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Lens review

Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical

26 September 2012
Szymon Starczewski

11. Summary

Pros:
  • very solid casing of excellent quality,
  • very good f/0.95 aperture,
  • excellent image quality in the frame centre,
  • good resolution on the edge of the frame ( apart from the area near the maximum relative aperture),
  • decently controlled chromatic aberration,
  • not very bothersome distortion.

Cons:

  • noticeable spherical aberration,
  • very high coma by f/0.95 and f/1.4,
  • very high vignetting near the maximum relative aperture,
  • mediocre work against bright light.

The number of faults shows clearly that constructing an f/0.95 lens with an angle of view reaching 63 degrees is not an easy task. Does it mean the Voigtalnder didn’t meet that challenge? In our opinion, no. The list of pros is also quite big and longer than the list of cons; additionally it includes a number of important features, led by the excellent image quality in the frame centre.

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Overall here you can see that constructing very fast lenses, even if their maximum aperture is not especially good, makes a lot of sense. With such a fast aperture you get a great starting point for stopping down. If you close the lens down by 2-3 EV you are able to eliminate almost all axis and off-axis aberrations and to get close to the diffraction limit – and you still operate in the f/2.0-f/2.8 aperture range. Small wonder the Nokton 0.95/25 is a record holder in our Micro 4/3 optics tests and the Nokton 0.95/17.5 comes very close to that performance.

In the summary we also have to mention something about the build quality of the tested lens. With junk of different kind overwhelming the market, swamping it with low quality plastics, when you can touch something as good as this lens, feeling its weight in your hand, admiring the smoothness of its performance, you feel as if you were drinking a glass of your favourite cold drink in a hot day.


Sample shots

Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/0.95, exp. 1/640 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 7.05 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/0.95, exp. 1/400 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 7.54 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/0.95, exp. 1/500 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 7.24 MB
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/0.95, exp. 1/50 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 6.36 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/0.95, exp. 1/80 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 6.75 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/0.95, exp. 1/160 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 8.19 MB
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/0.95, exp. 1/60 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 7.13 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/0.95, exp. 1/2000 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 7.97 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/1.4, exp. 1/80 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 8.99 MB
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/1.4, exp. 1/250 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 7.53 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/1.4, exp. 1/80 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 8.52 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/1.4, exp. 1/200 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 7.55 MB
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/1.4, exp. 1/250 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 7.65 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/1.4, exp. 1/100 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 9 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/2.0, exp. 1/2000 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 8.88 MB
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/2.0, exp. 1/160 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 6.95 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/2.0, exp. 1/50 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 7.33 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/2.0, exp. 1/50 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 8.88 MB
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/2.0, exp. 1/125 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 8.23 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/100 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 7.52 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/2000 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 8.58 MB
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/2000 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 8.02 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/640 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 8.89 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/2000 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 7.75 MB
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/1250 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 8.12 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/2000 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 8.04 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/1250 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 9.02 MB
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/2000 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 8.5 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/2000 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 8.9 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/1250 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 8.42 MB
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/1000 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 7.54 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/160 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 8 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/1250 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 8.01 MB
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/320 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 7.86 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/640 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 8.17 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/11.0, exp. 1/400 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 7.91 MB
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical - Summary
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/0.95, exp. 1/500 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 6.23 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/0.95, exp. 10 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 6.42 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 17.5 mm, f/2.0, exp. 10 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 6.39 MB



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