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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Leica Summicron 50mm f2

Leica Summicron 50mm f2

Here are some examples images using my Leica M9:

Leica Portraits

Leica Cron 50
Leica Summicron 50mm f2 v5
Summicron 50
Leica Summicron 50mm f2
Leica Summicron

Other Example Photos

Merry Christmas!

Leica Summicron 50/2

Leica Summicron 50mm f2

Leica Film

Leica Summicron 50 vs Leica Summilux ASPH 50 vs Zeiss ZM Sonnar 50

Thoughts so far ..

The Leica Summicron 50mm f2 v5 (“Cron”) is fast becoming my go-to 50mm Leica M mount lens.  It focuses closer than the Zeiss ZM Sonnar 50mm f1.5 C (Cron = ~0.68M / ZM 0.9M) and is lighter and smaller than the Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 (“Lux”) lens.  The Lux can be quite clinical in it’s rendering whereas I think the Cron is closer to the Sonnar with more character.    Plenty more testing to be done with each lens but those are my initial findings.

MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk – UK Leica Photographer

Rekated Posts

Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4

Zeiss ZM Sonnar 50/1.5

Leica Wedding Photographer – Kenilworth Castle

Coventry Wedding Photographer
Kenilworth Castle Wedding – August 2013

UK Leica Wedding Photography

Coventry Wedding Photographer – Here are some more images from Lord and Lady Kenilworth’s wedding at Kenilworth Castle using my Leica M9 camera. I used my newly purchased Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.2 ASPH ii lens on the M9 all day under all conditions. Bright direct contrasty sunlight through to almost no light after the sun set. It was a one camera one lens for most of the day and this was a first to me and a real joy. I felt so mobile and focused without distraction of whether to change lens or not before each photo. I had my Nikon D800 DSLR with the Samyang 85mm f1.4 manual lens on for telephoto low light shots during the speeches and a Samyang 14mm f2.8 manual lens for a few wide angle shots at the end of the day. The D800 didn’t come out until after the evening meal and even then I continued to use the Leica M9 with some off camera flash for the dancing.

Since the wedding I have purchased a Leica M mount wide angle lens – Voigtlander 15mm f4.5 Super Wide Heliar. (Instead of the Samyang 14/2.8). I also have the distraction of now owning a Leica Elmar 135mm f4 for Leica telephoto shots (in good light). I then have both the Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 and Leica Summicron 50mm f2 v5 for quality 50mm focal length shots (AND the Zeiss ZM Sonnar 50mm f1.5 and Zeiss ZM Planar 50mm f2 lenses). The ‘Lux’ will be great for low light when I need extra reach and for portraits. I use the ‘Cron’ on my 35mm rangefinder film camera at the moment. I use a Voigtlander Bessa R3A for film photography and that accepts any of my Leica M lenses.

I will decide the Leica lenses for wedding photography for 2014 after using each lens more first for model and fashion photography where I get chance to see how each lens performs in different conditions.

Here are more Leica photos from the wedding day – Leica M9

Coventry Wedding Photographer

Leica M9 Colours

Leica Wedding

Leica Wedding

Voigtlander 35mm f1.2 Bokeh

Leica Wedding Photography

 

MatthewOsbornePhotography – Leica Wedding Photographer

Related Links

UK Leica M9 Wedding Photographer – Book Here

More Leica M9 Wedding Photography – Deb & Paul

More Leica M9 Wedding Photography – Craig & Joise Colour

More Leica M9 Wedding Photography – Craig & Joise B&W

Leica M Mount Lens Test & Zeiss Lenses for Model Photography

Tonight I was playing around with my M42 mount Zeiss Planar 50mm f1.8 on the Leica M9 via a Leica M – M42 adapter. I understood that you cannot focus M42 lenses on the rangefinder focus system as there is no coupling but I found that if I set my 50mm lens to 0.65M I could focus through the view finder. This is amazing for me as I like to use lenses close so can now use this nice lenses at 0.65M whereas other Leica M lenses tend to focus at 0.7M. (see below for Zeiss Planar Model Photography on D800!)

I then thought I would try my perhaps even nicer M42 mount Zeiss Pancolar 80mm f1.8 lens (via same adapter). Again I found I could focus it at 0.65M. This is great for me as I now have an 80mm lens I can focus at 0.65M. Perfect for my model shoots.. watch this space! Pleased. (see below for Zeiss Pancolar Model Photography on D800!)
Zeiss 80mm Pancolar (M42) @f1.8  - Test Shot

My Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f1.4 lens acted as a bench mark for my little comparison test looking at both sharpness and minimum focal length.
Voigtlander 40mm f1.4 Nokton @f1.4 - Test Shot

Latest my new Voigtlander 28mm f2 Ultron arrived today. It looks super sharp at f2 so looking forward to the wedding this weekend. My first Leica Wedding! 😀
Voigtlander 28mm f2 Ultron @f2 - Test Shot

> I have one more lens on route so check back and I will add the results. It’s a surprise! 🙂

Note* All photos are resized DNG files using LR3. No sharpening. All lenses used wide open at minimal focal distance on Leica M9. The tones are not an accurate representation as the sun kept coming out (was for the 28mm shot).

I use the M42 Zeiss lenses on my Nikon D800 via adapter as love the super sharp Zeiss optics and tones over Nikkor glass.  Here are  a few examples:

Zeiss Pancolar Model Photography: Katie & Harriett

Katie with CZ Pancolar 80/1.8

Katie SOOC with CZ Pancolar 80/1.8

Harriett with Pancolar 80/1.8 SOOC

Zeiss Planar Model Photography: Katie

Katie with Rollei Planar 50/1.8

Katie with Rollei Planar 50/1.8

Summer 2012 - Katie SOOC

MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk