Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2009/05/17

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: [Leica] CV 1.4/40mm and 1.2/35mm on M8 - what is your experience?
From: pklein at (Peter Klein)
Date: Sun, 17 May 2009 01:22:16 -0700

Bruce:  I somehow missed this thread until now.  I do not have the 40/1.4 
VC.  But I must confess to having both the 35 Summilux asph and the 35/1.2 
Nokton.  They are different enough that each one is "better" for certain 
situations.  Tina pointed this out to me when I was thinking of getting the 
Nokton, and she was exactly right.

I use the 35/1.2 with an IR filter, and I don't bother with coding.  My 
Summilux is hand-coded with a black sharpie marker.

Interestingly enough, Geoff, my 35/1.2 does not have the focus shift that 
the Summilux does.  Sean Reid found the same thing.  On the other hand, my 
Summilux's focus shift is a lot less than Internet chatter would have you 
believe.  Coping with it is easy--at f/4 and f/5.6, you just focus on the 
closest thing you want in the zone of focus.

The Summilux is *very* sharp, even wide open.  Its bokeh can be a bit wiry, 
and it has a very modern look that some people call "clinical."  But when 
you want a picture that, at f/1.4, looks like a 50 Summicron shot, this is 
the lens to have.

The 35/1.2 Nokton is a unique lens.  It is not quite as razor-sharp wide 
open as the Summilux, but it is certainly sharp enough.  Its bokeh is more 
gentle, as is its contrast.  The way it draws is at a sweet spot in between 
the modern, clinical look of the modern Leica aspherics and the more 
"classical" look of lenses from the 60s-80s.  I like this look, which is 
one reason why, along with the f/1.2 aperture, this lens is a "keeper."

The price you pay for all these virtues is its size and weight--it's a big, 
heavy piece of glass. The one other flaw I've discovered with the 35/1.2 
Nokton is that it will give you purple fringing at high contrast 
edges--tree branches against a bright sky and so forth.  And it does it at 
all stops, not just wide open.  The Summilux doesn't purple-fringe very 
much even wide open, and not at all stopped down.

So if you already have the Summilux, I would get the Nokton only if you 
like to play in the dark a significant portion of the time and really need 
the extra half stop, and you like the way the lens draws.  I would not sell 
the Summilux in favor of the Nokton.  On the other hand, if you're like 
Nathan, and already have a great slower 35mm lens, the Nokton is an ideal 

If you can, Bruce, buy or borrow the Nokton and use it alongside the 
Summilux for a while and compare your pictures.  They you'll know what to do.

Here are some photos with the Summilux Asph, mostly wide open:

Here are some photos with the 35/1.2 Nokton, wide open or nearly so:


At 04:50 PM 5/16/2009 -0700, Geoff Hopkinson <hopsternew at> wrote:
>Hi Bruce. May I join your discussion on this? Are you considering getting
>rid of a Summilux 35 in order to get the Cosina Voigtlander f1/1.2 35?
>In my opinion this would be a downwards step. However I know some users who
>are happy with them and I have not personally shot with one. I would be
>surprised if it does not exhibit significant focus shift as you stop down
>(the Summilux has some too). Maybe you could visit a store and shoot some
>frames with one before commiting?  Or Nathan and Ted may share some
>experience there?
>If you are going to try it out, keep your Summilux too and use them both for
>a while before you decide that you want to get rid of one of them!
>Anyway here  it is on a camera (with a master using it!) if you wanted to
>get some idea of its size on the M8.
>2009/5/16 bruce golding <leica at>
> > when appropriate, nathan, would appreciate hearing of the balance of the
> > 1.2 on the m8.
> >
> > i'm wondering about trading my summilux in; but i love the balance and 
> > size
> > of this latter,
> >
> > thanx,
> > b.
> >

Replies: Reply from hopsternew at (Geoff Hopkinson) ([Leica] CV 1.4/40mm and 1.2/35mm on M8 - what is your experience?)
Reply from photo at (Nathan Wajsman) ([Leica] CV 1.4/40mm and 1.2/35mm on M8 - what is your experience?)