Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar Review

October 4, 2016 | Mark Goldstein |

Conclusion

Offering the widest viewpoint of any Sony full-frame E-mount lens, the Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar is an excellent ultra-wide-angle prime lens that delivers great image quality, yet is still very compact and lightweight. Sharpness in the centre of the frame is excellent throughout the aperture range, even wide open at f/5.6. The edges aren't quite so sharp, though, with f/11-f/16 producing the best results.

The Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar is a pleasure to use, thanks to its superb build quality and smooth focus and aperture rings. As this is a manual-focus only lens, you'd expect this aspect of the operation to be intuitive, and so it proved. Together with the A7R II's excellent Peaking and Manual Focus Assist features, the Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar delivered a very high percentage of keepers. The 30cm minimum focusing distance also makes the lens versatile enough to shoot close subjects.

In addition to the edge sharpness, there are only a couple of other drawbacks to the Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar. Vignetting is obvious wide-open at f/5.6, and still fairly evident at f/8, although in real-world use it's less of a problem than when photographing a white wall/test-chart. Secondly, the built-in lens hood prohibits the use of a slot-in filter system, which may or may not be a deal-breaker for some landscape photographers.

The full retail price of £799 / $1099 is reasonable for such a wide-angle lens, especially given the overall build and optical quality, although you should also consider the cheaper 12mm and 15mm Voigtlander lenses. Our main concern is not about this lens per se, but rather the technical challenges of shooting with a lens that has a 130-degree angle of view. If you can master that, though, the Voigtlander 10mm F5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar provides a view of the world that no other Sony full-frame E-mount lens can offer.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 5
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 4
Value for money 4