A Veydra Rant

Another rant about the Veydra Mini Primes. I’ve got nothing but time on my hands, so why not stir up the pot a bit? I realize all the excitement and hubbub’s about the upcoming Sigma and Olympus lenses (interesting, since they never fail to lose out big time to the Leicas in my video comparisons!), I look forward to testing them out myself, but I can still have my fun…. A recent commenter on my YouTube channel, in response to a video I made asking why more people weren’t talking about these lenses, postulated that filmmakers might not be interested in the Veydras because of their clinical character, the fact that they’re too sharp, too ‘perfect’, or something to that effect – that filmmakers are looking for imperfect lenses with character and dreamy bokeh to draw viewers into the story – and mind you, this person owns most of the Veydras himself, except for the 19mm I believe. And as far as I know, he doesn’t regret his purchase one iota. This sounded suspiciously like the kind of talk I’ve been hearing for years about Panasonic lenses, whose aberrations are corrected for in firmware – yet the Veydras utilize no such electronic legerdemain! But then, a couple weeks later, another commenter joins in to say he agrees with the first fellow, that he’d thought about purchasing one or several Veydras while he was in Thailand, but that the salesman at the shop he went to was either incompetent or rude or something (no surprise to me, from my own experience), and as he hadn’t seen much in the way of decent videos online of the Veydras anyhow, he decided to go with the Voigtlander 17.5mm f/0.95 instead. Can’t fault him there, as the Voigtlanders are among the best built lenses period, and not only in the m4/3 ecosystem – though he does find time to complain about the lack of customer support, about which I know nothing, since I haven’t needed any from Voigtlander yet… And in spite of the fact that I’m not smitten myself with the founders of Veydra (I think they’re complete jackasses) or some of their authorized retailers… this idea that the Veydras are somehow too sharp or too perfect (or even boring), I’m not sure where this nonsense all started, since there’s so little information available online, just a couple reviews and a handful of videos if that, and this, a couple of years since their release – and most of the ‘opinion shapers’ in the forums have never even shot with them… but the fact of the matter is, that just about any native m4/3 prime – be it Panasonic, Leica, Sigma or Olympus – is without question sharper than the Veydras. And among third party lenses, the Voigtlander Noktons are among the sharpest, with the 25mm setting a resolution record that remained unbroken for quite some time. Modern lenses sometimes have as many as thirteen or more elements and one or two aspherical lenses, while the Veydras, in order to keep costs down, can’t boast of a single aspherical element in any of their lenses. Several m4/3 lenses are critically sharp from their widest aperture, such as the Leica Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2, while the Veydras don’t even get acceptably sharp until closed down to f/4. You read right – f/4! Reviewers are practically unanimous on this point. That means they all agree, btw. And as far as bokeh goes, from the footage I’ve shot myself, it looks pretty damned pleasing. Beautiful, in fact. So no, the Veydras are not Zeiss CP 3’s or Arri Master Primes or whatever, but for less money than many premium m4/3 lenses, they’re not a bad investment at all.