Voigtlander Color Heliar 75mm f/2.5 SL (C/Y to Canon) Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (APS-C)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published July 2007

Special thanks to Rainer Nagel for providing this lens for testing purposes!


The Voigtlander (Voigtländer) Color Heliar 75mm f/2.5 SL is one of those high quality manual focus SLR lenses made by Cosina. It was already a rare lens at production time and recently the SL series has been phased out in favor of the Zeiss ZF/ZS/ZK series which is now manufactured in the same lens plant. The lens has been produced for various lens mounts inc. FD, Ai-S, MD, OM, PK, M42 and also C/Y which is the (adapted) version we're looking at here.

In principle the build quality of the lens is excellent thanks to an outer metal shell and very tight tolerances. However, the tested sample had a loose silver-colored focus "grip" - this ring is basically just screwed onto the black focus ring and it seems as if the glue keeping the "screw" in place got weak over time possibly because the silver grip and the black focus ring have a different thermal expansion factor. Not a major issue and easy to fix but maybe not the greatest approach either. The lens has a sturdy mono cam focus design and it extends when focusing towards very close distances. The focus ring operates very smooth and exceptionally very well damped. The Voigtlander is a tiny lens - it's smaller than an EF 50mm f/1.8 II for instance. As you may have guessed the Voigtlander 75mm f/2.5 is a full-format lens and when used on an APS-C DSLR its field-of-view is equivalent to about 120mm (1.6x crop).

As mentioned before the lens has been adapted to EOS mount using an C/Y (Contax) to EF adapter. This is only a mechanical coupling and the camera "does not know" that a lens is attached in this configuration (there're electronic EF adapters for M42 and Nikon lenses). You have to use the camera in aperture priority or manual mode and the aperture is selected directly on the lens. Due to the lack of an automatic aperture (here) the viewfinder dims when stopping down. The focus indicator of the camera remains inactive so you've to rely on your manual focusing skills. During bright conditions this worked reasonably well for me even on the EOS 350D but for proper handling a split-image screen would be a good idea.

Equiv. focal length120 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/4 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction6 elements in 5 groups
Number of aperture blades9
min. focus distance0.7 m (max. magnification ratio 1:?)
Dimensions64 x 40 mm
Weight250 g
Filter size49 mm (non-rotating)
Hoodoptional, square-shaped
Other features-

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