Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2009/01/15

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Subject: [Leica] Ultra-wide Heliar - was: M8 with UV-IR filters
From: jean.louchet at (Jean Louchet)
Date: Thu Jan 15 20:39:18 2009

Hi all,

recently bought the CV Ultra-wide Heliar 5.6/12mm and it is a delight
on the M8. No coding, no IR filter.
Distortion is very low, vignetting is noticeable but very smooth and
natural looking, the overall effect is amazingly good - IMHO much
better than with the VC 15mm where vignetting is more of an issue.
Flare resistance is excellent - I took these two pictures in Aristot
(Catalunya, Spain) about two weeks ago, at about f/8 with a Hoya
UV-HMC filter on (unfortunately sensor dust becomes more visible under
such a violent lighting - I had not yet blown away sensor after 11
month use):
Concerning flare, the same sun-in-the-face but with the CV 1.9/28
(closed at f/6.3) gave
which would have looked good if not shown after the 12mm!

The relatively small aperture of the 12mm is a limitation indeed, but
one can't have (large aperture) AND ((such a small volume) OR (such an
affordable price)) at this level of quality. Being given the pixel
distance on the M7 is approx. 7 microns, the effects of diffraction at
f/5.6 are still minimal (contrary to most digi P&S with a pixel
distance close to 1 micron and max apertures around f/3.5 which is
ridiculous as at one stop under full ap the main diffraction lobe
covers several pixels, and at full aperture its the same but caused by
optical aberrations)

I use 6-bit coding on the VC 1.5/50 and 1.9/28. On these lenses I only
add  the IR filter when I use them e.g. on indoor concerts or theatre
scenes - i.e. when there are simultaneously tungsten lighting AND
people wearing synthetic black clothes. Otherwise I never felt the
necessity of the IR filter with natural lighting or when there is nop
black fabric. I took his one with the 12mm in my living/music room
with all-tungsten ordinary lighting plus one halogen on the right:
(can't see the Erard grand which is hidden by the double bass). Tight space 

Got the filter holder for the 12mm though (and never use the original
lens hood). The filter holder looks huge at first sight but in real
use it is not a problem at all, and it doesn't draw any special
attention from people. Expensive for what it is, but a good
non-obtrusive accessory.A plain UV(HMC) filter protects the front
element which would otherwise be very vulnerable. The only issue is it
won't fit easily into a normal individual lens case so I put it into a
sock in my bag.

To summarise, the 12mm is a very nice fit to the M8 and one of my
favourite lenses - much more than the 15mm with the M6. The filter
holder is definitely not "monstruous" at all and nicely designed. In
addition it should allow the use of a polarising and viewing through
it in the M8 viewfinder, so the 12mm+filter holder combination is
probably the  handiest combination for a polariser on a non-SLR
(sorry, the M8 or M6 with the CV 12mm is not a rangefinder camera).


> Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2008 19:10:25 -0600
> From: Harrison McClary <>
> Subject: Re: [Leica] M8 with  UV-IR filters
> I have a VC 12mm ultra wide Heliar.  How does it work on the M8 with no
> coding and filter?  Do I need to get that monstrously huge filter
> adapter and a IR filter for it and get it coded?  If so what is it coded 
> to?
> --
> Harrison McClary

> Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2008 20:18:51 -0500
> From: Tina Manley <>
> Harrison -  I use the VC 12mm on my M8 with no problems at all - no
> coding, no filter.  It's more of a 15mm on the M8 and it's a much
> slower lens than I usually like, but I really like it on the
> M8.  I'll see if I can find some examples to post.
> Tina

Dr Jean Louchet
APIS - INRIA 4 rue Jacques Monod 91893 ORSAY Cedex France
Universidad de Guanajuato FIMEE, Tampico 912, 36730, Salamanca, Mexico

Replies: Reply from henningw at (Henning Wulff) ([Leica] Ultra-wide Heliar - was: M8 with UV-IR filters)