PhotoLab and iPad and Photos app

Hey Mike,

I am very familiar with that lens. Voigtlander now makes a version of it for the Nikon Z mount.

If I was shooting full frame, instead of a crop sensor, I would buy one. But, on my crop Z fc it has a 35mm angle of view similar to 75mm which is not useful for what I photograph.


I’m way behind on these things - I never would have expected Voigtlander to even come out with a Z mount for this lens. Apparently Voigtlander has included all the lens information contacts (which of course are useless on an M body Leica).

If I was shooting with a Z fc, I think I’d want the smallest and lightest lens that gave me a good quality image, and I’d probably buy a zoom, if the quality was good enough.

I’m curious though - what do you mostly photograph?

Having asked that, I know I couldn’t answer it for myself. I dream of myself setting up my camera on a tripod, and carefully arranging everything in the picture, carefully taking all the necessary measurements, and working on the composition until it was “just right” (just as I envision @Joanna doing), but most of the time, photographs find me, not the other way 'round.

(I pay for this later, as so many people here ask “why did I…” or “why didn’t I…”. Hindsight is almost always 20:20. I tell myself “next time I’ll do better” but life doesn’t work that way for me. Ansel Adams probably knew the photo he wanted to come home with before he ever left home. 99.9% of the time, photographs present themselves to me, not the other way 'round.)

But it is still enjoyable, still a thrill, and better tools (I.e., PhotoLab) make it easier to mold what I “saw” into an image I “like”.

@Joanna, is it better for me to buy lenses for the camera(s) I am using now, or for the cameras that I may be using in the next year or two?

Or, to rephrase that, assuming I will be shooting with a Leica M for the next few years, should I buy lenses based on my M10 with 24 megapixels, or the M11 that I have managed to avoid buying so far, which has a sensor for 60 megapixels? I don’t really want my file sizes to triple, and I don’t know if I could even upload them to this forum. To me, my M10 is plenty “good enough”.

If I had the ability to do what you can do, that might be a good reason to update, but I don’t, and likely never will. I don’t make huge prints - other than for prints made at the hospital in India from my images. I do have lots of old Leica lenses from the 1960’s or so, some of which were fine for film, but may not be adequate for modern digital photography.

I suspect I would be right there with you, were I to buy the latest Nikon D780, or Leica M11. The Nikon would cost me $2,400 and the M11 would cost me $9,000. I’m not sure if either of them would improve my photography, the key word being “my”.

Regardless of any of that, the more I hand out with skilled people, of which this forum has many, I am constantly improving the “my” part of things, even if I can’t match what many of you do. I don’t need bigger/newer/faster/more-powerful photo gear. I do need to get the most out of what I already have.

Voigtlander currently has four lenses designed specifically for the Nikon Z mount with two more on the way.

Currently, for full frame Z bodies there is a 50mm f/2 APO Lanthar and a 35mm f/2 APO Lanthar. For crop sensor Z bodies there are 23mm and 35mm f/1.2 Noktons. Note that the APS-C lenses have a similar 35 mm angle of view as the full frame models

Coming in October is two more Z mount lenses, a 40mm f/1.2 Nokton.for full frame, and a 35mm f/2 Macro APO-Ultron for APS-C

These days much of what I photograph is indoors and most often in low to very low light. This includes museums of various types, old stone churches, historic structures, etc. I’ve also developed an interest in abstracts.

Using magnification and focus peaking together with a bright EVF is a godsend in very low light environments where even the best autofocus may struggle a bit with low contrast targets. I can get pin sharp results and DeepPRIME takes care of any noise resulting from high ISO.

I also love going out and about with a single prime lens which forces me to experiment with limited framing options.



When considering higher priced manual focus lenses it is not just about the high resolving power of the lens with high megapixel sensors. While these lenses are certainly esoteric I disagree that they are mythical. The results I get with my Voigtlanders have pleased me far beyond the images I have captured with any other lenses I have used with my Nikon Z fc and with my previous Canon 7D Mark II with a variety of lenses including a few very pricey L models.

Not being a manual focus lens fanatic, I honestly can’t properly articulate why I love these lenses so much. They have a very different look that I can’t properly describe. The images even look surprisingly good as SOOC jpegs. One or the other of these lenses has been on my camera almost 100% of the time since I acquired them. Don’t get me wrong, they are not perfect, but my enjoyment when using them and happiness with the results are the most important things to me.

In the scheme of things Voigtlanders are not that expensive. My 23mm costs $699 and the 35mm costs $649 USD. The Nikon Z version of MIke’s 50mm APO Lanthar is $999 USD. The Leica APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH costs over $9000 USD and the Voigtlander is considered almost as good in most respects. In comparison it is a bargain.


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I used to wonder, and still do sometimes, if the Leica and Voigtlander and Zeiss lenses are so good, or if all the light-weight mass-produced lenses commonly available are simply not so good. My old Nikon lenses were metal; the newer ones are “plastic”. Then too… well, rather than say more, please read this… they even make their own glass!


I think that in the scheme of things, Cosina/Voigtlander lenses, while more expensive than most current consumer quality lenses, are still very reasonably priced.

The Nikkor Z DX 18-140mm zoom lens made for my camera, the Z fc, and it’s stablemate the Z50, has a lightweight all plastic build, including the lens mount. Although the build and the optics are very good for a kit lens, it costs the same amount as my Voightlander 35mm f/1.2 Nokton. Now, of course, comparing a zoom lens to a fairly wide-angle fast prime is not a fair comparison for either lens. But, with far superior build and handling, not to mention better image quality, the Voigtlander is bargain at its price next to the Nikkor.

My apologies for hijacking this thread with a side discussion. .


One of these days, I’ll buy one of these incredibly fast lenses. I guess it’s pretty far down my list. I can’t afford the ones from Leica, but I could buy what I think is essentially the same thing from Voigtlander. One more thing on my list of what I want to do.

Forum drift is unavoidable. No need to apologize. I’m probably more guilty of this than most people here.

As to my iPad and the Photos app, I did try - but to be honest, now that I’m hooked on PhotoLab, I just can’t get my heart into using Apple Photos. Anything I take with my phone gets gobbled up, but with what I consider my “real” cameras, I feel very comfortable to ingest them into one of my computers with Photo Mechanic, delete what I don’t like, and then enjoy using PhotoLab to bring out what I felt when I took the photo - or at least try to. I’m very happy with the latest two photos from my Leica, and PL5 allowed me to process them almost as if I knew what I was doing.

I thought I would miss my DSLR’s much more than I do. I enjoy my M10 more, as I get to do all of the thinking. I’m also old-fashioned about a lot of things. I wish I had the space to set up a darkroom again. I want to start doing B&W again, but I don’t want to spend $9k on a Monochrom body. Later this week I’ll try, using my M10, and then ask @Joanna for advice on how to make the photo look like an Ansel Adams Copycat. I don’t like most of the B&W photos in the Leica forum, from the Monochrom. I love Joanna’s way of doing things. Later this week I hope to see what I can do in B&W.

I’ve never shot with, or even touched a Leica lens. I understand from a lot of reading that they are incredible optics. However, similar spec’d and very highly regarded Voigtländer lenses can be purchased new for a fraction of the price of a Leica. Spending $9,000 USD for a fast wide angle manual focus Leica prime lens is not something I would ever consider, and I’m not sure I would be able to appreciate its superiority over a $1000 Voigtländer.


Reminds me of what @Joanna wrote - posting a photo from each of them, here in the forum, one above the other, on a digital screen, as I see it, it’s likely that there would be no visible difference. When/if @Joanna makes a 60" wide print, maybe the difference will show up, but I don’t print. When I had a darkroom, my limit was 16" x 20". Besides, the sharpest part of an image is now what makes an image good, to me. Joanna’s prints are superb for many reasons, composition, exposure, balance, and on and on.

So, back to this discussion. There is no chance I would buy a $10,000 Leica lens, even if it was available at half-price, or 1/4 price. The ultra-fast Voigtlander on the other hand is something I could afford, if I decided it was worthwhile for me. Even so, when would I use an f/1, or f/.95 lens? It would give me beautiful depth of field I suppose. If I had a use for it, I might get serious about buying one…

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Even f/1.2 is an aperture I only use occasionally in certain circumstances. I rarely shoot faster than f/2, and more often f/2.8 to f/8. I also can’t imagine having a need for an f/1 or f/.95 aperture. I’m guessing that for most users of extremely fast lenses like that, the .95 aperture is more about bragging rights.


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Who cares about f/1.2 or f/0.95 if one could get a f/0.7 lens instead…