Voigtlander 75mm f/1.8 Classic Heliar on Leica M9 - continued

Leica M9 Voigtlander 75mm f/1.8 Heliar Classic

Taking out this lens in a "real world" situation I'm even more impressed with it. I never really feel that I've got a good idea about the quality or otherwise of a piece of equipment unless I've spent a few hours with it, using it in the way that I would normally.

After an unpromising start yesterday afternoon turned out to produce really nice light, with bright sunshine and dark storm clouds. I took out the Leica M9 with the Voigtlander 75mm f/1.8 Classic Heliar and left it on the camera most of the time. Its surprising how versatile a 75mm lens can be, and I didn't feel restricted by using just the one lens.

Leica M9 Voigtlander 75mm f/1.8 Heliar Classic

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I took a few shots at wide apertures, and the bokeh is very pleasant. Focusing accurately with this focal length at f2, f2.8 etc. can be quite tricky with a rangefinder unless you have some strong edges to lock onto but I managed OK and found it easier than I thought it was going to be. The focusing ring is a joy to use and as mentioned yesterday, this is a very well made lens which performs very well and in a "photographer - friendly" way.

Leica M9 Voigtlander 75mm f/1.8 Heliar Classic

For the most part I used either f/8 or f/11 and found it to be very sharp at both settings. Absolutely no problems at all. As is often the case the picture when taken was somewhat bigger than the 75mm frame lines on the Leica indicated and I learnt to adjust accordingly. 

I must admit after years of working with 35mm I'm still much more comfortable judging composition with prime lenses on full-frame than I am with smaller sensors. I would often see what I wanted to include, walk to where I thought the lens would cover it and usually found that I wasn't far out.  Using rangefinders with prime lenses is very different to DSLR's with zooms and I wondered if I would have problems with the 75mm as I haven't used one for a while. However it worked very well and I enjoyed using the focal length more than I thought I would.

Leica M9 Voigtlander 75mm f/1.8 Heliar Classic

Overall I'm very pleased with the lens. Its a very useful addition to my lens range and will be useful both as a fast lens for low light and as a landscape lens. How it compares to Leica or Zeiss 75mm lenses I can't say as I don't have them to compare. As I said yesterday its very similar in performance to my 90mm f/2.5 Summarit-M and everything from build quality to performance wide-open to CA / fringing and overall sharpness is excellent across the board. My experience with these Cosina Voigtlanders has generally been very positive. I had some issues with a 50mm f/1.1 Nokton, which was not great wide open and had some screws which kept working loose, but apart from that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them. This 75mm is certainly one of the best I've used and is beautifully put together. There's no compromise on image quality here and I'm sure that it will produce excellent quality images for me for many years to come.

Leica M9 Voigtlander 75mm f/1.8 Heliar Classic

Finally my thanks to Leica Rumors for putting a link to these posts on their site. Its much appreciated.

Words - D
Images - D & A