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Author Topic: Voigtlander Pancake 20mm or Zeiss Distagon 21mm  (Read 10177 times)

mikekobal

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Voigtlander Pancake 20mm or Zeiss Distagon 21mm
« on: July 24, 2010, 07:27:35 pm »

hi guys,
here is a quick comparison between the two lenses in Canon mount, a short video (direct link below)
http://www.mikekobal.com/blog/?p=576
check it out if you are thinking about getting one
I really diggg the pancake, mainly because of its size and weight ( optically, the Zeiss has the edge but it is a brick) questions welcome
cheers,
mike
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stever

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Voigtlander Pancake 20mm or Zeiss Distagon 21mm
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2010, 06:47:25 am »

the Voigtlander 20 is certainly a convenient and well - made lens, unfortunately, it takes f8 to good resolution at the edges
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eronald

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Voigtlander Pancake 20mm or Zeiss Distagon 21mm
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2010, 10:12:40 am »

Quote from: stever
the Voigtlander 20 is certainly a convenient and well - made lens, unfortunately, it takes f8 to good resolution at the edges

I always like the small compact Nikon 2O/2.8.

Edmund
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mikekobal

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Voigtlander Pancake 20mm or Zeiss Distagon 21mm
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2010, 11:55:19 am »

only true for super critical work on a full frame sensor, personally I find the quality more then adequate for professional use from 5.6 onwards on the 5D2, it on a cropped sensor it performs very well already wide open, but then again i  don't shoot brick walls  
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JeanMichel

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Voigtlander Pancake 20mm or Zeiss Distagon 21mm
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2010, 01:08:25 pm »

Hi,

I'm always interested in reading comments from users of the Voigtlander 20 and 40 mm lenses in Canon mounts. I purchased both lenses a few months ago and find both most enjoyable to use on my Canon 5d2.

I agree with stever that one needs to stop down the 20 to f/5.6 or f/8 in order to get fine edge sharpness, but I also find that images made wide open at f/3.5 or f/4 have much more than just acceptable quality. I do not hesitate at all in using it wide open, although I do normally stop it down. I do find that CA in corners with fine dark elements on a bright background requires quite a bit of correction in both red/cyan and blue/yellow. Generally, I apply a -21 red/cyan correction in Camera Raw. There is vignetting, it is correctable in either CR or PS.

The 40 mm is equally enjoyable to use.

Since moving to digital (from mostly Leica and Hasselblad film work) I only worked with the 24-105 zoom, which is excellent, but found the setup rather larger than what i was used to. Using the 40 and the 20 VC lenses makes the equipment somewhat closer to what I was used to. The 5d2 and the 24-105 do remain as the most used combination -- much to be said for AF and IS :-)

The only comparisons I can offer are apple to oranges type: My darkroom prints, are mostly traditional b&w (selenium toned fb) sized to about 8 by 12 inches on 11 by 14 paper. My digital prints tend to be 12 by 18 inches on 13 by 19 mostly Epson Exhibition Fiber paper. I am happy to exhibit both kinds of prints.

Jean-Michel
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NigelC

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Voigtlander Pancake 20mm or Zeiss Distagon 21mm
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2010, 03:08:54 pm »

How does Voigtlander compare to Canon 17-40 at 20mm?
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mikekobal

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Voigtlander Pancake 20mm or Zeiss Distagon 21mm
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2010, 10:25:02 pm »

NigelC,  the Voigtlander distorts a little less (not very noticeable) center resolution is pretty much the same, at 5.6 the extreme corners on the Voigtlander are much better then on the 17-40mm, evens out at f8.
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stever

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Voigtlander Pancake 20mm or Zeiss Distagon 21mm
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2010, 01:42:28 am »

i find that the Voigtlander is slightly sharper at f4, about even at 5.6, and the 17-40 a slight edge at f8, but these are pixel peeping differences.  Lloyd Chambers says flare is much better with the Voigtlander, but i haven't done a comparison.

the Voigtlander is really about size.  the 17-40 has autofocus and is more versatile for the same price - but assymetry is a typical problem (mine has been back to Canon once under warranty and will probably go again) and is different at every focal length at larger apertures - for landscapes this is an f8 lens also.  the versatility of the 17-40 is useless if it's left behind because of size which mine often is
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MattBeardsley

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Voigtlander Pancake 20mm or Zeiss Distagon 21mm
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2010, 01:46:48 pm »

I've had the Zeiss 21mm, Nikon mount for about a month now and really like it.  Images are so sharp and colorful.  My one problem with it is the lack of autofocus.  It's forgivable at 21mm, but can be frustrating.  In case it's interesting, I posted a review on my blog last week, including a bunch of example images: http://mattbeardsleyblog.com/2010/07/20/th...-on-a-nikon-d3/

Quote from: mikekobal
hi guys,
here is a quick comparison between the two lenses in Canon mount, a short video (direct link below)
http://www.mikekobal.com/blog/?p=576
check it out if you are thinking about getting one
I really diggg the pancake, mainly because of its size and weight ( optically, the Zeiss has the edge but it is a brick) questions welcome
cheers,
mike
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Matt Beardsley, Oakland, CA
The Artist:  http://mattbeardsleyphoto.com
The Nerd:  http://photoartsmonthly.com

sergio

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Voigtlander Pancake 20mm or Zeiss Distagon 21mm
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2010, 08:29:14 pm »

I think Canon glass sucks, at least those I have. When I had them on the first 1Ds on 11 mpx they were great, now on the 5DMII they suck. My 85 1.2 is completely unusable at 1.2 without live view. Canon autofocus is very fast on most lenses but it is not so precise. If you do very precise testing on autofocus at full open apertures you'll see it is seldom focusing where it is supposed to. The 70-200 2.8L IS is pretty lame at 2.8. Maybe the new version is better, at least it is way more expensive.
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JeanMichel

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Voigtlander Pancake 20mm or Zeiss Distagon 21mm
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2010, 11:23:29 am »

I don't know if Canon lenses are better or worse than others -- until my purchase of a 5d, since replaced with a 5d2, and a 24-105 I used Leica and Hasselblad lenses with the newest one having been assembled in the mid-70's and continue to be happy to use them when shooting film or perhaps digitally if I ever get to buy a M9. I am sure that newer Leica lenses are 'better' but one simply uses what one has.

I did 'test' my Canon 24-105 (at 24 and 40 focal lengths) against my Voigtlander 20 and 40 lenses. As I noted in an earlier thread the Voigtlander did better or at least as well as the 24-105 when mounted on a tripod and using LiveView.

I also tested all lenses for focus accuracy via the finder. My 24-105 requires a +5 AF Microadjustment; the VC 40 requires and +15 adjustment, and the 20 requires none.

Sergio, you may need to microadjust your lenses for your new body. It is not particularly difficult to do -- elsewhere on this site you will find a review of LensAlign, a system to accurately adjust lenses -- I made my own similar setup that seems to have given me the necessary adjustment. Once you microadjust  your lenses you may find that they work much better for you.

Given the complexities of camera bodies and lenses with AF detection sensor locations, metering locations, motors, and who knows what else, it is not surprising that tin spite of tight tolerances some final adjustments need to be done for each and every combination of camera and lens. This is nothing new, since the beginning Hasselblad films magazines and inserts had to be fit for each other and are not really interchangeable, no two light meters ever matches each other exactly, I am sure that other examples abound.  

Jean-Michel
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