Sony A7S and the Voigtlaender Ultron 35mm f1.7 VM

Hey you guys wants more solutions for your A7, here’s some information for you about another combination of camera and lenses. If you are use to manual focus on an A7 camera, check this! This is the brand new Voigtlaender 35mm f1.7 Ultron with the mighty Sony A7S MKI.

When size matter

The first question is why this combination? I was used to have this lens on my Leica M9-P rangefinder camera and it performs really well. At least as good as my Zeiss Biogon 35mm f2 or my previous Leica Summicron 35mm f2 Asph. I’m not seeing significant differences in results. Nothing. Obviously, I’ll not perform lab tests. this is not my purpose here and frankly speaking, this is not my cup of tea with photography. I’m doing photography for my pleasure and not for pixel peeping. But to come back to my main combination with this lens, I have it usually on my M9-P. But the M9-P is a great camera but it has some serious limitations with high ISO. The complete reverse of the A7S.

Chained and unchained

A7S & VM35/1.7A

To come back to the A7S, the MK1, this is a really great camera from two, three significant stand points:

  • It has really impressive high ISO capabilities. This camera is a real night vision animal. In French  » Nyctalope ».
  • The silent mode with fully electronic shutter i simply impressive. Nobody knows when an image is taken.
  • This is the lonely camera except Leica that can take M mount lenses with « the same or almost the same » results as Leica. And this is brilliant. In some cases, better than Leica.

And for all these points, this is a real good choice, particularly today, that this camera is available used on the second hand market. I got mine for about the third of its launching price, that means late 2015, about 1100 USD. That’s really a good deal, but as far as I know, this is pretty rare.

Way out

A7S & VM35/1.7A

The A7S is pretty different of the original A7, not on the outside, but the behavior is different I main on the image side. The 12 MPx makes this camera more or less like my old Nikon D700. A light eater. An amazing machine to capture beautiful images. With a 10 microns pitch, the sensor is really able to grab all the available photons. This is really the right camera for November in Central Europe, when the days are short and the night definitively too long. Usually the available light is really low and usually there’s a need for that kind of camera if we want to overcome that kind of situation.

Low lights

A7S & VM35/1.7A

Most of the reviewer in the specialized newspapers are only considering what the marketers are telling them. Proof that they are doing well their jobs. The pragmatic marketers are saying that this camera is made for video. They are certainly right, but what really makes the difference with another e.g. Sony A7RII? I’m not the huge megapixel guy. I dont believe in it for simple physical reasons. The lenses are able to perform well on small megapixel count, and if you imagine that a zoom well be good on your A7RII with 42MPx and a lens resolution that is reaching at its best 11MPx. It’s from my standpoint better to use a 12, 16 or 18MPx camera with a lens the has a definition for it. In the case of the of the A7S, you can use more or less almost all of the lenses made in 50 past years. They will resolve well. If you except for some of them issues with the corners, particularly with the wide angles. With an adequate lens, you can export your file from the A7S and make it bigger, having at least 18MPx as output. If you need to print as big as A2, then you can apply this method.

At f8

A7S & VM35/1.7A @ f8

But to get back to the purpose of this article, you are certainly looking for on how the 35mm Voigtlaender Ultron is performing on this camera. From my stand point, this is certainly a better choice than the Leica Summicron 35mm f2 or the Zeiss  Biogon 35mm f2. The corner are pretty good, if you except vignetting. There’s no smearing on my copy. Vignetting is in this case pretty easy to correct, particularly since the profile of the lens exists in the latest version of Lightroom (6.2). One of my « flickr buddy » in England, Greg Turner, told me a couple of weeks ago his bad experience with the Summicron. It was very disappointing for him. The corners were bad and this is not something you can expect when you pay the price of a Leica. The 35mm Summicron is one of the best lens I have owned, but it’s simply not working good on the Sony A7S.

Fly me to the moon

A7S & VM35/1.7A @ f1.7

The voigtlaender has some bad sides too. The lens is perfectly shap wide open, the bokeh is pretty good. But it seams that the lens has some field curvature issues with the Sony A7S. In some circonstancies, the corners are sharper than the center of the image. The bokeh is sharper in the corners than in the center. Personnaly, I heven’t experience that, but it might comes. I’ll update the article if I can see it.

So that’s it. Actually I’m using more some wide aperture lenses on my A7S. I particularly like the Voigtlaender Nokton 50mm f1.1 with the close fouca adapter from the same company. It works good. And you don’t have to deal with front or back focus, the focus is in as soon as you master it. The image delivered are simply incredible. That might be one of my next article I presume.

About the Voigtlaender 35mm f1.7. Frm my stand point this is a very good choice in Europe where it’s a bargain. In the US apparently, the 35mm Nokton f1.2 is also a very good choice. The prices are almost similar. The Ultron is lighter and smaller. That could make a difference for someones.

I’ll update the article as soon as I have more images to place in.



3 réflexions sur “Sony A7S and the Voigtlaender Ultron 35mm f1.7 VM

  1. Hello,j’aurais bien aimé voir la bête montée sur le a7s. Pour voir le rendu et sa grandeur, puis avoir un retour sur le poids total. Cherchant un système léger et pas fouillu de millions de pixels pour mes panos qui une fois assemblés en ont déjà bien assez.
    Un 35 (24 portrait), 85 (60 portrait), 135 (100) serait parfait et tout petit et léger… Je recherche toujours l’appareil parfait sans le trouver…

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