Monday, May 14, 2012

New Voigtlander 17.5mm f0.95 Micro 4/3 Lens

Cameraquest, United States distributor for Cosina (aka Voigtlander) is now taking deposits for a new native Micro 4/3 mount 17mm f0.95 (super fast!) lens.
(Click Here) to see it on Cameraquest's website.
Voigtlander 17.5mm f0.95 Micro 4/3 Lens
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At $1,249, you may want to make the $100 deposit, then get a loan for the remaining balance. Just kidding. This is a lens for people who love fast lenses (meaning it gathers a lot of light, and can basically take pictures in the dark). Those never come cheap. It is a manual focus lens.
At 17.5mm focal length, this lens will have an equivalent field of view that a 35mm focal length lens would on full-frame 35mm cameras. So, it makes me think of a Leica Summilux 35mm (which is an f1.4). The new Voigtlander lens gathers more than 2 times as much light, making it the fastest commercial 35mm equivalent lens I've ever seen.
(Click Here) to read a brief user review of the lens, used on a Lumix DMC-GH2, by Daisuki Photo. Note that the author used a 3X neutral density filter to bring the light levels down low enough to open the lens aperture up, very useful for this type of testing.
Also be sure to catch the author's note on how he likes the new Fuji XPro-1 versus his GH2. Interesting.
I have been thinking about trying a Voigtlander lens for Micro 4/3. They also have the Nokton 25mm f0.95 manual focus lens. But, I'm so happy with my Pana-Leica Summilux 25mm f1.4, which is has autofocus, that I just don't really need to look further. I use the Lumix 20mm f1.7 for a rough equivalent to 35mm, and am also pleased with it. So, I can't really see laying out this kind of money for a manual focus lens. They're both really specialty lenses in my opinion. If you really need that amazing light gathering capability, go for it. I don't think I do. I considered whether either would help my concert photography, which is normally pretty challenging light. But, manual focus would be a bigger disadvantage than the extra speed would be an advantage. In my opinion, of course.