Voigtländer Ultra Wide Heliar 12mm/5.6 (on Sony NEX-7) at different apertures

Recently I started using a Voigtländer Ultra Wide Heliar 12mm/5.6 on my Sony NEX-7. In two other articles I already described how to configure your NEX-7 for maximum assistance with manual lenses, how to attach the lens to the camera and how to post-process the images to eliminate the magenta cast in the corners.

As I am aware of the fact, that any combination of lens and body has it’s maximum sharpness at a specific aperture I did a series of test images to find this maximum. My subject was the front of a building. It has a nearly flat surface and the clinker bricks contain a lot of fractal details. The camera was mounted on a tripod whose distance to the wall was approximately 15 meters (approximately 50 feet). Images were taken with self-timer to prevent any camera-shake. Focus was set at the first exposure which was taken at f=5.6. The image quality was set to RAW (6,000 pixel * 4,000 pixel).

While post-processing the images I did the following:

  • conversion from ARW- to DNG-format
    (Adobe DNG Converter 6.6.0.261)
  • correction of magenta cast in the corners and vignetting with cornerfix
    (cornerfix 1.4.2.0)
  • correction of chromatic aberration in Adobe Camera Raw
    (ChromaticAberrationR = -15, ChromaticAberrationB = +8)
  • correction of distortion in Adobe Camera Raw
    (LensManualDistortionAmount = +3, PerspectiveScale = 101)
  • input sharpening in Adobe Camera Raw
    (Sharpn. = 25, Shrp.Radius = +1.0, Shrp.Detail = 25, Shrp.EdgeMasking = 0)
  • noise reduction in Adobe Camera Raw
    (LuminanceSmoothing = 0, Col.NoiseReduction = 25, Col.NoiseRed.Detail = 50)

The following image (at f=8) was scaled to 1,500 pixel * 1,000 pixel, sharpened and saved for web with a quality-setting of 60%.

Corners corrected with cornerfix, distortion and chromatic aberrations corrected with Adobe Camera RAW
Full image with marked crop locations

For each of the marked locations in the full image I extracted a square (250 pixel * 250 pixel) which I will present at it’s original resolution. These images are not sharpened except for the same input sharpening with the raw converter. They are saved for web with a quality-setting of 60%.

Voigtländer Ultra Heliar 12mm/5.6@5.6
Voigtländer Ultra Heliar 12mm/5.6@5.6
Voigtländer Ultra Heliar 12mm/5.6@8
Voigtländer Ultra Heliar 12mm/5.6@8
Voigtländer Ultra Heliar 12mm/5.6@11
Voigtländer Ultra Heliar 12mm/5.6@11
Voigtländer Ultra Heliar 12mm/5.6@16
Voigtländer Ultra Heliar 12mm/5.6@16
Voigtländer Ultra Heliar 12mm/5.6@22
Voigtländer Ultra Heliar 12mm/5.6@22

In my opinion it’s easy to see that the Voigtländer Ultra Wide Heliar 12mm/5.6 reaches it’s maximum sharpness at an aperture around 8 on a Sony NEX-7. If you stop further down diffraction starts to limit the resolution. For further reading on this issue try to start at this page at diglloyd.com.

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Author: PanoTwin Jürgen

PanoTwin Jürgen → My images on Google Maps

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