Cosina Voigtlander Nokton 25mm F0.95 (hands-on)

The lens has been eagerly awaited due to its super-wide F0.95 aperture, which renders creamy-looking bokeh and the ability to take low-light shots with faster shutter speeds.

Cosina Voigtlander Nokton 25mm F0.95 lens
Leonard Goh/CNET Asia

Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Cosina Voigtlander Nokton 25mm F0.95 lens. Usually we don't rush through product testing in a day, but due to the vendor's request (the lens is selling like hotcakes at his store), we had no choice but to put it through its paces within a couple of hours of getting it.

Announced two months ago, the Nokton lens has since been eagerly awaited by enthusiasts. The reason is its super-wide F0.95 aperture, which renders creamy-looking bokeh and the ability to take low-light shots with faster shutter speeds. The focal length of the optics, when fitted on a Micro Four Thirds shooter, is 50mm.

Cosina Voigtlander Nokton 25mm F0.95 lens
Leonard Goh/CNET Asia

The lens barrel is constructed entirely out of metal and it feels really solid. It's heavy, too, tipping the scales at 410g (just under a pound). The Nokton is a manual-focus optics, so you have to rely on your eye to gauge whether the subject is in focus. The focusing ring is smooth, and turns almost 360 degrees to focus from about 7 inches to infinity. Hence, it may take you awhile to switch focus from a closeup subject to something far away.

Cosina Voigtlander Nokton 25mm F0.95 lens
Leonard Goh/CNET Asia

The aperture ring turns from F0.95 to F16, with clicks to indicate half-stop increments.

We attached the Voigtlander lens to the Olympus E-P1, and brought it out for a quick photo session. Below are the results (Silverlight needed to view Zoom.it images ).




Aperture: F0.95 (Credit: Leonard Goh/CNET Asia)


Aperture: F16 (Credit: Leonard Goh/CNET Asia)


Aperture: F8 (Credit: Leonard Goh/CNET Asia)


Aperture: F16 (Credit: Leonard Goh/CNET Asia)


Aperture: F0.95 (Credit: Leonard Goh/CNET Asia)


Aperture: F0.95 (Credit: Leonard Goh/CNET Asia)

As you can see, photos snapped at F0.95 looked a tad soft, but the bokeh was extremely smooth and one of the best we've seen so far. This could be attributed to the 10 aperture blades that form a circle. Since we were shooting under daylight, some of our shots turned out overexposed even at ISO 100 and with a shutter speed of 1/4,000 second.

One thing to note is that when shooting at F0.95, the depth of field is extremely shallow. Therefore, you need to be very precise with your focusing. If you or the subject moved just an inch, the photo could go out of focus. We used the manual-focus assist mode on the camera to enlarge a portion of the frame to refine the focus.

The F0.95 aperture comes in really handy in low-light environments. We were able to shoot at ISO 100 or 200 with a fast shutter speed to keep the picture sharp. Most compact cameras typically require the use of ISO 400 and a slower shutter speed to take the same scene.

Cosina Voigtlander Nokton 25mm F0.95 lens
Leonard Goh/CNET Asia

(Source: Crave Asia)

 

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