Voigtlander Heliar 75mm f/1.8 on Sony NEX - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Sony NEX

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published May 2012


Here at OpticalLimits we sometimes enjoy having a look beyond the mainstream and I always wanted to check out the Voigtlander Heliar 75mm f/1.8 VM. The lens is actually made by Cosina (Japan) and only marketed under the classic (German/Austrian) Voigtländer brand name. It is a fairly recently released product with Leica M mount. We'll surely give it another look on the Leica M9 soon but I was curious how it performs on the Sony NEX 7 with its ambitious 24mp sensor.

If you don't mind using an adapter solution with manual focusing, working aperture and without lens EXIF data it may be worth a thought. After all Sony has only released a handful of more or less acceptable lenses in Sony E mount so far.

The build quality of the Voigtlander lens is superb thanks to a tightly assembled metal body. The focus ring operates smoothly (dampened) just like in the old times. The lens extends a little towards shorter focus distances but the front element does not rotate. A rather small metal lens hood is part of the package.

It is a comparatively long lens which is probably why it hasn't really perceived well by the size-addicted Leica M community. The Heliar has a very simple optical design but then it doesn't cost a fortune for that reason.

As mentioned it is a manual focus lens so you have to rely on Sony's focus peaking feature or magnified live view. This will slow you down, of course, but that's not necessarily a bad thing unless you want to do action photography.

Equiv. focal length113 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/2.7 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction6 elements in 3 groups
Number of aperture blades10
min. focus distance0.9 m (1:?)
Dimensions58 x 74 mm
Weight427 g
Filter size52 mm
Hoodbarrel shaped, supplied, bayonet mount
Other features-

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