Voigtlander's 42.5mm f/0.95 Micro Four Thirds Lens Could Be Awesome

Voigtlander's 42.5mm f/0.95 Micro Four Thirds Lens Could Be Awesome

Voightlander, maker of one of the sharpest pancake lenses I've ever used, has a new lens on the market, and it's unbelievably fast. Their new 42.5mm f/0.95 lens has the potential to be amazing if you're in the market for a new micro four thirds prime, and with an equivalent to 85mm after factoring the crop magnification, this lens could be amazing for portraits and is available for pre-order now for shipping by August 21.

Here are some general specs posted by B&H. I would, of course, like to see samples produced with it.

  • Micro Four Thirds System Lens
  • 85mm (35mm Equivalent)
  • Bright, Fast f/0.95 Maximum Aperture
  • One Super High Refractive Element
  • One Aspherical Element
  • De-Clicked, Stepless Aperture Control
  • Manual Focus and Exposure
  • 10-Blade Diaphragm
  • All-Metal Lens Barrel


It's ridiculously fast, at an aperture I haven't seen on the market in a very long time. Anyone interested? It's just under $1000 which makes it a rather high-end price, but with an aperture that wide I'm sure there will be many interested in it.

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I don't get why people but these cheap small sensor cameras, and then buy thousand dollar lenses. I guess people with Black magic cameras and other videographers will use them. But photographers - why not just buy an old film camera and a 85mm 1.4 much cheaper? It will be as portable, better build quality, full frame and so on.

Because these "cheap small sensor" can make great images, too. Don't believe me , just take a look at my fashion/commercial images taken with the GH2 and GH3: www.fotosiamo.com

Not everyone has to shoot shallow DOF or in high ISO. I rarely do either for my fashion/commercial work and I already have a handful of high-quality lenses for micro 4/3. Combine that with good lighting knowledge and I get images that can rival APS-C and full frame images.

- Joe

Dude, I don't doubt you can get great images with those cameras. I'm just asking, when you're spending thousands of dollars anyways - why not get a superior sensor?

I guess you're able to switch bodies more often and cheaper.

Because to switch to a full-frame system, I'd be looking at around $8-10k including lens. It's not just spending $2-3k on a body.

Basically, FF is not a big enough jump in quality with how I shoot, so if I do go to a better system, it'll be medium format.

So for $10k, I'm aiming to get a used Hasselblad H1/H2 with a Phase One P45+ and 2 Hassy lens like my friend did for roughly around the same price.

I'll still keep my m/u43 system for when I need versatility.

That being said, my original point is that the latest mu4/3 sensors have far image quality of some point-n-shoots and cameraphones, especially with quality lenses such as the Olympus 75mm and probably this Voigtlander. Compared to FF, $900 for a high-end lens is still a bargain, especially if you can get 85-90% of the image quality of a full-frame with the right camera and the right photographer.

I'm not gonna keep at this negativity. Just saying that you can get much cheaper lenses for FF that will perform at least just as well as the expensive 4/3 ones. A used D700 goes for under 1k, and you can get a film body for less then 100 bucks.

Let's kiss and make up!

Sorry, I don't shoot film and I don't think a Nikon or even the new Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 goes for cheap.

But to each his own, and I'm confident enough w/ getting great images w/ my GH3 because I know how to light well and shoot well. Anything requiring demanding IQ, I'll go medium format.

Well, this is the way I see it:

Let's say you get 2.8 zoom lens for a 4/3. Probably very expensive (same as FF 2.8 lenses). I bought an old 28-105 3.5-4.5 Nikkor lens for less then 150 bucks. It has basically no distortion, is very sharp and probably has shallower DOF then a 2.8 lens equivalent on 4/3. What about speed? I could just boost the ISO.

I buy all my gear used though. You should look into some used lenses, they're pretty awesome.


the mu/43 24-70mm equivalent is $999 and the 70-200mm is $1200, so they are far from the $2k FF versions.

Oh, and I do shoot video with my GH3, which beats any DSLR video (APS-C and FF) with the exception of the 5D mkIII on Magic Lantern RAW mode, so there's that too. Did I mention that the mu4/3 24-70mm has IS? Great for video, too.

I like the old Nikon primes. I may get it since I have the new Metabones Speed Booster for the Nikon adapter, so I'm able to get these shallow DOF images if I want these types of shots (taken w/ the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 which becomes f/1.0)

100% crop:https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-q5eLCRf0fO8/Ufd2XA8uXQI/AAAAAAAAJak/w...

1. I was comparing the 1k 4/3 lenses to my 150 dollar Nikon lens on FF.

2. Sure, video is a fair use as I mentioned. ML on a 5D3 (raw) is probably better quality wise, if you're into comparing.

3. Just clearing it out: that's the DOF of a f/1.4 lens, but gathers the light of an f/1.0 lens.

So what your saying is you shoot with a $100 film camera, and an old lens?

People buy these because they are simply BETTER. old film cameras dont shoot 1080p 60fps... for the same point, NEITHER does the 5D Mark 3, NOR the D800... hmmmm...

I own a EOS C100, 5D, owned the D800 till recently sold it..

Im actully buying three of the GH3's because in a lot of ways they are superior to the 5D Mark 3, AND the D800, and even the C100!!! For this price point, you are getting a HUGE deal that can out perform most high end "professional" grade gear these days.

Besides, having the most expensive gear doesnt make you a better operator. Knowing what your using does.

Id rather have 3 GH3's, and a full Voigtlander set of glass for the price of a C100... (which doesnt even have a lens with it..)

and in the film world, nobody shoots full frame. Its all Super 35... ie; crop sensored. Yes the RED's, Alexxa's, and such are all crop sensors.


Haha, that's a very niche market. You need 1080P @ 60fps? Fine. I guess everyone needs it.

The Dynamic Range of an D700 is even or a bit worse than the one of an OM-D. The MFT setup is much more lightweight which is an important part for many and there are some other advantages. It's not all about the sensor size.
Think back a few years when all pros used medium format and laughed about "todays" full frame. Technology is moving forward, not backwards and some appreciate a little bigger DOF depending on their subjects.

I thought all the "just shoot film!!" fanbois had grown up by now.

Here's a thought: Instead of crying about what other people choose to shoot with, how 'bout going out and taking some pictures?

I completely agree with you , Personally I used to shoot 4/3, but ended up moving to FF, but that was before m4/3 came along and before they really picked up their game. Back then the cameras were good but they didn't really keep pace with the rest of the industry technology wise. These days, especially with the Sony / Olympus partnership I feel that they offer a compelling package and these lenses offer a nice alternative to the slower autofocus lenses already available.

P.S. Really like your web site, and great images

I came here for some lens advice and dude, I just saw your images. It is sickness to the 10th F-in power bro! God damn you can shoot nice images! Awesome! I have the BMPC. So I am looking into some mid to high range glass. I found some kids toy for $35 on Amazon and I couldn't stop laughing at the absolutely amazing video quality it gave for the price. It's not native but the adapter cost me $6.00. $41 all together. Strictly for Bokeh but still. Anyway, thanks for the advice. Again, love your images.

Are you really suggesting people shoot with film instead of m4/3? As if that's even an option for the way most people who shoot m4/3 shoot? Really? ...I mean, really?

Film not only provides more cost long-term, more hassle short term, and less creative control on your end product (unless you develop it yourself, which just adds to the hassle...).

Really? I really hope I'm misunderstanding your suggestion.


This is probably just me though, so I get your frustration. More cost long-term? I guess that depends on how much you shoot. A digital camera, battery, electronic accessories and memory cards all loose value pretty fast these days. If you shoot 20 photos of the same thing, same angle, and is willing to go through them all, then maybe film isn't for you.

More hassle? Yeah maybe. Sending in film and getting it scanned takes a bit of effort. Then again, charging your battery (or even having it die in field), taking care of your cards and going through massive camera menus - could also be considered a hassle.

Less creative control? In what way? Post processing? Just scan a negative and treat it like any kind of file.

Hey I shoot mostly digital too. Lately been using my iPhone more then the actual cameras. Wish I had the balls to go film only. Maybe when I move to the states.

Fair. I could reply to your points. But really, it's just that we have different preferences, so there's really no point. You have fun shooting however, and I'll keep shooting my way. :)

Jens. The optics are way more important than your body. A digital body has electronic rot to it. Not a lens. You might change a body and not a lens.

Btw, alway buy a better lens than body camera... Always :)

Yes, that's right. Well, some of these newer lenses are even getting electronic, which I don't know if it's a good or a bad thing? haha

I still feel like FF is more forgiving when it comes to lenses though. Put a great lens like the new Canon 24-70 onto a 4/3 body, and it probably won't look as great as on a FF body. Feels like that would be the same as viewing a high res FF photo cropped down to 4/3 size (let's say that the cropped image and the 4/3 camera had the same resolution). It's a bit like viewing the lenses at a 100% crop, but perhaps not -that- close (depending on your display res). You see all the flaws of the lens. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Would love to compare cheap ass FF lenses (on my D700) to expensive 4/3 lenses on a similar resolution 4/3 camera.

While it's a 5d mkII, it's the 100$ 50mm prime on it. Compared to the Panasonic GH3 with the 25mm f/1.4 Leice/Panasonic prime,1300$ body+600$ lens.


That being said, you could get the Canon 6D with the 50mm f/1.4 for the same price as the Panasonic setup. I feel like MFT is great for portable cameras and cheaply getting into telephoto stuff. However, for more serious use, especially if you want to shoot with shallow DoF or in low light, the price doesn't stack up. There are no cheap MFT bodies that have a viewfinder, the Sony NEX6 is cheaper than any MFT body that has a viewfinder I've seen so far and has an APS-C sensor. And the high end lenses aren't that much cheaper than on the big sensored systems.

I agree with you on this one. I feel like these lenses are developed for a very niche market. A market that the average consumer or even the advanced hobbyist will never enter. Hell, even most pros won't drop this kind of cash for a lens that can only be used on a tiny sensor. Sure, these m4/3's can make great photos, no question there. However, so can an iPhone. I feel like the beauty of a m4/3's system is its compact and portable form factor. I wouldn't intend on taking away the primary allure of it by sticking this guy on there. If I plan on shooting for great images, I'll bring my 5D MkII along, not this tiny creature with a hardly sub-thousand dollar price tag.

FYI - All high end video gear is crop sensored... REDs, Alexxas.... crop crop crop. nobody shoots full frame in the film world.

A full frame system with fast lenses is vastly more expensive than a m43 camera and a fast lens. So I understand the appeal, though wouldn't go that route myself. However, trying to advocate a move back to film is a bit ludicrous by now. Any detail or advantages you get from shooting film is immediately lost when you use your 99 dollar scanner to digitize the image. At this point your "digital" photography is only as good as your scanner and imaging abilities. Neither can be done properly on the cheap.

I am trying to compare a fast/expensive lens on 4/3 to a slow/cheap lens on FF. What you loose in speed, you gain in iso performance. I'd say that weight/size would be the only main issue with FF. How would this lens on a 4/3, compare to a 85mm 1.8 on a full frame camera?

Regarding film. I guess I've been spoiled with using a Imacon scanner at an old job. But do you really need high res files? Most of what we do with out images is web stuff. If you need to get prints, send that one negative in for printing/higher res scanning. You'll save tons of HDD space too. Yay!

Or you could just get an 85 f/1.8 on FF or 50mm f/1.4 on APS-C to get the same DoF at 400$, auto focus to boot. While µ43 does have it's merits, the prices don't make sense if you care about shallow DoF or low light performance.

Roman France's picture

The GX7 intrigues me a lot. As a photographer who hates lugging around his D800 a smaller system interests me. The Blackmagic MFT mount is also appealing to my video sensibilities. A lot of merit in products like this.

The comments on here are quite entertaining. Everyone seems to be trashing the idea that this camera isn't "good" for its price..

Crop sensored ZOMG...

This camera is designed to hit the independant film makers, NOT the high end Photographers fyi. Thats why its video capabilities actually blow the 5D, and D800's out of the water. In fact it almost compares to the EOS C100!

For this market, this price point and product quality is unmatched. Once they release the hacked firmware, its going to have 4K RAW video for $1k?!?!? Seriously, shake your heads this is EPIC!!!