The Voigtlander 15mm f/4.5 Super Heliar II is quite the unique little lens. There you have the first part: its the only possible way to shoot ultra-wide on an M series camera with a physically small lens (2 inches and 6 ounces as compared to the fairly huge Zeiss 15mm f/2.8). The only real downside is that its f/4.5, but it is quite sharp wide open so that’s not an issue except in low lighting.
The new version is rangefinder coupled and will activate the 28/90 framelines, but we do rent the Voigtlander 15mm Viewfinder separately in needed. Most people tend to set it at f/5.6 and use zone focus to just snap away — everything from about 5 feet to infinity should be in focus at that setting.
I find this a very practical lens for those of us who don’t shoot ultra-wide very often. It’s small and light, particularly compared to the Zeiss 15 or the Leica Tri-Elmar, but still feels smooth and well made. At f/5.6 its nice and sharp with good contrast and at f/8 its just superb. It does vignette a bit wide open, but nothing that isn’t easily fixed in post process if you wish. Obviously its not a wide-aperture lens, but at these focal lengths long exposures aren’t too troublesome. But at this price and size, it allows me to have access to an ultra-wide “just in case” which I think is completely worthwhile.
- Filter Size
- 52mm (nonrotating front element)
- 0.3 lb
- Minimum Focusing Distance
- 1.6 feet
- Maximum Magnification
- Not specified by manufacturer
- Angle of view: (full frame)
- 110 degrees
- Zoom method
- Image Stabilization
- Focusing System
- Internal focusing, nonrotating, manual
- Aperture Blades
- Low Dispersion Elements
- Fluorite Elements
- Aspherical Elements
- Weather Resistant
- Flare resistance
- minimal contrast loss, minimal ghosting.
- Leica M
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