Author Topic: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar  (Read 31513 times)

Jan Anne

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Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar
« on: June 10, 2015, 16:44:19 »
The lens that Cosina needed to stop making to land the Zeiss contract and became legendary afterwards because a certain Norwegian nature photographer declared it as one of the best lenses ever made (and from personal experience can tell you he still uses his on a regular basis if not daily).

I was lucky to source one locally with a Canon EF mount new in box for a very decent price last year and am very pleased with it on the Sony a7S.

Here's a mugshot on an a7R (which got traded for the a7S) using a Commlite EF-NEX electronic adapter, the electronic adapter enables the operation of the aperture (sadly no aperture ring on the EF model), EXIF registration (though f/2.5 registers as f/2.8 ) and on modern Canon lenses also the use of AF and IS.

Update 11-3-16: The EXIF registers properly now with a Metabones IV T adapter.



I didn't use this lens that much but here are a few images, don't hesitate to add more samples to this topic.

Stealing Jakovs shot during our Montenegro trip last year in June, using an a7R


Jakov last September playing with his Panda Df and 300/4 Ai-S, shot with a Sony a7R


The mandatory tourist shot on our current NG trip in Slovenia, this time shot with a Sony a7S:
Cheers,
Jan Anne Offereins

Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2015, 21:03:43 »
If anyone should be in doubt about the image qualities of the Voigtländer 125 mm f/2.5 APO-Lanthar lens, these images should settle the score once and for all.

Vilhelm

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Re: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2016, 14:37:42 »
A fantastic lens that delivers both in technical quality (detail, free of aberrations) as well as aesthetic capabilities (pleasant rendering of OoF areas). Bought mine in December 2009, used in a box for 900 EUR. I sincerely can't see why anyone would sell this lens, it is every bit as good as the reviews written about it.

I am aware of the internal construction which makes it prone to loosening and disassembling itself, this was however in my case quite easy to prevent by having a local technician open it and replace the screws, it has worked flawlessly for the past 6 years and I have actively used it for shooting watches and jewellery for clients.
Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
- George Bernard Shaw

Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2016, 16:26:12 »
I'm lucky in having my close friend Erik making the maintenance service and repair on the 125 APO-Lanthar each time I visit him in Copenhagen ... The first of my 125 APO-Lanthars is around 10 years old now and as laconically remarked by Jan Anne, it looks "used" ....

Since I felt uncertain how long the lens actually would hold up and for how long Erik would be willing to do the internal work on it (well, mainly the first was of concern), I got another sample to distribute the wear. A Lanthar version of the SSD "wear-levelling algorithm" so to speak :D

I have the two other models in the Lanthar series, thus the 90 mm f/3.5 and the 180 mm f/4, and whilst they are excellent lenses on their own, somehow they don't shine in their performance as the 125.

I'm using the 125 mainly for landscapes and details. Visible light applications only, as it like so many fast lenses, exhibit a hot spot in IR. Nor does its fare well for UV, but no worries as I have UV specialist lenses for that purpose.

My 125 APO-Lanthar lenses are both CPU-modified of course. Erik to the rescue again (modification of this lens is non-trivial in case anyone wonders, but not enough to deter Erik ...).

The image smoothness delivered by the 125 is remarkable and colour clarity is outstanding. The latter no doubt is due to the near-perfect "APO" behaviour of this optical design and the main reason I quickly got rid of my AFS Micro-Nikkor 105 mm f/2.8 VR and replaced it with the 125 APO-Lanthar.




Vilhelm

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Re: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2016, 16:58:48 »
There is definitely something in the clarity and purity of color rendition on this lens - the spidercrab photo is an excellent photo and it also displays this. High contrast compositions without lateral or longitudinal color fringing --> don't we all wish for that in a lens?
Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
- George Bernard Shaw

tommiejeep

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Re: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2016, 17:02:22 »
If anyone should be in doubt about the image qualities of the Voigtländer 125 mm f/2.5 APO-Lanthar lens, these images should settle the score once and for all.

I never doubted the quality of images the lens can make in the hands of good photographers  :D .  I tried my hardest to find one at a reasonable price but last year I was only looking at a Nikon mount.   I remarked at the time than the prices for Canon and Pentax mounts were quite reasonable.  Now that I am shooting a Sony a7II even those are getting hard to find and more expensive.

 Bjørn , problem is, lots of guys are just like me and shoot Nikon and other brands and have read your views.  So , I'm with J.A. , it is your fault  ;D , ;)

Great of you and Vilhelm to rub it in with more superb examples....  ;D J.A., first Blackberry I've seen in a couple of years  :)
Tom Hardin, Goa, India

Fons Baerken

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Re: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2016, 17:22:52 »


D700 cv125/2.5 september 2010,
i got mine together together with the zf100/2 for reasonable prices
i actually paid more for the zeiss than the voigtlander


Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2016, 17:35:50 »
Good example of the colour clarity, Fons.

The white daisy flowers look like Erigeron annuus.

Fons Baerken

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Re: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2016, 19:27:00 »
thank you Bjørn

Dr Klaus Schmitt

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Re: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2016, 12:29:20 »
Excvellent FOn! I also had that Zeiss ZF 2/100mm in parallel with it, sold it within days due to its really awful CA,
and than means  lot for a Zeiss lover like me ;-)
formerly known as kds315

pluton

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Re: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2016, 19:18:11 »
Yes, the Zeiss 100/2 has shockingly bad---considering the price of the lens--- axial color.  I have shots at f/5.6 that clearly show it.  Very annoying.
Keith B., Santa Monica, CA, USA

frankv

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Re: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2016, 22:29:51 »
I have actively used it for shooting watches and jewellery for clients.

I would love to see some of your watchshots. Some of the finer timepieces have so much detail.

-frank-
Frank Vevik

Michael Erlewine

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Re: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2016, 15:04:48 »
Lens: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 Macro APO-Lanthar
Focal Length: 125mm
Widest Aperture: f/2.5
Narrowest Aperture: 22
Aperture Blades: 9
Filter Size: 58mm
Hood: Included, Square
Close Focus Distance: 14.96 inches (38 centimeters)
Reproduction Ratio: 1:1
Focus Throw: ~ 630º
Weight: 28 ounces (794 grams)
Pros: Very fast lens, very sharp lens, 9 blades, close focus, goes 1:1, long focus throw.
Cons: None. Perhaps a little heavy.

I could write a book about this lens, but I will spare you. Next to the new Zeiss Otus-style lenses, the CV-125 is, hands down, the best macro lens I own and I use it all the time, even though I have a shelf full of some of the best macro lenses in the world at the ready. It has no major negatives. It is very fast, very sharp, focuses close, has a long focus throw, reproduces to 1:1, has 9 blades (great bokeh) – the works. If I want to complain, it is a tad on the heavy side, but I am always happy to carry this piece of glass in the field.

The lens is very difficult to find in the Nikon format and also very expensive, with copies now going for $2500 or so. Despite all the good qualities, probably the features that set this lens apart from other fine macro lenses are the fact that it is truly apochromatic (APO) and has such exceptional bokeh (lovely out-of-focus blur in the background).

Of course, IMO, I would add that it has a “magic” quality that words can’t express and a very-long focus throw that makes macros and stacked-photos so very easy. I find it very stable when it comes to handling various types of light in the same frame, like shade with rays of sunlight. This is real workhorse and I have used mine day in and day out for years.

It focuses to 1:1 and lets you get very close in on your subjects. A feature not often mentioned about this lens is that it is also very sharp at mid-range and even at landscape distances. This is the little lens that could and it does. If you ever find one, buy it. You will never be sorry.


Like Bjørn, I have the 90mm and the 180mm Voigtlander APOs, although I don’t use them much. The 180mm is not a close-up lens, which is one reason it does not get much use.

And yes, I learned about this lens from the Fierce Bear of the North, years ago. Thank you!
MichaelErlewine.smugmug.com. Founder MacroStop.com, MichaelErlewine.com (articles), https://www.youtube.com/user/merlewine (video tutorials), All-Music Guide, All-Movie Guide, Classic Posters.com, Matrix Software, SpiritGrooves.net, DharmaGrooves.com

Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2016, 15:30:24 »
Michael, you out-Lanthar me 3 to 2 :D

Despite it being labelled "Macro", and goes all the way to life-size 1:1, the 125 APO is not at its best there, and the otherwise superb apochromatic correction begins to falter.  I use this lens at least as frequently for landscapes as for close-up subjects.

The questionable internal design *will* cause issues for lenses used in the field, so the 125 should be serviced at regular intervals and if one relies on it as a work horse  "always present" in the lens kit, purchase a backup copy the sooner the better.

Michael Erlewine

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Re: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2016, 15:41:22 »
Michael, you out-Lanthar me 3 to 2 :D

Despite it being labelled "Macro", and goes all the way to life-size 1:1, the 125 APO is not at its best there, and the otherwise superb apochromatic correction begins to falter.  I use this lens at least as frequently for landscapes as for close-up subjects.

That's true, but as President Obama said to Hillary Clinton during a debate when she was pining about not being liked, Obama said "Hillary, you are likable enough." I say that even at 1:1, the CV-125 is "likable enough." I tend to use it for close-up, rather than macro, so it is way more than likable enough. What I say about this lens: aside from Zeiss Otus lenses, the CV-125 is the all-around best macro lens I have ever used, meaning I used it all the time. Indeed, IMO, it is a very special lens.
MichaelErlewine.smugmug.com. Founder MacroStop.com, MichaelErlewine.com (articles), https://www.youtube.com/user/merlewine (video tutorials), All-Music Guide, All-Movie Guide, Classic Posters.com, Matrix Software, SpiritGrooves.net, DharmaGrooves.com