Voigtlander 12mm F5.6 Heliar - Leica M

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This 12mm Voigtlander is a True Gem

Voigtländer ultra-wide Heliar 12mm f5.6II Aspherical lensVoigtländer ultra-wide Heliar 12mm f5.6II Aspherical lens for the Leica M, a rectilinear lens featuring a 121°angle of view when used on a Leica M series - with the exception of the M8 & M8.2 which are cropped sensor cameras - or any rangefinder which mounts the M series (except for the R-D1xG Epson plus its forerunner with APS-C sized sensors). This latest version allows more accurate focusing and will accept filters without requiring a filter adapter. Composed of 10 elements with 8 groups, the typical internet price of this 12mm Heliar is $715. There is also a 12mm auxiliary viewfinder (which is sold separately) .

I must admit that I have a thing for wide-angle lenses, and this 12mm Voigtlander is a true gem. Sure, there's about one stop of vignetting, although that's why we use Photoshop.

Adapting to the peculiarities of how such a lens functions take some getting used to; such as shooting buildings, makes you aware not only with just the lines of composition, and the vast dimensions of the space for you to record. You will find yourself drawing on learned habits - of keeping your verticals vertical, as an example is useful.

One single test to see how good the lens is functioning for you is to see if you are still filling the entire frame in your final image- if you are cropping, by taking only the center parts, then you need a more practice.

Overall, an absolute delight. the only thing lacking is that it is not f:1.2 - which brings me to my other obsession. photographing in low-light, and the Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 is my other favorite lens. Such extremes are not only for fun - there's a discipline to master, becoming an elation to work with.  Apr 29, 2011 ✓


An indispensible tool for photographers desiring create a wide perspective of space.

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Lens stylePrime lens
Max Format Size 35mm FF  
Lens focal length12 mm  
Stabilization type No  
Camera mount Leica M  
Aperture (lens diaphragm)
Largest aperture opening F5.6  
Smallest aperture opening F22.0  
Includes aperture ring Yes  
Total diaphragm blades 9  
Total Elements 10  
Number of Groups 8  
Coatings / special elements 1 aspherical element  
Minimum focus distance 0.50 m (19.69")  
Autofocus type No  
Full time manual focus Unknown  
Lens distance scale Yes  
Depth of field scale No  
Physical features
Overall weight230 g (0.51 lb)  
Lens diameter 75 mm (2.94")  
Overall length 43 mm (1.67")  
Construction materials metal barrel, metal mount  
Sealing No  
Lens color Black  
Filter thread size 67 mm  
Lens hood included Yes  
Tripod collar included No  
Notes Also available in Leica Screw Mount (M39) version

Lens Includes

• Ultra Wide-Angle 12mm Lens
• 121° Angle of View
• Leica M Bayonet Mount


M Mount AdaptersLeica Four Thirds Adapter
The Leica M mount was introduced in 1954 at the same time as the Leica M3. It's been the mount of choice on every Leica M series thru the present day Leica M7 film camera and Leica M9 digital camera and Lenses.

The M Mount was also the mount used for Minolta's CLE rangefinder, on the Konica Hexar RF, on the later versions of the Voigtlander Bessa family and Lenses, the mount for the Rollei 35RF, also quite recently on the newest Zeiss Ikon Rangefinder and Lenses..

Benefits of Lens adapters is versatility, and saving money with the continued use of the preferred lenses you already own.

Drawbacks of lens adapters is the inconvenience, no electronic connection between the adapted lens and your camera body A couple of factors are necessary for a lens adapter to work properly. First, the camera body "lens registration" space or the expanse between the mount of the lens to the sensor or film surface. Two, the "throat size" of the mount or the mount diameter. An adapter flanked by the body of the camera and a lens from different brands, this registration distance of the adapted lens must be larger than the registration distance on the body; plus the lenses throat-size must be less than the throat size on the body mount. M lenses can be adapted to Canon EOS, Nikon, Micro Four Thirds, and Sony Nex Cameras.


Voigtländer ultra-wide Heliar 12mm f5.6II Aspherical lens
Voigtländer ultra-wide Heliar 12mm f5.6II Aspherical lens

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