I have never been a fan of manual lenses. Most of it are short lived. I just don’t have the patience with it or I am just not good at manual focusing. With only myself to be blame. Today I had the opportunity to give myself a second chance at it.Not for just a stingy day; a generous few days. A big thank you to the nice people at Rice Ball (IG @riceballphoto), I have the privilege to test the little Voigtlander 23mm F1.2 Nokton. It’s a manual lens for X-mount. This is a pretty looking little lens. In fact, it looks good on any X-series camera. As I am bias; I think it looks best with X-Pro and X-E series.
I am pretty slow in focusing with this lens. The thought of using this lens transported me to my early days of using my very first film camera. It was a hand me down from my father. A Nikon FM with a 35 -70mm lens. Things were slower then, simpler too. After using this lens for a couple days; I begin to shoot at a slower pace. In some ways I see more. It’s like driving slowly; you see more. If one were speeding, everything around us becomes a blur.
This lens is definitely not a clinically uber-sharp lens. But sharp enough. It’s a little soft when shot wide. Feel a little similar to the classic XF35mm F1.4. Magical in their own way. Of course when one stop down to F2.8 onward; this lens gets sharper. This lens has electronic connection with the camera. So your exif is recorded. It has a 12 blade rounded diaphragm.
I like the size of this lens when its mounted with a X-Pro or X-E series cameras. It has a 46mm filter size. The weight of 214 grams is a nice balance with X-Pro3. The built of this lens is definitely premium. A buttery smooth focusing ring and lovely aperture ring that clicks nicely. 1/3 stop per click, all the way to F16. After using this lens for a few days; I am kinda of fond of it. Especially Its at my favorite focal length. Below are some snaps taken in the last few days. I will now let the photos do the talking. Let me know what you think?
Lastly I have a few request on how this lens compare with other Chinese lens maker. Here is a non scientific comparison that I did over my dining table.
So what do you think? This is a tough one. Bokeh department, I like TTartisan more. Voigtlander has more character. The shot have more “pop” and I like the warm hue from the glass. But it cost a lot more. If you have the cash, why not. It’s a sexy lens. If not, I think TTartisan do commands great value.
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