Sony A7RII and Voigtlander 35 1.2 Test by Rob McKay

Sony A7RII and Voigtlander 35 1.2 Test

by Rob McKay

Hi Steve and Brandon,

The site is looking awesome as usual and packed full of great info!

All four of these street snaps I shot within a 4min span while out testing the Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton lens on my A7RII and all wide open.

Because of your recent posts on the Sony A7RII, I sold my A7S and jumped in. I have both Loxia’s, the brass Petzval, 70-200 FE f/4, 55mm f/1.8 and recently grabbed the 28mm FE F/2 after reading your review on it. My Leica lenses seem to work great on this body as well.

A7RII can be found HERE. The Voigtlander 35 1.2 can be seen HERE. 





Loving the files from the Sony A7RII and the interesting images the Voigtlander f/1.2 produces.

Thanks again!

Rob McKay


  1. Rob, thanks for posting these; ignore the comments of ignorant people unless they are willing to put their images online here for us to ‘critique’ – enjoy your photography and let these losers hate everything apart from their own genius. 😉

  2. Nice compositions ruined by silly bokeh. The Nokton works best at night. It is not for throwing backgrounds out of focus in daylight.

    • 100% agreed, use is out of context. Wide open, yes, go for it, but to make these work you need to be a bit closer or compose really carefully. Check out Horst von Overgard With his Noctilux.

  3. tough crowd. nice images. color is your preference, maybe not for others, and that’s ok. I keep pondering this lens. Especially now that I’m lusting over the Zeiss ZM 35/1.4. I think the A7R2 will show more of what this lens isn’t – i.e. the new standard for super sharp and perfect wide open is a greater match – to a certain degree. But, the ZM may not be the best either. Some say it’s amazing on the A7R2, some say problematic. I think this is the case with every non-native lens: that they may suffer a bit, each in different ways – with their respective performance and character on the A7R2 sensor, glass, etc. That’s why it’s nice to see what people are experiencing and getting with their combinations.

    My only question is who shoots only 4 frames? 🙂

  4. “All shot wide open.”. I wonder why. An experiment? Anyway, where did it help with the visual impact of the image in question? At the distance these were taken, depth of field doesn’t play that much of a role, though composition and background do.

    • I would assume he was shooting wide open to help isolate the subject. Besides…you don’t buy a fast 1.2 to shoot at smaller apertures. If you don’t want shallow depth of field the Zeiss 35mm 2.8 is cheaper and about as sharp as it gets in a 35mm lens.

      • I would NEVER buy the 35 1.2 and shoot it at f/8. No point in that. This lens and many fast primes are not made for crisp f/8 landscapes but are instead optimized for wide open shooting, which is how every Leica lens is made as well. Optimized for wide open shooting. In the last 10-15 years I do not think I have ever shot a Leica camera or lens stopped down past f/4, and if I did use f/4 it was a rarity. This lens character lies at f/1.2 to f/2. After that it will look like any other lens. I’d use my 35 2.8 for stopped down landscape type of performance.

  5. Hi Rob, your pics make me miss the summer.
    About the lens, it looks more like an effect to me. I´m missing a good looking bokeh, it looks rather smeary to me. And when looking at your second image, the corner top left looks even sharper than the rest of the background.
    When using a lens wide open i usually want to calm the background and sometimes the foreground to concentrate the view on the main subject.
    Here, the background is rather disturbing in my opinion. It may add a special loot to some pics, but at 1.2 even at 35mm i expect more, considering it´s full frame.
    It´s just my 2 cents and i think you like the effect, so enjoy your new lens and your very capable camera.

  6. Something doesn’t look right here did you use a filter on these the skin looks weird not very appealing hmmm on the a7r which I have the 35 1.2 looks good but very soft wide open thanks for sharing an the insight

    • I had a heavy ND filter on it and played with the images to my liking.
      I also owned the A7r and I find the II works way better with the M mount glass than the A7r did. There are tons of images on line coming out of the A7rII, so please don’t decide by just looking at mine.



  7. I have a question. You have such a splendid array of equipment I would find it useful to know this: If you were going on holiday to another country that had a wide range of landscape and people, and you could only take one camera and two lenses, what would you take? Thanks.

    • If I was to take a system camera, right now it would be this camera for sure.
      Hmm, as far as lenses, I would probably take 4 and the 15mm Voigtlander its so tiny it doesn’t really count does it 🙂 Ok, if its just two lenses, it would have to be the 28mm FE and the 50mm Loxia (or maybe the 35mm Loxia, tough call) lens, and about 20 batteries!



  8. The trick with the Voigtlander 35 1.2 is to stop it down to f1.4. That doesn’t seem like much, but it eliminates almost all of its problems at f1.2. In my opinion it is a really, really great 1.4 lens that enables you to shoot at 1.2 if you are feeling lucky. Plus, after some time you get a feel for when it is save to shoot at 1.2.

    • Have to agree with you….

      Really wanted this lens, but after seeing samples like these (the bokeh in the last pic is brutal) I can’t see myself owning one anymore….

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