A Love/Hate Review: The Voigtländer 42.5mm f/0.95 for Micro Four Thirds

Photography Gear

Photographer Felix Jäger recently got to review a lens that many Micro Four Thirds shooters have on their wishlist: the Voigtländer 42.5mm f/0.95. But while that mouth-watering aperture number might set your heart to racing, don’t whip out your wallet just yet.

Jäger starts off the review pretty simply, giving you the TL;DR up front:

Is this lens worth getting?

Yes, if you’re a hobbyist photographer who enjoys slow and deliberate shooting. Yes, for filmmakers who want a cinematic image. But no, for professional photographers who need to rely on their gear for money.

But we definitely recommend you watch beyond that point. As Jäger explains, the Voigtländer 42.5mm f/0.95 is a lens that “lends itself very well to hype reviews” thanks to its super fast aperture. After all, as the description reads, it’s “one of a handful of superfast lenses available for the M43 system.”

But achieving that number requires many trade-offs, and actually using it is no walk in the park—those two topics are the focus of his video review.

The lens could be accurately described as a series of frustrating trade-offs, which Jäger is good enough to list. You’ll want to actually watch the review to see sample images that demonstrate all of this, and hear about what these trade-offs mean in real life, but here they are in list form:

  1. It’s manual focus (bad) but has an amazing focus ring (good).
  2. It’s very fast (good) but not very sharp wide open (bad).
  3. It can give you a very shallow depth of field (good), but the bokeh can get very ugly (bad).
  4. The aperture can be declicked (good), but the blades themselves are intrusive (bad).
  5. It has a very solid feel and construction (good), but it is not weather sealed (bad).

And yet…

Watch the full video review up top to hear all of Jäger’s thoughts on this frustrating-but-fun lens that might just be worth the $800 price tag if you don’t have to depend on it to make a living.

(via Felix Jäger via Reddit)

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