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Archive 2018 · Voigtlander Heliar 50mm f/3.5

  
 
austinschutz
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Voigtlander Heliar 50mm f/3.5


Anyone using this lens? Looks very intriguing to me. I like the rendering quite a bit and it seems like a good complimentary lens to the ZA 50mm f/1.4. Also considering the heliar 40mm f/2.8 (fully aware of the downsides, but it just looks fun). Basically, I'm probably going to replace my old (trusted and loved) 55mm f/1.2 FL. As much as I love it, it probably doesn't have a place in my bag anymore (although I might keep it for sentimental value because I do stuff like that). The ZA will be used a lot, I absolutely am in love with it, but a tiny mf alternative would be great. Looking for things about $450 or less and the Heliars seem like the sweet spot to me. Obviously prioritizing size.

Also any experience with the Fotodiox DLX stretch adapter for M to E mount? I like that it has the focusing tab as opposed to the VM-E and Hawks adapters.

View previous versions



Jan 02, 2018 at 01:33 PM
rico
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Voigtlander Heliar 50mm f/3.5


Based on my persusal of excellent reviews on RFF (some with film), I believe you would be pleased with the rendering: extreme sharpness and good bokeh. Note that the ergos are far from modern, but familiar to anyone shooting period LTM lenses. There are at least three barrel variants: the C/V original bundled with one of their RF film cameras, the current one in nickel, and the Nikon S mount. For sure, the latter is not collapsible but the other may be. Details on CameraQuest. I would pick up the f/3.5 version for its low weight, but I already have the Leitz Elmar 50/3.5 RS.


Jan 03, 2018 at 11:09 PM
austinschutz
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Voigtlander Heliar 50mm f/3.5


rico wrote:
Based on my persusal of excellent reviews on RFF (some with film), I believe you would be pleased with the rendering: extreme sharpness and good bokeh. Note that the ergos are far from modern, but familiar to anyone shooting period LTM lenses. There are at least three barrel variants: the C/V original bundled with one of their RF film cameras, the current one in nickel, and the Nikon S mount. For sure, the latter is not collapsible but the other may be. Details on CameraQuest. I would pick up the f/3.5 version for its low weight, but I already have
...Show more


Thank you for the info, was able to find more sample images and user reports because of it. Decide either the Voigtlander 40mm f/2.8 or Sony 28mm f/2 will probably be my next purchase so I'm not duplicating focal lengths for now, but I do want the Heliar and am putting it on my list.



Jan 04, 2018 at 01:53 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Voigtlander Heliar 50mm f/3.5


I've tested this lens and it's impressive.

At infinity and mid-distance, it's very sharp at center "and" extreme corners even wide-open. When I first saw the center and corners at 1:1, my reaction was WOW!
Due to a slight wavy field curvature, mid-field takes a small hit but that's only visible wide open and at 1:1 magnification.
At f/5.6 it's capable of high resolution across the field.

Optically, there is not much to complain about the CV 50/3.5 Heliar for its low CA, high resolution, smooth rendering and superb contrast which translates to beautiful colors and subject isolation. Flare resistance is incredible and so far I have not seen ghosting in any of my images even when the sun is in the frame.

Functionality is its Achilles' heel though, as adjusting the click-less aperture also moves the focusing ring. Polarizer users will be frustrated as the filter thread rotates together with focus and aperture!
If one can get used to this drawback by focusing at shooting aperture, this lens produces special images with high IQ and character...and the price is right.



Jan 28, 2019 at 11:43 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Voigtlander Heliar 50mm f/3.5


Here are some samples I took yesterday:

All wide open (f/3.5), except for the sunstar sample which was shot at f/5.6.










































Feb 01, 2019 at 06:47 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Voigtlander Heliar 50mm f/3.5


Here is 1:1 crop showing how sharp it is wide open (f/3.5):

Colors are just superb imo. OOF rendering is very smooth since the foliage was not far from the plane of focus.
Although rendering is smooth, there isn't much blur at f/3.5 unless shooting close or at MFD.







Feb 01, 2019 at 06:52 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Voigtlander Heliar 50mm f/3.5


Here is link to this lens at b&h. It has that vintage feel but don't be fooled by the looks and functionally alone as this is one of the sharpest 50mm lenses I've seen.

B&H Photo | CameraQuest | Amazon







Feb 01, 2019 at 07:01 PM
DavidBM
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Voigtlander Heliar 50mm f/3.5


@Fred Miranda do you know if the 2009 variant if this lens (with more attractive cosmetics, in my view) has the same aperture coupling design? Optically itís the same...


Feb 01, 2019 at 07:07 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Voigtlander Heliar 50mm f/3.5


DavidBM wrote:
@Fred Miranda@ do you know if the 2009 variant if this lens (with more attractive cosmetics, in my view) has the same aperture coupling design? Optically itís the same...


That's a good question David. I believe the 2009 version was the version III and has aperture clicks (half-stop). I'm not sure if it has a helicoid but if it doesn't, focusing will only be possible with a close-up adapter.

Both share 5 Elements in 3 Groups but I'm not 100% sure it's the exact same optical formula.







Feb 01, 2019 at 07:13 PM
GMPhotography
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Voigtlander Heliar 50mm f/3.5


Has a nice look to it


Feb 01, 2019 at 07:19 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Voigtlander Heliar 50mm f/3.5


Infinity test at f/5.6: (BTW: it's not much different than at f/3.5 except for a slight improvement in the mid-field)





CENTER







MID-FIELD







EXTREME EDGE




Feb 01, 2019 at 07:35 PM
hiepphotog
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Voigtlander Heliar 50mm f/3.5


In this case, I think the Heliar 40/2.8 might be a better choice with super sharp center and more predicted fall-off. Extreme corners never got super sharp, but I imagine the same can be said about that mid-field.


Feb 01, 2019 at 08:25 PM
DavidBM
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Voigtlander Heliar 50mm f/3.5


A bit if looking at old RF boards answers my question. The older one does have a helicoid, but like the new one a single helicoid that interacts with the aperture. Bummer,

Fred Miranda wrote:
That's a good question David. I believe the 2009 version was the version III and has aperture clicks (half-stop). I'm not sure if it has a helicoid but if it doesn't, focusing will only be possible with a close-up adapter.

Both share 5 Elements in 3 Groups but I'm not 100% sure it's the exact same optical formula.



Feb 01, 2019 at 09:09 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Voigtlander Heliar 50mm f/3.5


hiepphotog wrote:
In this case, I think the Heliar 40/2.8 might be a better choice with super sharp center and more predicted fall-off. Extreme corners never got super sharp, but I imagine the same can be said about that mid-field.


the CV 40/2.8 is another great lens for sure. Sharp with smooth bokeh as well.
I dislike using the adapter as a helicoid though and it does not have quite the same bite when compared to the 50/3.5. (even at center)



Feb 01, 2019 at 09:15 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Voigtlander Heliar 50mm f/3.5


DavidBM wrote:
A bit if looking at old RF boards answers my question. The older one does have a helicoid, but like the new one a single helicoid that interacts with the aperture. Bummer,



The CV 50/3.5 is one of those lenses with unexciting specs but once you look at the images it produces, the slow aperture and functionality may be forgiven!



Feb 01, 2019 at 09:19 PM
DavidBM
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Voigtlander Heliar 50mm f/3.5


Fred Miranda wrote:
The CV 50/3.5 is one of those lenses with unexciting specs but once you look at the images it produces, the slow aperture and functionality may be forgiven!


Iíve always been a fan of slower lenses that are also no-compromise aside from the slowness. I wonder if the Loxias could be even better (and smaller) if a touch slower. Probably not the best commercial decision, though.



Feb 02, 2019 at 02:26 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Voigtlander Heliar 50mm f/3.5


DavidBM wrote:
Iíve always been a fan of slower lenses that are also no-compromise aside from the slowness. I wonder if the Loxias could be even better (and smaller) if a touch slower. Probably not the best commercial decision, though.


Here is what Stephen Gandy from CameraQuest said about the CV 50/3.5 versions:

"all the 50/3.5's have the same glass, just differing a bit in the coatings
More M to E adapters than LTM to E adapters."



Feb 02, 2019 at 11:03 AM
rico
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Voigtlander Heliar 50mm f/3.5


The Heliar 50/3.5 is attractive for its retro barrel design and the quality of finish. Cheers to Mr K! That it performs so well optically is icing on the cake. Note the nickel version is LTM so usable on a real Leica (Barnack). The single-helical focus makes clean/lube a snap: just remove the retaining post, and the head unscrews completely. I serviced my own Elmar 50/3.5 in the same way.

Some Heliar history: http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Heliar



Feb 02, 2019 at 12:07 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Voigtlander Heliar 50mm f/3.5


Perhaps the slight field curvature I detected at infinity is not even visible on a Leica or modded Sony.
Compared to the Loxia 50/2, I believe the CV performs better at f/4 since the former shows stronger weakness at mid field. Iíve sold my Loxia but will check my previous tests.

rico wrote:
The Heliar 50/3.5 is attractive for its retro barrel design and the quality of finish. Cheers to Mr K! That it performs so well optically is icing on the cake. Note the nickel version is LTM so usable on a real Leica (Barnack). The single-helical focus makes clean/lube a snap: just remove the retaining post, and the head unscrews completely. I serviced my own Elmar 50/3.5 in the same way.

Some Heliar history: http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Heliar




Feb 02, 2019 at 12:14 PM
GMPhotography
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Voigtlander Heliar 50mm f/3.5


Is it a collapsible lens


Feb 02, 2019 at 12:19 PM
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