Voigtlander 12mm f/5.6 Aspherical Ultra Wide Heliar

serhan

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I somehow got luck with this lens to find a matching adapter. It is slow but it has low distortion so it makes it nice for landcape/architectural photos. Mostly everything is in focus in f/5.6-8 range that I use. Some of my samples has some corner discolorization which can be corrected but I guess I got lazy. 3n users claim it is now better on corners.

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Travisennis

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Nice images, serhan. You read complaints about vignetting and color-shift issues with these lenses when mounted on the NEX. Yet, I think the images speak for themselves. These are extremely nice wide-angle lenses for the NEX.
 

serhan

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The lens behaves better with a nex-5n in comparison to nex-5. I bought one of the used nex-5n's from B&H (with 40 shots on it). Here is nex-5n shot without any corner correction:

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storyteller

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Wow. Hm. Sadly, I'm looking to upgrade for the NEX-7 and it seems to do worse than the 5N with ultra-wide glass.
 

serhan

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Nex-5 and VC 12mm shots from Cape Cod, MA:

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Phoenix

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I'm a sucker for B&W photos, the second pic really gets to me and I'll have to say that it's one of the most moving B&W pics I have come across, I really am impressed.

Very nicely done mate.
 

serhan

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Thank you very much mate. It is processed with Silver Efex software.

I'm a sucker for B&W photos, the second pic really gets to me and I'll have to say that it's one of the most moving B&W pics I have come across, I really am impressed.

Very nicely done mate.
 

storyteller

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The lack of distortion really is amazing. Its probably not a focal length I would use enough plus I'm planning to get the 7 when it becomes widely available . . . and sadly that's a step back.
 

serhan

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It is too bad that nex-7 is a step back for rangefinder lenses. Otherwise it will be an amazing camera for landscapes. VC 12mm has a low distortion which is good for architectural shots.

The lack of distortion really is amazing. Its probably not a focal length I would use enough plus I'm planning to get the 7 when it becomes widely available . . . and sadly that's a step back.
 

ziggy

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Hrm. I just got a NEX-5n with the kit zoom, and I have a Nokton 40mm/1.4 (with Voigtlander adapter).

I'm looking for a wide lens for my 5n (for both photo and video purposes), and debating between the Voigtlander 12mm or 15mm. It seems like there won't be a huge difference in the angle between the 15mm and the Sony kit lens, but I've read conflicting reports about the quality/experience of using the 12mm with the 5n. So I'm stuck. Anyone have some specific advice on this issue? Another downfall of the 12mm is the price and speed...
 

serhan

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Ay you said 15mm is too close to Sony 16mm pancake lens. That was one of the reasons that I looked for 12mm. Wider is better for me. Other reason was the test that Sean Reid did on LL and 12mm was behaving better in RD-1 fangefinder camera which has a 1.5 crop Sony sensor:

Epson RD-1 Lens Report

15mm: The Voigtlander 15/4.5 is also a very good lens overall. On center, it's sharper than the 12/5.6 but as one looks further and further out towards the edges of a file, the 15/4.5 becomes softer and moves towards vignetting. The 12/5.6, on the other hand, starts out a little softer at the center but holds its focus and tone better into the edges and corners. Vignetting is stronger and more noticeable on the 15/4.5. Color rendering is good, saturation and contrast are a little higher than the 12/5.6. Resolution seems quite good for the central portion of the frame. Distortion is also well controlled considering what a wide lens this is.
12mm: The Voigtlander 12/5.6 is a very good lens. The vignetting from it on the R-D1 is moderate and distortion is also well controlled considering what a wide lens this is. I would tend to use it only leveled on a tripod but that's the way I usually work with any super-wide lens. The 12/5.6 is fairly sharp overall and, stopped down to F/8, there's surprisingly little loss of sharpness at the edges and corners. This is one of those more moderate contrast lenses that I feel is very well-suited to digital photography generally (as discussed below) and to black & white photography in particular although the lens also renders color beautifully. Its inherent contrast is very well matched to the R-D1's sensor and processing and, as such, the resulting RAW files hold good detail at both ends of the tonal range.
The Voigtlander 12/5.6 and Voigtlander 15/4.5 each have their strengths and weaknesses. Both are quite useable on the R-D1 so long as one can either accept some vignetting or correct for it in PhotoRAW. The noticeably lesser vignetting of the 12/5.6 might make it the preferred lens for some R-D1 photographers. These are, however, the only 12mm and 15mm lenses currently available in Leica M or Leica thread mount and they are very good lenses overall.
I am using 12mm with 5n and the corner shift is not noticeable on 5n as I posted. You can check the photozone tests also, 12mm sharpness is similar to Sony pancake around f/5.6-8 on Nex-5, not bad for a wider lens:

Sony E 16mm f/2.8 (Sony NEX) - Review / Lens Test Report
Voigtlander Ultra-Wide Heliar 12mm f/5.6 Aspherical II on Sony NEX - Review / Lens Test Report

Hrm. I just got a NEX-5n with the kit zoom, and I have a Nokton 40mm/1.4 (with Voigtlander adapter).

I'm looking for a wide lens for my 5n (for both photo and video purposes), and debating between the Voigtlander 12mm or 15mm. It seems like there won't be a huge difference in the angle between the 15mm and the Sony kit lens, but I've read conflicting reports about the quality/experience of using the 12mm with the 5n. So I'm stuck. Anyone have some specific advice on this issue? Another downfall of the 12mm is the price and speed...
 

Dan

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I'm using the Voigtlander 15 on a NEX 5N, but having only gotten them recently have few examples to show. But here is one. The 12mm pics here are impressive.

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Dioptrick

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It is slow but it has low distortion so it makes it nice for landcape/architectural photos. Mostly everything is in focus in f/5.6-8 range that I use.

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I enjoy the unusual (impossible) compositions that can be derived from ultra-wide angles, which is why my favourite prime for many years is an ultra-wide. I'm very impressed that none of your photos include your toes! I grasp the incredible amount of optical problems lens designers have to solve within the realms of this focal length territory, not just distortion.

I usually avoid placing people near the edge in ultra-wide compositions because the inherent distortion at this focal length stretches human proportions to uncanny extremes which can be very unappealing. This my friend, is an incredible lens! That man at the lower lefthand corner just blows me away. Yes there's magenta vignetting, but this is an anomaly caused by the angle of incidence of a lens designed to expose film emulsions, not sensor surfaces... so this is not a lens flaw, nor is it a sensor flaw in itself. This magenta cast can be easily fixed in post processing, but the very little amount of distortion is just amazing.

Fantastic shot!! Skillful composition. Wow!

(I like your other photos too)
.
 

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