In praise of the Voigtlander 65/2 apo lanthar

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Luvwine Regular Member • Posts: 231
In praise of the Voigtlander 65/2 apo lanthar
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I have not seen much buzz on this forum about this lens. Maybe there is no interest in a manual lens with a 65mm focal length. I am telling you, it is a great lens. There are a few drawbacks and some aspects that are less than stellar, but overall I think it deserves a lot more attention than it is getting.

First, the lens is sharp. It is sharp across the frame from wide open even at infinity. Second, it is truly apochromatic. it is better corrected for CA than my Leica 75/2 apo, for example--not even close. Third, it is extraordinarily versatile--it does macro at 1:2 with no tubes and quite a bit closer with them and it is equally at home at infinity for landscapes--truly terrific. Fourth, it has like zero distortion and is extraordinarily flat field--no real field curvature. Fifth, it is well built with excellent damping--is a pleasure to use. Sixth, it is an excellent value for a lens of its quality. It is likely replacing the Leica 75/2 apo in my bag and is right up there in sharpness with my best lenses including Loxia 85/2.4.  Seventh, it has fabulous 10-pointed sun stars (just like Loxia lenses).

Drawbacks? It has only average to good flare resistance. It is larger than many lenses--67mm filter thread and is beefy and not light (all metal construction, after all).

In sum, I think it is an extraordinarily versatile and first rate quality lens. It would be a fine choice to take out as an only prime or paired with say a 28 or 35mm prime for a day of shooting. Below are some samples taken with the lens. I have compared it for portrait and landscape with the Loxia 50, Leica 75/2, Loxia 85 and GM 85. It is sharper at infinity at large apertures than either the Loxia 50 or the Leica 75 and equal or better stopped down. It is equal in my book to the Loxia 85 at landscape tho with a slightly different drawing style (perhaps less 3D). The bokeh is good, tho clearly not in the GM 85 or 100 STF league, but in most shots, it is more the acceptable. All lenses are compromises, but this one seems to have few.

I have not had the lens for long, but here are some images I made while lens testing. I have really enjoyed it so far and it has earned a place in my bag.

http://m0.i.pbase.com/o10/91/505291/1/166037760.2n48ipCt._DSC3058.jp

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Luvwine
Sony A7r2, CV 12/5.6, Sony G 12-24/4, Zeiss Loxia 21/2.8, Zeiss ZM 35/1.4, Zeiss FE 35/2.8, Zeiss Loxia 50/2, Leica M 75/2 apo, Zeiss Loxia 85/2.4, Sony GM 85/1.4, Sony GM 100/2.8 STF, Leica R 180/2.8 apo, Leica R 280/4 apo, Leica R 1.4x and @2x Extenders, bags by Thinktank, Ona, and others, Canon IPF 8300

 Luvwine's gear list:Luvwine's gear list
Sony Alpha a7R II Sony FE 35mm F2.8 Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 1,4/35 ZM Zeiss Loxia 21mm F2.8 Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM +8 more
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