35mm f1.2 Voigtlander Nokton ASPH: My Favorite 35

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I once owned the much anticipated and very expensive Leica Summilux 35mm f1.4 ASPH FLE. That lens drove me crazy. I can’t imagine the genius and time and planning and expense that goes into making such a complicated and high-end piece of kit as that, or any Leica lens, so I don’t really like to bash things simply because they just didn’t work for me. But that lens didn’t work for me and I’ll leave it at that. I loved the 35mm 2.5 Summarit. Nice lens that made really classic looking images. I loved the 35 ‘Cron. I don’t think that things can get much better than any Leica Summicron lens. Period.

But like so many others, I covet fast lenses. So back a few years ago when I had the money to experiment I bought a Voigtlander 35 1.2 ASPH Nokton. I have to say, if that lens had been dressed up in a Leica barrel and had a red dot on it and I’d paid what I paid for the 35 ‘Lux FLE… I would have been happy with that purchase. To me, this is the 35 ‘Lux style lens I was after from the start. But unlike the Leica, I can handle it. It never fails me. It has some distortion and I’m working with a profile in Lightroom now to try to address that issue but… it’s okay. I’m okay with this lens. I’m okay with the color, the contrast, the sharpness, the wonderful 50 ‘Lux-like bokeh. Everything.

Anyway. Here’s a quick shot I grabbed the other day and below please find a detail from it to show a little of why I like this lens so much.

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3 comments

  1. You know, whenever I’ve had the urge to buy the most extreme, zoomiest, etc piece of equipment, I’ve found myself disappointed. With rare exception. That’s why my 35 is the ‘Lux 35 v2 from 1972 … full of flaws but beautiful rendering …

    1. Yep. I love the Japanese ‘something’ about this lens. Doesn’t mean I don’t like Leica any less. My favorite lens is a 50 chron. Flares and sometimes busy bokeh and doesn’t open to 1.4. But that’s my favorite photographic ‘look.’ Anyway. I am learning that simpler is very often better for me. 😉

  2. Beautiful image and beautiful colors, for me the 35mm lens is essential to have for the street and reporting. This one air very good with a price defying cream of Leica. Obviously a good buy for lovers of 35 on a budget. Donald thank you for this information.

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