Author Topic: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar  (Read 29642 times)

Roland Vink

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Re: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2016, 20:22:41 »
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.
The 90mm and 180mm lenses are not macros, but both focus very close for non-macro lenses - around 1:4 - which is perfectly good for casual closeups.

Michael Erlewine

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Re: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2016, 21:00:18 »
The 90mm and 180mm lenses are not macros, but both focus very close for non-macro lenses - around 1:4 - which is perfectly good for casual closeups.

The 90mm comes with a close-up lens and the 180mm has a minimum focus of almost 4 feet, which is not close enough for work I do.

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smage85

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Re: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2016, 13:16:56 »
How would you compare the Lanthar 125mm to the Zeiss 135mm f2 APO? In terms of bokeh, color correction, close and far performance and the maximum magnification you can get with decent results (using extension tubes etc.)

Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2016, 13:27:31 »
The 135 despite its other virtues would be handicapped in such comparisons. It is a telephoto design and this isn't optimal for added extension. It bears repeating that extension never can improve image quality only degrade it for any ordinary lens. The added "empty" space is devoid of glass which misleads people into thinking nothing harmful happens, but that's far from the truth. The optics are brought into conjugate distances for which they are not designed and this in turn negatively affects image contrast and correction of spherical and chromatic aberration. Telephoto optics are particularly prone to adverse effects by extension. They will also show a larger drop in effective aperture in the near range.

Had the 135 Zeiss been intended for "macro" work, the maker would have given it the ability to focus closer.

smage85

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Re: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2016, 13:45:21 »
The 135 despite its other virtues would be handicapped in such comparisons. It is a telephoto design and this isn't optimal for added extension. It bears repeating that extension never can improve image quality only degrade it for any ordinary lens. The added "empty" space is devoid of glass which misleads people into thinking nothing harmful happens, but that's far from the truth. The optics are brought into conjugate distances for which they are not designed and this in turn negatively affects image contrast and correction of spherical and chromatic aberration. Telephoto optics are particularly prone to adverse effects by extension. They will also show a larger drop in effective aperture in the near range.

Had the 135 Zeiss been intended for "macro" work, the maker would have given it the ability to focus closer.

Of course a telephoto design would never perform without quality loss with added extensions, but I also read that the Zeiss 135mm is exceptional at  1:4 compared to most competition and may take an extension's optical issues with some grace.  Getting the Zeiss to 1:2 should be easy with a single extension tube maybe a PN-11.

I guess Lanthar 125mm is not "most competition" and it's also a real macro lens.

Michael Erlewine

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Re: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2016, 13:52:40 »
The Zeiss135mm APO is the better lens than the CV-125 in almost every way, except it was never intended for close-up work, much less macro. It does not take extension well in my experience, but there is this:

It is very, very sharp, despite what the tests and reviews say. Sometimes I feel it is sharper than the Otus 55mm. And it is certainly sharper (and better corrected) than the CV-125.

Here are two shots taken with the Zeiss 135mm APO lens and I believe the Nikon D800E. The first shot is a full-frame shot, the second a crop of the full-frame photo. So, yes, it is not made for close-up, but also yes you can get great close-up photos from it by cropping.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/98006906@N05/9494616175/in/photostream/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/98006906@N05/9497416896/in/photostream/.

However, unless you want to have a bunch of Otus lenses, like I do, you would be better off with the CV-125 as your regular macro lens. It has all the features that any great macro lens requires and more. It has a “draw” or style to it all its own, one that I happen to really like.

That being said, I seldom use mine. Instead, I bend the new Otus Series (I consider the 135mm Zeiss part of that series) to my will as much as I can and attempt to use them as I would a macro lens. But, that’s just me.

If I would advise you, I would say get the CV-125 and be happy. Remember, that I most often stack focus using very fast lenses wide-open. Therefore the Zeiss Otus are perfect. The CV-125 is not as sharp wide-open, but hey: it is worth (for me anyway) selling a bunch of other lenses to get one. Why? Because you will use it and enjoy using it and love the results.

As for me, part of my photography is pushing the envelope to try to find new techniques that work for me. I do that more (these years) than walk around being a macro photographer, and I don’t like “gotcha!” photography anymore, like sneaking up on bugs. I have been there, done that, and it does not appeal to me. I am happy to look at other’s “gotcha!” photos, and totally understand the appeal. I just have other visions at this point.

So, as the say "Do as I advise you, not as I do." I love my CV-125s and keep reaching for it, but mostly it sits there, looking fine, while I play with all these other also great lenses. But for most work, it is the best.
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JJChan

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Re: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2016, 15:36:16 »
How would you compare the Lanthar 125mm to the Zeiss 135mm f2 APO? In terms of bokeh, color correction, close and far performance and the maximum magnification you can get with decent results (using extension tubes etc.)

Michael & Bjorn are far more qualified to answer these questions and I only found out and hence purchased these from their expert photographs and comments. Here however is my 2 cents:

The Zeiss IS a technical tour de force. It is very sharp, very well corrected, APO through to the infra red. I think Michael wrote that all the f stops really change is the DOF as it remains sharp and highly corrected even from the widest aperture and does not really improve much stopping down.

The Voigtlander is a macro lens - the large focus throw indicates that it is biased towards the near focus even though it remains sharp all the way out to infinity. Because of this large focus throw, it is hard to catch moving things. It is however so much more versatile because of the near focus ability. It renders really beautifully.

Unlike the Zeiss which seems neutral all the way, the Apo Lanthar does impart a rendition. It is not as well corrected as the Zeiss - one can force purple fringing in high contrast scenes which is almost impossible to do with the Zeiss. I think this less neutral rendition gives it better bokeh and a more 'wholesome' image. My Lanthar also renders a bit warmer, has denser macro contrast and a little less micro contrast than the Zeiss. The Zeiss is cooler and also exposes about 1/3rd less stop.

Deciding which is better is like choosing between a Porsche and a Ferrari - both lenses always astound.

(I've included a picture with a 'gotcha' bug shot - partly for Michael but also to show the almost velvety texture of the Magnolia. The Lanthar renders this beautifully which the Zeiss would not be able to do. Also the Zeiss can't get to this level of magnification. The other picture is the Zeiss which shows some of the bokeh, micro contrasts and the Apo correction - the Lanthar would render this scene more 'romantically'). Both on D800E, handheld and no processing.

Michael Erlewine

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Re: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar
« Reply #22 on: January 18, 2016, 15:52:02 »

The Lanthar renders this beautifully which the Zeiss would not be able to do. Also the Zeiss can't get to this level of magnification.

I agree with JJChang in most everything, but not in the statements above. I have no trouble with the long focus throw catching moving critters, unless you mean humminbirds and flying insects.

And the Zeiss can get plenty close enough, without extension, as can be seen in this photo taken by the Nikon D810 and the Zeiss 135mm APO:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/98006906@N05/9221251579/in/dateposted/

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JJChan

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Re: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar
« Reply #23 on: January 18, 2016, 16:16:50 »
I agree with JJChang in most everything, but not in the statements above. I have no trouble with the long focus throw catching moving critters, unless you mean humminbirds and flying insects.

And the Zeiss can get plenty close enough, without extension, as can be seen in this photo taken by the Nikon D810 and the Zeiss 135mm APO:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/98006906@N05/9221251579/in/dateposted/


Yowser some amazing shots in that gallery - I stand corrected!
JJ

Erik Lund

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Re: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2016, 11:18:12 »
A Pair
_EGL1221 by Erik Gunst Lund, on Flickr
Erik Lund

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Re: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar
« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2016, 22:16:20 »
How would you compare the Lanthar 125mm to the Zeiss 135mm f2 APO? In terms of bokeh, color correction, close and far performance and the maximum magnification you can get with decent results (using extension tubes etc.)

In my opinion you can't compare them. What's the idea of comparing a portrait lens with a macro lens? Without extension tubes, the 135/2 APO goes down to 1:4, the 125/2.5 to 1:1. Yes you can even out the magnification factor with extension tubes but for close-up work, the tele 135/2 can never rival useability or IQ if put up against the 125/2.5. If plants, details, flowers, insects etc. are your game then why buy a tele that only gives you 1:4 magnification factor? Beats me.

For portrait work the 135/2 APO has undeniable advantages, and I would love to replace my 135/2D DC AF Nikkor with it, but have not yet done so (mostly because my clients don't want the skin detail it can resolve in close-up portraits).
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Michael Erlewine

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Re: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar
« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2016, 22:29:28 »
I can’t say one can’t compare the CV-125 and the Zeiss APO 135mm, because that was the first thing I did when I bought the Zeiss 135. The Zeiss is sharper and better corrected. I don’t do much macro, but mostly close-up, and for close-up the Zeiss 135 does a great job if you shoot and crop. The CV-125, like the Noct Nikkor and El Nikkor APO 105 are special lenses.

But from the moment I started using the Zeiss 135, my CV-125 went on general hiatus. And when the Zeiss Otus lenses came along, that only made it more rare that I used the CV-125.

A lot can be done with the Zeiss 135, and it may be sharper than the two Otus lenses (Oti?). However, the Zeiss 135mm is not the only lens you would want to have, but in a way a lens for special work. For a general macro lens, the CV-125 IMO is still the lens to have.
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rosko

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Re: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar
« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2016, 23:28:44 »
The 125 CV apo lanthar meets exactly my requirements : entomology and botanic. Incidentally landscapes.
Francis Devrainne

rosko

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Re: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar
« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2016, 23:46:01 »
Flower of Bryone dioecious.
Francis Devrainne

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Re: Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Lanthar
« Reply #29 on: February 05, 2016, 10:40:14 »
Very nice samples of what the APO Lanthar 125mm is capable of Rosko!
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