My blog, focussed on improving my photography and documenting my travels.

Going Wide in Ebisu

Ebisu (恵比寿) is a neighbourhood in Shibuya ward, in Western Tokyo. There is a large train station, and numerous high-rise buildings in the surrounding area. The building pictured above, is Ebisu Garden Place:

Yebisu Garden Place (恵比寿ガーデンプレイス) is one of Tokyo's most pleasant cities within the city. Consisting of roughly a dozen buildings and skyscrapers, it features a large array of restaurants and shops including a Mitsukoshi department store, the Westin Tokyo hotel, the Michelin 3-star Chateau Restaurant Taillvent-Robuchon, offices, residential space and a photography museum.

I've been fortunate enough to borrow a lens for the photos used in today's post - the Voigtländer Super-Wide Heliar 15mm f4.5 (for Leica Thread Mount/L39). Thanks, Juha

This lens is reportedly wonderful on film, but digital sensors struggle with rangefinder wide angle lenses because the rear nodal point is too close to the sensor (and thus the angle of incident light too steep). The end result is a magenta tinge in the corners, which can be digitally corrected to some degree. 

Click the photo below to cycle between before-and-after samples at f/8 on my NEX-7

I only collected the lens this afternoon, but am quite taken with it. I plan on making a full review of the lens in the near future, but so far I am very impressed with its optics. Great detail and sharpness, and fantastic microcontrast.

It's also exquisitely built, though I will perform a detailed analysis in review. It's a joy to use, and the huge depth of field offered by such a wide angle lens is quite refreshing. It's a great snapshot lens.

The colours this lens produces out-of-camera are really quite something, though the corner issues are something I'm going to have to think long and hard about, before I put down money on such a compromise.

Eventually, Sony will release a wide-angle for its FE system, and that would be the one to buy. Full frame image circle, and it's be weather-sealed, too. No doubt it will be excellent... but it's not here yet. There's the 10-18mm E mount lens, which is great, but it is less future proof (for someone wanting to go full frame).  In the meantime, this lens could be worth a punt, but I'm going to test it all week and decide from there.