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Sep 09

First Impressions: Voigtländer Nokton 42.5mm f/0.95

I have the Voigtländer Nokton 42.5mm f/0.95 in my hands this week for review, and I thought I’d give a quick few thoughts from my first day with the lens.  My full, in-depth review will be coming sometime in the next week or so, so stay tuned! Edit: My full review is now up: Click here.

Voigtländer has made a name for itself in the Micro 4/3 world by releasing ultra-fast high-end all-manual lenses for the format.  First, with the 25mm f/0.95, then with the 17.5mm f/0.95, and now they fill out a Trinity of ultra-fast lenses with the 42.5mm f/0.95.  This lens is equivalent in field of view to an 85mm lens on a full frame camera and features an insanely fast f/0.95 maximum aperture.

Self Portrait - Olympus OM-D E-M5 with Voigtländer Nokton 42.5mm f/0.95 @ f/0.95

Self Portrait – Olympus OM-D E-M5 with Voigtländer Nokton 42.5mm f/0.95 @ f/0.95

The lens is extremely solidly built and VERY dense.  It’s a solid hunk of glass and metal and feels much heavier than it looks.  This is a great feeling lens.

At first blush, the Nokton appears relatively sharp at f/0.95, though with that light haze from spherical aberration. At f/1.4 the haze is gone and it’s even sharper.  Transmission/sensor efficiency in conjunction with the mount isn’t fully linear at f/0.95, so f/1.4 to f/0.95 seems to affect exposure by about 2/3 stop rather than a little more than one stop, though depth of field and background blur go that full stop.  The spherical aberration is exacerbated at extremely close focus distances and wide apertures, so you don’t get a lot of resolution close up at f/0.95, but it makes for some interesting effects, like this closeup of flowers below.

Flowers near minimum focus distance - Olympus OM-D E-M5 with Voigtländer Nokton 42.5mm f/0.95 @ f/0.95

Flowers near minimum focus distance – Olympus OM-D E-M5 with Voigtländer Nokton 42.5mm f/0.95 @ f/0.95

Bokeh out of the Nokton 42.5mm is fantastic at most focus distances, though it gets a little more nervous at farther focus distances.  The lens has a 10 bladed aperture for nice round highlights even stopped down.

Here are some quick samples.  Keep checking back for the full review in the coming days!

Leaf in the Boardwalk -Olympus OM-D E-M5 with Voigtländer Nokton 42.5mm f/0.95 @ f/0.95

Leaf in the Boardwalk -Olympus OM-D E-M5 with Voigtländer Nokton 42.5mm f/0.95 @ f/0.95

Flowers - Olympus OM-D E-M5 with Voigtländer Nokton 42.5mm f/0.95 @ f/2

Flowers – Olympus OM-D E-M5 with Voigtländer Nokton 42.5mm f/0.95 @ f/2

Statue - Olympus OM-D E-M5 with Voigtländer Nokton 42.5mm f/0.95 @ f/0.95

Statue – Olympus OM-D E-M5 with Voigtländer Nokton 42.5mm f/0.95 @ f/0.95

 

 

About the author

Jordan Steele

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Admiring Light; Photographer; Electrical Engineer and Dad

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