SONY NEX-7 with Voigtlander 12mm and 90mm lenses

Sony NEX-7 Voigtlander 12mm f/5.6

Sony NEX-7 Voigtlander 12mm f/5.6 90mm f/3.5
Sony NEX-7 Voigtlander 12mm f/5.6 and 90mm f/3.5

I don't really have a clear idea as to why I enjoy fiddling around with old lenses and adapters, but I do. Ever since I fitted a Nikon lens to a Panasonic G1 all those years ago, I've been hooked. I could argue that I get better quality, but thats not always true. It might be something to do with the challenge of getting odd combinations to work, it might be to get a sense of the history of photographic equipment and use something made of metal instead of polycarbonate, or it might be a way of achieving a certain look. Or all of these, or none of them.

Whatever the reason I do enjoy it, and actually these are the real reasons why I do it, It gives what I do a fresh impetus, its stimulating, it makes me think about what I'm doing and stops any sense of coasting and going through the motions. Even though photography is my job, I don't want it to feel like that. I'm an enthusiast, its my hobby and my passion and using these lenses constantly refreshes that. I spend enough time in the tedious process of editing, captioning, keyworking and uploading, so if I can't enjoy myself when I'm out taking photographs then I might as well go and get a "real job".

VOIGTLANDER 12mm f/5.6 ULTRA WIDE HELIAR

Sony NEX-7 Voigtlander 12mm f/5.6

I've been considering one of these for some time. I've been put off for two reasons. Firstly they are very expensive and Secondly the problem with the magenta cast and vignetting on the Sony NEX-7, which is the camera I would use it on most.

The first was taken care of by Robert White selling some of the older screw mount versions at a slightly cheaper price. Still not inexpensive, but less than the new versions. So I bought one and fitted a screw > m-mount adapter I had lying around.

The second "problem" was taken care of by two things. It isn't actually as bad as its made out to be and its easily fixable. I read somewhere, I think on Luminous Landscape, that the Voigtlander 12mm is not as bad as the 15mm, and it certainly seems that way. Yes there is a magenta cast at the sides of the image plus some vignetting. However as you can see from the example below of the shot at the top of the page, its perfectly possible to get a "normal image" from the lens.

Sony NEX-7 Voigtlander 12mm f/5.6

The other thing to be aware of is that this transformation takes me seconds to achieve. The vignetting is taken care of by converting in Adobe Camera raw in Photoshop CS6 and the removal of the magenta cast by the following.

In Photoshop I open up selective colour. I select blue and remove all the magenta. This gives a green / cyan sky. However it is now a pretty even colour. I then open up selective colour again, select cyan and add magenta to restore the colour. This actually takes me an instant, as I have the process set up as an action, so I just press a function button and its done. This stops all that messing about creating profiles and converting the raw files using Cornerfix.

Sony NEX-7 Voigtlander 12mm f/5.6

Sony NEX-7 Voigtlander 12mm f/5.6

Sony NEX-7 Voigtlander 12mm f/5.6

After an afternoon shooting with the lens on my NEX-7 I was really glad I bought it. Its very sharp apart from slightly softer edges wide open, it hardly needs focusing since at f/8 & f/11 using zone focusing its actually quite difficult to get pictures out of focus, and it has a wonderful high contrast saturated colour look which gives very film like results. In the absence of a decent super wide-angle for the NEX system, this will do me nicely. Not for everyone, but it suits me fine.

VOIGTLANDER 90mm f/3.5 APO LANTHAR

Sony NEX-7 Voigtlander 90mm f/3.5

I used this lens a lot less that the 12mm, but it performed very well. Nice and sharp when stopped down and pretty light. In addition to using this on my NEX cameras, I have plans to try it on my m4/3 cameras when it turns into a decent telepho length. 

Sony NEX-7 Voigtlander 90mm f/3.5

Sony NEX-7 Voigtlander 90mm f/3.5


So, a very enjoyable afternoons shooting and I am planning to use the NEX-7 and 5n as manual focus cameras exclusively. It's easy with the focus peaking, gives better results and is much more enjoyable, and those strike me as pretty good reasons to work with them in that way.

Sony NEX-7 Voigtlander 12mm f/5.6 90mm f/3.5


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