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Thread: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Working with the Sony 7 series for over a year now we get some interesting choices in what type of lenses we can use and what brands as well as all you really need are some adapters. But having said that there has been a shortage of Native FE lenses so we are forced to look elsewhere until very recently. Now I have been one of those grandfathers to the alternative movement for many years when I had Canons than Leica, Nikon and now on to Sony. Sometimes its fun and sometimes its a hassle. Guess that depends on your way of working. One thing in almost every system I have been associated with the wide angle options are fairly few. So lets look at what you can do with Sonys. In the extreme wide area is the hardest hit by choices. There is the Zeiss 15mm 2.8 a very very nice super wide and maybe the big daddy of the super wides. Its big, its heavy and its damn expensive, BUT its dang good. If you went the cheapest route than Samyang/Rokinion 14mm is your choice BUT its big, cheap, hard to focus and worst of all a boat load of distortion. And no you can't let that slide by you need to fix it. Again though it is actually very good in IQ with regards to sharpness. Actually pretty amazing since it is so cheap compared to the Zeiss. Now if you turn to Nikon and Canon with adapters there is a bunch but even Canons 14mm and Nikons 14mm where never that great given the price. Truly one of the best super wides is the Canon 17MM TSE but again big , heavy but the quality is great and its a Tilt /shift lens which is dang nice to have but not hike 5 miles with. LOL

    Not to mention its about a half a kidneys worth when it comes to body part value in dollars. LOL

    Now there are others and most notably the Sony 16-35 F4 zoom which I just sold but have to say I liked that lens at the extremes of 16mm and its very nice to at least 24mm after that it gets soft. Some maybe okay with that but Im not. So in my quest to get the best 35mm focal length I bought the FE 35mm F 1.4 which not sure any 35mm lens can touch it even on a good day. Than I decided to sell the 16-35 for the Batis 25mm which is looking to be outstanding. Than I was caught with my pants down and have no extreme wide. Than I started thinking, very dangerous for me to actually think about lenses as one of the best gear sluts in the west I don't know a lens I have not slept with. LOL

    And sure enough a old friend came to mind from my Leica M days and the Voigtlander 12mm and 15mm and they just upgraded the 15mm to version III made for digital and made to improve on the corner and vignetting issues of the past versions. Here to tell you they solved that and the scary part its better than what i thought it would be. BONUS TIME

    I also bought the Metabones adapter used from Samy's. Now there are two Closeup adapters made one from Hawk and another from VC itself. They look interesting but closeup on a super wide is getting out there in the art world. LOL
    Strange even without the closeup adapter you can get dang close. Somethings maybe to close, think a bad breath Lion in your face. Thanks but Ill pass, you get the idea but they are options if you want to get so close your readers actually don't work. ROTFLMAO

    Anyway i went out and did my usual boring test of the same damn thing I always test a lens with first thing. I know boring as all hell but I shot so many lenses against this thing I can go back in my memory banks and can compare to others. I also get a feel for vignetting, corner sharpness, color and tone.
    Last edited by Guy Mancuso; 2nd July 2015 at 09:32.
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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Most corner tests are pretty obvious that wide open is soft than it gradually gets better as we stop down. Now I did the VC 15mm at 2 different focus marks without moving the tripod the first series I actually focused with a Hoodman loupe at 100 percent. Just short of infinity and thats what I will show. Than went back and actually shot it at infinity. They are the same

    I need to process everything and post the results but I'm trying to curb my enthusiasm because the corner sharpness between wide open f4.5 and f8 is so minimal Im having a hard time believing it. Normally you see a bigger jump in quality, here this thing is rocking wide open. Im just going to call it its better than the 16-35 at the extreme wide in the corners and the 17mm TSE would have a hard time against it here in this area. If you wanna beat it good luck it maybe the Zeiss 15mm. Ill pass put that money somewhere else. I have not said a word about size, weight and the fact its a 58mm filter thread which I give the lens a A plus on those three counts. But Im not going to mention that part.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Two things of note. I used the A7II and it seems to underexpose about a stop. I need to test this more or get further along in the images to make this call but the first thing out of the gate is this. Secondly at 4.5 its about a half stop of vignetting over 5.6 and I'm not seeing any more stopping down. Now I am going to predict on the A7rII the vignetting on ALL lenses currently will improve with that body because of the new sensor technology called BSI. More on that in another thread maybe. But to be honest I kind of like a little vignetting but don't ever pass on a lens that has to much and you like the lens, its a easy fix for raw shooters in post

    Okay on to the images
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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Im going to load raws as well for you folks to try yourself since there is no exif data the shots in continuous sequince are 4.5,5.6,8,11,16

    If you look very close F8 is it before you start seeing diffraction so only use F11 in the extreme DOF situations. Its not bad but I can see it going at F11

    Full Image wide open
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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test










    Do not shoot at F16 as its worse than wide open with diffraction

    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    I need to process some more images and will load up soon here.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    These are all shot handheld













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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Conclusions. Wow I like this lens. Color is very snappy and nice contrast in all the images. Vignetting is very light wide open, corners look very good. Than you have small and i mean its small. No bigger than your 55mm 1.5 actually smaller. Its not heavy and the nice 58mm filter thread which keeps costs down on very expensive filters and also saves bulk. Not much not to like . The built in hood does create a issue with larger filters and using step down adapter rings and you also can't use square filters unless you built some kind of rig for them. Price is nice at 750 and with the Metabones adapter another 100 dollars.

    For me this solves the extreme wide under the Batis 25mm which I know will get a lot of use along with my 35 1.4. So for me this gives me a nice kit 15,25,35,50,85 than ????.

    Now will Zeiss/Sony address this wider than 25mm issue, I am sure they will and this will at least hold me until that day but honestly I doubt we will se a 15mm on the next announcement. My guess a 18 or 21 which for me would still gap nice between the 15 and 25. Thats down the road and I need to shoot today so for now this 15mm is staying put in the corner of my bag. Oh yea its that small did I mention that.

    BONUS TIME its a 22mm on my A6000 walk about lens
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    No one has any comments. I'm a little surprised.

    Have to say this lens is far better than previous version I used on my Leica M8.

    I did not mention distortion but it's pretty well corrected. I also bought a another cheap M to Sony mount just sitting around. Might have to find another Cheap M mount lens.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Senior Member MikeEvangelist's Avatar
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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    I'm a big fan of the VC stuff. I had the previous 15mm and loved it on my Leica M. Unhappily, it was poor on the A7R, so I sold it.

    I -was- intrigued by this new version when they announced it. In the mean time I got the absolutely stellar 16-35mm, and re-bought the 12mm VC. If I didn't already have those two ultra-wide lenses, I'm sure I'd be all over this one!
    Last edited by MikeEvangelist; 3rd July 2015 at 05:08.
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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Those look very good. I can barely discern a difference between aperture settings. I've been watching for decent reviews and RAWs since this was announced. I'm very grateful to see these. I've had the Nikon 14-24 and Samyang 14 but prefer not to dedicate so much bag space to something little used. Is the truck shot close to MFD? Looking at scenarios where I used 14mm a good bit, I think this would do very nicely.

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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Truck is very close to MFD the wagon is Jason. You want those raws I can load them for you to play with
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    I honestly don't think you need the close focus adapter with this lens. Longer glass sure but I only have this one and thought it would be a bit much. There is not a lot of difference between apertures wide open is very good. F8 looks to be optimum.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    I love the fact I can stack this and my Loxia 50 in one lens slot in my bag. It's nice having a couple small lenses to offset the big ones in your bag. I mean I would not want to have 5 FE 35 1.4 in my bag. So you get a heavy one or two lenses and this offsets the weight and bulk.

    My purpose in all of this is I want the Batis 25 and having the zoom now made no sense with the Batis 25 and the 35 1.4. So this takes care of the wide end. Sure more lenses and more money but I'm really a prime lens shooter. But the 16-35 is a nice lens don't get me wrong.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    It's dangerous grounds, 15, 25, 35, 50, 85, and maybe 135 Enjoy your new lens.

    I have CV 12mm and needs some correction on the corners on A7R so I got the CV 15 III after the release. I am not shooting wide lately but the small size makes it a good carry on lens. Here are 2 shots against sun with a polarizer. I saw Sony underexposed more with manual lenses when I tested the 50's. First one is close to the what comes from the camera, second after I opened the shadows (A7 II also):





    This was on A7R thru the glass, high ISO and it was snowing but I don't see any shifts, just heavy vignetting which was corrected:
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    New Member Jason Abbott's Avatar
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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    I would love those raws. Thanks! After waffling a few times now on this, the 16-35 and perhaps a future Batis 18, you about have me sold. For the photography I enjoy, there are occasions where an UWA is pretty useful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Truck is very close to MFD the wagon is Jason. You want those raws I can load them for you to play with

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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Now I loved the 16-35 but after 24 it was just okay. So I had to get a good 35 and fast one anyway. I want the Batis 25 I can tell already it's killer good and now this 15 I'm not at Sony/Zeiss timetable waiting for them. Been tired of waiting on Sony after August I won't have too anymore. I'll have a great kit to grow on

    Even though I am a serious gear whore I plan and research a lot. I've been buying time for the last year with Sony waiting out some native glass, heck we all have. Finally we are seeing some great lenses.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    These look really good and you provided sharper samples than I've seen from this lens in general. I would get this lens if it had metadata but it does allow one click corrections in Lightroom 6 I believe. I sort of waiting on a faster than f/4 native ultra wide or just a really good native 12-21mm solution after I get the 25 Batis.
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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Excellent choice of prime lenses Guy for your upcoming A7RII...Enjoy.
    Cheers Barry

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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Thanks Guys here are the handheld raws as well. Try them out and see what you think. I shot them at ISO 100 so you can get a rough idea of apertures

    https://www.hightail.com/download/bX...WlRlcEw1SE1UQw
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Tried the lens correction in PT lens plugin. See if you notice it. Its slight improvement.



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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    You can see the left yellow post straighten out. Maybe someone try it in LR and see the change
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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Thanks Guys here are the handheld raws as well. Try them out and see what you think. I shot them at ISO 100 so you can get a rough idea of apertures
    That did it, thank you very much. One is on its way.

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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Glad to help.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Wow. Awesome lens. I am very fond of my 14mm f2.8L II Canon (extremely sharp and low distortion only downside is some CA my main bread and butter lens for interiors) and I used the Zeiss 15mm on a D800E and it was superb. I also used the 14-24mm Nikon but made no sense to carry such a large and heavy lens when I mostly wanted to use it at 14mm at longer focal lengths I rather use other lenses that are smaller / lighter and easy to filter. This Voigtlander 15mm III is something indeed. Stellar performance from your test images.

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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Well, there you go.... Only a few weeks ago I asked what people thought about this one and the native 16-35 at the wide end and the general feel of that thread was definitely leaning towards the native 16-35.
    The assignment that I had, changed in character so it has been done and delivered with the Alpa instead. But this is so well priced I might pick it up anyway....
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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    It's a great corner pocket bag lens.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Guy, is there any chance for a quick coma test at WO for astrophotography? Thanks.

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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Great test Guy, and I cannot believe you sold the 16-35!!

    But you have good reasons

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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Yea the 16-35 is there best zoom. A lot of thought went into that decision. For me it makes sense but it is also a very costly one. I'm really liking this little VC and if it did not look as good as it does I would be kicking myself. I still recommend the zoom so don't look at me selling it as a bad thing.
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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Thanks Guys here are the handheld raws as well. Try them out and see what you think. I shot them at ISO 100 so you can get a rough idea of apertures

    https://www.hightail.com/download/bX...WlRlcEw1SE1UQw
    Thanks Guy. You just convinced me to buy my 3rd CV 15mm. I used both prior versions on my M8, M9, and assorted Sony mirrorless cams, but sold all of them and I've looking for an excuse to go back to a newer version on my Sony A7r.
    Carl
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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Yea I think this is far better than previous versions. Glad the Raws are helping and there handheld too but must admit I'm a rock too
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Please add images when you get yours in hand be a nice reference for others
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Thanks Guy Great set of test results.
    I still have my WATE, and I was thinking of getting the 16-35, but no need now that the Batis 25 is arriving soon. The 16 - 21mm is nicely covered, and I am looking forward to see how the WATE performs with the new A7rII.
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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Charles, I'd bet that backlit sensor will keep the WATE shining

    It will be interesting to see how the rendering of the 25 batis and CV 15 compare, especially the respective color signatures.

    I don't mind dissimilar looks myself, but many seem to want the same from all their main working glass.
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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesK View Post
    Thanks Guy Great set of test results.
    I still have my WATE, and I was thinking of getting the 16-35, but no need now that the Batis 25 is arriving soon. The 16 - 21mm is nicely covered, and I am looking forward to see how the WATE performs with the new A7rII.
    I too still have my WATE and it indeed did perform well though I did find it really hard to critically focus at close distances and for this reason and the fact that it has greater range I bought the 16-35. Now that I have sold my M to fund the Q I really am debating whether to hold onto it as it a very expensive bit of glass just to leave sitting in the safe 99% of the time

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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Quote Originally Posted by hiepphotog View Post
    Guy, is there any chance for a quick coma test at WO for astrophotography? Thanks.
    I think this is what you're after
    http://photoncollective.com/voigtlander-15mm-f4-5-heliar-iii-lens-review
    Last edited by Jason Abbott; 5th July 2015 at 09:46. Reason: Better link

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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Yea I was going to respond to the request but forgot. Im in the middle of our monsoon season so I do not have clear skies at night right now but evening clouds and storms have been rolling in from the extreme heat of the day. Bad place now for astro stuff. What I am hoping for is a chance to use this on the road next week driving to NY. Ill be on the road for 5 days driving and hoping to get maybe some shooting in.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  40. #40
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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Yea I was going to respond to the request but forgot. Im in the middle of our monsoon season so I do not have clear skies at night right now but evening clouds and storms have been rolling in from the extreme heat of the day. Bad place now for astro stuff. What I am hoping for is a chance to use this on the road next week driving to NY. Ill be on the road for 5 days driving and hoping to get maybe some shooting in.
    Been raining quite a bit the last couple of weeks on the East Coast as well... Well at least the Southern portions of it.
    Sony Visible Light & IR Photographer
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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    i ment to post/share my results too but house-buying got in the way. from the little usage i have i found:

    1, very good sharpness (although i did jump from sigma 12-24mm)
    2, there is some strange synergy between the a7r and this little lens, specially with the blue sky. there is certain crispiness that it has over all of my other lens. I guess afterall they did redesign the lens based on a7r....
    3, i use heliopan ND filter, i didnt have much problem putting it on and off.
    4, i did find it hard to focus some times because the DOF is so wide.
    5, there is certain un-smoothness with the focus ring if the lens if pointed up/down (not levelled). it feels like gravity is at work....
    6, the built-in hood does make taking off lens cap/putting on abit more difficult....
    7, i wish the aperture ring clicks abit harder, some times it's difficult to feel how many stops i have turned when im looking through EVF.

    that's it for now, i will report back when i have done more shootings with it.
    Keep It Simple.
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Keep the data coming folks. Thanks

    I can't wait to see what this does on the new body.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com
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  43. #43
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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Just received my copy of the CV 15mmIII today and of course it poured rain all day. I managed to get out on the deck during a brief lull in the rain and shot an f stop series with the lens on an A7r, tripod mounted. Same focus point in all shots, just changed aperture settings. All raws processed in LR using same development settings and the default lens profile for the CV 15 vIII (there is also a profile for the CV 15 vII). Good sharpness across frame from 4.5 down to 8 with somewhat less fine detail at 11 and 16. Look at wood grain in the bench and notice that moire also is diminished at 11 and 16. No need for a flat field or LCC to correct corner/edge color casts which are not present as they were with the earlier CV 15 versions. Vignetting is corrected by the lens profile.

    Overall view



    Full size images

    f/4.5

    f/6.3

    f/8.0

    f/11.0

    f/16.0
    Carl
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  44. #44
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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    A relatively long exposure (4 sec) taken after sunset with the A7r+CV15III on a tripod. Click image for full size.

    Carl
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    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Quote Originally Posted by Viramati View Post
    I too still have my WATE and it indeed did perform well though I did find it really hard to critically focus at close distances and for this reason and the fact that it has greater range I bought the 16-35. Now that I have sold my M to fund the Q I really am debating whether to hold onto it as it a very expensive bit of glass just to leave sitting in the safe 99% of the time
    David, if you recall from my Leica days I also had the WATE. My reason for selling it was the CV 15 version 2. When I tried them side by side on my M8 I decided that the WATE was not worth approximately 5 times the price (second hand) of the CV15. So, I cashed in.

    I sold my version 2 a few months ago as it never really worked well on either my A7 or A7R. However, I must admit looking at Guy's samples I might try the version 3.

    I'm also waiting for a Batis 25/2 which is on pre-order (I'm told it might be late July) and I want to see how that performs first.

    LouisB
    Last edited by biglouis; 13th July 2015 at 22:24.
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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Thanks Louis for the input. Now that I have the Q I might just sell everything it's so good!!!

  47. #47
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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Somewhere in Texas. With my recent drive across the US i happened to find this pulling off to get gas. All handheld with the 15mm at F8. Im really falling in love with this lens again. Its just about perfect









    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    BTW the vignetting on some of these is intentional. The first one posted I put a very slight vignette on but its really good across the frame normally. They really improved this lens design from previous versions.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Guy,

    Thanks for sharing. I see you had great fun. I right now have two lenses for my UW needs, the Samyang 14/2.8 and the Sigma 12-24, so I guess I stand over the Voiglander, but nice to hear about it.

    Best regards
    Erik

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Somewhere in Texas. With my recent drive across the US i happened to find this pulling off to get gas. All handheld with the 15mm at F8. Im really falling in love with this lens again. Its just about perfect










  50. #50
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    Re: Voigtlander 15mm Version III on a Sony A7II test

    Thanks for the test photos, Guy. It looks to be a fine performer.

    I don't know that I want or need one at present, but if it turns out I do I now feel confident that this model of the 15mm will do what I want. It should work beautifully on the M-P or MM246.

    G

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