Voigtlander 15mm F4.5 Super Wide Heliar Review

July 12, 2016 | Mark Goldstein |


The compact and lightweight Voigtlander 15mm F4.5 Super Wide Heliar is an excellent ultra-wide-angle prime lens that delivers great image quality. Shooting at the maximum f/4.5 aperture does reveal a very minor reduction in sharpness in the centre of the frame, but this is quickly resolved by stopping down to f/5.6. The edges aren't quite so sharp, though, with f/8-f/16 producing the best results.

The Voigtlander 15mm F4.5 Super 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 15mm F4.5 Super 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 15mm F4.5 Super Wide Heliar. Vignetting is obvious wide-open at f/4.5, 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.

With the full retail price of £649 / $799 being more than reasonable for such a specialist lens, the Voigtlander 15mm F4.5 Super Wide Heliar is a compelling native ultra-wide-angle optic for full-frame E-Mount Sony owners. Highly Recommended!

4.5 stars

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