Are Z lenses APO lenses?

Started Aug 27, 2022 | Discussions
as1mov
as1mov Contributing Member • Posts: 868
Are Z lenses APO lenses?

Hi,

are the Z lenses APO lenses in Leica's sense?

Thanks.

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EricTheAstroJunkie Senior Member • Posts: 1,017
Re: Are Z lenses APO lenses?
1

No

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Z6User
Z6User Senior Member • Posts: 1,707
Re: Are Z lenses APO lenses?
3

as1mov wrote:

Hi,

are the Z lenses APO lenses in Leica's sense?

Thanks.

If you allow for lens corrections in camera, then many do match so called APO designs in terms of aberration corrections. However, Nikon does not (yet) use the APO designation. For example, the 105mm lens is extremely well corrected, significantly more so than previous Nikon 105mm designs.

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davethebirder Contributing Member • Posts: 548
Re: Are Z lenses APO lenses?

Z6User wrote:

as1mov wrote:

Hi,

are the Z lenses APO lenses in Leica's sense?

Thanks.

If you allow for lens corrections in camera, then many do match so called APO designs in terms of aberration corrections. However, Nikon does not (yet) use the APO designation. For example, the 105mm lens is extremely well corrected, significantly more so than previous Nikon 105mm designs.

I can't speak for other S lenses but the neither the 50 F1.8S or the 85 F1.8S are APO designs and show a normal amount of longitudinal chromatic aberrations .......ie red/purple fringing in front of the focal plane and green behind ......

......... which normally is difficult to correct in camera or in post ..... (see under bokeh fringing)

https://www.opticallimits.com/nikon_ff/1109-nikkorz5018s?start=1

https://www.opticallimits.com/nikon_ff/1118-nikkorz8518s?start=1

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Dibyendu Majumdar Senior Member • Posts: 1,173
Re: Are Z lenses APO lenses?

as1mov wrote:

are the Z lenses APO lenses in Leica's sense?

In what sense are Leica lenses APO?

SrMi
SrMi Veteran Member • Posts: 5,745
Re: Are Z lenses APO lenses?
3

Dibyendu Majumdar wrote:

as1mov wrote:

are the Z lenses APO lenses in Leica's sense?

In what sense are Leica lenses APO?

https://www.slack.co.uk/leica-apo-m-lenses.html

PLShutterbug Veteran Member • Posts: 4,423
Re: Are Z lenses APO lenses?
3

as1mov wrote:

Hi,

are the Z lenses APO lenses in Leica's sense?

Thanks.

A lot of Nikkors use exotic glass, particularly low-dispersion elements, so according to Slack’s definition, most Nikkor Z lenses are APOs.

Frankly, this sounds like just a marketing buzzword/acronym. Kind of like Nikon marking certain Z mount lenses as “S.”

Nikon’s “S” line Z-mount lenses are very well corrected, particularly when their software corrections are applied.

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anotherMike Forum Pro • Posts: 11,216
Re: Are Z lenses APO lenses?
2

No.

The 105/2.8MC probably gets closer to that ideal than the others though; it's mighty impressive, particularly in the short/moderate distances

SrMi
SrMi Veteran Member • Posts: 5,745
Re: Are Z lenses APO lenses?

Some Voigtlander Z lenses are APO (APO Lanthar 35mm and 50mm).

Z6User
Z6User Senior Member • Posts: 1,707
Re: Are Z lenses APO lenses?
2

SrMi wrote:

Some Voigtlander Z lenses are APO (APO Lanthar 35mm and 50mm).

But how are they in practice? As I understand it, APO is a marketing designation.

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Dibyendu Majumdar Senior Member • Posts: 1,173
Re: Are Z lenses APO lenses?
3

PLShutterbug wrote:

as1mov wrote:

are the Z lenses APO lenses in Leica's sense?

A lot of Nikkors use exotic glass, particularly low-dispersion elements, so according to Slack’s definition, most Nikkor Z lenses are APOs.

Frankly, this sounds like just a marketing buzzword/acronym. Kind of like Nikon marking certain Z mount lenses as “S.”

Nikon’s “S” line Z-mount lenses are very well corrected, particularly when their software corrections are applied.

Indeed.

Nikon and Canon have never designated regular photographic lenses as APO ever.

Just putting the term APO doesn't make the lenses better corrected for chromatic aberration.

Leica puts the APO designation on several f2 and slower lenses these days; there are no comparable lenses in the Nikon lineup so one can't compare specific performance. Traditionally, Nikon used ED designation on super telephotos, if you compare the optical specification of these lenses with equivalent Leica "APO" lenses, you will notice that both use ED glasses of similar type.

For example:

Leica 280mm f2.8 APO - https://patents.google.com/patent/US5388006A/en

This design is from 1991.

From the same era

Nikkor 300mm f2.8 AF-I

https://patents.google.com/patent/US5253112A/en

To compare the color correction of specific lenses, you would need equivalent lenses in the two brands.

If you looked at the optical specs of Z lenses (https://cameragossip.github.io/nikon-lens-patents.html) - you will find many use ED and fluorite glasses. But Nikon doesn't put the APO designation on any of them.

Nebido
Nebido Contributing Member • Posts: 706
Re: Are Z lenses APO lenses?
3

Z6User wrote:

SrMi wrote:

Some Voigtlander Z lenses are APO (APO Lanthar 35mm and 50mm).

But how are they in practice? As I understand it, APO is a marketing designation.

__

Cosina/Voigtländer definitely delivers with their Apo-Lanthar lens series.

Regarding color aberration and the level of other optical corrections, like coma, distortion, both are flat-field lenses, but also resolution/contrast/clarity from wide open across the field the CV Apo-Lanthar's are the closest to perfect 35 + 50mm lenses in the whole Z-System at the moment, maybe with the exception of the Noct, but it's a 58/0.95, total different beast.

__

Fred Miranda about the color aberrations with the CV 35/2 AL-Z.

Very well corrected for axial CA. The best I've seen for a 35mm lens. However, there are still traces of green/magenta color error under extreme conditions. Negligible lateral CA.

The Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar is one of the best 35mm lenses ever produced!

Small but mighty Voigtlander 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar is one of the best 50mm lenses on the market!

_________________________

________________________

https://www.cameralabs.com/voigtlander-50mm-f2-apo-lanthar-review/

https://www.cameralabs.com/voigtlander-35mm-f2-apo-lanthar-review/

The Cameralabs reviewer is selling his Zeiss Otus 28/1.4 and is keeping the 35/2 AL-Z Voigtländer as a consequence of his review of the CV 35mm f/2 AL-Z.

"My comparison lenses were the Nikon Z 35/1.8 S, the Sony FE 35/1.8, the Sigma 35/1.2 Art and the Zeiss Batis 40/2.0 CF (I haven't gotten the Viltrox AF 35/1.8 yet, but it certainly wouldn't be competition optically). And if I had added the Zeiss Otus 28/1.4, that would have been easily beaten by the Voigtländer as well....
As a consequence, I will keep the Voigtländer and sell my Zeiss Otus"

______________

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Z6User
Z6User Senior Member • Posts: 1,707
Re: Are Z lenses APO lenses?

davethebirder wrote:

Z6User wrote:

as1mov wrote:

Hi,

are the Z lenses APO lenses in Leica's sense?

Thanks.

If you allow for lens corrections in camera, then many do match so called APO designs in terms of aberration corrections. However, Nikon does not (yet) use the APO designation. For example, the 105mm lens is extremely well corrected, significantly more so than previous Nikon 105mm designs.

I can't speak for other S lenses but the neither the 50 F1.8S or the 85 F1.8S are APO designs and show a normal amount of longitudinal chromatic aberrations .......ie red/purple fringing in front of the focal plane and green behind ......

......... which normally is difficult to correct in camera or in post ..... (see under bokeh fringing)

https://www.opticallimits.com/nikon_ff/1109-nikkorz5018s?start=1

https://www.opticallimits.com/nikon_ff/1118-nikkorz8518s?start=1

I believe the 58mm F0.95 lens is very highly corrected, as are the long telephoto primes.

No-one would claim that the 24-70mm F4 lens is apochromatic, however in use I have found it to have no obvious colour fringing in out of focus areas. That is a big plus for me. I should note that my observations are based on usage rather than formal tests, so OOF CA might be an issue for use cases I have not tried. One aspect I did not like about my F mount primes was obvious OOF CA which could easily be seen in small prints.

I am surprised the 50mm and 85mm F1.8 S lenses are not improved in this respect (I have no personal experience with them).

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davethebirder Contributing Member • Posts: 548
Re: Are Z lenses APO lenses?
2

Z6User wrote:

SrMi wrote:

Some Voigtlander Z lenses are APO (APO Lanthar 35mm and 50mm).

But how are they in practice? As I understand it, APO is a marketing designation.

No, APO is short for apochromatic ...... and are lenses which are corrected against "longitudinal chromatic aberrations" (LCAs) ....... ie CAs caused by distance (Z axis) ...... usually red fringing in front and green behind the plane of focus, .....

APO is a real optical term and these corrected lenses should not suffer from LCAs ...... manufacturers are quite rightly quick to designate their corrected glass as APO ......

........... neither of the following are APOs!

https://www.opticallimits.com/nikon_ff/1109-nikkorz5018s?start=1

https://www.opticallimits.com/nikon_ff/1118-nikkorz8518s?start=1

Sometimes manufacturers use APO when a lens is only partially corrected ....... ie the Sigma 150mm F2.8 macro APO where slight LCAs still remain .........

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Z6User
Z6User Senior Member • Posts: 1,707
Re: Are Z lenses APO lenses?
4

davethebirder wrote:

Z6User wrote:

SrMi wrote:

Some Voigtlander Z lenses are APO (APO Lanthar 35mm and 50mm).

But how are they in practice? As I understand it, APO is a marketing designation.

No, APO is short for apochromatic ...... and are lenses which are corrected against "longitudinal chromatic aberrations" (LCAs) ....... ie CAs caused by distance (Z axis) ...... usually red fringing in front and green behind the plane of focus, .....

APO is a real optical term and these corrected lenses should not suffer from LCAs ...... manufacturers are quite rightly quick to designate their corrected glass as APO ......

I am well aware of the meaning of apochromatic. However, lenses that have the term APO do not always perform as well as one might expect. That can be because the lens is not a true apochromat ie APO does not directly equate to apochromatic.  Hence my statement that it can be a marketing term. In the case of a company such as Zeiss, one might expect the lens to perform as expected. I have a Sigma 400mm F5.6 APO Macro lens, which in truth is neither apochromatic, nor capable of true macro work.

Incidentally apochromatic implies a high degree of correction for spherical aberration as well as chromatic. And I don’t believe that it implies perfect correction of OOF CA. It simply indicates that the lens is corrected for three wavelengths in the plane of focus, as opposed to two for an achromat.

........... neither of the following are APOs!

https://www.opticallimits.com/nikon_ff/1109-nikkorz5018s?start=1

https://www.opticallimits.com/nikon_ff/1118-nikkorz8518s?start=1

Sometimes manufacturers use APO when a lens is only partially corrected ....... ie the Sigma 150mm F2.8 macro APO where slight LCAs still remain .........

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davethebirder Contributing Member • Posts: 548
Re: Are Z lenses APO lenses?
1

Z6User wrote:

davethebirder wrote:

Z6User wrote:

SrMi wrote:

Some Voigtlander Z lenses are APO (APO Lanthar 35mm and 50mm).

But how are they in practice? As I understand it, APO is a marketing designation.

No, APO is short for apochromatic ...... and are lenses which are corrected against "longitudinal chromatic aberrations" (LCAs) ....... ie CAs caused by distance (Z axis) ...... usually red fringing in front and green behind the plane of focus, .....

APO is a real optical term and these corrected lenses should not suffer from LCAs ...... manufacturers are quite rightly quick to designate their corrected glass as APO ......

I am well aware of the meaning of apochromatic. However, lenses that have the term APO do not always perform as well as one might expect. That can be because the lens is not a true apochromat ie APO does not directly equate to apochromatic. Hence my statement that it can be a marketing term. In the case of a company such as Zeiss, one might expect the lens to perform as expected. I have a Sigma 400mm F5.6 APO Macro lens, which in truth is neither apochromatic, nor capable of true macro work.

....... the Sigma 150mm F2.8  macro does well with lateral CAs, spherical aberrations but still retains longitudinal CAs, inspite of the APO designation ...... I think the Sigma 50-500 was designated APO but LCAs were the least of it issues ......

the question is, is it false claims or being economical with the truth ??

Incidentally apochromatic implies a high degree of correction for spherical aberration as well as chromatic. And I don’t believe that it implies perfect correction of OOF CA. It simply indicates that the lens is corrected for three wavelengths in the plane of focus, as opposed to two for an achromat.

........... neither of the following are APOs!

https://www.opticallimits.com/nikon_ff/1109-nikkorz5018s?start=1

https://www.opticallimits.com/nikon_ff/1118-nikkorz8518s?start=1

Sometimes manufacturers use APO when a lens is only partially corrected ....... ie the Sigma 150mm F2.8 macro APO where slight LCAs still remain .........

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Adam-T
Adam-T Forum Pro • Posts: 63,384
Its an old term --->
15

Apochromatic is an old term to describe a lens formula designed to reduce Lo-ca chromatic Aberration - these days lens formulas are so complicated that they incorporate such technlogy and beyond that there is no need to apply it to a title, same goes for bragging about having coated optics  ........ it`d be like BMW making a big sales point about fitting the new M series with Radial Tyres and having a safe sealed battery ..

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Z6User
Z6User Senior Member • Posts: 1,707
Re: Are Z lenses APO lenses?

davethebirder wrote:

....... the Sigma 150mm F2.8 macro does well with lateral CAs, spherical aberrations but still retains longitudinal CAs, inspite of the APO designation ...... I think the Sigma 50-500 was designated APO but LCAs were the least of it issues ......

the question is, is it false claims or being economical with the truth ??

I’ll leave others to answer that question.

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MoreorLess Veteran Member • Posts: 5,431
Re: Its an old term --->
2

AdamT wrote:

Apochromatic is an old term to describe a lens formula designed to reduce Lo-ca chromatic Aberration - these days lens formulas are so complicated that they incorporate such technlogy and beyond that there is no need to apply it to a title, same goes for bragging about having coated optics ........ it`d be like BMW making a big sales point about fitting the new M series with Radial Tyres and having a safe sealed battery ..

Really these days APO seems like more of a marketing term used to sell high end lenses, most of those that have been given it do seem like exellent lenses but I don't think thats due to following some "APO design" and mores than there lenses without as much compromise, they tend to be more expensive, larger and have more limited(normally F/2 rather than F/1.4) specs.

Really you could argue Nikons F/1.8 primes do follow this trend somewhat in that they trade off 2/3rds of a stop of light for better performance and do not try and be ultra small.

LarsHP
LarsHP Contributing Member • Posts: 671
Re: Are Z lenses APO lenses?
6

as1mov wrote:

Hi,

are the Z lenses APO lenses in Leica's sense?

Thanks.

That depends on the definition, which Leica seems to hide or avoid ... !

What I am saying is that while Leica at one point did say what Jono Slack quotes (after reading the thread I link to below), including that color aberrations in the out of focus areas are eliminated, Leica removed* that description later from their website. That is a statement in itself, I think. The reason, I speculate, is that their "apo" lenses do not live up to that description, maybe with a few exceptions.

I asked about the "apo" designation in the Leica user forum in May 2021, which became quite a long thread:

https://www.l-camera-forum.com/topic/320955-90mm-apo-summicron-m-not-apochromatic

The thread includes several sample images shot with Leica "Apo-Summicron" lenses, showing LoCA (longitudinal chromatic aberrations).

The term apochromatic is a scientific one, which means that three wavelengths are fully corrected at the point of focus. Historically, the term was coined in relation to microscopes, where out of focus areas are of no interest. Lack of apochromatic correction will show up in high contrast scenes, typically as magenta fringing in reflections in metal (even when in focus).

Regarding your reference to Nikon lenses, Nikon (as well as Canon, Sony and Fuji for instance) don't use the "apo" designation. I think the reason for that is that most modern quality lenses qualifies as apochromatic lenses. Even if we think of the "apo" designation as Leica / Jono Slack use it, some of Nikon's lenses would be worthy of such a badge, for instance the F mount AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2.0 VR / VRII.

I think that the Z Nikkor MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S lens is an apo lens in the extended sense of the term, but the Z 85mm f/1.8 S and Z 50mm f/1.8 S aren't, even though they are as well corrected as the Leica M "apo" lenses.

* Except for their Egyptian website, where it is still available for readers: https://leica-camera-eg.com/sl-lenses/

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