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FM Review: Voigtlander 40mm f/2.8 Heliar VM

  
 
rscheffler
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p.8 #1 · p.8 #1 · FM Review: Voigtlander 40mm f/2.8 Heliar VM




Desmolicious wrote:
Reposting this pic to emphasize how good this lens is at preventing flare.


Is that with or without the $8 Tiffen filter?

Your images make a very compelling argument in favour of this lens!



Apr 25, 2022 at 01:13 AM
Desmolicious
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p.8 #2 · p.8 #2 · FM Review: Voigtlander 40mm f/2.8 Heliar VM


M240, CV 40 2.8



Back/top out of frame lighting no flare:



Edited on Apr 25, 2022 at 10:23 AM · View previous versions



Apr 25, 2022 at 10:00 AM
Desmolicious
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p.8 #3 · p.8 #3 · FM Review: Voigtlander 40mm f/2.8 Heliar VM


rscheffler wrote:
Is that with or without the $8 Tiffen filter?



lol. No filter as I want to see how the lens performs au naturelle. Didn't want to make excuses for that filter.

Interestingly another smart dood pointed out that the knock off 36mm Leica lens cap - which is slightly too small for the lens (when not using the lens hood) - fits perfectly if you use the 34mm filter.

Now that I've shot with this lens quite a bit in the last few days (yesterday shot several rolls of film with it including Blue Ultra ISO 3!), I will say that it is a fiddly lens to use. The only place of contact to focus is the infinity release knob - it literally is impossible to focus using anything else. This is ok most of the time but gets awkward close to and at minimum focus.

I have to set the lens to infinity to lock the focus ring so I can change the aperture. With an AE camera not such a big deal, as changes in exposure are compensated for, and with non metered body (M3, M-A etc) not a big deal either as you set exposure 'off camera' before hand anyway.

But with a manual exposure camera with built in meter (MP, M6) it does slow things down as I first make sure the focus is locked, then view the scene through the VF looking at the meter reading, adjust the aperture/shutter until I am satisfied, then focus.

None of this would be an issue if Cosina built the lens so that the aperture ring did not move with focus - ya know pretty much like every other lens..

Still totally worth it as no-one else makes a tiny 40mm, the lens optically is lovely, it is so nicely made and looks great on camera.



Apr 25, 2022 at 10:14 AM
rscheffler
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p.8 #4 · p.8 #4 · FM Review: Voigtlander 40mm f/2.8 Heliar VM


Thanks. I guess the rotating aperture ring was a lens body design and cost tradeoff. Keeps the design as small and simple as possible.

If you don't plan to continue using the Tiffen filter, perhaps pop the glass out and use the filter ring to hold the knockoff lens cap?

How does the 40/2 Cron's size compare?



Apr 25, 2022 at 11:40 AM
Desmolicious
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p.8 #5 · p.8 #5 · FM Review: Voigtlander 40mm f/2.8 Heliar VM


rscheffler wrote:
If you don't plan to continue using the Tiffen filter, perhaps pop the glass out and use the filter ring to hold the knockoff lens cap?



That is a great idea! Now why didn't I think of that?!



Apr 25, 2022 at 12:01 PM
Desmolicious
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p.8 #6 · p.8 #6 · FM Review: Voigtlander 40mm f/2.8 Heliar VM


rscheffler wrote
How does the 40/2 Cron's size compare?


Cron vs CV Heliar vs Rollei 40 2.8





They are very similar in length, but the CV is much thinner. Both the Cron and Rollei are much more convenient to focus and change aperture settings.

The Cron is a fantastic lens - and a stop faster - but where it is let down is it's ability/inability to handle flare. When the sun is in the image it can make things cool and funky. But when just outside the image it can blow things out.
Here are two examples on my M4-2 with NO FILTER!! but a lens hood.

Cool n funky:



Er....




Apr 25, 2022 at 12:16 PM
Juha Kannisto
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p.8 #7 · p.8 #7 · FM Review: Voigtlander 40mm f/2.8 Heliar VM


Minolta M-Rokkor 40/2 could be better with the flare resistance being multicoated vs. the singlecoated Cron. Apparently the optics should otherwise be the same. I have the newer M-Rokkor version (this version: https://casualphotophile.com/2016/07/22/minolta-m-rokkor-40mm-f2-lens-review/) but never had the Cron so can't compare directly. I think the Rokkor doesn't suffer much from flare and it's also pretty good with thicker sensor glass (e.g. Sony) unlike the Rollei Sonnar.


Apr 25, 2022 at 12:28 PM
Desmolicious
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p.8 #8 · p.8 #8 · FM Review: Voigtlander 40mm f/2.8 Heliar VM


Juha Kannisto wrote:
Minolta M-Rokkor 40/2 could be better with the flare resistance being multicoated vs. the singlecoated Cron. Apparently the optics should otherwise be the same. I have the newer M-Rokkor version (this version: https://casualphotophile.com/2016/07/22/minolta-m-rokkor-40mm-f2-lens-review/) but never had the Cron so can't compare directly. I think the Rokkor doesn't suffer much from flare and it's also pretty good with thicker sensor glass (e.g. Sony) unlike the Rollei Sonnar.


Looking at all the pretty colours reflected in the front element of the Cron, it 'seems' to be multicoated.



Apr 25, 2022 at 01:10 PM
Desmolicious
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p.8 #9 · p.8 #9 · FM Review: Voigtlander 40mm f/2.8 Heliar VM


rscheffler wrote

If you don't plan to continue using the Tiffen filter, perhaps pop the glass out and use the filter ring to hold the knockoff lens cap?



The glass was really easy to remove from the Tiffen filter - just unscrew the retaining ring. Which is good because it can be put back in if I ever want that..

The upside is the Tiffen filter ring acts as a mini lenshood. Very reminiscent of what Leica offered for the 50 2.8M. Only bummer is it has Tiffen written on it, and that other stuff. Edit - ugly white text covered up with black felt marker.






Apr 25, 2022 at 01:14 PM
junglialoh
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p.8 #10 · p.8 #10 · FM Review: Voigtlander 40mm f/2.8 Heliar VM


Jula.,Did you compare the sharpness between VM 40 F2 Heliar and Minolta M-Rokkor F2 CLE?
Also any opinion 40mm F1.2 in this comparison when you consider 40mm lens.

Edited on May 26, 2022 at 09:18 PM · View previous versions



Apr 25, 2022 at 07:33 PM
 


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Juha Kannisto
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p.8 #11 · p.8 #11 · FM Review: Voigtlander 40mm f/2.8 Heliar VM


Desmolicious wrote:
Looking at all the pretty colours reflected in the front element of the Cron, it 'seems' to be multicoated.


Yeah, I don't know real factual differences of the coatings but many internet articles talk about improved coatings or multicoated vs. singlecoated when comparing the Minolta M-Rokkor v2 to the v1 and to the Cron. I picked the v2 version based on such articles and it was attractively priced too. Typically the M-Rokkors have been cheaper than the Cron in Japan 2nd hand market.



Apr 25, 2022 at 11:39 PM
Juha Kannisto
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p.8 #12 · p.8 #12 · FM Review: Voigtlander 40mm f/2.8 Heliar VM


junglialoh wrote:
Jula.,Did you compare the sharpness between VM 40 F2 Heliar and Minolta M-Rokkor F2 CLE?


No, I haven't shot them side-by-side for any comparisons so far and I haven't used my M-Rokkor very recently. I think the Heliar is as sharp as they get though and M-Rokkor would not be sharper but it's also not lacking in sharpness. I'll try to shoot some comparison shots on my A7C later when I have time (not before the weekend).



Apr 25, 2022 at 11:44 PM
junglialoh
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p.8 #13 · p.8 #13 · FM Review: Voigtlander 40mm f/2.8 Heliar VM


Thanks to your quick reply.

Edited on May 26, 2022 at 09:19 PM · View previous versions



Apr 26, 2022 at 02:41 PM
rscheffler
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p.8 #14 · p.8 #14 · FM Review: Voigtlander 40mm f/2.8 Heliar VM


My feeling is the Cron/Rokkor wide open has some 'character' whereas the Heliar looks pretty calm, though of course it's a stop slower.

Huss, thanks for the three-way size comparison! I mentioned the Cron because I guessed it would be similar length but just somewhat wider, plus a real focusing tab. Price for the two should also be similar.

The odd lens out of that trio would seem to be the Rollei, unless it has interesting character. Cron for speed, ergonomics and decent performance. Heliar for size and modern optical performance.


rscheffler wrote:
If you don't plan to continue using the Tiffen filter, perhaps pop the glass out and use the filter ring to hold the knockoff lens cap?

Desmolicious wrote:
That is a great idea! Now why didn't I think of that?!


Team effort! My memory of Tiffen filters has always been a deep ring with a simple slotted retaining ring. Sounds like this one was no exception (and not a surprise, for $8). Glad it worked out! Maybe Tiffen will get a sudden rush of 34mm UV filter orders and will be wondering why.




Apr 26, 2022 at 07:19 PM
Desmolicious
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p.8 #15 · p.8 #15 · FM Review: Voigtlander 40mm f/2.8 Heliar VM


M240, CV 40 2.8




Apr 26, 2022 at 07:22 PM
Desmolicious
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p.8 #16 · p.8 #16 · FM Review: Voigtlander 40mm f/2.8 Heliar VM


A few more pics showing how it handles harsh light conditions.

M240, CV 40 2.8








Apr 26, 2022 at 07:38 PM
Desmolicious
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p.8 #17 · p.8 #17 · FM Review: Voigtlander 40mm f/2.8 Heliar VM


rscheffler wrote..

The odd lens out of that trio would seem to be the Rollei, unless it has interesting character..



The Rollei Sonnar 40 2.8 is just gorgeous on film:




I think maybe a few posts further up I did a quick comparison but I really should do a real life use one. Which is tough for me because my idea of fun is to go outside with just one lens on one body!



Apr 26, 2022 at 07:44 PM
Juha Kannisto
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p.8 #18 · p.8 #18 · FM Review: Voigtlander 40mm f/2.8 Heliar VM


I had the Rollei Sonnar 40/2.8 HFT LTM for a couple of years (the black version) and it was really impressive for strong 3D like rendering in the central parts of the frame wide open etc. but corner-to-corner sharpness towards the edges was always quite bad on my Sony cameras (even stopped down to f8) which I think was at least partly due to the thicker sensor stack. It might also partly be a characteristic of the optical design but not sure since I could never try it on film or digital-M cameras (not having any such cameras). Therefore I ended up trading it in when I bought something else. It might have been good idea to keep it though since the market value seems to be going up gradually and now it's hard to find them at a similar price that I paid originally.


Apr 26, 2022 at 10:07 PM
genji
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p.8 #19 · p.8 #19 · FM Review: Voigtlander 40mm f/2.8 Heliar VM


Desmolicious wrote:
The Rollei Sonnar 40 2.8 is just gorgeous on film.


Absolutely lovely. And nothing but a lens cap listed for sale on eBay.



Apr 26, 2022 at 10:41 PM
Juha Kannisto
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p.8 #20 · p.8 #20 · FM Review: Voigtlander 40mm f/2.8 Heliar VM


genji wrote:
Absolutely lovely. And nothing but a lens cap listed for sale on eBay.


There's just one (Silver) in Yahoo Japan Auctions for 110K yen (including tax) and it has some wear on the body and the optics are not in pristine condition either:
https://page.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/e1027976382

I got mine for around 80K yen from fotoborse back in the day in fine condition at one of the Used Camera fairs in Tokyo and they also don't have any stock now. http://fotoborse.blog.jp/tag/Sonnar40mmF2.8HFT



Apr 27, 2022 at 12:18 AM
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