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Voigtlander 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Review

  
 
Ripolini
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p.92 #1 · p.92 #1 · Voigtlander 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Review


The E-mount lens, as well as the Z-mount sibling, has a different optical scheme. MTF plots differ too.
The VM version seems to have slightly higher MTF values in the corners at f/2 probably due to better corrected field curvature w/open; the E/Z version has slightly better corners at f/4, i.e., more even rendition across the frame.
If my interpretation of the MTF plots is correct, the E/Z mount version seems preferable for both oof rendition at f/2 and landscapes.



Edited on Apr 28, 2024 at 01:49 PM · View previous versions



Nov 01, 2023 at 10:29 AM
philip_pj
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p.92 #2 · p.92 #2 · Voigtlander 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Review


There are now many reviews of the two APO 50mm lenses from Cosina (VM) and Leica, quite a number in video form.

The two CV 50s shown above in MTF are obviously rather different lenses in: glass formulations, element spacing and as a result, performance. Of course, always check what version each reviewer is using - the M-mount lens will give you a decent approximation of the E/Z lens for smaller than f2 images, but wide open IQ is fundamental to all such lenses.

They are similar as they share the basic design. The best place to start with analysing MTF charts is the axis - the very centre of each lens and the centre of all images it produces. Axial performance is shown at the far left for each line pair. The top line pair relates to broad strong edges (say, the edge of a face), the lower line pair relates to us the detail performance (finely drawn, down to tiny motifs in our images, think: varigation in leaves, grain in statues, fine texture in all materials.

Small variations in the journey across the frame are shown as we follow all six lines to the right side, which shows the far corners at 21mm. For reasons known only to themselves, Cosina reduced the overall performance of the M-mount lens where it matters most to many M photographers - wide open at f2. This is the major difference here, rather than the shape of the line pairs, which decline gradually in the E/Z lenses past the wide edge at 18mm.

But make no mistake, the E/Z lens delivers a significant (and very probably noticeable) advantage for all line pairs at f2. A table of key points with numbers would show the gain more readily than this chart method, but it's easy enough to see the scales on the left-side axis. For the important bottom line pairs, it looks like around 72% for the top chart (Leica vsn) and approx 77% for the E/Z lens. 5% sounds small, but 5/72 equals a 7% boost! This result has led to many seeing the APOs as 'landscape lenses' when they are, in fact, extremely well-rounded optics.

The middle line pairs - which some analysts use as a good 'overall' measure - are also boosted, and indeed even the top line pairs get an advantage. So there are no trade-offs here.

The f4 results of each lens are or or less a carbon copy of the other, showing the effects of stop-down as it evens out the key differences seen wide open. The differences in IQ are inconsequential at f4.

F2 is very important for many reasons and E/Z users are encouraged to use f2 in the CV APOs for many compositions, as an 'aperture bracket' to go along with middle aperture captures. It will surprise you with a gradual fade quality off-plane into the distance, even for focal distances of 5-10 metres. F2 performance matters more for an f2 lens because they compete with faster lenses, so top image quality wide open is key to their success. Leica and Cosina both limit their APOs to f2 maximum apertures.

Very few f1-f1.2-f1.4 lenses will equal these APOs, with each being measured at f2. Show us the results, if any here disagree. Below is one - it's the MTF of Zeiss's last and greatest (full frame stills) lens in their long and storied history, in my opinion of course. They broke with tradition by increasing the complexity to Sigma-Sony-Nikon-Canon levels, commissioning Cosina to make a 100mm f1.4 with a 14/11 design, up from the Otus 85/1.4 at 11/9.

I include this one here to illustrate just how good the E/Z 50/2 is (also true of the 35/2 APO). The finest Otus and Leica's APOs are the company these two Voigtlander APOs keep. (ignore the middle line pairs because Cosina use 30lpmm, Zeiss use the traditional 20lpmm measures, so it's invalid to compare them).

We used to have debates here over whether lenses can 'keep up' with higher resolution cameras. Not any more. As Peter Karbe opines: 80% lens contrast at 40 lpmm (lower line pairs in all MTF charts) equals 50% at an eye-watering 60 lpmm. (50% is a standard lens contrast level in the industry, methods like Imatest use it.)

It's doubtful it will happen soon (if at all), but these levels of lens performance are ready for 100mp cameras, according to Herr Karbe. So these rather inexpensive state-of-the-art APOs are optically future-proofed, beautifully realised mechanically, small and light and affordable for regular photographers.





Otus 100mm f1.4 at f1.4 and f4, for comparison to CV APOs




Nov 01, 2023 at 05:39 PM
wuxiekeji
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p.92 #3 · p.92 #3 · Voigtlander 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Review


Can anyone comment on this lens for astrophotography and night landscapes? Is it relatively free of coma in the edges and corners? At f/2? At f/2.8?


Nov 02, 2023 at 11:35 AM
Ripolini
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p.92 #4 · p.92 #4 · Voigtlander 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Review


wuxiekeji wrote:
Can anyone comment on this lens for astrophotography and night landscapes? Is it relatively free of coma in the edges and corners? At f/2? At f/2.8?


The E/Z mount has negligible coma @ f/2:
https://www.lenstip.com/613.7-Lens_review-Voigtlander_Apo_Lanthar_50_mm_f_2_Aspherical_Coma__astigmatism_and_bokeh.html



Nov 02, 2023 at 02:03 PM
DistantPlaces
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p.92 #5 · p.92 #5 · Voigtlander 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Review


wuxiekeji wrote:
Can anyone comment on this lens for astrophotography and night landscapes? Is it relatively free of coma in the edges and corners? At f/2? At f/2.8?


Yes, see my post earlier in this thread here (E-mount version):
https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1625777/87#16293210

I have tested extensively between F2.0 and F2.8, and the benefits of stopping down are almost invisible to my eye, so I always shoot it wide open. Coma control is excellent too.




Nov 02, 2023 at 10:51 PM
Frederik0711
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p.92 #6 · p.92 #6 · Voigtlander 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Review


Sony a7R IV A + Voigtlšnder 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar.
Images of Jśgerborgs Hegn, in Skodsborg, Denmark.

Cross-posted to 'Voigtlander lenses on E-mount bodies - Image Thread'.

f/5.6 (focus stack of 2 images)

Untitled by Frederik J. T., on Flickr

f/4

Untitled by Frederik J. T., on Flickr

f/8

Untitled by Frederik J. T., on Flickr

f/5.6 (focus stack of 3 images)

Untitled by Frederik J. T., on Flickr



Nov 15, 2023 at 04:34 PM
MikeEvangelist
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p.92 #7 · p.92 #7 · Voigtlander 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Review


Playing with highlights.





Cropped from corner, to show cat-eye effect

  ILCE-7CR    Voigtlander APO-LANTHAR 50mm F2 Aspherical lens    50mm    f/2.0    1/50s    640 ISO    0.0 EV  







Nice sunstars at É4

  ILCE-7CR    Voigtlander APO-LANTHAR 50mm F2 Aspherical lens    50mm    f/4.0    1/50s    3200 ISO    0.0 EV  




Dec 10, 2023 at 08:08 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.92 #8 · p.92 #8 · Voigtlander 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Review


MikeEvangelist wrote:
Playing with highlights.


There is some structure in the bokeh, and optical vignetting is a characteristic, but I rarely notice this in real images. If I'm concerned about the small swirling effect when shooting wide open, I stop the lens down to f/2.8, and it's greatly improved. The good news is that the aperture remains perfectly circular! Awesome lens.

BTW, I tried the Leica version and there is more structure and onion ring pattern in the highlights, although optical vignetting is lower. (lower cat's eye, swirl effect)



Dec 19, 2023 at 10:49 AM
MikeEvangelist
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p.92 #9 · p.92 #9 · Voigtlander 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Review


Fred Miranda wrote:
There is some structure in the bokeh, and optical vignetting is a characteristic, but I rarely notice this in real images... The good news is that the aperture remains perfectly circular! Awesome lens.


I don't know why it took me so long to get one of these. It's quite spectacular. (makes me think I might need the 35mm Lanthar too.)



Dec 19, 2023 at 11:14 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.92 #10 · p.92 #10 · Voigtlander 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Review


MikeEvangelist wrote:
I don't know why it took me so long to get one of these. It's quite spectacular. (makes me think I might need the 35mm Lanthar too.)


The 35/2 APO-Lanthar is another excellent lens, delivering top-notch performance. Its rendering has a bit more character, especially in outlining, compared to the 50/2 APO, which I consider a positive aspect. Although it's larger for a 35mm f/2 lens, if you're looking for the ultimate image quality, there aren't many other options out there.



Dec 28, 2023 at 04:47 PM
 


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Jeff Kott
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p.92 #11 · p.92 #11 · Voigtlander 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Review


Has anyone found a hood for the CV 50/2 APO that is smaller than the supplied hood and works reasonably well?


Dec 28, 2023 at 06:49 PM
zugzwang2
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p.92 #12 · p.92 #12 · Voigtlander 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Review


Jeff Kott wrote:
Has anyone found a hood for the CV 50/2 APO that is smaller than the supplied hood and works reasonably well?


A combination of 49-46 and 46-39 (or 46-40.5) mm step-down rings works as a sort of mini dome hood without vignetting.




Dec 28, 2023 at 07:11 PM
Jeff Kott
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p.92 #13 · p.92 #13 · Voigtlander 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Review


zugzwang2 wrote:
A combination of 49-46 and 46-39 (or 46-40.5) mm step-down rings works as a sort of mini dome hood without vignetting.



If itís not too inconvenient, can you post a photo of your set up?




Dec 28, 2023 at 07:36 PM
zugzwang2
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p.92 #14 · p.92 #14 · Voigtlander 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Review


Jeff Kott wrote:
If itís not too inconvenient, can you post a photo of your set up?



You should be able to find some comparison images here:

https://www.dpreview.com/galleries/7165497452

I placed a green annotation dot to indicate the extent of the protection from glancing side light offered by the 50 mm CV hood. Note that the Sensei Pro 49-52 + 52-49 + Sensei 49-46 + 46-40.5 combination of rings and the native 50mm CV hood provide what seems to be about the same protection from stray light. (Compare images 2 and 5.)

The rings plus the Sony 40.5mm lens cap weigh 26g, while the CV hood plus the 58mm CV cap weigh 27g. The ring combination is about a cm less deep than the hood, and makes for a more compact setup. I didn't notice any mechanical vignetting caused by these ring combinations or the hoods at 100%.

Edited on Dec 30, 2023 at 01:39 PM · View previous versions



Dec 29, 2023 at 12:00 AM
Jeff Kott
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p.92 #15 · p.92 #15 · Voigtlander 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Review


Thanks!! Exactly what I was looking for.


Dec 29, 2023 at 11:14 AM
hanay78
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p.92 #16 · p.92 #16 · Voigtlander 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Review


I remember when it appeared the lens show pretty strong magenta colors in the corners. Is this still a characteristic ? Or it has been solved ?

Fred Miranda wrote:
The 35/2 APO-Lanthar is another excellent lens, delivering top-notch performance. Its rendering has a bit more character, especially in outlining, compared to the 50/2 APO, which I consider a positive aspect. Although it's larger for a 35mm f/2 lens, if you're looking for the ultimate image quality, there aren't many other options out there.





Dec 29, 2023 at 03:47 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.92 #17 · p.92 #17 · Voigtlander 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Review


hanay78 wrote:
I remember when it appeared the lens show pretty strong magenta colors in the corners. Is this still a characteristic ? Or it has been solved ?



Personally, I never experienced this problem when using the lens without UV filters. It seems like the issue only occurs when using certain types of UV filters, like the Zeiss ones in particular.



Dec 29, 2023 at 05:29 PM
Ripolini
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p.92 #18 · p.92 #18 · Voigtlander 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Review


Circus of Maxentius between the second and third miles of the Via Appia (Rome):



Nikon Z6 w/CV Z 50/2 Apo-Lanthar @ f/5.6, 1/400 s, 100 ISO



Apr 28, 2024 at 01:32 PM
Peire
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p.92 #19 · p.92 #19 · Voigtlander 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Review


OdS




  ILCE-7RM4A    Voigtl√§nder 50mm F/2 Apo-Lanthar (Sony E) lens    50mm    f/8.0    1/125s    160 ISO    0.0 EV  






  ILCE-7RM4A    Voigtl√§nder 50mm F/2 Apo-Lanthar (Sony E) lens    50mm    f/8.0    1/125s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  




May 08, 2024 at 11:17 AM
MikeEvangelist
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p.92 #20 · p.92 #20 · Voigtlander 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar Review


Lovely Lanthar background blur.




  ILCE-7CR    Voigtlander APO-LANTHAR 50mm F2 Aspherical lens    50mm    f/2.2    1/1600s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  




May 10, 2024 at 08:41 PM
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