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Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 Heliar Classic Review

  
 
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 Heliar Classic Review



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Samples 2

Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 Heliar on Leica SL2. All wide open:
One image converted to Adobe Monochrome profile, otherwise all out of the camera + Adobe Color profile. I really like ability to get close at 0.5m MFD but it's only possible when using EVF or LCD (live view). Not the rangefinder.

















Sep 22, 2021 at 08:31 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 Heliar Classic Review



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Field Curvature

The Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 Classic Heliar has low field curvature on the Leica M10-R and only mild on the SL2. The curvature shape is wavy where center and corners are in the same focus plane while the mid-field is slightly curved. Very minor curvature.

Here is a crop sample showing the mid-field area.

LEFT: Focus at center
RIGHT: Focus at mid-field







Sep 23, 2021 at 12:15 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 Heliar Classic Review



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Focus Shift

Although the Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 Classic Heliar in uncorrected for spherical aberration, Cosina found a way to minimize focus shift. Leica M shooters will be happy to know there is very low focus shift with this lens design.

Here is a focus shift test at infinity distance:

Center area of the frame:

LEFT crop: Lens focused at f/1.5 and aperture changed to f/2
RIGHT crop: Lens focused at f/2







Sep 23, 2021 at 12:24 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 Heliar Classic Review


Center area of the frame:

LEFT crop: Lens focused at f/1.5 and aperture changed to f/2.8
RIGHT crop: Lens focused at f/2.8







Sep 23, 2021 at 12:25 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 Heliar Classic Review



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Spherical Aberration Glow

Glow or halo around the focused area' edge, specially the highlights, is very apparent when shooting wide open and it's the main characteristic of the Voigtlander 50/1.5 Heliar Classic. Many will use it just to get that glow on their subjects. However, just by stopping the aperture down to f/2, most of that beauty glow goes away making this lens work well for many applications.

Here is a sample showing f/1.5 vs f/2:








Sep 23, 2021 at 12:40 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 Heliar Classic Review



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Color Aberration

Although the Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 Heliar is intentionally uncorrected for spherical aberration and coma, it behaves well regarding to color aberration. There is a hint of axial CA when shooting wide open but it's only visible in very high contrast areas. In normal lighting, axial CA is very well behaved. On the other hand, lateral CA is a bit more apparent but easily corrected in post.

Here is a sample showing the amount of lateral CA (LEFT) and the Lightroom correction next to it (RIGHT).




Extreme corner area at f/8: LEFT (uncorrected for CA) | RIGHT (corrected for CA)




Sep 23, 2021 at 12:50 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 Heliar Classic Review


Axial CA is minimal under low contrast and normal lighting but it will be noticeable under high contrast.

Here is a sample showing low contrast lighting:









No purple fringing on the plane of focus






Unoticeable green fringing in the back OOF areas









Sep 23, 2021 at 12:58 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 Heliar Classic Review


However, under high contrast light, axial CA fringing will be noticeable:












Sep 23, 2021 at 12:59 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 Heliar Classic Review


Anyone got their copy? Feel free to post your thoughts and samples here.


Sep 23, 2021 at 01:02 PM
soarfm
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 Heliar Classic Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
Anyone got their copy? Feel free to post your thoughts and samples here.


Well, ya got me thinking!

The first portrait of the cheerleader (daughter?) rendered the subject nicely but I rather disliked the busy bokeh surrounding her head. However the rest of the exposures didn’t seem to have any of that and I was rather taken with the rendering when shot wide open. Like I said, you’ve got me thinking….




Sep 23, 2021 at 10:32 PM
 


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Desmolicious
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 Heliar Classic Review


I've got the Voigtlander 50mm 2.5 Color Skopar. How is it different than the Heliar?


Sep 23, 2021 at 10:45 PM
Juha Kannisto
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 Heliar Classic Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
Anyone got their copy? Feel free to post your thoughts and samples here.


Hi Fred,

These are links to my samples so far that were posted in the other thread:

SOOC JPEGs on Sony A7C:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/9GfHNFoffC3Hs8tD9

With some PP on Sony A7C:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/DAytDyFS3jK8tBzA6
https://photos.app.goo.gl/iP5oXAMpDo1er7UR7

SOOC JPEGs on Sigma fp with Standard Color profile (with Color-Shading compensation in-camera):
https://photos.app.goo.gl/k3yrYUTgX1DYPt7d7

I shot some comparison shots between the new Heliar classic 50/1.5 and the older Heliar classic 50/2 yesterday as well at equal apertures but I haven't had time to go through those yet.

Some more with my Sony A7C (including some PP) added on 12/31:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/hFuuSWpFjddSCTw69
https://photos.app.goo.gl/s1vu1vw7Wem8ofRL7
https://photos.app.goo.gl/LDHkcnPcKww7Kao87
https://photos.app.goo.gl/crQUgMTUnUzXcXDU7
https://photos.app.goo.gl/PDFzFnECoSCAo6Hv7

SOOC JPEG samples with A7CII:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/WPYgkKTdfS4o6cVy5

Edited on Oct 28, 2023 at 08:25 AM · View previous versions



Sep 24, 2021 at 07:26 AM
Bertrick
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 Heliar Classic Review


Juha Kannisto wrote:
I shot some comparison shots between the new Heliar classic 50/1.5 and the older Heliar classic 50/2 yesterday as well at equal apertures but I haven't had time to go through those yet.


Juha, comparison shots at same aperture with 50mm Heliar F/1.5 and F/2.0 would be of major interest to me. Thanks in advance for whatever you can provide.



Sep 24, 2021 at 02:04 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 Heliar Classic Review



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Samples 3


Wide open is where the magic happens with the 50mm f/1.5 Heliar.

You get that gorgeous glow a mid-distance and a bit more definition/contrast at close distance. Definitely feels like shooting with a vintage lens.

Few samples under high contrast light today.



























Sep 24, 2021 at 04:31 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 Heliar Classic Review


Juha Kannisto wrote:
Hi Fred,

These are links to my samples so far that were posted in the other thread:

SOOC JPEGs on Sony A7C:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/9GfHNFoffC3Hs8tD9

With some PP on Sony A7C:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/DAytDyFS3jK8tBzA6
https://photos.app.goo.gl/iP5oXAMpDo1er7UR7

SOOC JPEGs on Sigma fp with Standard Color profile (with Color-Shading compensation in-camera):
https://photos.app.goo.gl/k3yrYUTgX1DYPt7d7

I shot some comparison shots between the new Heliar classic 50/1.5 and the older Heliar classic 50/2 yesterday as well at equal apertures but I haven't had time to go through those yet.


Thanks for the samples Juha! Added link to the first page of the review:
https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1719880/0#ql



Sep 24, 2021 at 05:43 PM
Juha Kannisto
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 Heliar Classic Review


Bertrick wrote:
Juha, comparison shots at same aperture with 50mm Heliar F/1.5 and F/2.0 would be of major interest to me. Thanks in advance for whatever you can provide.


Hi @Bertrick and @tunisia who also asked for comparison shots:
I did a walk on Thursday with my Heliar classic 50/1.5 on my Sigma fp and the Heliar classic 50/2 on my Sony A7C and I tried to take very similar shots with both cameras back to back at f2 and some at f5.6. Since Heliar classic 50/2 has 1m minimum focus distance all shots were focused at least 1m from subject (mostly much more than that). All were shot handheld and the viewfinder placement on these cameras (using EVF-11 on my Sigma fp) is not identical so framing came out a bit differently as I mostly framed the shots looking through the viewfinder. The new Heliar classic 50/1.5 seems to have a wider field of view and old one seems tighter which also affected framing. I exported all shots through Capture One Pro and adjusted exposure and white balance on some shots to make them closer in cases where they were quite different.

85 shots on Sigma fp + Voigtländer Heliar classic 50/1.5: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ejxpq1wyAHiGozBt6
85 shots on Sony A7C + Voigtländer Heliar classic 50/2: https://photos.app.goo.gl/gvtgA6n981crfCac6

The older Heliar classic 50/2 has 11 aperture blades so it produces 22 point sunstars whereas the new Heliar classic 50/1.5 has 10 blades and produces 10 point sunstars. The 27th shot in both albums shows an example of sunstar for both.

I couldn't notice any huge differences in rendering otherwise... I didn't compare in deep detail so far but the rendering feels similar between the lenses. The color differences were probably mostly attributable to different cameras.



Sep 25, 2021 at 11:09 AM
Matt Kerby
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 Heliar Classic Review


Think I might have to rent one of these. The foreground bokeh on this lens looks awesome.
Love the shot pier!
One of those lenses that makes everything look interesting.



Sep 25, 2021 at 11:49 AM
Bertrick
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 Heliar Classic Review


Juha Kannisto wrote:
Hi @Bertrick@ and @tunisia@ who also asked for comparison shots:
I did a walk on Thursday with my Heliar classic 50/1.5 on my Sigma fp and the Heliar classic 50/2 on my Sony A7C and I tried to take very similar shots with both cameras back to back at f2 and some at f5.6. Since Heliar classic 50/2 has 1m minimum focus distance all shots were focused at least 1m from subject (mostly much more than that). All were shot handheld and the viewfinder placement on these cameras (using EVF-11 on my Sigma fp) is not identical so framing
...Show more

Juha, Thank you SO much! This was a tremendous amount of work and provides a great deal of information. I also did not do pixel-is comparisons because that is not the way I view images. From what I see here, the new 1.5 delivers images VERY similar to the older 2.0 at same aperture and same conditions. So the advantages of the newer lens are options to use at wider aperture and options to use at closer distances. (Though the older lens could be use on a close focus adapter to maybe achieve similar focus range.)

Judicious choice of aperture on the new lens allows bokeh ranging from mostly creamy to mostly bubbly - a fascinating lens. I have been of the opinion for some time that I have somewhere between enough and too many 50mm lenses. But maybe Ii wrong about that. I might need one more.



Sep 25, 2021 at 03:44 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 Heliar Classic Review



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Samples 4


All wide open.






















Sep 25, 2021 at 07:11 PM
Ulysseita
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 Heliar Classic Review


Seriously close to what I got from my former 40mm from Voigtlander, the tiny 1.4.

Without knowing what lens the pictures were coming from, I would say that, a 35 or 40 1.4.
Same feeling, same rendering and behaviour.



Sep 26, 2021 at 01:39 AM
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