Let a sleeping Honey lie.

↑Leica M9 and Voigtländer 15mm f/4.5 @ 1/4 sec, f/4.5, ISO 320.

This is one of my first test shots from yesterday, with my brand new Voigtländer 15mm f/4.5 Super-Wide Heliar (in L-Mount):

I finally scratched an itch in getting this tiny, inexpensive, and now discontinued (but still available new) lens, thanks to my friend Jason Howe, who finally pushed me over the edge with his images (Jason posted a very informative write-up of this lens on his website here).

Note: There’s a second generation M-mount version of this lens currently being produced with the same optics that is larger, but has the advantage of being rangefinder coupled (meaning it can be focused on a rangefinder).  In contrast, this first version of the Voigtländer 15mm Heliar (shown above) is focused by not focusing at all!… please see Jason’s write-up for further details.

As an aside, note the difference in perspective between a 15mm lens vs. a 50mm lens.



10 thoughts on “Let a sleeping Honey lie.

  1. jasonehowe says:

    Thanks very much Peter.

    It was a real pleasure to read this very kind and generous mention. It’s clear already that you are going to give us some wonderful images from this little gem of a lens.

    Looking forward to comparing notes.

    All the best and thanks again.


  2. Dominic says:

    Hi Peter,

    I’m curious why you chose the L-mount version of this lens over the M-mount. I’m interested in this lens as well but no filter threads are putting me off the L-mount version.


    • Prosophos says:

      Hi Dominic,

      One reason: size.

      I also had an M-mount adapter lying around.


      • Dominic says:

        Is the size that much bigger? I should look into that. Would love to use this lens in NYC.

        • Prosophos says:

          Not a big difference in absolute terms, but perhaps yes in relative terms:

          Version 1 (L-mount):
          weight = 104g, length = 1.2”, diameter = 1.9”

          Version 2 (M-mount):
          weight = 156g, length = 1.5”, diamter = 2.3”, filter size = 52mm

          As you point out, Version 1 doesn’t accept filters but the diameter of the front element is much less.


  3. agplatt says:

    One of those lenses that I really regret selling when I sold my M8. It’s always been on my list to buy again but not easy to find lenses in South Africa.

    A beautiful first image with it as well.

  4. […] and have been shooting with it the last few days on my M9.  I’ve already posted some images here, here, and […]

  5. Godfrey says:

    Nice photo!

    At one time, my Leica CL kit included just two lenses .. the 40mm f/2 and this Heliar 15mm f/4.5. I enjoyed using the Heliar a lot, but found that it was often a little too extreme for me. When I moved to an M6TTL, traded the Heliar for an Elmarit-M 24mm and found that much more to my personal taste in ultra-wide.

    I keep getting the itch to try one again, though, as that was a decade ago. Lately I’ve been shooting almost exclusively with a 35mm or 40mm lens. It’s nice to see the 15 works well on the M9 sensor … Perhaps it’s worth giving it another go.

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