Voigtlander 75mm f/1.8 Classic Heliar on Leica M9

Leica M9 Voigtlander 75mm f/1.8 Heliar Classic

FIRST IMPRESSIONS.

Build

The first thing to say is that this is a beautifully made lens. Voigtlanders are well put together generally but this one is especially good. Lovely smooth focus ring and aperture click stops. It feels substantial but not over heavy. Its a thin design and medium long. 

Specs.

Smallest Aperture: F16
Lens Construction: 3 Groups, 6 Elements
Aperture Blades: 10
Nearest Distance: 0.9m
Diameter: 57.9mm
Length: 73.8mm
Weight: 427g
Filter size: 52mm
Hood: Included
Colour: Black

As is common with many m-mount lenses it doesn't focus that closely. It has a handy 52mm filter size and there's a hood included.

Whats it like wide-open?

Always the first question with a fast lens. 

The following are at f/1.8. 
(N.B. Ignore exif data as I've used a manual preset on the M9. The nearest was a 75mm f/2. f2 in the exif data is f1.8 on the lens)

Leica M9 Voigtlander 75mm f/1.8 Heliar Classic

Leica M9 Voigtlander 75mm f/1.8 Heliar Classic

I'm pretty impressed with the wide-open performance. The sharpness doesn't match what it does at f/4 onwards, which is produce excellent results, but its really very good. There's also virtually no CA or fringing on my copy which is good to see. I had one of the 75mm f/2.5 Colour Heliars and that was quite unpleasant wide open with lots of purple fringing. This new lens is much better than that and produces very "clean" results at f/1.8.

Overall image quality.

The lens works very well the M9 and for this first run out with it I was mostly using it either wide open or up to f5.6 only. Very impressive at f/5.6 and very good at f/2.8 and f/4. It performs in a similar fashion to other Voigtlanders I've used. Great sharpness with a real "bite" to the images and with nice, but not great, bokeh.

Leica M9 Voigtlander 75mm f/1.8 Heliar Classic

Leica M9 Voigtlander 75mm f/1.8 Heliar Classic

I'm going to work with it over the next few days and try it in a variety of situations, but my first impressions are very positive. I was surprised by how good the performance at f/1.8 was and  certainly better than I was expecting. I will be using it on my M9 and on my m4/3 cameras for stills and video, where it turns into a very handy 150mm f/1.8 FF equivalent. I was also impressed by the build quality which is really very good indeed and is the best Voigtlander I've used in terms of that.

I've always liked these Cosina Voigtlanders and haven't been disappointed by one yet. The nearest Leica lens I can offer a comparison with is a Summarit-M 90mm f/2.5 which I have. The Voigtlander 75mm f1.8 is easily on a par with that lens in terms of sharpness. 

Its a well-made, fast, relatively cheap (for an m-mount) lens and is capable of beautiful, detailed images with the M9. There's not really a lot more to say, except that I'm off to take more pictures with it.

Leica M9 Voigtlander 75mm f/1.8 Heliar Classic



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