Leica in the snow

leica M9 voigtlander 15mm

The UK is having a severe cold spell at the moment and while our area is not badly affected yesterday we had a light dusting of snow & a clear blue sky. Ideal conditions for photography, with the sunlight showing off the landscape and the conditions allowing travel.

leica m9 cosina voigtlander 50mm f/1.1 nokton

It was a good opportunity to test the Voigtlander 15mm Super Wide Heliar. This lens poses problems on the M9. This is due to design. The lens is incredibly small, and it is also very deep. The rear nodal point is too close for the sensor and this causes both vignetting and a rather nasty magenta distortion. See - /soundimageplus/2009/12/leica-m9-voigtlander-15mm.html
Theres also a discussion of it here:-

There is a piece of free software called Cornerfix which takes most of the problems away, but not all. Some work in post-production is necessary.

This is a lens that would get a lot of use, so a days testing proved a good way to assess whether it was going to stay. There was a tempting, mint condition S/H 16-18-21 + finder at a good price on one of our favourite dealers websites - so it had competition.

At one point it was heading for ebay until this image:-

leica M9 voigtlander 15mm super wide heliar

The original file at 100% is just so sharp and the colour is wonderful. We had checked out lots of samples of the 16-18-21 Tri-Elmar (or WATE as its known - Wide Angle Tri Elmar) Including this one:-

This is from the dpreview review of the M9 and is a full size jpg.

The shots from the Voigtlander were every bit the equal of this & sometimes better.
The 15mm gets differing reviews - some think it excellent - others not so good. I guess if you spend £3500 on a Leica 16-18-21 and then see this little £400 upstart you might do everything in your power to justify the expense.

However the bottom line of this is that the Voigtlander 15mm performed very well & despite the need for post-processing is a very nice lens.

I found a forum on the internet which suggested setting the Leica lens selector to the 21mm F/2.8 setting when using the Voigtlander 15mm. The 21mm apparently has severe vignetting. I tried it and it works very well. The vignetting completely disappears on the raw files. Looks like Panasonic aren't the only ones to employ in-camera correction. Wonder if they have been comparing notes?

leica M9 voigtlander 15mm

Overall it was a great day, with some beautiful images. Snow can make even the most ordinary places look magical & in this part of the UK it is still a rare event.

The M9 is currently the only camera in use around here at the moment. When the images appear on the screen, theres none of that "I thought it looked better than that" feeling. The colour is just sumptuous, with that "film" look.
All the images are beautifully sharp.
Theres something about Kodak sensors, with no
Anti-aliasing filter that turns a digital file into a photograph.

D & A

leica M9 voigtlander 15mm

leica M9 voigtlander 15mm

leica M9 voigtlander 15mm super wide