Voigtlander VM 15mm Version iii – User Preview

Voigtlander VM 15mm Version iii on Leica M240

Voigtlander VM 15mm Version iii on Leica M240


About a year ago, I started to review my photography style, well, it not the style of photos, it is the way how I shoot. The feeling of that I want to get closer to my subjects, therefore I started to use wider angle lenses. I bought the Voigtlander 12mm Version ii last year (read my tiny reivew here:Voigtlander 12mm Version ii preview ), and I have shot many photos with that lens. I will write a follow-up review on that lens, and let’s talk about this fantastic 15mm lens for now.

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III


Last Saturday, my friend John called me to check a second-hand Leica for him, he bought it online. After both of us were satisfied with the camera, John and me decided to take a look on the new Voigtlander 15mm Version III lens. So, we headed to the camera shop.

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

We spent about an hour there trying the 15mm and other lenses, ended up I bought one at the spot. (I don’t know if I should say it’s an emotional buying.) And I put the lens straight on the camera while I was in the shop.

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

After a late breakfast, I took the lens with me to a farmers market not far from the city, and I had an really really good time with it. All the shots below taken on that day in the farmers market.

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

How wide is a 15mm? It’s very very wide! Just think about the pro-level super-wide-angle zoom lenses for DSLR system there were normally starts from 16mm to 35mm, and some of my friends using Nikon 14-24mm F2.8G were complaining 14mm is too hard to control. 15mm it’s not far from 14mm, and it’s not that far from 16mm as well, but it is wide, really really wide! For the photo above, I was about 1.5 meters away from the subject. You know how wide this lens is now.

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

When Voigtlander announced the lens, I knew I would get one. The most important reason for me to buy this lens, it’s the size. Leica has a TRI-ELMAR-M 16-18-21mm f/4 ASPH, but it’s big and heavy. And Voigtlander did say this version iii has optical improvments, I think this lens worth to buy.

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

From a few days of use, I would give this lens “should-have” rating. It does perform really really well on my Leica M240. It doesn’t like the Voigtlander VM 12mm Version ii gives me a heavy Vignetting and color fringing on M240. The Voigtlander 12mm version ii would be great for films and M9 cameras or non-full-frame cameras, but not the M240.

This 15mm version iii did control distortion well, I don’t have any trouble of using it. And you could correct some of the dislike distortion on post-production in softwares anyway. But, for all the shots above, I didn’t do any lens correction.

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

To those people want to use this lens on Sony A7 cameras, my friend John did try this lens on his Sony A7R. There were no color fringing or heavy vignetting Sony A7R. And I think this could help voigtlander to sell lots of this lens.

Well, this is an user preview. So, I could not say so much about it. I will try to use it for a few weeks, and will write a better review on this lens. Now, I would just post more photos below. All the photos on this article taken by Leica M240 with this lens, there were no any of lens correction applied in the post. So, you can judge the lens by yourself.

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

Leica M240 with Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f/4.5 Aspherical III

6 Comments

  1. Reply
    Hervé June 3, 2015

    ::looks like good distortion control on horizontal shots, more challenging on verticals. contrast seems a bit high…but given the price of Leica lenses I would agree that this Voigtlander is a “should have” if one wanted a super wide angle. looking forward to your next review of this lens. thanks for sharing.

  2. Reply
    paul July 14, 2015

    Hi, thanks for sharing, do you think it’s necessary to set the manual code in leica M for lens correction?

    • Reply
      rick0530 July 14, 2015

      I think it depends on the lenses you were using. My own opinions on this, you don’t need to set lens code if you were using 35mm or longer focal length lenses, but I would strongly recommend you please do use lens code(or manually) if you were using 35mm or wider focal length lenses.

      • Reply
        paul July 15, 2015

        Great tips, thank you!

    • Reply
      Clint July 15, 2015

      Paul, if you use Lightroom there is a profile for the 15mm v3 so you can shoot the lens uncoded on the M240 and just use the profile in LR. I just bought the 15mm yesterday so I will try it myself tonight:)

      • Reply
        paul July 15, 2015

        Clint, I’ve LR too, will check it out tonight. Thank you for the sharing!

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