Voigtlander Heliar 50mm f/3.5 (on Sony NEX) - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Sony Alpha/NEX (APS-C)

Sample Images

Here're some RAW-converted images taken with the NEX-5. Please note that there's no valid EXIF data due to the lack of electronic coupling. Most images were either taken at f/3.5 or f/8 so you may roughly conclude the aperture settings from the depth-of-field.

Click on a thumbnail to view the original file (opens in a separate window). Please note that the originals are FULL SIZE samples (=several megabytes) thus requiring a significant amount of bandwidth so please take care of the limited resources here.

Make SONY
Model NEX-5
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length
Aperture: f/1.0
Exposure 1/1600s
Make SONY
Model NEX-5
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length
Aperture: f/1.0
Exposure 1/1000s
Make SONY
Model NEX-5
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length
Aperture: f/1.0
Exposure 1/2000s
Make SONY
Model NEX-5
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length
Aperture: f/1.0
Exposure 1/3200s
Make SONY
Model NEX-5
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length
Aperture: f/1.0
Exposure 1/400s
Make SONY
Model NEX-5
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length
Aperture: f/1.0
Exposure 1/640s
Make SONY
Model NEX-5
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length
Aperture: f/1.0
Exposure 1/1000s

Verdict

The Voigtländer Heliar 50mm f/3.5 is surely an exotic lens among the exotics. Produced in limited numbers they're already a more than rare sight in the wild and if you really consider to go for it you should be prepared for some attention especially when using it on a modern system camera such as the Sony NEX. Nevertheless it was fun to use this lens in the field. Its mechanical implementation does slow you down quite a bit - even more so than the average adapted lenses out there - and that's often a good thing because it teaches us to think again. In technical terms it is still a very good performer and roughly comparable to the Zeiss and Leica 50mm lenses that we've tested here recently. Although it may not be the sharpest 50mm lens ever made (as claimed by some) it is certainly a very sharp one. Lateral CAs are pretty well controlled and the amount of barrel distortion is nothing to worry about either. Due to the full format design vignetting is basically a non-issue on a NEX camera. The build quality is on a very high level - with the exception of the (metal) aperture ring which is a little too wobbly in our books. It is hard to quantify the lens in terms of price/performance because it's probably more a collector's item but it can also take darn good pictures out there.

Optical Quality:
Mechanical Quality:
Price/Performance:
      
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