Nokton vs. Planar - the decent exposure

Nokton vs. Planar

01.01.2014

This is a comparisson about the Voigtlaender Nokton 50 mm F1.5 vs. the Zeiss Planar 50 mm F2. Both were used on a Sony A7 with a noname adapter.

For a quick test I used this piece a street art. I focused via the magnifier option in the Sony A7 and did not used a tripod. I wanted to find out, what would be the most suitable for my way of shooting and I rarely use a tripod.

The comparisson will be with files directly out of the camera, of cause with the same settings.


To get an apple to apple comparisson I set the Nokton to F2 just to be fair.


That is the Planar at F2. I focussed on the right eye, and the is pretty sharp. I know that it is a little bit under exposed, but that should not be the focus here.

To the left you can see the 100 % view of the Planar at F2

This one is the Nokton result at F2. Both are pretty sharp. I would say the Nokton has a little bit more contrast and sharpness. I can't say that the planar is doing a bad job, not at all, but in a 100 % comparison I would see the advantage at the planar.

That is the 100 % view of the Nokton result at F2

The difference is not huge, but the biggest difference is the focussing difference. I expecte the Planar to have mor micro contrast, so extect it to be easier to use with the manual focus peaking and magnifier glass. But in that case it was the Nokton, that was much easier to focus. even at F1.5!


The 100 %view at F1.5 with the Nokton.

With a little bit of PP you can get at F1.5 decent results. I have to test more, but at the moment, the advantage would be on the Nokton's site. Due to the results, the way of focussing and the price, 200 Euro cheaper than the Planar.

I thought that maybe the CA would show a difference between the two lenses, so let's see, both again at F2

First again the Zeiss Planar. At F2 you can see a CAs.

And secondly the Nokton at F2. Also in case of the CAs the Nokton seem to perform better. And it would be pretty easy to correct this in Caputer One or Lightroom.

Still the Nokton is the winner, but more tests will follow.

I never wanted to do a brick test, it is so boring. But for this comparison of these nice 50 mm lenses I did this this morning. First in this case the Nokton at F1.5:

You can see the this lens is vignetting heavily at F1.5 and is also not sharp in the corners.

In the middle, it is doing a decent job in case of sharpness and contrast.

And now the Planar at F2:

The sharpness at F2 with the Planar is on the Nokton's F1.5 level. The reason can be, that the manual fokussing seems to be easier with the Nokton.

But the Planar at F2 has less problem with the corner and the vignetting than the Nokton at F1.5. Let's have a look at the Nokton at F2.

The Nokton at F2 show the same perfomance in case of vignetting and sharpness than the Planar. It seems to be again a little bit sharper than the Planar. 

At F5.6 or F8 both lenses are showing a perfect result, so no discussion about that.


Final result, the Zeiss Planar has to go, I will keep the Nokton.

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