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Monday, 16 February 2009

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Why so slow, Cosina, why so slow?

Available for Pentax KA mount as well, where it will be interesting to compare to the DA 21mm or even the older M 20mm.

"why so slow?"

Nick,
Small ≈ slow.

Mike

It will be interesting to see how it compares to the classic OM zuiko 21mm f3.5 non aspherical, which is about 40 grams lighter and about just as long when differences in register distance are accounted for!

Iwert

Olympus 21mm f2 OM forever!

The slowness is actually fine with me, if F:3.5 is fully usable. You don't need bigger unless you really go for low light or shallow DoF. And the savings in size and price are wonderful.

Nice, a "chipped" compact 20mm should go down well especially for those with the lower end Nikon dSLRs with the crippled light meters - D40/60/80/90. Even looks to have a decent depth of field scale for scale-focus - a nice combination since one rarely needs anything else with a 20.

Now if only they would make the equivalent (field of view) for a "crop camera" (a 14mm f/4). There must be at least as much demand for such a thing as for this lens, if not more, I'd have thought. Something like the 15/4.5 SL only a retrofocus would do nicely...

</dreaming>

Yes... how would it compare to the Pentax DA 21mm f/3.2 AL Limited (this one is on my radar) — specially since the Voigtländer could be considerably cheaper than the Pentax.

On the other hand, how would it compare to the US$ 1,450 Zeiss 18mm ƒ/3.5 Distagon T*? (Which is nowhere near my radar :-)

Cheers,

... and still hoping for a ~ 125mm f/2.4 SL II macro.

Having dissed the camera repeatedly, I recently bought a G1; this comes after I literally hurt myself by toting a D3/D300 and a bag of f2.8 zooms all day at a flea market. Now I wonder if there will ever be a Pentax-mount adapter for the G1. I'd like to try a couple of those pancake lenses, which I think may fit the G1 better than the M lenses for which there is already a adapter. I wonder if the Pentax 1.5x lenses will even be adaptable to the G1, since the aspect ratio is different...

JC

The interesting thing will be how it compares with the new Zeiss offerings (18mm 3.5 and 21mm 2.8) built by Cosina too. Needless to say- these will both cost more, much more, than this lens.

I have a Voightlander 28mm F1.9 in the M-mount and find it a good match for the Zeiss 50mm F2.0 on my Zeiss Ikon. However, it has been Zeiss's SLR (Nikon) mount lenes that have impressed me more, both in build and image quality. If this lens matches up to it's sisters it will be interesting....

At the moment you can stack adapters (Pentax-to-4/3 and 4/3-to-micro-4/3) to use Pentax K-mount lenses on the G1. If you have M42 screw mount lenses, there are now direct adapters on eBay.

"Yes... how would it compare to the Pentax DA 21mm f/3.2 AL Limited (this one is on my radar) — specially since the Voigtländer could be considerably cheaper than the Pentax."

I'll be curious about this, too. I've owned the DA 21mm f3.2 Limited since I switched to Pentax 3 years ago. Originally, with my K100D, it was one of my favorite lenses. Since switching to the K20D, my enthusiasm has cooled a bit, especially when using the lens near wide open. Something that did a little better below f5.6 would be a welcome addition to my lens arsenal.

"Small ≈ slow."

The Pentax FA 20mm f/2.8 is about the same size as the FA 50mm f/1.4, that is: pretty small. I have both those lenses and will keep them for as long as I can.

That said, I can only imagine how buttery smooth this Voigt's focus ring will be. I've had no interest in the Pentax DA 21mm f/3.2, but this Voigt is a different beast...

"Now if only they would make the equivalent (field of view) for a "crop camera" (a 14mm f/4)."

Soon (fingers crossed) to be released by Pentax, 15mm f4 DA.

"That said, I can only imagine how buttery smooth this Voigt's focus ring will be. I've had no interest in the Pentax DA 21mm f/3.2, but this Voigt is a different beast..."

Miserere, may I ask why no interest in the well regarded Limited 21? more importantly what makes it a different beast? simply the focus ring?

miguel: The Voigtlander has 3 things the DA Limited lacks. FF coverage, an aperture ring and a well damped focus ring.

I have the Nikon 20 3.5 ais which I bought for its amazing ability to shoot into the sun. Attached to my FM3A its probably my favourite backpacking lens. Amazingly sharp, compact and light and a complete bargain second hand :-)

So the 3.5 makes perfect sense to me.

"Miserere, may I ask why no interest in the well regarded Limited 21? more importantly what makes it a different beast? simply the focus ring?"

Hey Miguel,

The DA Ltds are of little interest to me due to their slow apertures. I appreciate that they are small, and I think that's their appeal and niche market, and while I'd like to have some tiny lenses, I don't have a small Pentax body to put them on (say a hypothetical MXD or LXD). Because of this, I value speed more than size. I suspect Pentax elected to make the LTD primes small, and the DA* primes fast, which I suppose makes sense. Having said that, Voigtlander produce a 35mm f/1.4 that's quite compact.

Now, this 20mm Voigtlander is a manual focus lens, which means it will have a longer focus throw, making it a lot easier to preset your focus range, which is what most photographers do with wide primes. Also, autofocus with a wide lens can be inconsistent. So about 1/4 turn focus throw with the Voigt vs maybe 1/8 with the Pentax.

Please understand that I am not saying the DA 21 Ltd is a bad lens, all I am saying is that *I* am not interested in it because it doesn't fulfil my needs (but I'm happy Pentax made it and that it's selling so well).

Ha! As Adam Maas pointed out, which I forgot to add, the Voigt is full-frame while the Pentax isn't.

Some remarks:
I need to actuate the shutter some more. To the question of "why cosina so slow", my brain got to "why cosina is releasing this voigtländers at such a slow pace", not "why the aperture is so small.

But this raises a question about apertures to me:

What if [as with the 21 ltd or 43 ltd] more important than the maximum aperture, is the performance from that very maximum aperture?

If anybody has ever tried the Helios 85 or the Canon 85, both are -ahem- "dreamy" at best when wide open.

Which does not happen with, say, the pancake Olympus Zuiko, or the DA 35 macro [which is not pancake, but is small enough]

Misere, thanks for clearing that up.

i was a bit baffled by that statement because the Pentax Limited 21 is faster than this Voightlander, so i thought you may have thoughts on the quality of the Pentax.

while the DA 21 doesn't have an aperture ring, it does have a focus scale and allows Manual Focus even in AF mode. the shorter focusing throw may make it harder to throw off your prefocusing setting too if you're using it like a rangefinder.

finally, not being FF shouldn't matter unless you're shooting Nikon or Pentax film.

"finally, not being FF shouldn't matter unless you're shooting Nikon or Pentax film."

Miguel,
Or a D700 or a D3 or a D3x....

Mike

"Or a D700 or a D3 or a D3x...."

yes of course,
i meant it like "...unless you're shooting (Nikon) or (Pentax film)."

This one is going to make it to my voigtlander SL II collection.

I would just love to see how the bokeh will perform from this lens!

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