Review: Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 E Hyper Wide Heliar

Introduction

Sony A7s with Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar E
Sony A7s with Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar E

The Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar E aspherical is the second native E-Mount lens by Voigtlander and it is also the widest rectilinear lens ever produced. I am a wide angle junkie so I was eagerly awaiting this lens. Read on to find out what one can do with such a wide lens!
Update
(06/06/17): long term experiences after one year of usage added

Sample Images

voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 review sample
Sony A7rII | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/16 | higher resolution
voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 review sample
Sony A7rII | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/11 | higher resolution
Sony A7rII | Voigtlander 10mm 5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar E | f/8.0 | higher resolution

voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 review sample
Sony A7rII | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/11 | GND 0.9 Reverse
voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 stuttgart sony e a7 distortion stuttgart library stadtbibliothek milaneo
Sony A7s | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/8.0 | full resolution

Specifications / Version History

Unlike the 15mm 4.5 E III the 10mm 5.6 is the first of its kind and there hasn’t been anything like it before. You may think I sound a little enthusiastic here, but this is the widest rectilinear lens ever produced. Period. It is wider than Canon’s 11-24mm 4.0 L and it is also wider than some stitched panorama coming from the Canon TS-E 17mm 4.0 shifted in all directions (this would by the way be similar to a 10.8 mm lens, check this really good calculator).
This lens also comes with Leica-M mount, both versions should once more be optically identical, and optimized for digital sensors. The lens has pretty much the same size as the 15mm 4.5 III.

I am reviewing the brand new Sony E-Mount version here which has the following specifications:

    • Diameter: 67.4 mm
    • Field of view: 130° (diagonally)
    • Length:  68.5 mm
    • Weight: 375g
    • Filter Diameter: none
    • Number of Aperture Blades: 10 (straight)
    • Elements/Groups: 13/10
    • Close Focusing Distance: 0.3 m
    • Maximum Magnification: ~1:15
    • Mount: Sony-E

You may also have a look at Voigtländer’s official page.

Right now the lens is available on ebay.de for 1089€ (affiliate link) and on ebay.com/amazon.com for 1099$ (affiliate link).

Disclosure

The Voigtlander 10mm 5.6 E Hyper Wide Heliar was kindly provided free of charge by Voigtländer Germany (Ringfoto) for reviewing purpose for a duration of 2 weeks.
After that I purchased one for myself at full retail price.

Handling / Build Quality

Sony A7s with Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar E
Sony A7s with Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar E

The build quality is very nice as the lens is an all metal construction and feels very solid, tolerances are very low and the markings are engraved and filled with white (and red) paint.

The focus ring hast just the right resistance, is distinctively shaped, quite broad and easy to grab without looking at the lens. It takes roughly 90° turning it from Infinity to 0.3 m.  The aperture ring has third-of-a-stop click-stops and it takes a little less than 70° from f/5.6 to f/22.
When you turn the focusing ring the camera zooms in automatically, this can also be turned off in the camera menu. But there is an additional effect: a virtual distance scale is shown in the viewfinder and on the screen.

The hood is non detachable and there is no filter thread so using filters is not possible without a lens specific adapter (scroll down for further information on this).

Sony A7s with Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar E Aspherical (aperture ring set to clickless)
Sony A7s with Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar E Aspherical (aperture ring set to clickless)

The aperture ring can be declicked – a feature which is also availabe on Zeiss Loxia lenses – but the incorporation here is way better in my opinion: there is a small ring right behind the aperture ring, you can pull it forward, turn it by 180° and thereby change between click stops and clickless aperture (white dot on top: click stops, yellow line on top: clickless).

Vignetting and colorcast

vignetting voigtlander 10mm 5.6 iii lll 3 aspherical sony e mount

Similar to the Voigtlander 12mm 5.6 Ultra Wide Heliar M39 as well as the Voigtlander 15mm 4.5 Super Wide Heliar III E reviewed by me this lens has a symmetrical optical design which allows for quite compact wide angle lenses with very low distortion (in comparison to retrofocus designs) but leads to noticeable vignetting throughout the whole aperture range (up to ~2.5 EV in the extreme corners). There is no Lightroom profile for this lens yet.
Keep in mind: correcting the vignetting means pushing the corner regions by a few stops, this may lead to visible noise in these areas.

There are also some traces of green color casts towards the borders on the A7s’ sensor, this is the worst example so far.

Update: in certain situations I also noticed green color cast towards the edges on the A7rII’s BSI sensor.

Sharpness

infinity

voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 stuttgart sony e a7s sharpness resolution contrast

Everything but the extreme corners is very good from the start at infinity. So it isn’t surprising that with the A7s’ 12mp resolution I can’t see any improvements in the center and midframe on stopping down. The extreme corners steadily improve until f/11, which I think is the best choice for even sharpness across the whole frame, but the corners still leave someting to be desired. In case the corners aren’t crucial, using the lens wide open is no problem.
At f/16 you see traces of diffraction which becomes very apparent at f/22, so I would avoid these settings.

Update: here you can find 100% crops from this lens shot on the 42mp A7rII for center, midframe and corners.

There may be a very slight degree of field curvature, but not enough to worry about (or to get better corners) at infinity.

The centering quality was very good.

close focus

voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 stuttgart sony e a7 distortion stuttgart library stadtbibliothek
Sony A7s | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/5.6 | full resolution

Sharpness up close is quite good already wide open in the center. The corners suffer from noticeable field curvature though, but I don’t think this will be an issue for the typical user.

voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 stuttgart sony e a7 distortion stuttgart library stadtbibliothek
100% crop from photo above

Flare resistance

voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 stuttgart sony e a7 sunstar flare resistance ghost stuttgart
Sony A7s | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/16

To my suprise the 10mm 5.6 E seems to be even better than the 15mm 4.5 E in this regard! The worst thing I could produce yet is the small purple ghost, when the sun is near the corner of the frame. No problems with the sun outside the frame yet. So far things look very promising here.

Update: in a few more (still very rare) cases I caught small purple ghosts as shown above, but most of the time shooting directly into the sun was no problem at all:

voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 review sample
Sony A7rII | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/11

Coma

voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 stuttgart sony e a7 distortion stuttgart library stadtbibliothek milaneo coma sunstar
With a maximum aperture of f/5.6 this is a slow wideangle lens, (one stop slower than e.g. the Sony/Zeiss FE 16-35mm 4.0 ZA). Slow wide angle lenses usually don’t suffer from coma as much and the Voigtlander 10mm 5.6 is no exception here.  Coma performance is really good already wide open.

Use for Astrophotography

10mm 5.6 voigtlander hyper wide heliar astrophotography astro stars milkyway
Sony A7s | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/5.6 | ISO6400 | 30s | pushed 2 EV in post

I finally got around shooting the Milkyway with this lens but as expected photos become quite a bit noisy. I usually use 14mm f2.8 lenses for this job so for the same level of brightness you need an ISO value 4 times as high. I used my usual settings of lens wide open, 30 seconds and ISO6400 but had to push the exposure by 2 stops in post for semi-decent brightness (so I could have also shot at ISO25600 in the first place…).
I still decided to show you the shot above so you can get a grasp at what to expect when using this lens for this certain application.

Distortion

DIstortion characteristics of Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar E
DIstortion characteristics of Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar E

As I would expect from a symmetrical wide angle lens distortion is pretty much negligible. This is really great for architectural shots like these:

Sony A7rII | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/8.0 | higher resolution

Sunstars

voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 stuttgart sony e a7 sunstar sunstars reflection reflections blende aperture blades

Between f/5.6 and f/16 this lens has the same beautiful sunstars I already liked the 15mm 4.5 III E and the Loxias for. At f/22 they don’t look that great but because of diffraction I would avoid that setting anyways. Keep in mind though with 10mm light sources often won’t appear overly big in the image, same goes for the sunstars.
*My lens collected some dust before taking these shots, this is where the reflections come from.

voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 review sample
Sony A7rII | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/10

Chromatic aberrations

longitudinal

Because of the slow maximum aperture longitudinal CAs are nothing to worry about. Because I couldn’t find any, I can’t show you any.

lateral

There is an embedded profile when using Lightroom for correcting the lateral CA which cannot be turned off. So to show you what it looks like without the correction, I took some shots without electronic contact between lens and camera.


Sony A7s | Voigtlander 10 mm 5.6 | f/5.6 | CA 100% crop without correction (before) /corrected with embedded profile (after), extreme corner

This is not a bad performance for a lens with these parameters and the CA can quite easily be corrected in post, as can be seen above.

Use with filters

Voigtlander 10mm 5.6 with NiSi 150mm Holder attached
Voigtlander 10mm 5.6 with NiSi 150mm Holder attached

I sent my lens to NiSi filters for the development of a lens specific filter holder. I have now received the very first holder and it can be used with up to 3 square filters (ND and Polarizer are 150x150mm, GND are 150x170mm)  at all angles without any vignetting due to the filter holder. You can’t replicate the effect of a polarizer in post so a polarizer alongside a 0.9 Stop Reverse GND will be the filters I am using with this lens.

Update: here are some sample images taken with the aforementioned filters:

voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 review sample
Sony A7rII | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/11 | Polarizer
voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 review sample
Sony A7rII | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/11 | Polarizer + GND 0.9 Reverse | higher resolution
voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 review sample
Sony A7rII | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/16 | Polarizer

You can order the holder here at amazon.com/amazon.de (affiliate links)

Alternatives

Voigtlander 12mm 5.6 Ultra Wide Heliar (M39):
The corner sharpness is pretty similar but the difference between 12mm and 10mm is also very noticeable (as I already tried to show). Can be found way cheaper on the used market and in case you can get your hands on the filter adapter also usable with 77mm screw-in filters an 100mm filter systems.

Canon 11-24mm 4.0L:
I haven’t used this beast yet but it is the only rectilinear lens that comes close in field of view. I expect somewhat better optical quality (except for distortion and maybe vignetting wide open), but that price has to be paid, not just in Dollars, but also in size and weight.

Canon TS-E 17mm 4.0:
You probably didn’t see this one coming 🙂 When making use of the shift function and stitching a panorama afterwards you come close to what a 10.8mm lens would show you. Unfortunately this is quite the hassle in post (especially correcting the distortion).

Laowa 12mm 2.8:
I got the chance to review a prototype of this lens and the final version is also available now. Not as wide and considerably bigger but also faster. Shows similar color cast issues as the 10mm 5.6.

Sony/Zeiss FE 16-35mm 4.0 ZA/Samyang 14mm 2.8/everything else >14mm:
In case you are deciding between one of these lenses and the 10mm you should go back and take another look at the focal length comparison. It is like asking whether you should get a 35mm or a 50mm, no one can answer that for you.

Conclusion

good

  • good to very good sharpness and contrast already at maximum aperture (except for the extreme corners)
  • build quality and handling
  • very good flare resistance
  • coma correction
  • distortion
  • sunstars
  • size / weight
  • clever implementation of aperture “de-click” feature
average

  • correction of lateral CA
  • price
not good

  • vignetting
  • minimum focus distance
  • extreme corners soft at all apertures
  • slight green color cast on A7s (less on A7rII)
  • no filter thread

This is not a lens without flaws, especially when taking a look at vignetting and corner sharpness. But this lens also has a unique focal length of 10mm, so if I asked someone to show me a better 10mm lens, there simply wouldn’t be one. This is something I am also going to take into consideration here.

When it comes to framing and composition you will have to up your game for this lens. The wider a lens is the more challenging it is to take decent photos with it. Wide lenses should rarely be used for “having it all in the frame”, so in case your widest lens to date is something like the 28mm 2.0 this lens might be a little over the top right now.
But in the right hands this lens is able to produce great results and distinct perspectives not as easily (or at all) possible before.

I also want to repeat something I wrote in the 15mm 4.5 review:
I think Voigtlander has found a very sweet spot balancing the size of the lens with the optical qualities.

So, who is this lens for? Anyone, who simply wants the widest rectilienar lens available and can forgive some corner sharpness and vignetting issues. You also get nice build quality, transfer of Exif information and the “de-click” function of the aperture ring. I once more think the price is quite well balanced, while it isn’t an inexpensive lens it is also the cheapest 10mm for full-frame 🙂
In case you are looking for better across the frame sharpness or you need a lens with a maximum aperture of 2.8 you are pretty much stuck with adapted DSLR lenses as of today which are not only bigger, but also not as wide.

Over the last year this might have not been the lens I took most of my shots with, but in fact often the lens I took the shots with that I like the most.
For architecture photography this lens has proven to be an invaluable tool, but I have also used it for landscape shooting (even with filters) and many abstract shots.
The most important aspect: it is still small enough to carry everywhere, which I very often do. You might need to up your game in terms of ultra-wideangle composition skills though, but the results can be very rewarding.

Highly Recommended to all the wide angle junkies like me that don’t mind a little post processing (correcting the vignette and sometimes also color cast) to get the most out of their shots!

Right now the lens is available on ebay.de for 1089€ (affiliate link) and on ebay.com/amazon.com for 1099$ (affiliate link).

Sample Images

voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 review sample
Sony A7rII | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/5.6 | higher resolution
voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 stuttgart sony e a7 hallstatt austria blue hour reflection church
Sony A7s | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/9.0 | full resolution
voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 stuttgart sony e a7 distortion stuttgart library stadtbibliothek milaneo
Sony A7s | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/5.6 | full resolution
voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 stuttgart sony e a7 distortion stuttgart library stadtbibliothek milaneo
Sony A7s | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/5.6 | full resolution
voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 stuttgart sony e a7 distortion stuttgart mercedes benz museum
Sony A7s | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/11 | full resolution
voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 stuttgart sony e a7 hallstatt austria italy resie reschensee reschenpass reflection church
Sony A7s | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/11 | full resolution
voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 stuttgart sony e a7 hallstatt austria italy resie reschensee reschenpass reflection church
Sony A7s | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/11 | full resolution

I have also set up a flickr album for this lens which contains some more sample images.

Further Reading

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My name is Bastian and for many years I have been mostly shooting Nikon DSLRs. As of today I have made my transition from Nikon to Sony and I am mainly using small but capable manual lenses. My passion is landscape photography but I also like to delve into other subjects from time to time.

108 thoughts on “Review: Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 E Hyper Wide Heliar”

  1. Waiting for your review Bastian, but want to ask you a question does it hood like the 15mm V3?
    For 15mmV3, Benro have holder for this lens using 100mm square filter. For mine I used the Bombo holder can found it here http://bombophoto.com
    So if this lens the hood like 15V3 maybe the holder using 150mm square filter will working.
    Thanks

    1. The 10mm has a higher diameter, and yesterday I tried holding my 100mm Lee Filter Holder in front of the lens, which results in black corners.

      You have to either chop off the lens hood (then 100mm square filters might do) or try mounting 150mm filters.

      Bastian

      1. I have successful product new holder for Voitg 10mm f/5.6 using 100mm filters system with two filters slot name Laser100 Special Edition, it will be introduce in July, that the most slim holder in the world now, the Bombo Holder only 10mm thickness can cover all Voitg 10mm lens without vignette, follow my website for more information

      2. Seems the diffenence in quality between the copies are quite high. My copy has pretty low vignetting (easy to correct in LR) and good corner sharpness even at 5.6. My Ringfoto dealer in Hamburg was quite surprised by the results.

        Gerd

  2. The samples surely look nice but for me with the A7S with only 12 MP aren’t telling a whole lot about the performance of the lens on higher resolution sensors. Here’s hoping there will be samples made with an A7R or A7R2.

    I like the pictures BTW.

    1. I will see what I can do.
      I actually recently intended to buy an A7rII, but due to the quake in Japan prices have gone up again and the camera is now even more overpriced than ever 🙁

      Bastian

      1. Well, also sample pics with an A7 or A7R will already show a lot more of the optical performance, the A7R’s shutter shock syndrome won’t be a problem with a focal length of 10mm :).

        I recently acquired the A7R2, grudgingly paying the ransom for getting rid of the A7’s sensor reflections. It’s a boatload of money indeed, but the camera is a step-up from the A7 in almost every aspect.

  3. Could you please explain this feature?

    QUOTE When you turn the focusing ring the camera zooms in automatically, this can also be turned off in the camera menu. UNQUOTE

    1. Do you know of the MF-assist function (this sould be on the icon with the magnifying class)?
      Turning the focusing ring will be like pressing the MF-assist button twice.
      I don’t really like this (and therefore turned it off), but some people love this feature.

      Bastian

  4. Interesting lens, although unfortunately slow. I would be very interested to know about the Coma of the lens . So I am looking forward for your next addition. If you like to test on A7rII, please contact me. Maybe I can arrange that. Phillip knows me and has my contact details.

  5. “The build quality is very nice as the lens is an all metal construction and feels very solid, tolerances are very low and the markings are engraved and filled with white (and red) paint.”

    What do you mean when you write “tolerances are very low”?

    Many thanks for the review!

  6. Hello Bastian,
    Thanks for the review. I have the Batis 18mm which is very nice but looking for something wider for architecture/landscape. I am hesitating between the 10 and the 12mm Voigtlander E mount. I shoot with the a7r2. Besides the obvious wider angle, do you think her are differences in quality (vignetting, corner sharpness, chromatic aberrations,..) between the two lenses (10/12mm)? What would be your choice between the 2?

    Thanks

    Julien

    1. Dear Julien,
      the new 12mm 5.6 is not yet available so I can’t really comment on that one.
      I might get a review sample as soon as it is available, but I don’t know when that will be.

      Nevertheless, as things are today I will probably go for the 10mm 5.6, the corner sharpness isn’t perfect but sufficient for my needs and I am more than willing to pay that price for the widest lens available.
      I also still have the older 12mm 5.6 M39 which has a filter thread (via an adapter) so I may keep that one as well.

      If you have any furher questions don’t hesitate to ask!

      Bastian

      1. Thanks Bastian…I will give a try to the 10mm then. it just appeared in stock at B&H!
        BTW, I saw you come to San Francisco some times, if you do a gain ping me and we can go do some photos (and you can test with my a7r2!). I believe you have my email through the forum? If not let me know.

        Best
        Julien

  7. Just a quick info:
    The Donation-Button seems to be broken. I get the following message on the next page when i click it:

    “Error Detected: Some required information is missing or incomplete. Please correct your entries and try again.”

  8. Great review Bastian, thank you! I have a question … have you done any geometric correction to straighten curved or tilted lines? Thanks! Marc

  9. Thank You so much for Your testing and sharing !

    I have discovered wide-angle photography “unexpectedly”. Never thought it could possibly interest me. Then I got for truly almost nothing a second-hand, somewhat damaged 8mm Samsung (despite on a full-frame 5d3) – and I made photos of unsuspected interest ..to me.. This led me to purchase the Rokinon f/2.8 12mm -I’m also again amazed ( I don’t understand why this lens is not widely known). Do You think I’m not difficult enough because new in this field ? – I wonder. Regarding portrait-lens I can affirm that the G-Master 85mm convinces me completely, I was difficult with my EF f/1.2 85mm, and I remain unsure about witch of my 50mm to keep..
    To the point : (Now with my A7RII -since it’s out) I’m very much tempted by Canons expensive (heavy) 11-24mm. ANY chance that You compare these two at f/8 @11mm crop – and on a A7R II..? I think that is on many photographer’s mind…
    How will people in the corner be rendered..? Your photo in the Library is mind blowing fantastic and shows how (beautifully) useful it can be. “Only” for geometric subjects ?

    I wonder if I might prefer to crop into Voightlanders 10mm or maybe end up only use the zooms extremes (11 and 24) only.. This zoom seems better in most respect than any fixed WA-lens (about 6 lens in one ! 11, 12, 14, 18, 21, 24mm). My problem now is that I always fear to hasten to mount the wrong focal length – hence my hopes for that Zoom ( just zoom instead of missing shot/changing lens) – and now comes along the uncertainties with this new 10mm perspective… Is it as mind-blowing sharp as implied elsewhere?
    ( I discovered the usefulness of WA in rapid reportage-portrait environment – and jet show people to their advantage !)
    in any case – thanks again for Your nice work and sharing 🙂 !!

    1. Dear Alain,
      I am not planning on doing that comparison anytime soon.
      In case you can afford the 11-24mm and you want to carry it with it’s huge size and weight you will be better of with that lens.
      Vignetting improves on stopping down, corner sharpness should be significantly better and as you already mentioned you gain a lot of flexibility.
      The Voigtlander’s main advantages are the record breaking 10mm and the very small size.

      Bastian

  10. 🙂 Thank You for Your thorough answer !
    ( ..and it reinforces my feeling that an other Voightlander-reviewer’s very unspecific comment about the 11-24 is indeed untrustworthylly condescendant.)

    Unfortunately, “affordable” does not quite apply to my ongoing condition. I clearly forgot to admit and add that the Voightlander seemed to be possibly the multiple solution also because sooner in reach for me for reasons of costs – and despite of it being only pre-ordable jet.

    But I can still wonder 😉 …An other Irix lens in “sight”: “One scoop that the company gave us is that they are planning to release an 11mm, 4.0 lens and a Sony mounts soon.” March 23, 2016; http://www.diyphotography.net/interview-irix-new-15mm-f2-4-lens-makers/

    “..but gain a lot of flexibility” will probably indeed still remain desirable, a strong argument in favor to the Zoom, for my use.
    (It is interesting to consider that with a secondhand A7r dedicated to the 10mm, it still comes cheeper than the Zoom..)

    Thanks !

  11. Looks like many of you guys want to see images with this lens mounted on the Sony A7RII. I can help you with that. I have been waiting for this lens for months and pre-ordered it as soon as possible. So I got it already on May-25-2016. And I took it to some serious shooting with te A7RII. I already finished editing the first image from this shoot and uploaded it to my 500px and Flickr accounts. You can have a look right here: https://500px.com/photo/156697279/the-way-to-the-bar-by-hans-peter-deutsch
    Also, some of you are interested how this compares to the Canon 11-24mm. I have tried that too, already half a year ago, mounted onto a Sony A7RII with a Metabones IV adapter. An example of this combination is here: https://500px.com/photo/129286373/the-grand-piano-by-hans-peter-deutsch (this image even made first place in 500px’s Urban Exploration category on the day it was posted).
    So if you ask me, a wide-angle junkie true to the bone, what I think about this lens… well: It’s the best I ever tried for my kind of shooting. And that means something, since I have been on the Nikon 14-24mm with D800 and D810 bodies for YEARS. Now, once I got the Voigtlaender 10mm, I put it on the A7RII and I never, ever took it off again. I have the Sony 16-35 mm f/4 on my secondary body (a A7II) for the rare cases when I need a ‘mild tele’ 😉

  12. Hans-Peter,

    I almost thought You mean “the best” is the Canon 11-24mm. Then re-reading I must ponder You mean the Voightlander is “best”, or Voigtlander is not the best but You cant live without it anymore for all it’s other good reasons combined, lol.
    Your eye, Your work, are outstanding, but You cant possibly expect Your samples to give hints to the quality / specificity, the tool’s difference. Of course..what the heck does it matter.. lol
    No seriously, I cannot claim to understand what You mean, but I do totally understand Your second Body with a 16-35mm !
    But the Sony 16-35mm I rather cant see more as being very convenient (and very good), but not at all “threatening” fixed-lens alternatives, as where the 11-24mm I do.
    You find the Voighlander intensely more inspiring (fair enough!) and feel free to crop AND leave it full-frame ? Or do You find the 11-24 just not wide enough, or not good enough, or too heavy ?
    (“Because” a heavy 11-24 combined with a ‘small fixed 35mm outstanding at f 8’ could have sounded just as logic.)
    I could have imagined that for Your photos You would have liked the TS-e lenses. That maybe You consider to be able to crop in the 10mm instead ? But discussing this is leading to far here I guess.

    1. Alain,
      yes, I meant the Voigtlaender (not the Canon), when I said it’s the best for my kind of work. And I definitely mean: my kind of work. I don’t need fast apertures since I shoot on a tripod and stop down to f/8 or f/11 for maximum depth of field anyway. I prefer the gain in ‘impact’ by a wider focal length over the (slight) gain in sharpness by a shorter. And I sure don’t need auto-focus with an ultra-wide lens which I stop down for maximum depth of field anyway. I MUCH prefer the depth of field scale of the Voigtlaender for hyperfocal-length-focusing over auto-focus. Not to mention, that often the areas where I take pictures are too dark for auto-focus to work anyway. Also, I almost always need ‘as wide as possible’, so a zoom like the Canon 11-24 or the Nikon 14-24 is almost always (99% of the time) at the widest settings in my hands. Thus, everything (fast aperture, auto-focus, zoom-range) which makes these great zoom-lenses BIG, HEAVY and EXPENSIVE, I don’t need! So why pay for that and carry all that bulk around? FINALLY somebody understood that and built a lens which doesn’t have all this useless (for me) stuff and came up with a nice REALLY wide, small and light prime. There is one other lens lineup which falls into this category, that’s the Zeiss Loxia lenses. They are optically better, no doubt. However, they are just … not … wide … enough, at least for me.

  13. If you have to pick between this lens and Sony 16-35 FE, which one would you rather go for if you want to do both videos and still shots and your primary objective is the landscape photograhpy without comprimising quality of the image and post-editing them? Thanks in advance.

  14. Thank You Hanspeter,
    Now I understand You points of views, that I perceive You hierarchically summarized to the strategy to favor for Your better artistic impact, I respect that fully, – justified by pragmatic facts (considering two existing options).
    And I can fairly deduce what to me was left to be cleared, that the lens’s “optical” quality of the 10mm is perceived as inferior to that of the 11-24.

    (For the provocative-humorously sake of what I mean regarding pragmatics 
    (no-no..I do not expect an answer, I’m just an nerd philosophizing) :
    Would the same justifications remain if Voightlander made an even heavier 9-15mm zoom, AF, f/3.5 that at 10mm would render better than its fixed equivalent – or would You go, no matter what, for the 9mm impact (Impact in its noble aspects ?

    I did not sell my 5DIII because it was to big in comparison to the A7rII. But I could use it as an obvious-looking argument. At least budget difficulties force really to think hard about allexhaustive irrefutable facts, we agree then also to have to weigh-in the right attention to the subjective intuitions, but those only who coincide and serve best our creative drive. I must admit : I’m bad at that. Individual’s capacity to invest to analyze, and to truly adapt (to) circumstances..
    A robust outdoor car might be fatally heavy on specif journeys whereas a tiny car and despite its otherwise terrible checklist might mean You’ll survive, splendidly and repeatedly, You. Doesn’t mean the opposite is wrong all the time. The first exceptions are we our self with our creations. )

    This page is testing/presenting a (new) lens. I think to know enough theoretics about this lens now. Thank You very, very much to both of You !!

  15. Hello Batiank, looks like the blue hours in Hallstatt was quite nice after I left. I was a real pleasure to run into you. Actually I had been following you on flickr before we met in person.

    All the best,

    Douglas

  16. Kompliment, ich finde die Mannschaft hier wirklich super!

    Insgeheim hoffe ich, dass Ihr euren eigenständigen Weg weiter verfolgt 😉
    D.h. nicht immer der Industrie nach dem Mund reden und auch auf Kosten Nutzen zu schauen.

    zum 10mm: das wirkt mir ein bisschen gröber in der Auflösung zum 15mm.
    das 15mm scheint mir auch universeller zu sein. Im Notfall kann man ja auch vertikal 3-4 shots machen und die dann stitchen.

    Ich selbst hab das “alte” 15mm (LTM) und mags manchmal gerade wegen der Vignettierung. .. der color cast ist jedoch ziemlich nervig auf der A7.

    Knapp 3000 Euro für eine A7rII wären mir eindeutig zu viel. Ich bin ja kein profi.
    Die erste A7 generation hat für mich gebraucht einen super gegenwert.

    Sollte ich mal einen Photojob machen, würde ich mir die Canon 6D der Tochter meiner Freundin ausborgen. Mit Blitz und Sigma 35mm 1,4.
    Sony for professionals -> nein danke!
    ich frag mich, wie eine Firma einerseits wirklich technologisch so innovativ sein kann und es andererseits nicht schafft, dass man brauchbare fotos (ohne PP) direkt aus der kamera bekommt.
    —-
    Aber zurück zum Weitwinkel:
    Da bleibt wohl wirklich hauptsächlich stitching im Reich der Sonys.
    —-
    das wars auch schon, danke nochmal für die super berichte.

    lg
    Michael
    Weitwinkel

    1. RAWs müssen immer bearbeitet werden und JPGs sind einfach keine Alternative.
      PS. ich bin ein Pro und bin von Canon auf Sony umgestiegen (wie sehr viele andere weltweit auch).

  17. Just a note about the 17mm TS-E: It is not a hassle to stitch a panorama with it. Provided that you lock the settings properly and have a stable tripod, photos easily lock together as a panorama image. Not just horizontal but also in vertical manner (the killer application for that lens and straight lines).

      1. BastianK, what are You please referring to when saying You recommend ‘a rear focus adapter’ ?
        Do You mean the device that allows the TS-e Lens to be mounted on the tripod instead of the camera, and thus allow to shit the Camera instead of the lens ?

        Thank You,

        1. Or are they called “rear shift adapter”? I can’t remember…
          But yes, exactly.

          In many cases it doesn’t matter and stitching software gets better very day, but this would still be the right way to do it.

          Bastian

          1. Ok since we are at it, let be explained also “another trick” with shift-lenses to
            allowing to bypass the acquisition of such an (very expensive I believe) “rear-shift-adapter” for shift-lenses.
            BTW ..really silly that these shift-lenses don’t have build-in design to allow securing the lens itself to the tripod instead of the camera ( a thread would suffice? I will look at this).
            The workaround implies that the on tripod mounted camera has to be made shiftable right-center-left by the very same amount as is dialed/shited on the lens – but counter wise. (Thus the front lens remains un-shifted, but the sensor will be.)
            That can be achieved by having a rail between the camera and the tripod. Assemble parts your own way to achieve that.
            If the camera has screwed on its base an swiss-arca type plate (or L-Bracket), then it can be considered as a (short) rail sufficient (12mm max) to slide within the clamp. Does not require engraved scale, but expensive brand RSS does provide it.
            ( Just in case : (for illustration also) I have their B2-LLR-II that I could envisage to exchange for a less wide version.)

          2. This would definetly work, yes.
            But (there always is a but, isn’t it?) only for shift, not tilt.
            For tilt a rear shift adapter would still be needed to keep straight lines straight.

          3. Re : “bypass the acquisition of such an rear-shift-adapter for shift-lenses” :

            “This would definitely work, yes.
            But (there always is a but, isn’t it?) only for shift, not tilt.
            For tilt a rear shift adapter would still be needed to keep straight lines straight.”

            Bastian,
            I’m a bit confused… where is the confusion..?
            I do (did) indeed mean shifting, but used here for stitching
            (not used to keep strait lines).
            Tilt, however, is related to one function only : plane of focus.
            (You must have confused shift and tilt word when you wrote “tilt is to keep straight lines straight” Right ?
            For stitching “projects” (of any type, single or multi-row, loose or seamless);
            using “my” described method of sliding the camera instead of the front of the TS-e lens ;
            the tilt function continues to be part of the receipt; to focus and is not hindered.
            For the focus anything still goes (focus, focus stacking, tilt, combinations of them).
            Framing is only very minimally affected through tilt (relating more to deformation, or/and “breathing”).
            Actually, a Rear-Shift-adapter would deliver files of a differently placed plane towards the same subject !?
            So it rather looks like a Rear-Shift-adapter in conjunction of use of tilting would be perhaps even “impossible” If the files are destined for stitching..? No?

          4. Dear Alain,
            no, it was meant as written. In the brief period I was using the TS-E 17mm 3.5 I found that tilting the lens also had a small but definetly noticeable influence on the vertical lines.
            The problem here is once more you are tilting the camera and not the lens (with the rear shift adapter things would look different, as you would tilt the camera not the lens).
            The effect may be less pronounved on longer tilt shift lenses, I haven’t tested that.

            One thing is fore sure: stitching is easiest when using a rear shift adapter, regardless whether you intend to use shift or tilt.

          5. Tilting the lens vs. tilting the film/sensor plane are very different. In view camera terms the former is “front tilt” and the latter is “back tilt” – look at a good book on view camera movements to see the different applications.

            Front tilt should not alter straight lines, because the film/sensor plane remains vertical – but if the lens has some distortion to begin with, tilting (or shifting) it will mean that that distortion could lead to non-vertical verticals. Embedded correction profiles which assume distortion is symmetrical about the centre of the image won’t allow for the tilt (or for shifts) so may not work properly for correcting geometry when using a T&S lens.

            In view camera terms though, front tilt (on its own) is usually used only for controlling the plane of focus and shouldn’t impact on geometry – and since most view camera lenses are symmetrical (or nearly so) designs, distortion tends to be very low, so this holds up well. (Modest front tilt is sometimes combined with some front rise [or shift] to allow shifts to a degree that would otherwise exceed the lens’ coverage, with DoF then used to bring everything back into focus.)

            Back tilt is used to control geometry, with front tilt and or DoF then added as required to bring things back into focus.

            Leslie Stroebel ‘s view camera book has the best technical explanation of this (and of the effects of using different tilt axes) but Steve Simmons, in his book, gives a set of illustrations using children’s wooden blocks that makes it all beautifully clear. I’m not aware of any books that go into the effect of using camera movements with lenses that have geometric distortion, but I think you can probably work out for yourself (as I did) how, when and why it will happen.

    1. Matti Koski,
      Do You, here, mean look the lens fully zeroed-in ?

      ( vs shifting – I presume for when You stitch more than 3 shots.
      I just happen to have also commented just here below to BastianK’s mentioning the TS-e 17. )

  18. Beautiful photos, Bastian!

    A couple of Q’s:

    Kenko recently announced a 10mm extension tube for Sony E-mount. Have you tried using it with this lens for close-focusing purposes? I’m very curious.

    Also, can’t decide between this lens and Canon TS-E 17mm (cost aside).

    And lastly, I know that f/5.6 is too slow for astrophotography, but have you tried it anyway?

    Oh and by the way, the price for the lens has just gone up yet again. Now it’s $1099, up from $999.

    Thanks,
    Alan

    1. Thank you Alan!

      I have not yet used any of the extension tubes but I am pretty sure 10mm will be too much.
      I have used the 17mm TS-E in the past and the 10mm 5.6 is the way to go for me now (I don’t need tilt and can live with the cropped resolution).
      I did not yet come around using this lens for astrophotography, will happen in the future some day but although you may be able to expose a little bit longer (due to 10mm) ISO will be way too high in comparison to say an 14mm f/2.8 lens.

      Bastian

  19. Ok! I have used this bad to the bone 10mm since June from interiors to Milky Way capture and not a Pro but older person at play. On the A7s Milky Way is awesome no coma as well as the Voigtlander 12mm f/5.6 in m mount and the SEL1018 @ 12mm f/4 (a bargain). I have used both Rokinon 12mm f/2.8 fisheye and 14mm f/2.8 both look like the stars are falling in the upper right even with Lr lens correction you have to shoot at f/4 to f/5.6 to get rid of it any way. I like the new 10mm for one reason it talks to the camera with lens info and I will get the new 12mm. Night or day beach sunrise/sets horizons straight, trees straight up. Just look:
    http://www.edgenauxsphotography.org/Photography/2016/

    1. How would you compare the 10 as far as perspective to the fisheye? I’ve been using the olympus pro 8mm 1.8 and panasonic 7-14 for my wide needs BUT I normally defish my fisheye. From what I’ve gathered the 10 gives 130 degrees and fisheyes 135 if you leave the corners in after defishing (except that the 10 image will be taller in the end…but then again the 4:3 aspect ratio of M43 might negate that advantage with Sony.

      10 is very attractive for me as I do mostly landscape photography.

      1. I never found fisheye lenses to be overly useful. And I found defishing to do an ok job for web sized images but that’s about it, not usable for anything larger than that.

        This 10mm is worlds ahead of any defished fisheye shot in terms of image quality.

  20. well, many thanks for the review. Is there a possibility to see some movie footage on the a7s? I know it might seem crazy, but I m thinking using it mostly for video with the a7s and a6300. maybe using the clearzoom on the a7s if it s too wide for certain situations, only on slider and gimbal, very gentle moves. I m not experienced with hyper wide lenses, my widest is a 24mm Rokinon but from what I ve seen so far, I love it.
    Any feedback is welcome, many thanks

  21. I’m tossing up between this voigtlander 10mm and the voigtlander 15mm for my Sony A7; I would prefer the wider angle but the 15mm apparently has better overall sharpness, brightness, contrast and corners. The other point is one can just crop down to 15mm using the 10mm, and get rid of some of the corner fuzziness. The 15mm is also brighter, but this is negated somewhat by using a tripod anyway. Is this a fair assessment?

    I’m leaning towards the 10mm for architecture shots and general landscapes, including sunsets and milky way.

    1. If you seriously intend to do some milky way shooting I wouldn’t have these two very high on my list.
      I actually think the Laowa 12mm 2.8 (available in a few months) I recently reviewed – despite being bigger – might fit your needs better.
      You also mentioned sunsets, are you using square filters or the SkyHDR app?
      If it is the former you might run into some problems with the Voigtlander lenses as well.

      Bastian

      1. Thanks Bastion.

        I’ll check out the Laowa 12mm.

        I dont use square filters and prefer digital solutions such as SkyHDR so shouldnt be an issue.

  22. Your images here are fantastic and encouraged me to purchase a Voigtlander 10mm E mount for use with my A7RII. Unfortunately, the copy I received had very soft edges and I returned it. Here is a link to a small album with some of my shots with the lens.

    https://flic.kr/s/aHskGhVZsJ

    Please…If you think I was using the lens incorrectly, please speak up. I do plan to try another copy.

    1. Dear Joel,
      I don’t think your target is a perfect choice for testing this as the house, the trees in the background and the pavement in the foreground aren’t in the same plane of distance.
      Nevertheless when comparing your shot to this one: https://www.flickr.com/photos/140854680@N04/27289099841/in/album-72157669017528916/ or this one: https://www.flickr.com/photos/140854680@N04/26752126694/in/album-72157669017528916/ your sample of this lens looks indeed very bad.
      Try a new one and if you think something is fishy with that lens as well don’t hesitate to come back.
      Bastian

    2. I get these sort of very soft edges with the Rokinon/Samyang 14mm/2.8 especially in anything but strong light, but then that lens is way cheaper which is why I thought i might get a voigtlander, but not if the same very soft edges appear. I note that Bastion also uses the A7S which might be about better light sensitivity.

      1. I have now shot the 10mm lens on the A7rII, too. You can see a few corner crops of the 10mm in the Laowa 12mm review.

        Is your Samyang E-Mount or do you use an adapter?
        The adapter can have major influence on the quality of the edges of the frame and the performance against bright light.

        Bastian

  23. Solche extreme Brennweite ist natürlich bei dem Preis-Niveau immer mit unvermeidlichen Kompromissen behaftet!
    Ferner erfordert die Nutzung dieser kurzen Brennweite doch einige Erfahrung, damit man von den schrägen Aufnahmen nicht erschlagen wird und das Objektiv auf Dauer langweilig wird!

  24. The filter holder is so HUGE especially compared with such a tiny lens…
    Is NISI considering to provide something like a central-neutral-density filter to compensate the vignetting? I do think adding ND filters to this lens will make the vignetting even worse.

    1. They are not yet in the market for center filters, but it would definetly be an interesting idea.
      I am going to use a polarizer and a 0.9 Reverse GND, the latter one will pretty much serve as my center filter 😉
      Bastian

  25. A thorough review which I enjoyed reading. My only issue with it is that you used the 7s with its lowly 12MP resolution. I am sure the lens will out-resolve this but we don’t get a chance to see. How, then, can one gauge its true level of sharpness? The 7s is a great camera for what it was designed for, but it is not a resolution champ and it was a poor choice for your very interesting test.

    I mention this as I feel higher resolutions are necessary with this lens. Given a FF sensor, it means that as we go wider, at any given point, the subject will be captured by fewer pixels thus leading to less image detail.

    I use the original 15mm Heliar in Leica LM mount, and I am having difficulty just comprehending how the stupendously wide 10mm behaves. This focal length is mind boggling for FF.

  26. Hi. Curious to know is there any update on the Nisi filter system? Also very interested if you guys have a chance to review the new E-mount 12mm.

  27. Question: Have you tried this lens on a Micro Four Third camera such as the new Olympus OMD E-M1 II? With the M4/3 crop factor this lens would be a 21mm. The crop would remove the weaker corners and allow only the center sweet spot to dominate. Yes it would not be as wide as 10.5mm full frame, but you might end up with a superior 21mm lens which is still very wide and a very useable and versatile focal length. I currently use the 15mm Heliar III on my Olympus E-M5 and love it. You can check out some of my 15mm Heliar photos on M4/3 at the website below:
    https://500px.com/stevennorquist

    1. Haven’t done and considering the price and maximum aperture I don’t think it makes any sense.
      Why not get the native Voigtlander 10.5mm 0.95 for about the same price?

      1. The Voigtlander 10.5mm 0.95 is a completely different type of lens and is actually pretty lousy. All reviews show it to be subpar and a fail.
        One of the sites I trust a lot is Lenstip.
        You can read their review here:
        http://www.lenstip.com/index.html?test=obiektywu&test_ob=445

        But here was their final word after a detailed review:
        “We hereby inform that the experiment entitled “ultra fast ultra wide-angle lens” ended with a failure. Nothing to add…”

        1. I know that review and I really don’t get your point.
          What is lousy about that lens? Performance at f/0.95?
          You should at least compare f/5.6 on the 10.5mm f/0.95 with f/5.6 on the 10mm 5.6.
          I checked the f/5.6 review samples like this one and I honestly think the 10mm 5.6 would in no way look any better.

  28. Thank you! This is the best Voigtlander 10mm review I have ever read. Just bought this lens for myself.

    Off:
    I am swither from DSLR to Sony, like you. Bastian, what do you think about 16-35/4? Not sure about this lens after years of usage Canon’s top L-zooms…

    1. Thank you for your feedback!
      To be honest, I am not sure about any of the FE lenses yet, especially the zooms.
      I know of quite a few people that use the Canon 16-35mm 4.0L IS with Sigma MC-11 instead,
      but I didn’t compare them side by side and Phillip is also quite happy with his Sony 16-35mm 4.0.
      So I am afraid I can’t be of real help with that question.

  29. Hello BastianK,

    I bought the Voigtlander 10mm f/5.6 based on your review for the use with the Sony A7R and I have to admit it is a quite interesting lens in addition to the Sony SAL1635F28Z and SAL16F28. Nice built quality as well.

    Based on your review I bought the NiSi 150mm Filter Holder For Voigtlander 10mm f/5.6 and at arrival the holder looked promising regarding the manufacturing quality.

    But after careful inspection it turned out that the fixation ring of the filter holder does not fix this heavy weight filter holder on the lens in no way because there is a 0.5 to 1mm gap between the filter holder ring and the lens ring with no fixation at all!

    How should that work – almost never that’s for sure?

    Inside of the fixation ring of the filter holder there is some cellular rubber glued in which will never fix the heavy filter system with three glass filters attached onto this lens.

    With this non-existent fixation it is possible to through down >1000EUR to the ground.

    I do not know what NiSi engineer has thought about this faulty design. This seem to be ridiculous and bad engineering which is not acceptable and hard to believe.

    Under this condition this product remains unusable and it would be interesting how NiSi does intend to fix this problem?

    At the time of purchase of the filter holder and after reading your review I was not under the impression that I will buy a DIY half ready filter holder!

    Another drawback is NiSi itself because it is not possible to get in normal contact with them. The official homepage http://www.nisifilters.com/ is in Chinese only and after some research I ended up with https://nisifilters.com.au/ and for international customers with a different email address. I will try to get in contact with them and will see what happens.

    On the other hand their filters seem to be good.

    This is a highly questionable approach of NiSi for customer support nowadays if I intend to sell products really.

    1. Dear Stefan,
      you are now the second person that approached me with these issues with the filter holder for the 10mm.
      At first I must say, mine does not sit wobbly at all, it sits very tight.
      The problem is a supplier delivered a foam which is too thin and leads to these issues,
      your holder will be replaced no questions asked.
      Please write an email to market2@nisidigital.com, you will reach Ray Wang and she will definetly take care of your problem.

      1. Thanks Bastian, I will try to get it sorted because I like the filter quality and the filter holder of course!

        1. Dear Bastian,
          NiSi sorted the problem in world records time and send me a new filter holder with the right felt inlay. Now the filter holder fits almost perfect over the Voigtlaender 10mm/f5.6. Very nice!
          Thanks Bastian&NiSi

  30. Extremely helpful review. I ordered the NiSi filter holder from Amazon.co.uk and it came today. The Amazon web page “helpfully” suggested the NiSi 100×150 Graduated filters, so I ordered the one that you recommend (Hard nano GND8 (0.9) and tried it in the filter holder as soon as it arrived. It is of course the wrong size, as it will go in the holder, which one can rotate to vertical, but there is no up-down movement to enable one to align the edge with the horizon. So I shall return the filter. The size needed is 150×170, which I discovered from the brochure that came with the filter. It could be helpful for others if you could highlight this, and perhaps include a picture with the filter in the mount.

  31. He took pictures of this lens.
    The lens strongly pulls the shapes of objects from the center to the sides !!!
    Stretches the corners not only to the right and to the left but also to the top, down – and very much!
     Kosin did not take any measures to correct distortions.
    This lens will work correctly when the matrix is ​​made semicircular, then the beam will pass the same distance in the center and at the edges of the frame.
    My opinion for filming in the room and in nature it is useless, once again convinced that the reviews are paid.
    If honestly it is not clear for what purpose this small piece of scrap metal?

  32. Hi Bastian,

    Thanks for doing all these really useful and well executed reviews.

    You mention that the Leica-M version of this lens should be optically identical, do you know if the VM version plays well on A7 system cameras?

      1. Thanks for the reply, Bastian. Sorry for repeating the questions – I wasn’t sure if comments are sent to your inbox, because I don’t receive replies to my comments by email…I have to remember to check the website…

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