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stevem7

My Voigtlander 15 Heliar Report is up!

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Hello Steve, i knew today that the cyan drift issue on the Heliar 12 can be solved by using the Milich filter holder and a B+W 489 filter. This filter avoid the cyan drift, alas you do not have to code the lens. Don't ask me why, but according with my friend this filter cannot be used on the 15.

 

I'm such a braggart that I even quote myself...

 

Steve, I did some test with my CV Heliar 12 with the Milich filter holder and a B+W # 489 filter for Infrared absorption on. The lens is not at all coded and it seems that the cyan drift is almost totally solved due to this nice filter. The pictures are from Raw files without any PP. I really wonder if the same would happen on the Heliar 15.

 

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Thanks Sean, glad to hear that, I thought I was fooled by my dealer in Hong Kong. I checked the adaptor itself and found out that it has a "Leica" marking with M2 21-35 M3 135, I don't know what does it mean though...

 

It means that the adapter will trigger the 35 and 24 mm frame lines in your M8. Obviously, the camera doesn't have frame lines for 135 mm lenses.

 

Cheers,

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That 12 looks awesome! No Cyan corners. Thanks for posting, and the tip. I will have to order a filter holder for the 15 and try it out, THEN buy the 12! Sean, thanks for clearing up that Adapter question. I had no idea Leica has made them.

 

Thanks!

 

Steve

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It means that the adapter will trigger the 35 and 24 mm frame lines in your M8. Obviously, the camera doesn't have frame lines for 135 mm lenses.

 

Cheers,

 

 

Thanks Sean...

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That 12 looks awesome! No Cyan corners. Thanks for posting, and the tip. I will have to order a filter holder for the 15 and try it out, THEN buy the 12! Sean, thanks for clearing up that Adapter question. I had no idea Leica has made them.

 

Thanks!

 

Steve

 

You're welcome. Cyan drift (red vignetting) is simply a function of field of view combined with IR-cut filters. Beyond roughly a 70 mm EFOV (about a 50 mm lens on the M8), current IR-cut filters start to absorb the color red as well as infrared. This tends to be especially noticeable with 35 mm and wider lenses on the M8. It doesn't matter, of course, who makes the lens. With a typical IR-cut filter, the CV 12 shows stronger cyan drift than any other RF lens I've tested (because it is so wide).

 

I interviewed one of the designers of the original IR-cut filters a couple of years ago to understand all this better. Those filters were never really designed to be used with WA lenses.

 

An absorption filter is potentially a different kettle of fish, so to speak. There are some light losses overall with these filters (ie. they do have a filter factor) but I'd need to test to see how much color vignetting, if any, takes place.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

Edited by sean_reid

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That 12 looks awesome! No Cyan corners. Thanks for posting, and the tip. I will have to order a filter holder for the 15 and try it out, THEN buy the 12! Sean, thanks for clearing up that Adapter question. I had no idea Leica has made them.

 

Thanks!

 

Steve

 

They had to make them or, essentially, abandon (in 1954) all the customers who had invested in LTM Leica lenses. The lens register of the M cameras is 1 mm shallower than that of the LTM cameras specifically to allow for a 1 mm thick adapter. The adapters were integral to the successful transition to the M bayonet mount.

 

Will we see something analogous when then the R10 is introduced? I wouldn't bet against it.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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Love those Chicago images.

 

Why can you not correct cyan corners using a redial gradient in photoshop. It needs to be set as a clear or white to red. Start in the center and draw the gradient into a corner.

 

Adjust the mid point of the grad so as the red starts at the same place as the cyan and they should cancel perfectly. You can even make an action to do it on a blank layer.

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An absorption filter is potentially a different kettle of fish, so to speak. There are some light losses overall with these filters (ie. they do have a filter factor) but I'd need to test to see how much color vignetting, if any, takes place.

 

I wouldn't think absorption filters should exhibit any color drift in the corners. The IR cut filters are interference filters and work under a different mechanism. I'm guessing it would be tough to design an IR absorption filter with an extremely steep rollover to preserve all the reds you want, but filter out all the near-IR that is right next to red, hence the use of an interference filter.

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I wouldn't think absorption filters should exhibit any color drift in the corners. The IR cut filters are interference filters and work under a different mechanism. I'm guessing it would be tough to design an IR absorption filter with an extremely steep rollover to preserve all the reds you want, but filter out all the near-IR that is right next to red, hence the use of an interference filter.

 

I tend to assume nothing until I do the actual tests and so I'd need to actually find out directly. The theory is interesting but I tend to be most interested in the pragmatic results.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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Miguel, the pic of the dancing women in the square is really brilliant. And, it made me go look at your galleries.

 

You have a great eye. Congratulations.

 

Regards,

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Is it wrong to really be looking forward to this lens as it is not a Leica one? Anyone know where I can pre-order one?

 

BTW, great review. I was seriously considering buying this lens a while ago, and ended up not getting it. After reading the review, I have changed my mind. I have several locations that I know would photo well with it...

 

Bigfeet

Edited by Bigfeet

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Thanks Bigfeet! Yea, its a nice little lens. I keep going back and forth on wether I should sell mine and get the new one, or just keep the one I have! The new one is said to be 2X the weight. I heard that somewhere, plus its larger. I have been using it more and more and getting some cool shots. It's worth it if you do not want to spend thousands on a Leica wide.

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Miguel, the pic of the dancing women in the square is really brilliant. And, it made me go look at your galleries.

 

You have a great eye. Congratulations.

Same here Miguel. You did extremely well with your shot of the Cliffs of Moher, I know that place extremely well and how difficult it is to capture the atmosphere. I absolutely loved the shot of the dancing women too and I think it's one of the best shots I've seen taken with the 15mm!

 

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Miguel,

 

A lot of applause for your marvellous picture of the dancing women! Just excellent. - Which tells us that it is 'the photographer' that makes the difference. Not the lens.

 

Steven,

 

Your 'test', - or rather 'opinion', is yet another that might give us the impression that you can buy 'just as good a lense as the WATE for a tenth of the price'. The Voigtländer 15 mm 4,5 Super Wide-Heliar Aspherical is a remarkably cheap lens that produces a 'good' result, if you manages to focus it correctly. To make it work - at all - on a M8 you have to have a WATE-coded adapter and UV/IR filter larger than the one you show in your pictures. Otherwise it might vignette. Even with all these 'cheats' in place it's far from any WATE regarding resolution - particularly in the corners. My VC 15 is very difficult to focus correctly on short distances and produces awful looking shiny details under certain circumstances. - Which shows that the VC 15 is a cheap lens. A sort of a Volkswagen of the photo world. At best.

 

I have both the WATE - which is on my M8 65% of the time and the VC 15. - I can't remember having done a more efficient lens investment than the WATE. It is far - far, better than the VC 15. With the WATE you can even shift the AOV like on a zoom. On all three settings you get a lens that produces high resolution - all over the field, a remarkable contrast and the sort of light gathering properties that is typical of the Leica lenses.

 

Further; if the MTF charts of the new Leica wide angle lenses now being introduced are to be believed, the remarkable 21 mm 1,4 and the new 18 mm 3,8 will be some of the best and fastest wide angle lenses ever made for the 24 x 35 mm system!

 

Compared, the Voigtländer 15 mm 4,5 Super Wide-Heliar Aspherical is a hamburger.

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Even when is not my favouritte lens. I use it with good results. I think is a question of money. If I could afford, I would have the wate with its marvellous viewfinder. I think that the new 18mm leica would be even better. The preis with its results make the voigtlander a winner.

Your review is really nice, and for a potencial buyer, make things very clear.

I use this lens almost always in a experimental way, without viewfinder, imaging the picture in my head.

Kind Regards

Miguel

[ATTACH]131277[/ATTACH]

 

The shadows of the dancers play with my mind.... there is something more to it than just a photo.... I like this picture a LOT!!!

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To make it work - at all - on a M8 you have to have a WATE-coded adapter and UV/IR filter larger than the one you show in your pictures. Otherwise it might vignette.

 

Bollocks. Most of the shots I've taken with it were without coding and without UV/IR. Filter+coding is an improvement but in most circumstances it's not enormous.

 

And on the M8 there's no vignetting from a properly located 39mm UV/IR filter. I know because I made my own filter holder/lens hood. (There seems to have been a problem in this regard with some of the Milich filter holders, but that's another story.)

 

Further; if the MTF charts of the new Leica wide angle lenses now being introduced are to be believed, the remarkable 21 mm 1,4 and the new 18 mm 3,8 will be some of the best and fastest wide angle lenses ever made for the 24 x 35 mm system!

 

GIven Leica's ambitions and pricing it would be scandalous if they weren't:p

 

Compared, the Voigtländer 15 mm 4,5 Super Wide-Heliar Aspherical is a hamburger.

 

But 100% prime beef.

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An absorption filter is potentially a different kettle of fish, so to speak. There are some light losses overall with these filters (ie. they do have a filter factor) but I'd need to test to see how much color vignetting, if any, takes place.

 

Sean, I can't wait to read a review made by you on this argument. I am the first at being surprised by the behaviour of this B+W 489 filter on my CV Heliar 12.

I tend to use it on my M8 as it was a Kodak Instamatic, and I like the results.

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Olsen,

 

Of course the WATE will beat the CV. I know that, and in my write up I mention this. The WATE is just not financially in reach for MANY of us and the CV IS an alternative if it is all you can afford. For me, I can not afford $5000 for a wide angle lens, so a $500 solution that does a good job is attractive to me.

 

In a perfect world, we would all own a WATE for our wide angle M8 solution, but nothing is perfect. The CV may be a hamburger (or prime beef as John has stated), but its also at a hamburger price (when compared to a WATE)

 

Anyway, thanks for looking and your comments.

 

Steve

 

 

Miguel,

 

A lot of applause for your marvellous picture of the dancing women! Just excellent. - Which tells us that it is 'the photographer' that makes the difference. Not the lens.

 

Steven,

 

Your 'test', - or rather 'opinion', is yet another that might give us the impression that you can buy 'just as good a lense as the WATE for a tenth of the price'. The Voigtländer 15 mm 4,5 Super Wide-Heliar Aspherical is a remarkably cheap lens that produces a 'good' result, if you manages to focus it correctly. To make it work - at all - on a M8 you have to have a WATE-coded adapter and UV/IR filter larger than the one you show in your pictures. Otherwise it might vignette. Even with all these 'cheats' in place it's far from any WATE regarding resolution - particularly in the corners. My VC 15 is very difficult to focus correctly on short distances and produces awful looking shiny details under certain circumstances. - Which shows that the VC 15 is a cheap lens. A sort of a Volkswagen of the photo world. At best.

 

I have both the WATE - which is on my M8 65% of the time and the VC 15. - I can't remember having done a more efficient lens investment than the WATE. It is far - far, better than the VC 15. With the WATE you can even shift the AOV like on a zoom. On all three settings you get a lens that produces high resolution - all over the field, a remarkable contrast and the sort of light gathering properties that is typical of the Leica lenses.

 

Further; if the MTF charts of the new Leica wide angle lenses now being introduced are to be believed, the remarkable 21 mm 1,4 and the new 18 mm 3,8 will be some of the best and fastest wide angle lenses ever made for the 24 x 35 mm system!

 

Compared, the Voigtländer 15 mm 4,5 Super Wide-Heliar Aspherical is a hamburger.

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The Heliar 12 images are impressive, exhibit no (or very little) barrel distortion for 12mm. Are the images post corrected?

 

For the Heliar 15, I am looking forward for the new version.

 

Thanks all for the info sharing.

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