Voigtländer Nocton 42.5mm f/0.95 review

Voigtländer Nocton 42.5mm f/0.95 lens - one of the most boxy and aperture portraits on the micra 4/3 system.

This lens gives a strong background blur and naturally has its own unique pattern.

The Voigtländer brand is one of the pioneers of the photography industry along with Carl Zeiss and Leica. They produce high quality manual optics. Film medium format cameras were also produced in the past. You can hear more about the history of this brand in my video review at the end of the article.

Thanks to the Ukrainian store Profotosale I had the opportunity to test this lens with a camera Olympus EP-L10.

In my tests, I compared the degree and quality of the background blur of the Voigtländer Nocton 42.5mm f/0.95 with analogs on systems with larger sensors:

The results are as follows:

42.5 vs 50 f1.2 vs 85 f1.8More tests in the video review

At first glance, they all do a good job of blurring the background. But there are features.

If you're shooting at close range, the Voigtländer Nocton 42.5mm f/0.95 is very nice and blurs the background a lot. But at distances of 3 meters or more, the bokeh becomes ragged and not as soft as crop or full-frame lenses with a smaller aperture. It is also worth noting that the 85mm f1.8 at full frame is ahead of all lenses in comparison in terms of background blur.

Optical qualities Voigtländer Nocton 42.5mm f/0.95

At f0.95, the lens is somewhat soft. You can’t call it soapy, but covering the aperture gives a noticeable jump in sharpness. So, already at f1.4, the sharpness becomes very good, and at f2.0 it’s just perfect.

At f0.95, there are chromatic aberrations that can appear in some shooting scenarios. But not always.

The lens can focus at a distance of 23 cm, which makes it possible to photograph very close, almost macro. The quality of such shooting is very high in the center, but frankly lame at the edges. Also, when shooting at a minimum focusing distance, chromatic aberrations appear even at closed apertures. The lens is clearly not designed for macro.

External Features

The Voigtländer 42.5mm f/0.95 is very well put together. This is not a lightweight lens with a metal body. Its weight is 571 grams.

VOIGTLANDER nocton 42.5 f0.95 -1It is relatively compact, but very tightly built. Lots of glass inside. So, for example, Viltrox 85mm f1.8, although larger in size, is even slightly lighter in weight (531 grams).

When used on a compact camera like the Olympus EP-L10, you end up with an unbalanced and uncomfortable design.

VOIGTLANDER nocton 42.5 f0.95 olympus ep-l10

The lens greatly outweighs forward. Holding such a combo in your hands is inconvenient.

The focus ring is very smooth. Focusing, despite f/0.95, is relatively easy.

Aperture ring with clicks. Diameter for filters 58mm. The cover is plastic.

This is how the Voigtländer 42.5mm f/0.95 looks like relatively similar crop lenses. Of these, he is the heaviest.

42.5 vs 50 f1.2 vs 56 f1.4

Video review of the Voigtländer Nocton 42.5mm f/0.95:

About the equivalent aperture or micro 4/3 for the blind - part 10

I have already mentioned the equivalent aperture more than once. Aperture value f2.8 in GoPro and f2.8 at full frame are very different things. Similar, f2.8 on dead micro 4/3 и f2.8 on cameras with a larger sensor - also very different things. However, in the comments to the reviews of technology, some people continue to stubbornly believe that it is necessary to compare 35-100mm f2.8 on mic with 70-200mm f2.8 at full frame or 150mm f2.8 at mic with 300mm f2.8 at full frame. And this is fundamentally not true.

Amount of light

Exposure will be the same at f2.8 on different sensors. For example, if you are shooting outdoors, then both the full frame and the mic will have the same settings like shutter speed 1/500, aperture f2.8, iso 100. The aperture value means the same exposure.

F2.8 on a full frame is NOT lighter than on a dead 4/3 mic.

This is where the similarities end.

Based on this parameter, fans of small matrices begin meaningless comparisons of the mic with other cameras. They are meaningless because the result will be radically different.

Focal length

The smaller the sensor, the shorter the focal length of the lens needs to be used. As a result, wide-angle lenses are used in all compact devices. For the convenience of users, the equivalent focal length relative to the full-frame matrix is ​​indicated everywhere as reference points. It is equivalent in field of view, but NOT in perspective, depth of field, or overall image quality.

I made it on purpose test comparison. I shot from one point with a lens with a focal length of 150mm and f5.6 aperture at mic 4/3 and a second photo - at 300mm at f5.6 aperture in full frame.

150mm f5,6 vs 300mm f5.6

If these photos are zoomed in, you can see a huge difference in the quality and detail of the image. If you look closely, you can see the difference in perspective.

150mm f5,6 vs 300mm f5.6 2

At the same time, micra is praised as a great option for shooting birds from a distance ... It is because of such things that I never cease to resent this dead system. I think it's clear why she's dead.

Another example. The GoPro lens has a 16mm EGF and f2.8 aperture. But in terms of depth of field, it is equivalent to f15 at full frame due to the x5.76 crop factor.

Comparison of sensor sizes for different cameras:

camera sensor sizes

In this case, the actual focal length of the optics in GoPro nowhere indicated. In reality, the lens is there with a focal length of around 3mm. The differences between a 3mm lens and a real 16mm lens are as follows:

  • depth of field
  • in transferring perspective

In fact, it's easier to see than to describe. The image from action cameras looks more or less in good light, and then relatively large matrices are perceived as flat and cheap. Even a lot of light does not compensate for the problems of small matrices.

Dynamic range

The matter is not limited to focal length. Smaller matrices give worse dynamic range and greatly simplified color rendering. The aperture ratio of the lens does not compensate for this.

To demonstrate this I did a couple of test shots on a GoPro with a 1/2.3-inch sensor size and on a Canon full-frame camera.

 

Both photos are unedited, just JPG. The field of view is the same, we see the same equivalent focal length 16mm.

A camera with a smaller sensor gives much more contrast image.

What does more contrast mean? - Fewer transitions from light to dark areas and vice versa. In the GoPro picture, there is less detail in the clouds, embossed white spots are visible there; and, at the same time, the branches of the trees are black without shades of gray. A photo from a full-frame camera has much more dynamic range, which means that we get more light information in both shadows and highlights.

The same applies to the differences between micro and crop, or micro and full frame. At what, my comparative tests showed that there is a big difference between crop and micro in the dynamic range.

crop gopro full frame

Therefore, a micro-photo with the OM SYSTEM M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/4 PRO lens will be completely different from a full-frame photo with a hypothetical 80-300mm f4 lens. There are a lot of differences, the same aperture does not align these systems in any way.

micro 4/3 nikon z9

Shouts in the comments that new OM System OM1 - is the same as Nikon z9 allowed only to the blind. Blindness here is more in a figurative sense, because. some people believe in what they are told in advertising so much that they stop seeing it with their own eyes.

olympus ep-l10 vs fujifilm x-s10

Micra 4/3 vs crop: Olympus E-PL 10 vs Fujifilm

At the camera Olympus E-PL10 some online reviews. The camera is at the beginning of the Olympus line and is positioned as an upgrade after a smartphone, as well as a blogging camera. Although for blogging, a device without a microphone input is hardly suitable.

I am very grateful to the Ukrainian store profotosale.com.ua for the opportunity to test the camera on the system micra 4/3. Now such cameras are quite difficult to find in photo stores. There is no representative office of this brand in Ukraine for a long time, and this system itself has long lost its relevance.

In this article, I will compare a camera with a miniature sensor 17.3mm by 13.0mm versus an APS-C crop camera with a sensor 25.1mm by 16.7mm.

aps-c vs ​​micro vs ff

At first glance, the difference between crop and micro is small. But in fact, it is very tangible. In my tests inYou will see why size does matter.

Camera weight

The main thing that cameras on the micro 4/3 system have always boasted about is compactness and size. Let's compare with analogues with crop matrices.

If we take the initial models of approximately the same price category, then in terms of weight we will have the following:

model Olympus E-PL 10 Fujifilm X T20 Fujifilm X-A5 Fujifilm X-E3 Canon m200 Canon EOS M50
the weight 380gr 383gr 361gr 337gr 299gr 387gr

If we compare different models of crop mirrorless, we see that a camera with an even smaller sensor does not have advantages in reduced weight. Often crop cameras are even lighter. As for the dimensions, these are all very compact devices.

In my tests, I will compare with Fujifilm X-S10which weighs 465g. But this is a more advanced and expensive model (I have it in stock, there are no others). Although the quality of photography differs little from the Fujifilm X-T20 from the table above. Matrix comparison X-T20 vs X-T3 (same as X-S10) I had  this video.

For the sake of curiosity, let's compare the weight of the top models on crop and mic 4/3.

model Olympus OM-1 Olympus E-M1 Mark III Panasonic GH5 Panasonic GH6 Fujifilm X T3 Fujifilm X T4 Nikon z50 Canon M6 Mark II
the weight 599gr 580gr 725gr 823gr 539gr 607gr 450gr 408gr

Format cameras brick on mic the Panasonic GH5/GH6 models distinguished themselves, which are already similar in weight to top-end full-frame mirrorless cameras. Olympus, although lighter than Panasonic, in fact has no advantage over crops with large sensors.

Weight of standard optics

But carcass weight is not everything. Let's compare how much WHITE lenses for crop mirrorless and mirrorless lenses with a mic 4/3 sensor weigh.

model Olympus 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Olympus 12-40mm F2. 8Pro Fujifilm XC 15-45mm F3. 5-5.6 Fujifilm XF 16-55mm F2. eight Fujifilm XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4
the weight 113gr 382gr 136gr 655gr 310gr

The simplest kit lens differs in weight by 26 grams, this can be neglected. But if you take the best aperture zooms, then the difference of 273 grams will be more noticeable. If we compare the Olympus 12-40mm F2. 8 Pro and Fujifilm XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4, the crop lens will be even slightly lighter.

About equivalence

And here we come to a very important point - what to compare with. The thing is, f2.8 on a mic is NOT equivalent to what you would see when shooting at f2.8 on a crop. Yes, the exposure setting will be the same. The f2.8 aperture lets in the same amount of light - regardless of the size of the matrix. But the depth of field and volume in the frame will differ significantly.

In many comparisons on the Internet, they like to compare even f2.8 on a mic and f2.8 on a full frame in terms of weight, price and dimensions. And the fact that these lenses give a fundamentally different picture, they prefer to remain silent about this. For clarity, I will show several photos taken at the same aperture, but with different focal lengths and different matrices.

If you want to get a field of view like 300mm full frame, then on a crop you will use a lens with a focal length of 200mm, and on a mic 4/3 it will be 150mm. At the same time, the same f5.6 aperture will give a very different image.

200mm vs 150mm f5.6 micro 4/3 vs aps c crop
200mm vs 150mm f5.6 -1
200mm vs 150mm f5.6 micro 4/3 vs aps c crop
200mm vs 300mm f5.6ff vs micro

If you look closely, you can see the difference not only in the degree of blur, but also in the perspective of the frame.

What is also noticeable is the difference in contrast. Photos on the Olympus E-PL10 are always more contrasting, and in difficult areas they have overexposure. More on that later.

Tele lens weight

Let's go into the territory of heavy optics. It is telephoto lenses that traditionally differ in maximum dimensions and weight.

model Olympus 40-150mm F4-5.6 Olympus 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 Fujinon XC 50-230mm f/4.5-6.7 Fujinon XF 70-300mm F4-5.6 Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 Canon EF-S 55-250mm f / 4-5.6
the weight 190gr 1070gr 375gr 580gr 260gr 375gr

I had a Canon EF-S 55-250mm f4.5-5.6 STM reflex lens available for testing. But in the table for comparison, I have given other models with a similar field of view. The 40-150mm F4-5.6 lens on mic 4/3 outperforms the 50-230mm or 55-200mm crop counterparts in terms of compactness and weight. In fact, these are all very miniature and weightless lenses. But if we want to get a similar depth of field on a 4/3 mic, then we will need to take the Olympus 50-200mm f / 2.8-3.5, which will be noticeably heavier than the cropped Fujinon XF 70-300mm F4-5.6 with a smaller aperture.

When advertising micro 4/3, everyone likes to mention super telezooms, like the Olympus M.Zuiko 100-400mm f / 5.0-6.3 IS 1,120gr. For crop, the closest analogue of Fujinon 100-400mm f / 4.5-5.6 with weight 1,436gr. A 4/3 mic lens will give you more zoom and weigh 300g less. But I must say that both lenses are rather big and not easy. Focal lengths with a full frame equivalent in the region of 600-800mm are very specific in terms of usage.

By the way, if you really want super-compactness, then there is already a full frame Canon RF 600mm f/11 (930gr) and Canon RF 800mm f/11 IS STM (1260gr) paired with a lightweight full-frame mirrorless camera Canon RP the weight of the set will not exceed the analogue on the mic 4/3. We again come to a situation where the micro 4/3 does not have a weight advantage.

On average, 4/3 micro lenses are somewhat smaller and lighter than crop-like lenses. But this is not the difference you will feel. SLR optics for a full frame differ significantly in size.

Lenses for mirrorless crop and micro are comparable in terms of compactness and weight. The difference between these systems is much more noticeable in image quality.

Dynamic range

Cameras with mic 4/3 sensors have problems with dynamic range. Moreover, they are noticeably inferior not only to full-frame, but to crop cameras similar in size. Problems are noticeable in both RAW and JPG.

olympus vs fujifilmolympus vs fujifilmOlympus tends to always overexpose a frame a little. I noticed the same feature for the Panasonics on the mic. In bright sunlight, this avoids dips in shadows, but in a more complex scene, dips appear in both shadows and highlights. It is worth noting that Fujifilm has one of the best in-camera processing of JPG files and these cameras give very good dynamic range in JPG among other crops.

This is how RAW files from two cameras look without processing:

olympus vs fujifilmYou can see that Fujifilm has exposed the frame below to preserve information in the highlights. At the same time, the shadow areas look more failed than on Olympus.

Here are the results I got after processing the RAW files:

raw olympus vs fujifilm crop ddOf course, in RAW it is better than in JPG, but the mic is still noticeably behind the crop. If you zoom in, you can clearly see the difference:

raw olympus vs fujifilm crop ddIn the photo on the left, the stroller completely disappeared into the failed shadows, the crop camera was able to pull out this information. And this is despite the fact that the Fujifilm source was exposed about a step lower, that is, the shadows in the source were even more failed. This indicates a significant difference in the potential for post-processing RAW files from crop and micro 4/3.

Detailing

The Olympus E-PL10 has a resolution of 16 megapixels, which is average for a 4/3 micro, and my Fujifilm X-S10 has 26 megapixels, which is also already standard for modern croppers.

Both cameras produce very sharp images. But the crop-sensor camera provides a perceptibly greater degree of detail when looking at details.

Another example of a photo in JPG side by side:

olympus vs fujifilm

If you zoom in:

jpg olympus vs fujifilm details

The difference in detail will be noticeable when you want to crop the image (often occurs when shooting birds or other distant objects), as well as when image printing. Moreover, here, in addition to the relatively small number of megapixels, there are obvious problems with the dynamic range.

Color rendition

Olympus has a nice color rendition. Colors are pure and saturated. But, if you are used to shooting on cameras with a large sensor, then photos on mic 4/3 will remind you of cartoons due to high saturation and contrast.

One of the problems with micros is the limited color gamut. These cameras do not reproduce the full color gamut that APS-C sensors are capable of, not to mention full frame.

Working ISOs

According to ISO, the difference, of course, is also in favor of the crop.

iso fuji vs olympus

I will attach the source files at the end of the article.

About the Olympus E-PL10 in general

This is a very nice camera with a nice body and stylish design. The body is made of high quality, Olympus E-PL10 is pleasant to take in hand, unlike Sony camerasmade very cheaply.

olympus ep-l10

The grip is uncomfortable, but with light lenses it is permissible. With Voigtlander 42.5mm f0.95 (weighing under 600 grams) the camera is not comfortable to use.

olympus ep-l10

Autofocus in good light works properly, no complaints. In low light and on video, it is inferior to autofocus on a Fujifilm camera.

Video shooting capabilities are very limited - the camera is clearly not for bloggers.

I almost forgot, the Olympus E-PL10 has the vaunted matrix stabilization. In the process of sighting, this is noticeable - the picture seems to float slightly on the screen. But in practice, when shooting, I got blurry at shutter speeds of 1 / 60-1 / 100, which is unsatisfactory for any stabilization system. The declared degree of stabilization is 3.5 exposure steps.

Total

The time for such devices has passed. the niche of devices for undemanding amateur photographers was occupied smartphones. I micra 4/3 there is a quality advantage over phone cameras, but this system is too inferior to modern crop cameras, and even more so to full-frame cameras, to continue to remain on the market.

As the comparison showed, the micro has no tangible size advantage over crop cameras. Often they are identical in weight. But the obvious loss in image quality is obvious.

Test files on Google Drive:

As for the dynamic range, I want to clarify, Fujifilm has it maximum at ISO 640. Read more about this here.

PS And once again I want to remind you that Fujifilm cameras of the X-Trans III / IV generations do not fundamentally differ from each other in terms of the quality of photography. However, as well as various models on the mic 4/3. The idea that a more expensive camera from the same line is completely different and shoots better is a strong delusion. But there is a difference between the sizes of the matrices.