Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar Review

October 4, 2016 | Mark Goldstein | |

Introduction

The Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar is a manual-aperture, manual-focus hyper-wide-angle prime lens for Sony Alpha 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras. It features an aperture range of f/5.6-f/22 and a ten-bladed circular diaphragm for smoother bokeh blur in out of focus areas. It features 13 elements in 10 groups, a precision-engineered full-metal casing, weighs in at 375 grams, and can be easily de-clicked for movie making. The Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar retails for £799 / $1099.

Ease of Use

With a maximum diameter of 67.4mm and a length of 68.5mm, the Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar is a ultra-wide-angle fixed focal length optic that's well-suited to Sony's full-frame mirrorless camera bodies. Weighing in at 375g it's also not that heavy, making this lens well suited to hand-holding as well as to life on a tripod. It is also compatible with APS-C cameras, where it will produce a 15mm equivalent focal length.

Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar The Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar lens mounted on a Sony A7R II

Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar The Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar lens mounted on a Sony A7R II

Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar The Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar lens mounted on a Sony A7R II

Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar The Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar lens alongside a Sony A7R II

The Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar boasts superb build quality, with all markings being both engraved and painted. The lens has an all-metal casing and also features a metal E-mount bayonet. With no need for a zoom ring, the manual focussing ring spans a significant width of the lens barrel and is exceptionally smooth to operate, complete with a useful depth of field scale.

Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar The side of the Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar lens

Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar The side of the Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar lens

Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar The front of the Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar lens

Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar The rear of the Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar lens

In front of this is the aperture ring, with 1/3EV stops ranging from f/5.6 to f/22. A second small ring directly behind the aperture ring lets you select whether the aperture ring clicks into place at each aperture stop or rotates smoothly for silent operation during movie recording. Simply pull it forward and rotate by 180 degrees until the yellow marker is on top to make it clickless, perfect for video use.

Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar The side of the Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar lens

Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar The side of the Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar lens

The Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar has 12 lens elements in 10 groups and an almost symmetric lens design that promises better distortion, color correction and image field flatness. A ten-bladed rounded diaphragm helps to provide smooth bokeh blur.

Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar The Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar lens in-hand

There’s no optical image stabilisation, but the lens’ very short focal length and fairly fast maximum aperture alleviate the need for it. A non-removable metal petal-shaped lens hood is fitted, which means that you can't use a slot-in filter system with this lens.

Focal Range

The 10mm focal length gives an angle of view of 130 degrees on a 35mm full frame sensor.

 Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar Field of view at 10mm

Manual Focussing

The Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar's manual focussing ring spans a significant width of the lens barrel and is exceptionally smooth to operate, complete with a useful depth of field scale. It also has a large rotation angle of 90 degrees which enables precise focusing and moves smoothly without any play. The precise engravings in meters and feet, together with the depth of focus scale, help make manual focusing a veritable pleasure, especially in conjunction with the excellent Peaking feature offered by the Sony A-series cameras.

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberration (purple fringing) isn't too much of an issue with the Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar lens. We could only find a few instances of fringing in our test shots.

Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar

Light Fall-off and Distortion

Light fall-off is noticeable wide open at f/5.6, though this is to be expected for such a wide-angle lens and can easily be corrected in Photoshop. Stop down to f/8 and the vignetting is already less prominent, but it is still visible when shooting pale scenes that fill the frame.

Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar Light fall-off at 10mm

Macro

A 30cm / 11.8" minimum focus distance makes the lens useful for shooting reasonably close subjects. This image is uncropped and shows how close you can get to a Compact Flash card.

Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar Close-up performance

Sharpness

In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following page.

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