Bokeh/Blur Shootout:DSLR Magic 35mm vs or Voigtlander Nokton 25mm vs or Lensbaby Composer on Panasonic Lumix GH2

Bokeh/Blur Shootout:DSLR Magic 35mm vs or Voigtlander Nokton 25mm vs or Lensbaby Composer on Panasonic Lumix GH2


Three fundamentally different lenses, you probably wonder why bother comparing them?

Well, I was just as curious as the guys who emailed me asking for alternatives. There really is no alternative for the Nokton as I am typing this but if you are looking for something with a wide aperture to shoot in low light and are intrigued by blurry/soft out of focus renderings we have two alternatives that won’t break the bank! Most of us are tired of the small sensor look, everything in focus from the tip of your nose to the moon and nothing really sharp when you take a closer look.Shot at 1920/24p with the Panasonic GH2.
Lets start with the Lensbaby:
The Good:
Produces the most unique bokeh
1.8 wide open
Allows to choose the focal sweet spot by moving/de-centering the lens elements
Incredibly sharp sweet spot
Focuses down to about 11 inches and gets you into the realm of real close up shooting without the need for attachments
Very lightweight
Reasonably priced
Full manual lens, no communication with the camera body
Lensbaby accessories
The Bad:
Full manual lens, no communication with the camera body
Changing the aperture is a process, although there is a trick to do it very fast
the focusing ring is on the loose side and it can be difficult during
video shoots to pull focus, not a problem for taking photograph though
Full manual lens, no communication with the camera body
Verdict: Highly recommended

Screen grabs from the Lensbaby clip:
lensbaby1
lensbaby2
lensbaby3

SLR Magic:
The Good:
Tiny lens
1.7 wide open
Stepless/fluid aperture control, fantastic during video shoots
Full metal construction. Very solid,
Nicely damped focusing and aperture ring
Great deal
The lens ships with a solid (but rather long) metal lenshood
Good center sharpness
Very photographic corner softness (as in not painterly looking)
Nice bokeh
The Bad:
Full manual lens, no communication with the camera body
Verdict: Highly recommended

Screen grabs from the SLR Magic clip:
SLR_MAGIC1
SLR_MAGIC2
SLR_MAGIC3

Voigtlander Nokton:
The Good:
Widest aperture available of any m43 lens as of this writing,
Superb built quality, built like a tank
Ships with metal lenshood (the hood has a 67mm filter thread to attach UV
Or Vari Filters)
Focusing ring very well dampened, a pleasure to pull focus during video shoots
Close up capabilities up to sub 7inches (.17m)
Incredible image quality already at f0.95 and it gets better at 1.4 and up to 5.6
Great bokeh from 0.95 to about 2.8
Full manual lens, no communication with the camera body

The Bad:
Not readily available
Price
Built like a tank=heavy
Full manual lens, no communication with the camera body
Verdict: Highly recommended
Screen grabs from the Nokton clip:
nokton2
nokton3
nokton4
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Thank you.

5 thoughts on “Bokeh/Blur Shootout:DSLR Magic 35mm vs or Voigtlander Nokton 25mm vs or Lensbaby Composer on Panasonic Lumix GH2

  1. Sam

    good review!
    ___
    Full manual lens, no communication with the camera body is mentioned as an advantage – and disadvantage, twice! I don’t think overall this could be categorized as a benefit or a problem anyway – this is highly manual lens and those who get it know what they are getting themselves into! they’ll certainly do after reading your review! ;)

  2. Jason Smolesky

    Hi Mike,
    Thanks you for all of these great videos. I am very enthused about getting my GH2 as it will be my video leap into DSLR territory. I was wonder where can I get one of these Nokton 25mm lenses.I have a found numerous videos on VIMEO shot from that lens and they all look amazing but I can’t seem to find it on B&H. Also do I need a micro 4/3rds adapter for that lens?

    Thanks,
    Jason -

  3. mike.kobal Post author

    it really depends on what you will be shooting. a good standard outfit would be 14-140mm, 7-14mm, 20mm 1.7 or Nokton 25mm and the lensbaby if you are into that kind of look

  4. Louis

    Hi,
    Thanks, for this post. Very informative. I have a couple questions.

    Will you need any adapter to mount any of the lenses on the camera.

    If you were to pick 3 to 4 lenses that you need or consider a must have, what will they be? I will use my gh2 mostly for shooting videos.

    Thanks!

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