There are advanced lenses and ultra-wide lenses, and again there’s the Voigtlander 10mm/1:5.6 Hyper Advanced Heliar E ($1,099), which is added than any added boxlike lens with full-frame coverage. We’re reviewing the adaptation for Sony cameras—there’s additionally one for Leica rangefinders, but it’s not absolutely the aforementioned exact lens. You can get appealing agnate after-effects with Sony’s FE 12-24mm F4 G or Canon’s EF 11-24mm f/4L, but both are bulkier and added expensive. The Heliar is of those lenses that you may abandoned use for an casual shot, but annihilation abroad out there will get you the aforementioned look.
The E in the Hyper Advanced Heliar E’s name refers to Sony’s E-mount, acclimated in both its APS-C and full-frame mirrorless cameras. The adaptation of the lens we advised can be acclimated with either, although you won’t account from its acute bend of appearance with the abate APS-C sensor size. Voigtlander additionally sells it for Leica M cameras, although that adaptation of the lens doesn’t focus absolutely as aing as the Heliar E.
The Heliar is black, with a accomplishment that is not absolutely bright and not absolutely matte, and an chip lens hood. The is metal, as is the included slip-on lens cap, which appearance the Voigtlander logo in a cursive calligraphy at its center. The lens itself measures 2.3 by 2.7 inches (HD) and weighs 13.1 ounces, absolutely bunched back you accede its bend of view. To compare, the Sony FE 12-24mm, already advised baby for an ultra-wide zoom, is 4.6 by 3.5 inches and 1.2 pounds. Canon’s EF 11-24mm f/4L, which can be acclimated on Sony cameras with an adapter like Sigma’s MC-11, is 5.2 by 4.3 inches and 2.6 pounds.
There is no clarify thread, which is a bit of a downer. The best frequently acclimated blazon of clarify for such a advanced lens, the accelerating aloof body clarify that mural photographers use to antithesis accuracy of acreage and sky, about requires the use of an add-on clarify holder. NiSi makes a holder for the Heliar, priced about $170.
The lens is about absolutely mechanical. It has a concrete breach ring, adjustable in third-stop increments from f/5.6 through f/22. There are electrical contacts on the E-mount adaptation of the lens—they’re not included with the Leica M edition. Their admittance agency that your Sony camera will almanac focal breadth and breach abstracts in images, accurately accredit in-body angel stabilization (the lens does not accept its own stabilization system), and actuate chiral focus deepening automatically.
The chiral focus arena is agnate to those begin on some added Voigtlander lenses. It alternates amid bank areas, accustomed depressions to blow for your fingers, and aloft sections with metal ridges. I begin it appropriately adequate to about-face the arena back arresting either, admitting I acclaim application two fingers to about-face it. It requires about a 90-degree about-face to move from the minimum focus ambit to infinity. There is a agnate abyss of acreage scale, with arrangement bottomward to f/16, and with such a advanced bend and breach the abyss of acreage is absolutely deep—you won’t get abundant accomplishments blur, a from shots captured a the minimum focus distance.
The E adaptation of the lens focuses as aing as 11.8 inches (0.3-meter), so you can assignment adequately close, but you’re never activity to get macro after-effects from the lens—it’s aloof too wide. The Leica M adaptation doesn’t focus as close. It’s bound to 19.2 inches (0.6-meter) and it’s not rangefinder coupled, so you’ll accept to focus application the ambit calibration or a agenda Leica’s rear LCD or add-on EVF. If you use a altered mirrorless camera brand, you should be able to acquisition an adapter to use the Leica adaptation of the lens with your system.
I activated the Hyper Advanced Heliar E with the 42MP Sony a7R III and Imatest software. About I anatomy our lens resolution analysis blueprint so it fills the frame, but the Heliar is so advanced that I wasn’t able to do so and appropriately focus on the chart.
The afterward after-effects are the composites of two batches of testing. The aboriginal with the blueprint centered, but abandoned demography up about bisected of the frame, and the additional with the blueprint affected at the corner. This gives us advice on both axial and borderline resolution.
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At f/5.6 the Heliar E resolves about 2,500 curve on average. That’s on the bendable side—we appetite to see at atomic 2,750 curve from a 42MP sensor. Axial resolution is acceptable, but not exceptional, at 3,084 lines. But it drops off as you move away, assuming aloof 1,937 curve at the edges of the frame.
You’ll get bigger after-effects as you attenuated the aperture. At f/8 we see 3,101 curve on average, and a abundant bigger 2,509 curve at the edges of the frame. That’s still a bit soft, but accustomed the acute bend of advantage it’s about to be expected.
Resolution alcove a accomplished levels at f/11, area we see 3,751 curve on average—the sharpest the lens can manage. Edge affection drops off a bit here, to 2,258 lines. At f/16 diffraction cuts the boilerplate to 3,429 curve and edges to a bald 1,718. Finally at f/22 we see aloof 2,489 curve on boilerplate with blurred, 1,079-line edges.
The Sony FE 12-24mm is a lot sharper. At f/4 it averages aloof shy of 3,400 lines, with edges that appearance a able 3,057 lines. Corners are blurred back attempt advanced open, but acuminate decidedly at f/8. But we charge bethink that it’s added expensive, not as wide, and bulkier.
The FE 12-24mm shows a able 3.7-percent baloney at its widest angle, archetypal of a advanced zoom. The Voigtlander is a prime lens, and shows 2.1 percent. Accustomed the bend of coverage, it’s a bashful amount. It didn’t backbite from the images I attempt in the field, and it’s actual calmly compensated for application angel processing software. I acclaim Adobe Lightroom Classic CC. Even admitting baloney is able-bodied controlled, altar at the acute appropriate and larboard edges of the anatomy tend to arise a bit added than in absolute life.
Lightroom can additionally atone for blurred corners, but the Heliar E casts a abundant vignette. Even the in-camera alteration offered by Sony cameras abandoned cuts it to -2EV at the corners, which is still apparent in best images. It’s not as abundant as you get back cutting in Raw architecture or with JPG corrections angry off, we see about -3.5EV at the corners, behindhand of f-stop. You can absolutely brighten them with software, but if you’re cutting at a aerial ISO you’ll acquisition that accomplishing so will acquaint some angel noise. I didn’t actual the vignette in any of the images in this review.
I admire cutting with ultra-wide lenses, abnormally back traveling. They accommodate a appearance of the apple that’s actual altered than what we can see with our eyes alone, absolute for capturing images of all-inclusive landscapes, alive in alveolate burghal environments, or affective in afterpiece to a banal accountable to abduction it from a added affecting perspective.
The Voigtlander 10mm/1:5.6 Hyper Advanced Heliar E checks all of those boxes. It’s added than annihilation abroad out there—I acclimated it side-by-side with a 14mm lens and was abashed to see how abundant added of the apple the 10mm could see. It’s the lens for photographers who anticipate their accepted ultra-wide artlessly isn’t advanced enough.
But it has its drawbacks. It doesn’t action the accessibility of a zoom, and the abundant vignette and just-okay edges are acceptable to backbite from some images. But it’s such a different apparatus that I can’t abide advising it. It costs beneath than the two aing zoom lenses in function—the Sony FE 12-24mm and Canon EF 11-24mm—and takes up a lot beneath allowance in your bag. Best Sony shooters should apparently opt for the FE 12-24mm, which I accede to be one of my admired lenses for the FE system. But if you aren’t blessed with what 12mm gets you, the Hyper Advanced Heliar E is account abacus to your kit.
Thanks to Lensrentals for accouterment the camera and lens for this review.
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