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Thread: Comparison of the two 35 Noktons (1.2 and 1.4)?

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    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Comparison of the two 35 Noktons (1.2 and 1.4)?

    I have discovered that I need a fast wide for the occasions that I shoot events.

    I used to own the 35mm summilux asph, but given the infrequency that I need a fast 35, I cannot justify the investment.
    Anyone used both these lenses?

    Better yet, does anyone have side by side comparison of both? I'm a big fan of the size of the 1.4, but the samples I've seen from the 1.2 have more impressive characteristics.

    I appreciate any advice on the matter! My subscription to Reid Reviews expired just before he published his fast 35mm lenses on the M9 review, can someone let me know if both these lenses are featured? If so, I'll resubscribe.

    Cheers

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    Re: Comparison of the two 35 Noktons (1.2 and 1.4)?

    Daniel: I just looked (haven't read it). He did include the two CV lenses.

    Cheers, Matt

    http://mdriscoll.zenfolio.com

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    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: Comparison of the two 35 Noktons (1.2 and 1.4)?

    I really want the performance of the 35/1.2 in a package the size of the 35/1.4

    If Zeiss made a compact ZM 35/1.4 for say, $1500, they'd probably get my money. As it stands, I may as well use my 35/2.8 C-Biogon and lose detail through heavy NR and get results similar to the 35/1.4 Nokton

    Should I regret selling my 35 Summilux ASPH?

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    Re: Comparison of the two 35 Noktons (1.2 and 1.4)?

    My recollection is that all reviews & comments say the same thing: 1.2 is Big but a bargain; 1.4 suffers focus shift.

    I didn't try the 1.4, because focus shift bothers me a lot. But I've had good experience with the 1.2.

    This experience changed with how I coded it. Mine is 6-bit coded, & there are a couple of ways to do it. It should be coded as a Summilux ASPH. Some site that I read suggested another coding, but it seemed to accentuate the lens' main weakness, its chromatic aberration. (I don't know how or why this could be so, but changing the coding made CA seem less intrusive at widest apertures.)

    Besides its strength as a low-light lens, it's very reliable. My other fast 35 is a pre-asph Lux, & while I love its 'Leica glow,' it sometimes destroys an image with overwhelming flare. The Nokton doesn't do that, & it shows no focus shift (whereas the pre-a Lux shows a little bit). Also it focuses closer, to .07m. So it has been what I use when it's important to be predictable.

    Kirk

    PS: Maybe it's OK to mention: I'm the parent-to-be of a new Lux that will arrive soon, & if I like it I'll be selling the 1.2 Nokton & maybe also the pre-aspherical Lux. If the new one is too 'clinical,' it's the one that will go. Watch the Gear for Sale section.)

    PPS:If I were you, I'd renew that Reid Reviews subscription – it's saved me so many $$!

    K

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    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: Comparison of the two 35 Noktons (1.2 and 1.4)?

    I found I had funds sitting in my paypal account, instead of withdraw them (as they are USD and the AUD is strong atm) I used some on renewing my Reid Reviews subscription.

    I will keep an eye out Kirk, thanks!

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    Re: Comparison of the two 35 Noktons (1.2 and 1.4)?

    Daniel - My experience with the 35mm F1.4 Nokton was very limited and it had major focus issues. I know F2.5 is a long ways off from F1.4 and F1.2, but a small, inexpensive lens - the 35mm Skopar Pancake II is excellent. It's a bit challenged in the corners on a Leica M9, but it cleans up nicely as stopped down.

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    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: Comparison of the two 35 Noktons (1.2 and 1.4)?

    Cheers John, I have the 35mm ZM C-Biogon so this would be a lens solely to use f/1.2-f/2.0.

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    Re: Comparison of the two 35 Noktons (1.2 and 1.4)?

    I would love a nice, fast Zeiss/ZM option. But I stuck with what they have, and what's good - the 2/35 Biogon. Instead of the 2,8 I grabbed a set of Skopars as I wanted a small travel kit of lenses. But everyone raves about the 2,8.

    The 1,2/35 Nokton is a killer lens, especially for the money. A touch low contrast, some barrel distortion - but lovely bokeh. The 1,4/35 isn't too shabby either, also has barrel distortion. The bokeh isn't as nice, actually a bit "nervous" at times. But way, way smaller. You have to pick your poison... If you don't mind the size, go for the 1,2/35 - you won't be sorry.

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    Re: Comparison of the two 35 Noktons (1.2 and 1.4)?

    I have the 35/1.4 Classic. Only use it at f/1.4 and f/8, so no trouble with focus shift

    I haven't evaluated it very carefully yet, though, but it seems that the wide open performance is best at close to medium distances. Most of the photos I have made with focus close to or at infinity don't really seem to be in focus anywhere. This is, again, wide open. It performs well at f/8 at all distances.

    My plan is to have a C-Biogon also, just waiting for Zeiss to have the black version in stock again...

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    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: Comparison of the two 35 Noktons (1.2 and 1.4)?

    Thankyou pgmj! Useful info

    The C-Biogon is a great lens, very small, high sharpness and smooth bokeh.

    I might still get the Nokton, but now I'm flirting with the idea of shifting back to Leica glass (except the 18mm for practical reasons) in 24/35/50 focal lengths... Just need to win lotto.

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    Re: Comparison of the two 35 Noktons (1.2 and 1.4)?

    Dan, if you are doing events in low light, f/1.2 is better than f/1.4, even though it is a lot bigger. My understanding it doesn't have focus shift issues, and is very well respected in the Reid review. Having the Nokton 50/1.1, in low light it is great to have the ability to keep the ISO to a respectable level.
    Charles Kalnins
    Tallai, Queensland Australia.

    http://kalnins.zenfolio.com

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    Re: Comparison of the two 35 Noktons (1.2 and 1.4)?

    Quote Originally Posted by thrice View Post
    Thankyou pgmj! Useful info

    The C-Biogon is a great lens, very small, high sharpness and smooth bokeh.

    I might still get the Nokton, but now I'm flirting with the idea of shifting back to Leica glass (except the 18mm for practical reasons) in 24/35/50 focal lengths... Just need to win lotto.
    Hey Daniel, what a great landscape shooter you are!
    Just for info, I have tried the Zeiss 25 Biogon and I returned it cause I really preferred the 24 Elmarit. Now I'm in the market for a 35 too and I ended up thinking that It's better to start saving for a new 35 Lux.

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    Re: Comparison of the two 35 Noktons (1.2 and 1.4)?

    Daniel--

    I haven't used the 1.4 Nokton, but as for the 1.2, while it's a "beast" in comparison to my other rangefinder lenses over the years, and it obstructs the corner of the finder a bit, I couldn't part with it. I actually now am using it more often than my v4 35 Summicron, and the attached photo illustrates why. M9, f/1.2, 1/25th sec., iso 1250. -1/3 EV, about a 50% crop of the jpeg w/ no post production.

    I sold my Pre-asph Summilux. This lens is easy to focus and has been durable. I code it as a Summilux 1.4 ASPH on manual coding on the M9, it's great on the M8 [where I hand coded as 35 Summicron]. I'll probably have DAG code it for me when I get around to it, but no focus shift at all.

    Cheers,

    Norm
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    www.normsnyderphoto.com

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    Re: Comparison of the two 35 Noktons (1.2 and 1.4)?

    Wonderful image Norm, thankyou for your contribution

    I have decided I will get the Nokton. I'm going to change my lens lineup considerably as I have time available to do so.

    Current lineup: CV12, ZM18, ZM25, ZM-C 35, ZM50/1.5, L75/2
    New lineup: ZM18, L28/2, CV35/1.2, L50/1.4, L75/2

    CV = cosina voigtlander
    ZM = Zeiss
    L = Leica

    If anyone want to preempt the sale of any of my CV/ZM glass feel free to send me a PM, but it should be within the next few weeks otherwise.

    p.s. thankyou for your compliments emaxxx, I greatly appreciate it and as much as I love the ZM25 I find the Leica rendering preferable as well.

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    Re: Comparison of the two 35 Noktons (1.2 and 1.4)?

    Oh I also currently have the 50/2.5 CV Color-Skopar

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    Re: Comparison of the two 35 Noktons (1.2 and 1.4)?

    Thanks for the compliment Daniel. BTW, really enjoyed the New Zealand work.

    I think you'll be happy with the lens. You've got some nice gear from which to choose, but this one has a great look. I also am using it in combination w/ the 75/f2, which while it has a different look, works better for me than the 75 Summilux, which I was never able to focus consistently.

    Cheers,
    Norm

    www.normsnyderphoto.com

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    Re: Comparison of the two 35 Noktons (1.2 and 1.4)?

    As I was reading this thread, the postman showed up with a CV 35 1.4 SC. I just put it to a yardstick focus shift test.

    From about 30 inches the lens shifts focus about 1/2" between 1.4, 2.0, and 2.8 and less so on subsequent stops. By f8 it's not noticeable, presumably because of DOF.

    I don't think this will be an issue for me, at least not the way I plan to use the lens for landscape and street. I will also shoot wide open a lot, but I tend to settle on an aperture and then focus.

    The jump in sharpness between 1.4 and 2.0 is striking. Still pretty decent wide open. Here's a test shot of my wife at 1.4.


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    Re: Comparison of the two 35 Noktons (1.2 and 1.4)?

    The only bad thing I can say about the 31/1.2 Nokton is that it is big and heavy.
    So is a Noktilux, and that is a 50mm.

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    Re: Comparison of the two 35 Noktons (1.2 and 1.4)?

    Yup, what exile said - big and heavy. But excellent in terms of use and results.

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    Re: Comparison of the two 35 Noktons (1.2 and 1.4)?

    It's a bit smaller than the 50/1.1 Nokton especially in terms of use.

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