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Thread: Nokton 35/1.4 Classic - underrated?

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    Member Armanius's Avatar
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    Nokton 35/1.4 Classic - underrated?

    When people discuss fast 35's, the Nokton 35/1.4 Classic is either forgotten or an after thought. Instead, the discussion is generally focused on the Summilux, Summicron, Biogon, and the Nokton 35/1.2. Even the Skopar 35/2.5 gets more love than the Classic. The Classic was actually my first M lens. But over the last two years, I started neglecting it. And as of lately, I've been wanting to supplement or replace it with another 35. After all, it's soft wide open, has focus shift problems, and it's just a Summilux wanna-be!

    I picked up a Biogon three weeks ago and loved it. But I had to give up the Biogon (and much more) to get a 50 Lux. I ended up finally dusting the Classic and taking it out for a spin last weekend. After using it again, I found myself falling in love with its qualities once more. Is it sharp wide open? Sharp enough for an amateur like me. Does it suffer from focus shift? Probably, but I'm shooting it wide open anyway. But most importantly, it has character! The out of focus rendering is actually very pleasant (to my eyes anyway).

    Here are a few of the photos that I took during that spin. Nothing artistically enlightening. But it does show that unique character that the Classic has. All shot side open (if I remember correctly). Some cropping and PP in LR4, particularly for exposure. Downsampled to 1024 pixels.














    ps: Thanks for indulging my rationalization.

    pps: But in spite of the rationalization, I ordered a Biogon-C anyway!!!

    Thanks for dropping by!
    Last edited by Armanius; 26th March 2012 at 16:50.
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    Re: Nokton 35/1.4 Classic - underrated?

    Inherently it's not a bad lens at all. Small, inexpensive. The biggest gripes are:

    1) Barrel distortion (though many CV lenses have this)
    2) Bokeh can be quite variable (and not to everyone's liking)

    It was almost my first RF lens... But I ended up getting the Zeiss Biogon T* 2/35 ZM instead.
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    Re: Nokton 35/1.4 Classic - underrated?

    Quote Originally Posted by Armanius View Post
    Thanks for the shots! So this might be an obvious question but I'm not sure. Why is there quite a bit more color fringing around the lightbulb in focus but not in the lightbulb behind the focus point? I realize that color fringing is often a function of brights and darks being right next to each other but that seems to be roughly equal for both. Is the color fringing still there in the second lightbulb but just too blurry to be noticed?
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    Re: Nokton 35/1.4 Classic - underrated?

    Focus and exposure both play a part. Generally the sharper and brighter the lens and the more overexposed this "danger zone" - the more likely you'll see artifacts like that.
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    Re: Nokton 35/1.4 Classic - underrated?

    When it comes to distortion and fringing, it rarely bothers me unless I go looking for it. I do care about bokeh quality, but I have never quite understood the beef against the 35/1.4's bokeh.
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