A few months ago I wanted to pick up a fast wide angle lens for my Sony A7r. My main super wide angle is the Canon 17mm TS-E but not only is it not something I want to carry around for cost and size reasons, it's an f/4 lens and wasn't fast enough. I have an EF Mount 15mm Fisheye, which is 2.8...but it's a fisheye. So Nikon and Canon mount lenses are pretty much out purely based on size, plus the need to use an adapter which only adds to the size. I already had my much adored Voigtlander 15/4.5 which you can read about here. So I looked thru what else Voigtlander had available for the Leica M-Mount. I was wanting something with at least a 2.8 aperture and not as much color issues as the CV15. Enter the Voigtlander 21/1.8 Ultron
When the lens arrived in the mail I initially was very pleased with my purchase. Hefty weight (not cheap feeling), all metal body, and smooth focus ring. The lens weighs in at 489g which is just a tough more than the Sony A7r body (475g). Together these weigh over 100g less than the 17mm TS-E by itself.
Over the next few months I shot quite a bit with it. I took it with me on our vacation to Ireland and France and carried it around a bit attached to the camera, especially when visiting cathedrals and other large indoor areas.
When mounted on the Sony A7r, the Voigtlander 21 Ultron has a tiny bit of color cast in the corners. I'm willing to get that there would be almost none on an A7. But this magenta color cast is something that we'll have to deal with when using any range finder lens. Unless you're shooting with a DSLR lens, or the long awaited Sony 16-35 gets released, your A7r will always have some color cast. Now again, the Ultron is no where near as bad as the previously mentioned CV15. And in most cases, it can be removed in your favorite digital photo editing suite very easily. Or...like the image below....simply left alone.
One of the things that bums me out about the Voigtlander lenses is that all of the wide angles have built in, none removable hoods. So there is no way to mount a Lee Big Stopper without some power tools and some cutting. So I picked up two 58mm 10 stop ND filters. One from Hoya and one from B+W. Both work just fine and I've been pretty happy with the results. One of my m to e mount adapter had a small light leak which was visible when using the 10 stop filter. I switched over to the cheap adapter I had and there is no longer a light leak.
So what's left to really say? I'm stoked about this lens. Distortion is low. Colors cast is minimal and can be completely removed with a slight crop if you want or almost completely removed in post. 58mm thread for filters. Feels so amazingly solid! Plus...how cool is a name like "Ultron"?
So here's the usual bombardment of images all taken with the Voigtlander 21/1.8 Ultron mounted to a Sony A7r. Click for a larger image.
Also be sure to read my review of the Voigtlander 15mm/4.5 >here<
No Pants Day
Every week I make it a goal to have a no pants day. I've been doing this the greater part of my adult life. Think of it as a "me day". It's not always a completely non-productive lazy day (though it is sometimes), but it's a day I'm not concerned with the outside world. I'll catch up on household chores, process photos, piddle around online, watch Archer, Top Gear, etc. And now do a blog. It'll probably revolve around photography or art, it'll probably have some pictures I shot that week (but might have some oldies), I don't really know what'll happen. It's my day and I'll write what I want to. Ideally, with no pants.