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Quantifying the 75/1.8 Heliar performance
Old 09-22-2015   #1
ferider
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Quantifying the 75/1.8 Heliar performance

When you google for reviews of the 75/1.8 Heliar, you find lots of references to "great portrait lens", "soft in the corners", etc., but the typical test shots shown are close focus portraits, with little exact detail of the lens' corner and infinity performance.

Longer term RFF members know that I love my short RF teles. So I had to try this one as well. I use teles for (1) portraits, and (2) documentary/journalism style and landscape photography. For (1), I'm interested in ease of focus (shift, among others) and bokeh , for (2) in infinity, or close to infinity performance.

The great 75/1.8 bokeh is well documented on-line. For the other measurements, please see the below tests on my M240. All images are straight from the camera (DNG -> TIF -> crop -> jpg).

Min. focus:



Wide open, my lens front focuses by less than half inch, pretty much perfect to compensate for the cosine effect.

Until f4.0, the beginning of the DOF window stays mostly the same, and extends towards the back as you close down. At f4, I have a nice 1/3rd / 2/3rd split of the DOF window. This is very typical for most of my 50 - 105mm tele lenses. Even the 7-element 50/2.5 Color Skopar, and the VM 50/1.5 Nokton behave like that.

At f5.6 the DOF window starts to come closer to the camera.

Very nice behavior, nothing that will hinder shooting.

Infinity:

Shot from our deck. Forgive the tilted horizon ....



The red circles show you the points at which I will look at center and field performance.

Center crops (f1.8, 2.8, 4 and 5.6 / click on the picture and it will display a little larger):



Field crops (f1.8, 2.8, 4 and 5.6):



Please look at the electrical towers in both crops, and how their cross-beams are resolved in the pictures.

Basically the lens is sharp in the center at all f-stops.

In the field, it's not bad wide open, but becomes really sharp at f5.6.

This is at least as good as a bunch of classic lenses that I have tried, including 50 Summilux pre-asph, 75 Summilux, 90 Summicron pre-asph (v1 and v3), etc. The 75/2.5 Heliar that I use as well, is similar but a little sharper in the field. Say, the 75/1.8 at f5.6 performs like the 75/2.5 at f4.

Note also that I have to give credit to Ken Rockwell: of all the online information on the 75/1.8, his review is the one most closely matching the initial experience with my lens copy.

Thanks for looking,

Roland.
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Old 09-22-2015   #2
Ron (Netherlands)
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Thanks for sharing this with us - and for all the work invested. Always nice to see these practical reviews.
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Old 09-22-2015   #3
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Thanks Roland. I have been looking at these CV teles and it is nice to have some information to work with.
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Old 09-22-2015   #4
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I always wondered about the 75/1.8 stopped down.

Like the 75 Lux it's friggin sharp at 5.6

And looking again at the infinity shots, it's not bad at faster speeds either.

I'm impressed.
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Old 09-22-2015   #5
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Very well performed test, thank you!
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Old 09-22-2015   #6
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I would much prefer to see series of portraits taken with the lens.
This says anything about the lens to me.
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Old 09-22-2015   #7
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Thanks, Roland, quite interesting. I have both the 75 Heliars, first the f/2.5 (essentially a Planar-like design), then the f/1.8 lens (derivative modification of the historic Heliar with the traditional single center element replaced by a cemented pair, akin to the Leica 73mm Hektor). Both are nearly symmetrical in arrangement of elements, so should do well in close-in resolution.

The f/2.5 lens is a good one, I thought, but lacking in something, call it sparkle. The sparkle came with the f/1.8 lens, which in result I'm very fond of. Hard to describe the difference, and perhaps my particular f/2.5 lens is not up to snuff, as this model has developed a better reputation than I would assign it.
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Old 09-23-2015   #8
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Thanks, all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vobluda View Post
I would much prefer to see series of portraits taken with the lens.
This says anything about the lens to me.
On-line, there are already plenty of portraits and close up bokeh shots to look at, Vobluda, for example:

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2014/0...s-quick-review

https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...d.php?t=127125

The point of my post is that the Heliar is not only good for portraits, it's a great general purpose lens. Besides missing half a stop, and a longer min. focus (0.9 vs 0.7m) as good as the 75 'lux (which I own too, BTW). I'll post more practical examples when I have them - only got the lens 2 days ago.

Roland.
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Old 06-09-2016   #9
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Clouds over Mt Lassen (at f5.6 or so)



and a crop



(click for some enlargement)

Roland.
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Old 06-09-2016   #10
Emile de Leon
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That lens looks pretty friggin good to my eye..to bad it doesn't say Leica on the front...hahaha!
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Old 10-26-2016   #11
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Voigtlander Heliar Classic 75mm f1.8 mounted on a Sony A7II with a Voigtlander close focus adapter.

Bronze statue at Gumyoji Temple (Yokohama)


A man and his bike


Quiet contemplation in a restaurant
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Old 10-26-2016   #12
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Produces pleasant bokeh

Church by Life in Shadows, on Flickr
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Old 08-19-2018   #13
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I am surprised there is no dedicated thread for this lens.
Here is one from Norway. Heliar 75mm f/1.8 on the Leica T.

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Old 08-19-2018   #14
helenhill
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Hi Peter

what adapter are you using ?
leica's or another brand

Thanks in advance
Best Wishes~ H
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Old 08-19-2018   #15
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Hi Helen!
I used the Leica T adapter by Leica.
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Old 03-20-2019   #16
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Voigtlander 75mm f1.8 Heliar Classic VM lens, Sony A7II
Yokohama, Japan - March 2019

The Voigtlander 75mm f1.8 Heliar Classic VM lens is such a solid well made lens and the results I get using it always leave me pleased. Makes me ask myself why I donít use it more often than I do?







Mike
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Old 03-21-2019   #17
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Voigtlander 75mm f1.8 Heliar Classic VM lens, Sony A7II
Yokohama, Japan - March 2019










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Old 03-22-2019   #18
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Voigtlander 75mm f1.8 Heliar Classic VM lens, Sony A7II
Yokohama, Japan - March 2019








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Old 04-16-2019   #19
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The Voigtlander 75mm f1.8 Heliar Classic VM lens:
Per Cosina "This product has been discontinued"
http://www.cosina.co.jp/seihin/voigt...5mm/index.html

Mike
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Old 04-16-2019   #20
Erik van Straten
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yokosuka_Mike View Post
Per Cosina "This product has been discontinued"

Mike

That is a pity! It is the modern version of the old Leitz Hektor 73mm f/1.9!


Erik.
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Old 04-16-2019   #21
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Voigtlander 75mm f1.8 Heliar Classic VM lens, Sony A7II
Yokohama, Japan - Friday, May 8, 2015

It's the end of an era!



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Old 04-16-2019   #22
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I am glad I bought mine some years ago it performs brilliantly. The only tiny thing I have against it is that it is very long perhaps reflecting its "classic" design. And yes it does show its classical rendering.

Through a glass darkly by Life in Shadows, on Flickr

Through a glass darkly 6 by Life in Shadows, on Flickr

Through a glass darkly 5 by Life in Shadows, on Flickr

Melbourne Tea Room 2011 by Life in Shadows, on Flickr
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Old 04-16-2019   #23
Erik van Straten
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I love this last shot with the fantastic painting by Modigliani in the background. Please post it in the "Portraits" thread that I started in de WNW-thread.


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Old 04-16-2019   #24
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Sad to hear if this lens is discontinued. Had one for a while on M8 and liked results, but it was just too heavy as a travel lens I was needing it mainly. Voigtlander f2.5 is better for traveling.
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Old 04-16-2019   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
I love this last shot with the fantastic painting by Modigliani in the background. Please post it in the "Portraits" thread that I started in de WNW-thread.


Erik.

Thanks Eric I have done this and also taken the opportunity to post s few more in my collection of candid portraits as well.
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Old 04-16-2019   #26
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It's nice to see this thread and appreciation an nice images coming from people here with this lens!



MM CV 75mm f 1.8
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Old 04-17-2019   #27
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Nice samples, all! Fond of this lens, and not too long a focal length on full-frame for general walk-around. Here are a few shots with this 1.8/75mm Heliar...


M9

A favorite tree in Honokowai, Maui

M9

Jewelry booth in Princeville, Kauai

M240

Central Washington apples dropping

M240

Antique Sky, Central Washington

M240

Cat on the rocks, Lihue, Kauai

MD262

Tired shoppers? Lahaina, Maui

MD262
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Old 05-12-2019   #28
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Great pictures in this thread!

I've been thinking about picking up this lens for a while as a companion to the 40mm 1.4 Classic on my R3m for a while. Then I impulse-jumped on it when I heard it was being discontinued. It's not nearly as compact as the 40 but it's been a while since I've shot streets on anything longer than a 50 and the extra reach is a lot of fun! Looking forward to getting to know this one

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