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Thread: Sharpest 35mm lens non-Leica

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    Sharpest 35mm lens non-Leica

    I'm looking for the sharpest 35mm that can go down to at least f1.4. As it stands now, I have a Nokton 35mm f1.2 on my M8. My Leica DLux 4 is FAR outshining this lens in sharpness, and in color for that matter. Any suggestions? Ideally I would get the 35mm Summilux but that's way out of my price range. Thanks.

    --Markmont.

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    Re: Sharpest 35mm lens non-Leica

    Wow, tough. There's no Zeiss here, though the 35 mm f2 and 35 f2.8 are sharp. The Nokton f/1.2 is probably as good as you get unless you step upto a 35 lux asph 2, which is the sharpest and most expensive option. To be honest, I'd suggest a 35 cron asph at f/2, as a sharp, more economic option
    Ashwin Rao
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    Re: Sharpest 35mm lens non-Leica

    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinrao1 View Post
    Wow, tough. There's no Zeiss here, though the 35 mm f2 and 35 f2.8 are sharp. The Nokton f/1.2 is probably as good as you get unless you step upto a 35 lux asph 2, which is the sharpest and most expensive option. To be honest, I'd suggest a 35 cron asph at f/2, as a sharp, more economic option
    Aswin, you summed it up perfectly! I too can't think of any other options other than what you mentioned and would have suggested the 35mm Cron Asph too if the Nokton 35mm f1.2 wasn't working out.

    Just a thought, but its possible that the Nokton that Markmont is using may not be an optimum sample as that lens is extremely sharp at f1.4 .

    One other thing to keep in mind, I've never shot a DLux camera, but like most P&S camera, you're not only dealing with the lens, but the sharpening algorithms the camera uses to sharpen images. Most P&S I've used generally result in images that border being oversharpened to give the impression of extreme sharpness and also set things to make colors pop unrealistically. That's why it may also seem Markmont, that compared to the DLux, things look dull with your M8. Of course you can change al this in the M8 images with post processing.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 21st December 2010 at 22:05.

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    Re: Sharpest 35mm lens non-Leica

    Quote Originally Posted by markmont View Post
    I'm looking for the sharpest 35mm that can go down to at least f1.4
    There are no other 35mm lenses aside from the CV 1.2 and 1.4 which open up to f/1.4. There is the Canon 35/1.5 but that is very 'dreamy' (undercorrected spherical aberration).

    My ZM 35/2.8 is really sharp, but so is my CV 1.2 at f/2.8

    Having had a Leica 35/1.4 ASPH v1 and now the Nokton 1.2, I have found both about equally sharp at f/1.4.

    Do some controlled testing, either your camera or lens may be out of calibration.

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    Re: Sharpest 35mm lens non-Leica

    I'm surprised you don't find the 35/1.2 sharp, stopped down a little bit.

    Here's one from the CV 35/1.2 at f/4, 1/125s. Full frame and center crop.





    Don't see how much sharper it could be - although this is only a center crop, I find it's really well-defined across the entire frame.

    The cron 35 ASPH of course is sharp across the frame even wide open.

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    Re: Sharpest 35mm lens non-Leica

    For me, it's the Zeiss Biogon-C f2.8. Very very sharp.

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    Re: Sharpest 35mm lens non-Leica

    The appearance of "sharpness" isn't just a function of edge sharpness (or sharpening firmware/software). The perception of sharpness is greatly influenced by contrast (and micro-contrast), as is the impression of depth and color rendition.

    I had the CV 35/1.2, and while an excellent lens, my impressions were similar to Markmont's. Not the snap I was looking for. Leica 35/1.4 ASPH and f/2 ASPH's definitely have the snappy contrast. So do some of the more affordable Zeiss choices mentioned.

    -Marc

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    Re: Sharpest 35mm lens non-Leica

    It's true that the CV doesn't have the same color and tonal scale, but it certainly resolves just fine. Usually when people talk about "sharpness" they mean resolving power, not tonal contrast or hue separation. It can definitely look a little flat, but that can be good thing in high-contrast situations with very bright colors... I think of it as a complement to the cron 35 ASPH, not a replacement. And it has absolutely lovely bokeh.

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    Re: Sharpest 35mm lens non-Leica

    As I briefly mentioned in my earlier post above, the OP was comparing his 35mm f1.2 mounted on his M8 to the images he gets out of his Dlux4, and being disappointed in the 35mm f1.2. Thats a bit like comparing apples and oranges. I don't know how much the files coming from the Dlux are internally sharpened and what the "in camera" processing and settings are like in the DLUX to influence color, saturation etc. There are a fair number of variables that can't be quite matched since Markmont is comparing a P&S vs. a interchangable lens rangefinder....as opposed to simply comapring two different lenses on the same body and then judging the output. With all that said, the 35mm f1.2 is a bit flat and lower in contrast (as Jan pointed out, this is not always a bad thing for certain lighting conditions) but a fine lens. The 35mm f2 asph though may help lead Markmont to an image more in tune to what he is looking for.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Sharpest 35mm lens non-Leica

    What about the Canon 35mm F2 LTM? Is it comparable to the Leica 35mm F2 pre ASPH?

    I am considering this lens as it cost half of what the Leica 35mm F2 pre ASPH (ver 2) costs.

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    Re: Sharpest 35mm lens non-Leica

    ...he OP was comparing his 35mm f1.2 mounted on his M8 to the images he gets out of his Dlux4, and being disappointed in the 35mm f1.2. Thats a bit like comparing apples and oranges.
    Yeah, something's not right somewhere in this equation, and substituting an Aspherical Summilux (or any other 35) for the 35/1.2 won't likely fix it.

    FWIW, many people prefer the rendering of the 35/1.2 to either version of the Aspherical 'lux, especially on a digital camera. You lose a bit of contrast wide open, but gain a wonderful OOF rendition.

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    Re: Sharpest 35mm lens non-Leica

    BTW, here's a lengthy thread from the RFF on this lens: http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...ad.php?t=72649

    Lots of film and digital images, but be sure to check out the pics posted by SimonSawSunlight and Leicashot in the later pages.

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