Leica M (Typ 240): Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 III versus Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5

Introduction | Body with Lens Attached | Some Technical Data | Sample Images | Conclusions | Links

Note: At the end of October 2016, I decided to sell my Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 lens in favor of the newer version Type III lens. I did so because of the difficulties I had in creating proper calibration images for this lens to remove the strong color cast that photos taken with his lens exhibit. I am therefore no longer able to answer questions about this lens.

On these pages you can find my first personal experiences with the lenses at the Leica M (Typ 240) and more. This page is devoted to the Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 III and the Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 lenses. These are two versions of the "same" lens - and are therefore compared here. I sold the Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 because of the strong color shading at the edges; otherwise it is a fine lens. As a replacement, I bought the Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 III lens.

All lens pages: Voigtländer 15mm f/4.5 | Voigtländer 15mm f/4.5 III | Zeiss Biogon 21mm f/4.5 | Leica Elmarit-M 21mm f/2.8 ASPH. | Leica Elmar-M 24mm f/3.8 ASPH. | Voigtländer 25mm f/4 (M39) | Minolta M-Rokkor 28mm f/2.8 | Zeiss Biogon 35mm f/2.8 | Zeiss Sonnar 50mm f/1.5 | Voigtländer 75mm f/2.5 (M39) | Leitz Elmar-C 90mm f/4 | Leitz Tele-Elmarit-M 90mm f/2.8 | Leitz Tele-Elmar 135mm f/4

See also: Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 - Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 III

 

Introduction

In preparation of the Ricoh GXR M-mount expansion unit, I bought a Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5, which was meant to extend the range of my two Ricoh GXR A12 units at the wide end. The lens is manufactured by Cosina and equivalent to a 22.5 mm wide angle lens on the GXR. At the Leica M (Typ 240) it has, of course, its nominal focal length and can be considered as an extreme wide angle lens. Note that this lens has an in-built lens hood.

Since the Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 (now also called Type II...) exhibited strong magenta color shading, I decided to exchange it against the new type III version of this lens in October 2016 in order to have less trouble and work with color shading. The new version of this lens is larger and heavier than the older one, though. Regrettably, the corners of the photos did not satisfy me so that I sent the lens to the dealer who sent it to the Voigtländer service. Voigtländer, however, claimed that the lens is OK and sent it back untouched. Note that this lens, just like the previous version II, has an in-built lens hood.

   
         
         

Photos: Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 (top row) versus Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 III (bottom row)

 

Body with Lens Attached

   
         
      

Photos: Leica M (Typ 240) with Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 lens (top row) and with Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 III lens (bottom row)

 

Some Technical Data

  Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 III
Focal length 15 mm 15 mm
Angle of view (35mm film) 110° diagonal 110° diagonal
Maximum aperture 4.5 4.5
f-stop range 4.5-22 4.5-22
Number of iris blades 10 10
Number of lenses/groups 8/6 11/9
Shortest distance 0.5 m 0.5 m (0.7...inf)
Weight 156 g 247 g
Length 38.2 mm 55.2 mm
Maximum diameter 59.4 mm 64.8 mm
Filter thread 52 mm 58 mm
Lens hood integrated integrated

Both lenses have an in-built lens hood.

 

Sample Images

Closest Distance

    

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 III

   

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 III

Similar Places, Different Times

    

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 III

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 III

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 III

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 III

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 III

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 III

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 III

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 III

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 III

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 III

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 III

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 III

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 III

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 III

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 III

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 III

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5

 

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 III

 

Conclusions

Disclaimer: I am not a lens expert who sees marked differences between various Leica and/or other lenses. I can check for soft corners, find differences in color rendition, and, in rare cases, may discover a "3D look", but that's all. Please regard therefore my conclusions as the verdict of a "layman".

The Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 (type II) lens is infamous for its massive color shading on the Leica M (Typ 240). It also exhibits fairly strong vignetting, but things is normal for such extreme wide angle lens. The color shading can, however, be removed with the CornerFix application, if you shoot DNG and prepare a suitable lens profile file for CornerFix (see here). In October 2016, however, I decided to exchange this lens against the new type III version of it to have less trouble and work with removing color shading (since I am a JPG shooter...). Except for the color shading, I was very content with this lens and think that I got a good sample with sharp corners (for such a focal length).

My sample of the Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 III does not exhibit color shading, but the edges and corners are too soft for my taste. Therefore, I sent it to the dealer who forwarded it to Ringfoto/Voigtländer for closer examination. Ringfoto/Voigtländer sent the lens back without having made any adjustments because, in their opinion, it is 100% OK. I am not satisfied with this reply, but will leave things as they are. People who are interested in this matter may download the original photos from the lens' page and make up their own minds on this matter... Otherwise, I am quite content with the results that this lens produces. Voigtländer states that they improved the contrast, and it looks as if it has indeed improved. Like its predecessor, this is one of the lenses that I use the least, which is not surprising for such a short focal length. A good strategy is to take such a lens as your only lens with you when you go on a walk ...

All in all , these were and are among the lenses that I used the least, which is not surprising for such a short focal length. A good strategy is to take such a lens with you as your only lens when you go on a walk...

 

Links

 

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23.01.2017