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Posted by Hel (Sthan) on Monday, November 07, 2005 - 5:06 pm:
Is that interesting with an M ? I'd like to try They propose me one for a few bucks Your advice ? > Hi Hel,
I own this lens and use it quite often with my M-system, along with a Voigtlander 15 mm in the very wide range. I have to tell you it is a very specialized lens to use, the 15mm being less so (the one I always bring along in fact).
It's a lens best used with the camera mounted on a tripod while in indoor environments (I have used it handheld too, but then for landscape shots and with the spirit level mentioned below).
As an architect I use it mainly indoors in very cr&ed spaces, where I would say it serves its purpose very well (often being the only option).
However, I must warn you that you need to be extremely careful when composing and levelling your shots. I use the Voigtlander spirit level (with their double hotshoe accessory) + a center filter to get usable images without vignetting, and still end up with a fair degree of failed shots where I have misjudged the perspective just a little bit. Then lens exaggerates any such mistakes! My best images with this lens has been while being completely perpendicular to my subject with an interesting foreground. Then you can get amazing space depiction (everything is in there, almost distortion-free and sharp when stopped down a few stops!), but, as mentioned, these shots can be hard to estimate through the viewfinder, dispite it being a good one.
If you can accept some perspective post-correction in Photoshop, then you don't have to worry: enjoy this lens and its amazing perspective and adjust your scans when they don't come out perfect. If you don't mind cropping your shots, you can use it as an amazing shift lens in crammed streetscapes or indoors (using a spirit level).
If you can get one at a good price don't hesitate: give it a try.
> The Voigtlander super wide angle lenses are very sophisticated. I really like to go on tour with the 15 mm lense (in addition to a 35 and a 90 mm le nse). Great impressions, extraordinary angles as you try a new perspective (upright or from heaven above down to earth or vice versa), extremly sharp (especially at 1:5,6). I wonder whether you really need the 12 mm lense, si nce the 15 mm super wide heliar is really a bargain, and the aperture of 1: 4,5 is also an argument. Forget the Leica 21 mm Super Angulon, save the mon ey and invest rather in a several hundred films...