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Thursday, 28 September 2017


Jim Kasson has done, (is still doing?), his usual thorough examination of this lens, starting here:




I'm curious if the lens is actually apo-chromatic, if only because IIRC when the modern Voigtlander (aka Cosina) introduced their first branded APO Chromatic lens (I think it was the 90, but maybe a 135) they didn't actually claim it was apo-chromatic in performance, only that they were re-using the name. As I understand it, all Cosina era Voigtlander lenses are original designs and not reworkings of their namesakes (and this is certainly not meant to disparage how they perform, only that the names don't always reflect the original design where the names meant specific formula types from historical Voigtlander).

I have no doubt the 65 is stellar.


Please tell me that the lens comes in a Nikon Mount. Went to the B&H link but only only found it offered in a Sony mount.

That Voigtländer 65/2 Apo-Lanthar seems indeed to be a lens with remarkably well-corrected aberrations.

LensRentals recently tested a few high-resolution prime lenses, but it seems they focused on fast lenses like the Zeiss Otus and Sigma Art, and overlooked a — admittedly small — class of lenses that are slow-ish ( f/2 ~ f/2.8 ) but with sophisticated optical formulas, like the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 IS II, the Sony FE Macro 90mm f/2.8 and this Voigtländer 65mm f/2 Apo-Lanthar.

Maybe LensRentals forgot that, due to the laws of optics, aberrations tend to be easier to correct with lenses that have a narrow-ish angle of view and with lenses that have a moderate speed.

I have the old 125mm f/2.5 and this looks like the mirrorless successor to it (if only it was in m4/3 mount).

Patrick: The 125mm I have is an apochromat design, I'm yet to get it to show any kind of chromatic aberration across a wide variety of sensors.

Greg: It's only in Sony mount, at least for now.

Patrick: Voigtländer's page on this lens says 'Apochromatic, aspheric macro lens', so I think it is apochromatic.

However I agree with you about CV's lens naming: just because a CV lens has the same name as some famous historical Voigtländer lens does not mean it is the same design, and very often it will not be.

The next one coming is a 40mm f1.2, also for Sony FE.

I have owned a SONY A7 since the first year it was released and have only purchased the smallish Sony 35mm f/2.8 lens. Why on earth are these lenses so darn expensive and heavy? I know there are many challenges with digital sensors and optimizing lenses but seriously lens prices for the Sony are absurd. Who can afford thousand dollar lenses and in some cases they are average in resolution, yes I know some are stellar performers but you pay dearly for decent optics. Way overpriced and if I could afford to purchase the lenses I would need a Sherpa guide to haul the bag up the hiking trail for me. Yikes it's become a rich persons hobby for sure.

F/2 is now "slowish" ?

Anyway, if you are looking for cheap APO glass , get an APO enlarging lens and a Leica ZOOXY focus mount, you can pick up the focus mount for $25 and ultra sharp glass for $100 or so. $200 if you are in a rush.

I just took 18000 pictures with a Leica Focotar lens mounted to a A7 via a ZOOXY last week. It doesn't claim to be apochromatic , but I can see no evidence of lateral or longitudinal chromatic aberration.

The biggest problem is the extreme sharpness of the dust on the objects I am photographing, but thankfully there is photoshop for that.

I feel like I may have started something I didn't intend with my comment asking if the lens is truly apochromatic. Obviously, it is a stellar performer and that's all that matters. The question I was supposing really just gets into pointless nerdery for which I own that aspect of my personality. I wouldn't even know how to determine, in my photography, if a lens were apochromatic or not.

I've owned a few of the CV lenses over the years in LTM, M, and C/Y mount and never been less than pleased with the quality, without qualification; and I did own the 125 Apo in C/Y mount.

The test described, shooting against backlit water droplets in a fountain actually makes me think that's not a good test, since I would think backlit water droplets would have a prismatic effect randomly distributed, and therefore *should* show color fringing. But I don't know. I'm a duffer, and as I said, it doesn't matter in the least since the results are good.

I hope nobody took my comment to be disparaging towards CV or their wonderful optics. I'm just a technical/pedantic nerd. But I try to keep that aspect in perspective, to myself, and own it.

Unfortunately, I'm all in on m43 and neither of my camera bodies are suitable for the CV MF lenses. Hashtag sad.


[My take is somewhat different, which is that your comment was great, because it drew out John's response. So, thanks to your tech/pedant nerd side! --Mike]

Now that that comment is featured I should point out that the focotar sort of falls apart image wise at distances farther than six or maybe 10 feet. For tabletop you can't do better though.

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