Zeiss VS Leica VS Voigtlander


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KNNOngQW

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Jan 3, 2007
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Hello guys,

I am currently using a 35/1.4 nokton on my RF setup.

Deciding to change to 35/2 asph from Leica.
On the other hand, I am also considering the Carl Zeiss 35/2 biogon.

Please advice me, is the Leica really worth such a high premium (more then twice the cost of the Zeiss) ? Picture quality wise, will the Zeiss produce equally or on par images as the 35/2 asph.

One issue im concerned about is the zeiss lens sticking out at the side of my viewfinder (same as my current Nokton). Heard that the Leica 35/2 asph is smaller built and thus won't "block" part of the finder?

Thanks
Kenneth
 

snits

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Nov 3, 2005
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Hello guys,

I am currently using a 35/1.4 nokton on my RF setup.

Deciding to change to 35/2 asph from Leica.
On the other hand, I am also considering the Carl Zeiss 35/2 biogon.

Please advice me, is the Leica really worth such a high premium (more then twice the cost of the Zeiss) ? Picture quality wise, will the Zeiss produce equally or on par images as the 35/2 asph.

One issue im concerned about is the zeiss lens sticking out at the side of my viewfinder (same as my current Nokton). Heard that the Leica 35/2 asph is smaller built and thus won't "block" part of the finder?

Thanks
Kenneth
the non asph 'cron lagi smaller.... and lagi dearer! hahahah price don't make sense for these glasses lah....
 

BigBird

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Oct 27, 2004
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I don't have the ZM 35/2, but have read that it is comparable to the pre-asph 35 cron.

You may be interested to take a look at Erwin Puts writing on the ZM lenses. He is the author of the Leica Compendium, and has a deep knowledge of all things relating to Leica.

http://www.imx.nl/photo/zeiss/zeiss/page65.html

About the size, my 35 cron asph (with rectangular hood on) can be seen slightly in the corner of my 0.72 VF, but it does not pose any problems for me. I think w/o hood, you may see very little of it.

Hope this helps.
 

DoveVadar

Senior Member
Oct 28, 2007
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Hello,

congrats on the new going-to-buy. Let me state some facts:

1. biogon is huge for a 35mm at f2 speed. as zeiss shares parts among lenses to bring down cost. You will find the cron 35 alot smaller.

2. biogon's image quality is comparable to cron 35, even out perform it. corner to corner sharpness with minimum distortion.

3. cron 35 flares like mad, biogon has NO FLARE at all. so you always shoot with hood (quite tiny and sexy square hood) on the cron. Biogon can go hood-less not a problem at all.

4. pre-asph cron 4 is the smallest size and grossly over-rated. it is known as the bokeh king but many find it abit undeserving. so dont even put it in this catagory. its tiny thats the only good thing about it. But by f4, it is comparable to asph cron. The real bokeh king should be the lux 35.

5. biogon and cron are both very high performer at high contrast and high resolution like any good modern lens. biogon being slightly better at f2 than the cron. But both are very refine.

conclusion,
if you want tiny setup, no compromise wide open, get the cron. if you can bear with the slightly bigger front element, get the biogon. but knowing leica, the cron 35 will fetch back the price you paid for it and you will likely lost 300-400 when you sell the biogon.
 

benny

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Nov 13, 2002
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I think the smallest 35mm Summicron should be the first generation eight element Summicron-M 35mm f/2.0. It's even smaller than the fourth version (Pre-ASPH). If I recall correctly, it does not protrude into the 0.72 viewfinder. As for resolution, it is comparable with the ASPH version (which was a surprise for me), but it's a medium contrast lens. If you are shooting black and white with it, it will give you biting images great tones with T-max, TX or any of the Ilford high contrast films.

It is important to take note that the lens comes with goggles (for M3 users) as well as without goggles (for M2 and other M users). The M2 version focus down to 0.7m whilst the M3 version focus down to 0.65m on all cameras. So if you see a 0.65m version without googles, AVOID IT AT ALL COST. It will not focus properly.

Cheers,
 

Srono

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Mar 20, 2006
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Yes, I can confirm that the cron 35/2v1 doesn't protrude into the 0.72 viewfinder. It is better built than v4 also.

If you want something small and must be leica lens, lux preasph 35/1.4 is an option. Other than leica, UC-hexanon is small and well-built as well, I believe it handles flare as good as biogon. However, UC-hex is not easy to find and only focus down to 1 meter. VC 35/2.5 is not as fast as those mentioned above but cheap, very compact and good!
 

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gazkw

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Jan 12, 2009
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since we're talking about the ZM to the L to the CV for 35mm, i've read that that the CV 35mm f1.4 has 'weird' bokeh. anyone knows if this 'weird' bokeh translates to the CV 35mm f1.2?

wanting to pair a faster lens on a M8 but the size of the CV 35mm f1.2 can be a consideration for smaller profile shooting.
 

nordleadx

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Dec 25, 2006
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hows CV 35mm f1.4 compare to the rest??

i own the f1.2 but very heavy and big.
 

KNNOngQW

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Jan 3, 2007
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Thanks for the advice.

I think I'll most likely go for the Biogon 35/2 !

premium for the Leica 35/2 does not seem worth the price (not that I'm using it to earn $ or photographing everyday).

Kenneth
 

gazkw

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Jan 12, 2009
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Can't compare really, but use the CV Nokton MC 1,4 35mm on my R2m.

The lens is pretty good, but has detectable focus shift (if you use fine grain film or digital), which however is partly covered by depth of field increase, when gradually stopping down. The focus gradually shifts back when gradually stopping down.

The lens does exhibit visible vignetting, which may occasionally be an issue (light colour backgrounds or panorama stitching).

The lens exhibits some barrel distortion, which can be an issue, if you have very geometrical backgrounds (brickwalls..) or trying to do architectural stuff.

I find the bokeh of the lens quite acceptable myself, but there is no accounting for taste. As far as I know, the CV 1,2 35 is rated as having a smoother out of focus rendering than the 1,4 35mm Nokton.

Cheers, Sean.
thx for the advice and comments as well.
 

Can't compare really, but use the CV Nokton MC 1,4 35mm on my R2m.

The lens is pretty good, but has detectable focus shift (if you use fine grain film or digital), which however is partly covered by depth of field increase, when gradually stopping down. The focus gradually shifts back when gradually stopping down.

The lens does exhibit visible vignetting, which may occasionally be an issue (light colour backgrounds or panorama stitching).

The lens exhibits some barrel distortion, which can be an issue, if you have very geometrical backgrounds (brickwalls..) or trying to do architectural stuff.

I find the bokeh of the lens quite acceptable myself, but there is no accounting for taste. As far as I know, the CV 1,2 35 is rated as having a smoother out of focus rendering than the 1,4 35mm Nokton.

Cheers, Sean.
Yep true but its really value for money in my opinion. Dont think you can get another 35mm F1.4 fast lens at 700
 

glchua

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Jan 21, 2003
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Don't know why when someone mentioned the 35 cron ASPH, there is always bashing involved.

It is one lens which I will not sell. The character from this lens wide open is fantastic. The bokeh, the transition between sharp/unsharp and the resolution is what I like about it. Shoot a roll with it and print it in the darkroom (or have it scanned using a proper film scanner) and then you will know how it really is. That is probably the best way to know if you like it or not. Not reading rehashes or MTF curves etc. Anyway, it is relatively cheap used.

There is a thread in RFF which I think is more balanced:
http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=79704

Biogon has less restriction in its design. It might be better optically but I had not seen an actual comparative test. Maybe someone can help me on this. But build quality and long term durability may not be as good as Leica. I had a Biogon 21/2.8 and although optically it is good, build quality is quite poor. It was sent for relubrication just after a few months. It is something to consider too.

Someone mentioned that the 35 cron ASPH flares like mad? I had it for 5 years and I never had a picture with flare. Not a single one. Even with the sun in the pic. I would have sold the lens long ago if it flares like mad.

If you are really looking for a lens with good value for money, I would recomend the 35/1.2, if you don't mind the size. It is also another lens that is very versatile and have great character. Images have a very nice feel to it. Build quality is very good.

Don't worry too much about viewfinder blockage. It is, in practical terms, no big deal.
 

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hookonclassic

Senior Member
May 26, 2009
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Don't know why when someone mentioned the 35 cron ASPH, there is always bashing involved.

It is one lens which I will not sell. The character from this lens wide open is fantastic. The bokeh, the transition between sharp/unsharp and the resolution is what I like about it. Shoot a roll with it and print it in the darkroom (or have it scanned using a proper film scanner) and then you will know how it really is. That is probably the best way to know if you like it or not. Not reading rehashes or MTF curves etc. Anyway, it is relatively cheap used.

There is a thread in RFF which I think is more balanced:
http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=79704

Biogon has less restriction in its design. It might be better optically but I had not seen an actual comparative test. Maybe someone can help me on this. But build quality and long term durability may not be as good as Leica. I had a Biogon 21/2.8 and although optically it is good, built quality is quite poor. It was sent for relubrication just after a few months. It is something to consider too.

Someone mentioned that the 35 cron ASPH flares like mad? I had it for 5 years and I never had a picture with flare. Not a single one. Even with the sun in the pic. I would have sold the lens long ago if it flares like mad.

If you are really looking for a lens with good value for money, I would recomend the 35/1.2, if you don't mind the size. It is also another lens that is very versatile and have great character. Images have a very nice feel to it. Build quality is very good.

Don't worry too much about viewfinder blockage. It is, in practical terms, no big deal.
Hey, I fully concur with glchua the same findings. 35 cron APSH does NOT flare like mad. It is only slightly bigger than previous cron version (I, III, IV). The square plastic hood is very neat and un-obstructive.
 

DoveVadar

Senior Member
Oct 28, 2007
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Hey Purist,

no offense. I also realised everytime someone said something bad about Leica, someone will be upset. Dont get me wrong. I'am a great fan of this lens and had alot of fun with it. I think I have done my fair bit of testing to conclude the flaring as well as based on online feedbacks. I always spot the hood on the asph cron on other shooters, you might be one of them so of course no flare right? Also, do you have a filter on? These are factors contributing to flare. Anyway, I bet you already know. But if you are always shooting hood-less in the sun and it doesn't flare, I congratulate you. I had to have the hood on at all time.

35 cron is the most refine 35mm lens in my opinion but it still has its short comings. anyway, such debates will never end. let us post some pictures of the above lenses. prove to the buyer it is worth $3600 new for it.

Don't know why when someone mentioned the 35 cron ASPH, there is always bashing involved.

It is one lens which I will not sell. The character from this lens wide open is fantastic. The bokeh, the transition between sharp/unsharp and the resolution is what I like about it. Shoot a roll with it and print it in the darkroom (or have it scanned using a proper film scanner) and then you will know how it really is. That is probably the best way to know if you like it or not. Not reading rehashes or MTF curves etc. Anyway, it is relatively cheap used.

There is a thread in RFF which I think is more balanced:
http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=79704

Biogon has less restriction in its design. It might be better optically but I had not seen an actual comparative test. Maybe someone can help me on this. But build quality and long term durability may not be as good as Leica. I had a Biogon 21/2.8 and although optically it is good, build quality is quite poor. It was sent for relubrication just after a few months. It is something to consider too.

Someone mentioned that the 35 cron ASPH flares like mad? I had it for 5 years and I never had a picture with flare. Not a single one. Even with the sun in the pic. I would have sold the lens long ago if it flares like mad.

If you are really looking for a lens with good value for money, I would recomend the 35/1.2, if you don't mind the size. It is also another lens that is very versatile and have great character. Images have a very nice feel to it. Build quality is very good.

Don't worry too much about viewfinder blockage. It is, in practical terms, no big deal.
 

DoveVadar

Senior Member
Oct 28, 2007
891
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www.darfcameras.com
here some cron 35asph shots:






I will choose this over the biogon due to the size and this over the pre-asph due to the performance at f2.
 

joseph1010

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Sep 22, 2004
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i have owned both lenses and loved both but after 3 years of using the biogon i sold it off
ziess has problem with the grease had to cla after 2 years and franky the build is not great the body abit too big but loved the 1/3 stop and smooth blades . the 35 cron asph is build alot better, sharper, smaller, smoother focus, ugly bokeh and aperture blades. too me i like the size and speed of the cron so i kept it.
 

zeisszf

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Oct 7, 2009
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hello Kenneth,
I dun have a deep pocket but wana share wif u some of Zeiss lens tht i owned. I dun have a rangefinder so have to rights to say tht Zeiss wins hands down. I NEVER regret owning ZF 35mm f2. Almost no flare man. U have to know tht most R&D Zeiss scientists in Germany are already at Cosina (Japan). Dun under estimate the Japanese, they are perfectionists. Made in germany doesn't mean top quality nowadays. If u print $ for living, buy both, if nt shoot both lenses on tripod & decide which is the winner. Some reviews are biased bcoz these wise ppl are paid for marketing. ;)
 

Daikoku

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May 19, 2005
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Cron35F2 asph
a gem
all shot wide open









 

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