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Reviewed: Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III for Sony E: Aperture Series from f/4.5 - f/11: Mosaic

Get Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III at B&H Photo.

EVEN WIDER: A Voigtlander 10mm f/5.6 for Sony E is coming soon.

Related: see my in-depth review of the Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8 Distagon including the discussion and examples of optical distortion and my comments on the use of software correction in the datasheet. The one (and really only) weakness of the Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8 Distagon is optical distortion, not to be confused with perspective, which is a function of physical laws (camera to subject distance, inverse square law).

For architecture or groups of people or horizons, etc, distortion is a serious concern. How does the Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III for Sony E stack up?

Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Back on April 20, Rich G wrote:

As always your website proves indispensable as I ponder a question about ultra wide angle lenses for my Sony A7R II.

I am an architectural photographer whose lens arsenal includes the Zeiss Batis 25mm. I am delighted with its performance.

That said, I need an ultra wide angle lens and your initial review of the new Zeiss Batis 18mm gives me pause. The issue is optical distortion. You note in your initial assessment that the 3.2% optical distortion level will likely be an issue for architectural photographers. Indeed!

I’m also considering the new Voigtlander 15mm E Mount lens. I have no doubt that the Zeiss lens is superior in the abstract. But its distortion level is troubling.

My question: do you know anything yet about the distortion figure for the Voigtlander 15mm (E mount)? For my principal need, I would trade superior build for less lens correction.

As a tweaked-for-mirrorless rangefinder design, the Voigtlander 15/4.5 is likely to still have lingering issues with ray angle—indeed it does, and that is true of other tweaked designs like the Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 Biogon.

But I now have the answers to the above questions. In Guide to Mirrorless:

f8 @ 1/13 sec, ISO 100; 2016-05-11 19:45:38
Sony A7R II + Voigtlander SUPER WIDE-HELIAR 15mm F4.5 III

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