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FM Review: Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar

  
 
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · FM Review: Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar


FM Review: Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar
Order the Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO:

E-mount:

CameraQuest | B&H Photo | Adorama ($1,149)

M-mount:

CameraQuest | B&H Photo | Adorama ($1,149)

____________


Review Quick Links:
  1. About the lens
  2. Infinity Performance compared to Sigma 35mm f/2 DG DN (61MP)
  3. Infinity Performance compared to Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM (61MP)
  4. Infinity Performance on Leica M10P: CV 35mm f/2 APO VM vs CV 35mm f/2 Ultron II VM (61MP)
  5. Infinity performance on Sony A7R IV: CV 35mm f/2 APO VM vs CV 35mm f/2 Ultron II VM (24MP)
  6. Field Curvature
  7. Rendering
  8. Rendering compared to Sigma 35mm f/2 DG DN
  9. Rendering compared to Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM
  10. Specular Highlights (Bokeh balls)
  11. Optical Vignetting
  12. Minimal Focus Distance performance (MFD)
  13. Sunstar rendering
  14. Sunstar rendering showing a landscape scene (from f/2 to f/16)
  15. Sunstar Rendering compared to Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM
  16. Flare resistance
  17. Distortion
  18. Rendering comparison to Voigtlander 35/2 Ultron II + 40//1.2 Nokton (9 scenes)
  19. Sagittal Coma performance
  20. Sagittal Coma performance compared to Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM
  21. CA Correction (Longitudinal and lateral CA)
  22. Final Thoughts
  23. Sample Images, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

    ____________

    FM member's tests:

    1. Infinity Performance compared to Tamron 35mm f/2.8 (42MP)
    2. Rendering comparison 1: Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO vs Tamron 35mm f/2.8 (42MP)
    3. Rendering comparison 2: Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO vs Tamron 35mm f/2.8 (42MP)
    4. Resolution and Rendering compared to Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 Biogon (42MP)



    Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO Sample Images from FM Members:

    1. @rji2goleez: Sample 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
    2. @Khun Hans: Sample 1
    3. @leicamera: Sample 1, 2
    4. @olalafoto: Sample 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    5. @tsdevine: Sample 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
    6. @highdesertmesa: Sample 1
    7. @kevphoto: Sample 1
    8. @tzhang.wk: Sample 1, 2
    9. @Frederik0711: Sample 1, 2, 3
    10. @GartenMoorriem: Sample 1


    ____________


    About the Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar lens:

    The Ultimate 35mm lens?

    The Voigtlander 35mm f/2 is the fourth APO-Lanthar lens released for the Sony E-mount. Because it's not macro lens like the Voigtlander 65mm f/2 and 110mm f/2.5 Macro APO-Lanthar lenses, it's made very compact and weighs only 306 grams (M-mount) and 355 grams (E-mount).
    Inheriting the apochromatic optical design, the Voigtlander 35/2 APO is highly corrected to eliminate (or minimize) longitudinal chromatic aberration.









    The optical design consists of 11 elements in 9 groups with two (2) double sided aspherical elements, five (5) with anomalous partial dispersion and an integrated floating-focus system. (For both E and M-mount)









    The Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar has a nice balance between optical performance and compactness. It addition, the newly designed 12-aperture blade employs a special shape that becomes completely circular not only wide open, but also at f/2.8, f/5.6 and f/16.











    Full Specifications:

    1. Diameter: 63mm (E-mount), 55.6mm (M-mount)
    2. Length: 67 mm (E-mount), 58mm (M-mount)
    3. Smaller aperture: f/16
    4. Angle of view: 63.6į
    5. Aperture clicks: 1/3 stop (E-mount), 1/2 stop (M-mount)
    6. Filter Thread: 49 mm
    7. Max. Magnification: 1:6.4
    8. Optical Design: 2 double sided aspherical elements, 5 anomalous partial dispersion
    9. Close Focusing Distance from the sensor: 0.35 m (E-mount), 0.5m (M-mount)
    10. Number of aperture blades: 12 (round at f/2, f/2.8, /5.6 and f/16)
    11. Elements/ Groups: 11/9
    12. Measured weight (no hood, no caps): 355g (E-mount), 305g (M-mount)



Apr 10, 2021 at 12:12 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · FM Review: Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar


Infinity Performance compared to Sigma 35mm f/2 DG DN









I consider the Sigma 35mm f/2 DG DN (review) one of the best 35mm E-mount lenses currently available.

Both lenses are perfectly centered on my A7R IV. There is some copy variation though.

Here is the full image thumbnail showing the area demonstrated at 1:1 magnification.








  1. Distance: Infinity
  2. Camera: Sony A7R IV
  3. Focus: Center - Best of three @ 12.4x magnification
  4. WB: Daylight
  5. Lens perfectly centered using my decentering test
  6. Software: Lightroom with my default landscape sharpening. All other settings set to default
PS: Vignetting and distortion were NOT corrected. All in-camera corrections turned 'off'.

___________


Will the Sigma perform similarly to the Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO at infinity? Here are some 100% crops showing center, mid-field and extreme corner areas.

I've updated the infinity crops using my 3 copy of the Voigtlander. This E-mount copy performs very similarly to my M-mount copy (on the Leica). It's capable of high resolution throughout the image field, which my prior couple copies were not.


At 35mm
Center Resolution and Contrast: Sigma 35/2 DG DN vs Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar





Center at f/2: Surprisingly the Sigma performs a tad better wide open at infinity distance. The Voigtlander shows a bit less purple fringing (LoCA)






Center at f/2.8: Both lenses improve and are now similar






Center at f/4: Not much changes











Center at f/8: Both diffract and perform similarly




Apr 10, 2021 at 12:25 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · FM Review: Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar


At 35mm
Mid-Zone Resolution and Contrast: Sigma 35/2 DG DN vs Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar





Mid-Zone at f/2: The Voigtlander performs slightly better wide open at mid-field






Mid-Zone at f/2.8: The Voigtlander improves even further and it's noticeable better now






Mid-Zone at f/4: The Sigma improves slightly and the Voigtlander is now superb






Mid-Zone at f/5.6: Not much changes






Mid-Zone at f/8: Both diffract




Apr 10, 2021 at 02:01 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · FM Review: Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar


At 35mm
Extreme Corner Resolution and Contrast: Sigma 35/2 DG DN vs Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar





Extreme corner at f/2: WOW! The Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO has the best 35mm corners I've tested to date! It does significantly better than the Sigma here. Noticed how the Sigma has wider AOV by looking at the houses' sizes. (I've reframe the shots)






Extreme corner at f/2.8: Both lenses improve slightly. The Voigtlander 35/2 APO is still vastly superior at f/2.8






Extreme corner at f/4: Big improvement for the Sigma and optimal aperture for the Voigtlander. The latter is able to capture high frequency detail at the extreme corners.






Extreme corner at f/5.6: The Sigma improves very slightly while the Voigtlander was already optimal at f/4






Extreme corner at f/8: Both diffract. Even at f/8, the Voigtlander does better in terms of resolution in the area but the difference is much smaller now




Apr 10, 2021 at 02:03 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · FM Review: Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar


Field Curvature:

I'm happy to report that the Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar is virtually a flat-field lens with low field curvature making it an ideal landscape lens.



Crops showing the extreme corner area:
(Left crop focused at center and right crop focused at the extreme corner)













Crops showing the Mid-zone area:
(Left crop focused at center and right crop focused at Mid-zone)











Apr 10, 2021 at 02:05 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · FM Review: Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar


Interesting fact:
When testing the Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO vs Sigma 35mm f/2 DG DN, it's noticeable how much wider the Sigma is.
My guess is that it's a 32-33mm lens while the Voigtlander is a true 35mm lens. Just some information for those deciding on these two lenses.




Sigma (TOP), Voigtlander (BOTTOM)




Apr 10, 2021 at 02:07 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · FM Review: Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar


Rendering:

The Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO seems over-corrected for spherical aberration and therefore some outlining is present in specular highlights. The optical design seems optimized for high resolution and contrast across the field while offering a more structured rendering. Some may see it as a balanced approach while others will prefer lenses with smoother rendering.

Because the design minimizes axial CA and spherical aberration, when shooting wide open, rendering can look smooth at close distance (helped by blur), or a bit structured depending on subject distance and background complexity.

With the subject focused at mid/long distance (3-6m), where the transition zone is part of the OOF background, rendering may appear busy as specular highlights show visible outlining. On the other hand, foreground rendering always look pleasant and smooth to my eyes. Stepping the lens down to f/2.8 reduces outlining significantly and specular highlights remain round, thanks to Voigtlander's ingenious aperture mechanism.

Optical vignetting is moderate, so expect cat's eye shape bokeh and a slight increase in DOF towards the corners. At mid-distance, a slight swirling effect may appear depending on background complexity.

Overall, although not fully uniform across the field, I consider the Voigt 35mm f/2 APO's rendering pleasant at close distance and structured (and sometimes a bit harsh) at mid and long distance. Axial CA is pretty much not existent giving images a modern look.


Here are some samples showing rendering with the subject focused at different distances:




Subject at 3 meter






Subject at 4 meter






Subject at 0.75m




Apr 10, 2021 at 03:09 PM
GartenMoorriem
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · FM Review: Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar


Thank you very much for these first pictures. I can see, that this lens delivers perfectly where it matters most. Field curvature, sharpness and contrast at any aperture. Looking forward your further results. And looking foreward even more for mine to come mid of next week.

Rendering characteristics out of focus at close and midfield distances may be a good argument for keeping the 40/1.2. These lenses can complement each other.




Edited on Apr 10, 2021 at 03:24 PM · View previous versions



Apr 10, 2021 at 03:14 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · FM Review: Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar


Rendering compared to Sigma 35mm f/2 DG DN:

Not easy to compare these lenses side by side since the Sigma 35mm f/2 DG DN is noticeable wider than 35mm.
For this rendering comparison, I did my best to have similar framing which required the camera to be about 10 inches closer when shooting with the Sigma.

Rendering Comparison at 0.75m:




SIGMA (TOP), VOIGTLANDER (BOTTOM) | Close distance comparison (0.75m): At this distance, I find the Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO more uniform from background center to edges while the Sigma shows a bit more DOF increase towards the corners.






1:1 crop showing focused area: Although the lighting changed slightly, it's obvious the Voigtlander 35mm f/2 is a bit sharper at this distance. The Sigma has a bit more SA.






1:2 crop showing the OOF center area. The Sigma is slight smoother even at this distance






1:1 crop showing the top left area: The Voigtlander's rendering is a smoother towards the corners at this distance. (more uniform than the Sigma with lower optical vigentting)




Apr 10, 2021 at 03:23 PM
nehemiahphoto
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · FM Review: Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar


Fred Miranda wrote:
Rendering:

The Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO seems over-corrected for spherical aberration and therefore some outlining is present in specular highlights. The optical design seems optimized for high resolution and contrast across the field while offering a more structured rendering. Some may see it as a balanced approach while others will prefer lenses with smoother rendering.

Because the design minimizes axial CA and spherical aberration, when shooting wide open, rendering can look smooth at close distance (helped by blur), or a bit structured depending on subject distance and background complexity.

With the subject focused at mid/long distance (3-6m), where the transition zone is
...Show more

This is exactly what I wanted to see, and the ďneutralĒ draw it what I was getting from the sample photos that Iíve seen. Thanks for doing this. The manual focus, better flare resistance, sun stars will be the draw for people over the sigma. The sigma has auto focus, more pleasant rendering, and is wider and cheaper while still being optically wonderful. Interesting trade-offs.



Apr 10, 2021 at 03:24 PM
 


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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · FM Review: Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar


Rendering Comparison at 5.5m:





VOIGTLANDER (TOP), SIGMA (BOTTOM) | 5.5 meters: At this distance, I find the Sigma's rendering smoother at transition zone whereas the Voigtlander shows visible outlining making the draw a bit more structured







Focused area a f/2: There is more bite on the Voigtlander image (higher contrast, resolution) and it's also noticeable the difference in rendering between these two lenses







1:1 crop showing the OOF mid-zone area: Notice the specular highlights' outlining difference. Things look much smoother at f/2.8 (see crop below)







1:1 crop showing the OOF mid-zone area: (same crop as above but now at f/2.8 for both lenses). The Voigtlander's rendering improves at f/2.8




Apr 10, 2021 at 03:27 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · FM Review: Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar


Rendering Comparison at 3m:





(Sigma TOP), Voigtlander (BOTTOM): Subject at 3 meter







1:1 crop showing focused area. The Voigtlander shows higher contrast/res.







1:1 crop showing the OOF center area: Sigma is significantly smoother here.







1:1 crop showing the OOF corner area: Sigma is still smoother at the corners at this distance




Apr 10, 2021 at 03:27 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · FM Review: Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar


nehemiahphoto wrote:
This is exactly what I wanted to see, and the ďneutralĒ draw it what I was getting from the sample photos that Iíve seen. Thanks for doing this. The manual focus, better flare resistance, sun stars will be the draw for people over the sigma. The sigma has auto focus, more pleasant rendering, and is wider and cheaper while still being optically wonderful. Interesting trade-offs.


From what's seen in my images, I would prefer the Voigtlander for landscapes. The Sigma comes close in terms of resolution and many will prefer its rendering making it perhaps a better all-rounder.



Apr 10, 2021 at 04:04 PM
nhsonyshooter
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · FM Review: Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar


Thanks! This cements me keeping the 1.2 for when I want small and GM when I need AF.


Apr 10, 2021 at 04:42 PM
magiclight
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · FM Review: Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar


Yes, the OOF rendering looks very harsh. You cant complain about field curvature and resolution though.

I still have my Loxia which has nice rendering and performs well as a landscape lens.

Seems to be difficult to find a well corrected 35mm lens that renders OOF pleasantly.



Apr 10, 2021 at 04:52 PM
Justin Stone
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · FM Review: Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar


While the comparison with the Sigma 35 is certainly most apt, Iím looking forward to seeing a comparison to the 35GM. The CV looks like a strong contender for a general landscape lens. Still, I canít help but feel a 25-28mm APO would be more useful in this regard.




Apr 10, 2021 at 04:58 PM
nehemiahphoto
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · FM Review: Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar


Fred Miranda wrote:
From what's seen in my images, I would prefer the Voigtlander for landscapes. The Sigma comes close in terms of resolution and many will prefer its rendering making it perhaps a better all-rounder.


Entirely agree. Especially as I donít find the flare resistance that great on the 35i.



Apr 10, 2021 at 04:59 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · FM Review: Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar


Next week I will compare the Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO M-mount to the 35mm f/2 Ultron II.


Apr 10, 2021 at 05:14 PM
Steve Spencer
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · FM Review: Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar


magiclight wrote:
Yes, the OOF rendering looks very harsh. You cant complain about field curvature and resolution though.

I still have my Loxia which has nice rendering and performs well as a landscape lens.

Seems to be difficult to find a well corrected 35mm lens that renders OOF pleasantly.


While the Loxia 35 f/2 is a very nice option stopped down, I personally find it to have even harsher rendering than this Voigtlander 35 f/2 APO. It did not fare well at all for rendering in Nehemiahphoto's blind test of 35mm lenses on the the alt forum.



Apr 10, 2021 at 05:17 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · FM Review: Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar


nehemiahphoto wrote:
Entirely agree. Especially as I donít find the flare resistance that great on the 35i.


I can already say that ghosting flare control is superior for the Voigtlander (will post soon) and of course the 12-point defined sunstars at any aperture other than f/2, f/2.8, f/5.6 and f/16 are top reasons to prefer it. I think it has the best axial CA control from any 35mm I've seen to date. That's a big deal for those sensitive to CA.



Apr 10, 2021 at 05:17 PM
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