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Sample images: Voigtländer Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical
These are really just a few sample images and not what we usually call a preview, since there will most likely be no full review. At 15mm, the MTF testing distance is already very short, shorter than the MFD of the lens.

Nonetheless, I currently have access to the lens and couldn't resist to take it for a walk around my home village today. Framing was a challenge, since I don't have an external viewfinder and the M9's viewfinder only covers the field of view of a 28mm lens. With a little practice, though, one can roughly guess what'll bein the frame...

Sharpness seems ok to me, especially given the rather affordable price (for such a wide angle lens). However, from the samples it's also pretty obvious that the lens has some issues on the M9. There is very visible vignetting, even when stopped down (most sample images shot at f/8... you should ignore the EXIF data of the images). And there's a huge amount of colour shift at the left image border (bottom in portrait shots). This is a typical problem with many wide angle lenses on the M9. The wider the lens, the larger this issue.

Coding a lens can help to reduce or completely solve the issue, but lens codes are only available for Leica lenses. Unfortunately, none of these codes really fits the Heliar. The sample images were shot with the lens coded as a 21mm f/2.8 (the owner of the lens used in on a M8). I also tried the code of the 16mm setting of the Leica "WATE" (wide-angle Tri-Elmar), but surprisingly the results were even worse.

The red border can probably be resolved with Cornerfix, an open-source program initially designed especially for Leica users (but now open to other brands, too). I haven't tried it, yet, but may do so in the upcoming week.
For anyone who plans to use this lens on the M9 (or M9P or M-E) regularly, cornerfix is a highly recommended tool. And on the other hand something, M Monochrom users don't have to worry about Wink

-- Markus


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Sample images: Voigtländer Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical - by mst - 09-29-2013, 06:46 PM

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