I recently shot a look-book for my friend the sartorially iconic Steve Davies. Outside of his role as a global menswear style and creative consultant Steve is launching his own menswear line for SS16 which you can see here starring the man himself. Get in touch with him if you are keen to stock it.
First thing to say is that this is a hefty lens. Not too heavy but it feels like it means business with its all metal construction and abundance of glass. It balances well on my OMD EM-1 and is perfectly useable as a walk around lens. It is also a good looking lens and has a subtle aesthetic that is not too loud and as a result not that noticeable for street work (non-threatening). Mechanically it feels like quality….very smooth on both focus and the aperture ring. The aperture ring conceals a very useful Film function which allows for a stepless aperture. By pulling and turning a barely noticeable ring in front of the aperture ring it gives the facility to quickly move into a stepless mode which is useful for all you filmmakers out there. The close focussing capability is great too – not sure exactly how close one can get but in the image below of the Unicorn’s head I would say it is maybe 5cm. Coming to the most important aspect of the lens – image quality… All I can say is wow! For a full frame 50mm equivalent lens it is superb. This gives Micro Four Thirds users a great way of isolating detail at 0.95 and it is nice and sharp theretoo… By F2 it is even sharper and has an immaculate bokeh – “buttery” is the adjective I would use. It has just the right amount of contrast and the colour rendering is spot on. Downsides…? Well weight is one and the fact that it is a manual focus lens in the obvious other but once you get used to using it – particularly if your camera has ‘peaking’ it is manageable. It does slow you down but that is not entirely a bad thing IMHO as it makes even mundane images stand out the way a Leica Summicron 50 does. There are no other reasons to not buy this lens if you are looking for a great 50mm that has Filming capability.
Here are a few unremarkable and random handheld images taken with it that will give you an idea of its capabilities… The unicorn and crystal were shot at 0.95, the one of my step sister was at f2 I think and the power lines at f8.
I got my lens from Robert White (There is currently a £50 cashback on all Voigtlander lenses too see here)