Lens review

Voigtlander Nokton 42.5 mm f/0.95

17 January 2014
Arkadiusz Olech

4. Image resolution

The resolution test of the Voigtlander Nokton 42.5 mm f/0.95 was based on RAW files from the Olympus E-PL1. In the case of that camera the highest results, reached by the best fixed-focus lenses, amount to about 80 lpmm (the resolution record of 82.6 lpmm belongs to the Voigtlander 0.95/25 with the Olympus 1.8/75 not far behind). The decency level is set near 44-45 lpmm.

Let’s glance at the graph, shown below, and see how the tested lens compares here.

Voigtlander Nokton 42.5 mm f/0.95 - Image resolution

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It is clear that in the frame centre, at the maximum relative aperture, the image is still not fully useful. In order to improve it you have to stop down the lens near f/1.2. By f/1.4 the image quality can be already described as good and from f/2.0 upwards you deal with an excellent resolution level. The lens is hitting its peak sharpness by f/2.8 and f/4.0, where the MTFs are near 80 lpmm. Although that result is truly sensational it still remains by 1-2 lpmm lower than the best achievements of the Nokton 0.95/25, the Olympus 1.8/75 or the PanaLeica 1.2/42.5. However you must honestly say the difference is slight, noticeable when you analyse testing charts but practically impossible to see on real life photos.

When it comes to the frame edge it would be difficult to get a useful image by f/0.95 and f/1.4. However between f/1.4 and f/2.0 there is a distinct resolution increase so by f/2.0 you already deal with good or even very good image quality. Such a performance means the Voigtlander is able to provide better images than the PanaLeica by f/2.0 and f/2.8. Still after the significant stopping down the PanaLeica is better again. The lateral chromatic aberration makes itself felt as its level is higher in the case of the Nokton and it increase dynamically with the increase of the aperture values.

At the end, as usual, we present crops taken from photos of our resolution testing chart; they were saved as JPEG files along RAWs, used for the analysis above.

Voigtlander Nokton 42.5 mm f/0.95 - Image resolution