Comparison - Voigtlander 35mm F0.9 vs TTArtisan 35mm F0.95

It's about 7.5 years since debut of very compact and practical Mitakon 35mm F0.95 Mark II lens, which slowly but step by step became well recognized as a great manual focusing ultra-fast prime lens for APS-C loved by many experienced photographers. I'm also a big fan of that Speedmaster lens and used to shoot with it for years on Fuji X sensors primarily. Since then few other lens manufacturers designed more 35mm F0.95 alternatives with either more advanced optics or with more compact size but still decent optical performance. One of my favorite from that list is TTArtisan 35mm F0.95 lens in Fuji X mount thanks to its extremely small size and excellently crafted mechanics including smooth focusing and aperture click stops.

Cosina recently added one more lens to the market of APS-C 35mm ultra-fast optics - Voigtlander 35mm F0.9 Nokton Aspherical in Fuji X mount, which I briefly reviewed in previous article. Today I'm comparing it's performance with TTArtisan 35mm F0.95 to better understand strong and weak aspects of each lens.



Comparing to TTArtisan 35mm F0.95

TTArtisan 35mm F0.95 lens is few times smaller and lighter and more important costs about 10x times less which may be number one decision point for many. I like a lot how TTArtisan 35mm F0.95 pairs with smaller Fujifilm X-E2s camera - much better overall experience comparing to Mitakon 35mm F0.95 Mark II. It looks even better size wise next to large Voigtlander 35mm F0.9. From the other side F0.9 lens has much more advanced optical formula and manufacturing quality of reputable Voigtlander brand in addition to modern complex FLE focusing. 

I've took both lenses for a short photo walk and took sequence of pictures to check how practical performance shows up.




Image samples

All image pairs below are taken from same spot with both lenses hawing wide open aperture. I'll unveil details about which camera/lens used where, so you first have a chance to make unbiased observation and decide for yourself which images overall look appeals to you more.

1.






2.




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A - TTArtisan 35mm F0.95 + X-T5, downsized to 2000px
B - Voigtlander 35mm F0.9 + X-E2s, downsized to 2000px
  1. B, A
  2. A, B
  3. B, A
  4. A, B
  5. B, A
Personally I'm impressed how well both lenses are performing in general. It's enjoyable to take pictures, focusing is accurate and level of details is very good especially in image center, out of focusing area looks great too. Voigtlander delivers higher level of details due to more complex and advanced optical glass and formula and FLE mechanics. OOF area of Voigtlander is also more smooth thanks to significantly larger aperture. Yes it's only F0.9 comparing to F0.95, but let's take closer look what it means practically in the section below.

Physical aperture size


Initial observation shows how significant is the actual physical difference between lenses aperture size, even though claimed values are F0.95 (left side) and F0.9 (right side).





Further measurements of aperture size visible from the front are:
  • TTArtisan - 32mm at infinity focus (focal length is closer to 34mm)
  • TTArtisan - 32mm at MDF (focal length is closer to 38mm, increased by 4mm focusing distance)
  • Voigtlander - 38.5mm at infinity focus
  • Voigtlander - 39mm at MFD (thanks to FLE design, or perhaps the measurement error)
With that approximate measurements, corresponding rounded aperture values are:
  • TTArtisan - F1.06
  • TTArtisan - F1.19
  • Voigtlander - F0.90 at infinity (great job Cosina engineers!)
  • Voigtlander - somewhere in range of F1.0 - F1.1 (hard to calculate due to FLE increasing focal length in 4-8mm range)
NOTE - these calculations of focal lengths are very rough and I may be not correct with all measurements, but even though it's clear that TTArtisan has a bit slower real aperture than mentioned F0.95, while Voigtlander has exact F0.9.


I'll need to spend more time shooting with both lenses to continue writing this article and add more conclusions, so more info to be added soon. . .




4 Comments

  1. Very nice review. I own the TTArtisan as well as Mitakon 35/0.95. Considering the extra size, weight, and cost of the Voigtlander do you think it's worth it for the improved optical performance?

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    Replies
    1. I think it's pure subjective decision, because both Mitakon and Voigtlander are delivering decent IQ and very enjoyable rendering. Mitakon obviously has strong advantage of being much more compact and five times more affordable, and it's already very well known lens. I'd definitely wait for Voigtlander prices move down a bit before considering it as improved IQ alternative if you already have Mitakon.

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  2. Thanks yuko for the comparison. two lenses are very interesting to their different characteristics. I read the article from my smartphone and for fun I quickly chose 5 compare pictures. I discovered that I chose those from to the Voightlander lens. I don't think it's a strange coincidence.

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  3. If you check the pictures carefully in full res it's a no brainer, the Voigtlander is vastly superior to the TT Artisan, better sharpness, better color rendition and contrast, nicer bokeh. Of course the price difference is steep so lots of people will still prefer the TT Artisan

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