The Heliar 15mm is Wide
The first thing you will notice when you look through the viewfinder of your Heliar 15 is just wide the lens is.
This sample image is from one of my first rolls taken with my Heliar 15mm in the back seat of a Chevrolet Malibu. In this tight space you can see my sister and her husband in the frame. Win! Images like this remind me of why I bought this lens. Ilford hp4+ film in HC-1100 developer.
What Do You Do With A Super Wide?
I like using my heliar super wide in tight spaces and with big vistas. What I find wonderful and frustrating is that you can get extremely low and extremely close with a super wide angle lens and most everything will be in focus. That can also mean squatting and putting your body in uncomfortable positions.
In this image, I’m standing on the beach at sundown maybe a foot above the sand. The rock in the left of the frame is at most three feet tall. The pink thing on the right is either my knee or my finger. With a lens this wide you have to be careful to keep body parts out of the frame.
Note how the stones and all the way to island in the distance are relatively sharp.
The Heliar Ambiance
If you are the type person who values technical achievements in photography, then the heliar 15 is going to be a challenge for you. The Heliar has a tendency to vignette when wide open and that can be frustrating but also lots of fun.
It was -10 with windchill when I took this picture and my fingers were frozen to my camera. I absolutely love the vignetting on this image because it works. You can’t see my feet but the snowbank I’m standing on is in the frame.
Random CV Heliar Stuff
- I bought the newer version that is Leica M mount and couples with the rangefinder.
- In theory you should focus the lens but I’ve never had anything ever out of focus.
- I bought the 15mm Voigtlander viewfinder to use with it but sometimes I shoot without it.
- Now that I have it, everyone wants me to shoot their condo.