar 35mm f2.5 ii for 3 reasons.
#1. Size. I love the small size. A camera or lens that is easy to carry with you all the time is more likely to get used and be with you when you see that special moment you want to capture. (For a contrasting comparison, the Nikkor 200mm f2 AI-s lens must be one of the most amazing and high quality lenses ever made however due to it’s weight and bulk I find I don’t use the lens as much as I should on my Nikon D800).

#2. Price. The 35/f2.5 ii is very competitively priced and one of my cheapest Leica M mount lenses. The Voigtlander lens is 5x cheaper than the Leica M Summicron 35mm f2 ASPH and 2x cheaper than the Zeiss ZM Biogon 35mm f2 T.

#3. Performance. I looked at all three 35mm lenses noted above. I read the reviews but more importantly to me, I reviewed sample images on Flickr from each lens. I own both Leica and Zeiss lenses and tend to lean towards Zeiss for a combination of performance and price. For the 35mm focal length neither the Leica M or Zeiss ZM images impressed me enough to pay more money for a lens that was larger and heavier than the little Voigtlander 35mm pancake (Skopar) lens. As a result my purchase decision was very easy.

Sample images to follow.

MatthewOsbornePhotographer – Leica Wedding Photographer

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Author: matthewosbornephotography

Coventry, UK studio based Model and Wedding Photographer offering both Medium Format Film and Digital Images. 1-2-1 Photography and Lighting Tuition also available.

11 thoughts on “Leica + Voigtlander 35mm Lenses”

  1. Did you look at the Zeiss 35 2.8, if you haven’t this fits with all your criteria above. I have this lens and it’s really a stunner. Enjoy the new Voigt I hear it has almost all the performance of the Summarit at a much better price.

    Cheers,

  2. Hi Matt, I’ve read good things about this lens and it would be a serious contender if/when i add a 35mm….currently I have the 50 Cron attached to my M6 TTL 🙂

    1. Thanks Dave, both these 35s are awesome. If I need a do everything lens say for a wedding i’d take the f1.2 but if i’m stopping down anyway in good light I will now take the Skopar. I find the Cron 50 an interesting one yet it has a huge following. If I want sharp i’d use the Zeiss Planar (blog to come on this), if I want character the Sonnar 50 and if I want fast and fine detial then the Lux. If we take film for example.. now I have the M2, the plan is to shoot the Sonnar for B&W and the Lux for Portra. I have the v5 Cron but i can’t see where it fits in. It would be good to see some of your M6 stuff if you have a link 😉 Dying to get shooting film!! 😀

  3. I bought a bunch of Leica lenses when I bought my M9, I had a big cull and now have only the Zeiss 50mmm f1.5 Sonnar and the Voigtlander 35mm f2.5 color skopar, the 50mm rarely gets use now and the color skopar is my favourite lens, great image quality and the bonus is its size. love it.

    1. I’m in the pre-cull experimental phase so hording quite a few lenses now. Ove next 12-18 months I think I will find my favourites and sell off a few. I have the Sonnar.. it is good I just wish it focused at 0.7M. I just bought a Summarit so will then have 6x 50s to chose from. i can then start to see which I like for what job and any that don’t fit in I can sell.

      The Voigtlander 35/2.5 is still very new to me but so far i do really love it and the size. The 40/1.4 is also an excellent VFM low light compact lens. Cheers

  4. I share your enthusiasm for this amazing little lens. I find myself using it a lot despite owning a Cron. Perfect size and weigth and awesome IQ and built. Cheers!

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