APO Lanthar - a legend

Started Feb 17, 2010 | Discussions thread
AlexanderVC Regular Member • Posts: 259
Re: 125mm f2.5 stopped because of Zeiss deal...


thanks for the detailed response, although the 'no more 125mm" was not what I would have liked to hear. ;-(.

I suppose its back to the used stores in the hope of finding one.


Joseph S Wisniewski wrote:

AlexanderVC wrote:

I really wish they would reissue the 125mm f2.5. It gets rave reviews--I wonder why Cosina stopped production.

Word out on the street (including some pretty good sources close to Cosina) is that stopping that lens was part of their deal to get all that Zeiss business.

Macros come in three general "classes":

  • "1 inch" lenses, like the 90mm f3.5 (90mm/f3.5 = a 25.7mm diameter optic path) or the common 55mm or 60mm f2.8. 1 inch lenses are typically in the $500 (+/- $200) neighborhood.

  • "1-1/2 inch" lenses, like the common 90, 100, or 105mm f2.8. Closer to $900 from an OEM, a bit less from a third party.

  • "2 inch" lenses, like the 180mm or 200mm f4, or the 100mm f2.0 Zeiss. 2 inch lenses typically in the $1500 neighborhood from the likes of Nikon, Canon, or Zeiss.

The Zeiss 100mm f2 is unique, the shortest 2 inch macro lens on the market. The gap between that and the Nikon 200mm f4 or Canon 180mm f4 is huge, so the Zeiss occupies a rare niche. At 1:1, it's effectively f4, which means you can pile a 2x TC on it, and have 2x magnification at an effective f8, so much speed that you're not diffraction limited even on a 24mp DSLR, printing big. An additional 50mm extension between lens and TC gets you to 3X, at effective f10, and you're still not diffraction limited on a 24mp FF. You can even push the thing to 4x.

The Voigtlander 125mm f2.5 puts a respected "2 inch" lens in the field at just about 1/2 the price of a Zeiss.

So, there were eight lenses in the original SL line (12mm f5.6, 15mm f5.6, 40mm f2, 58mm f1.4, 75mm f2.5, 90mm f3.5, 125mm f2.5, and 180mm f4). Of these:

  • The 12 and 15mm are really hard to use without "hard" mirror lockup cameras, the kind no one has made in years, so I don't think we'll be seeing them in SL-II. It's a pity, because there are some of us crazy enough to use them on a Nikon or Canon FF with "soft" mirror lockup and liveview...

  • The 40, 58, and 90 are back as SL-II. I guess a 58mm f1.4 that draws like a 1960 Nikon or Topcon isn't a threat to a 50mm f1.4 Zeiss that draws like, well, itself.

  • The 20mm f3.5 is new, apparently, Zeiss doesn't consider it a threat to a legendary 21mm d2.8 Distagon.

  • I don't think the 125mm or the 180mm are coming back.

Oh, and last but not least...

  • My source says fall for the 75mm!

-- hide signature --

Rahon Klavanian 1912-2008.

Armenian genocide survivor, amazing cook, scrabble master, and loving grandmother. You will be missed.

Ciao! Joseph


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