Voigtlander 125mm F/2.5 APO-Lanthar Macro Anyone?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Robert Meyers, Jun 23, 2004.

  1. Voigtlander 125mm F/2.5 APO-Lanthar Macro

    I was wondering if anyone had any experience with this lens? Has anyone
    taken a look at it?

    I am thinking about getting it in OM for use on an E-1. It looks like the
    MTF curve is awesome to 10mm. and the diagonal is 18mm for the E-1. It also
    looks like it has a tiny throw (from 2m to infinity), which would make it
    the first truly fast focusing lens for non-macro usage, I have ever used (if
    I buy it). It would also equate to a 2:1 macro without extensions tubes
    (hmmm. 25mm extension tube could be interesting).

    In general, I am wondering about quality, flare, contrast, build and
    usability. I am also wondering if Lanthar lenses age well? Some rare
    earth elements don't (see yellow glass Olympus lenses).

    Thanks all!

    Robert Meyers
    Robert Meyers, Jun 23, 2004
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  2. I've written about this before, see message ID
    Certainly not. In contrast to many other macro lenses (the Nikkors
    for example), the Macro-Lanthar takes 2 or three full rotations
    from close focus to infinity. So the focus throw is closer to normal
    portrait lenses.

    Christoph Breitkopf, Jun 23, 2004
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  3. Robert Meyers wrote:

    It's an incredible lens - I have not used it but I have published
    results from it.

    As for lanthanum glass ageing badly, I am not entirely sure whether the
    Apo-Lanthar actually uses it - the name is simply a derivation from
    Voigtlander's old name for a rare earth glass Tessar derivative (Skopar
    was their triplet derivative and Heliar seemed to get used for anything
    from large format oldies to modern Gauss fast lenses). I suspect Cosina
    just used the name, because any real Apo-Lanthar would have been a
    process camera lens in the past.

    But plenty of rare earth glasses survive for decades without turning
    yellow - are you wanting the lens to outlive you?

    David Kilpatrick, Jun 23, 2004
  4. Thanks!

    But "Certainly not." what? Will do an id search in the groups.

    Robert Meyers
    Robert Meyers, Jun 23, 2004
  5. It does certainly not have a tiny focus throw in that range.
    The Micro Nikkors do, though.

    Christoph Breitkopf, Jun 23, 2004
  6. Ah. I had thought the throw was short from 2m to infinity (not macro to
    infinity though). This is actually a long throw?

    Robert Meyers, Jun 23, 2004
  7. It is long compared to some (most?) other macro lenses, but
    likely somewhat shorter than non-macro lenses.

    I'll check this at home, and report exact numbers here.

    Christoph Breitkopf, Jun 23, 2004
  8. Thanks!
    Robert Meyers, Jun 23, 2004
  9. As an aside, I am wanting to utilize this lens when it gets a little dark in
    the place of my 50-200mm F2.8-3.5, for motorsports as well as a macro. It
    ends up with a FOV or 250mm with it's f-Stop of 2.5. Very good speed.

    Robert Meyers, Jun 23, 2004
  10. Robert Meyers

    Bill Tuthill Guest

    Can you buy this lens in the USA? Neither Adorama nor B&H lists it now,
    but I do remember it coming onto the market.
    Bill Tuthill, Jun 23, 2004
  11. Robert Meyers

    Bandicoot Guest

    The yellowing is usually where Thorium is involved, due to yellow coloured
    products of its radioactive decay (which in turn can largely be bleached out
    with UV). Lanthanum isn't radioactive, so this particular issue doesn't
    apply. In fact, the original reasons for using Lanthanum oxide in glasses
    were not only to produce a high refractive index, but also because the glass
    was regarded as 'non-corroding' relative to the alternatives available.

    All that said, I agree with David that as 'Lanthar' is an old Voigtlander
    name for a lens design, there's no real reason to assume there's any
    Lanthanum in this particular lens.

    Bandicoot, Jun 23, 2004
  12. Robert Meyers

    Doug Payne Guest

    Doug Payne, Jun 23, 2004
  13. It's a good thing I measured this, because you are right,
    and I'm wrong. I overlooked that the Voigtlander focuses
    down to 1:1, and the MF Micro-Nikkors just to 1:2. That makes
    up for the extra full focusing turn of the Voigtlander.

    To get a value that is independant from the
    focal length, it is better to measure the
    angle between infinity and some fixed multiple
    of the focal length. 20x is a good value, for which
    angles between 50° and 170° are ok, and between
    70° and 120° best for most people.
    Here are the angles between infinity and 20x focal
    length for some lenses:

    150° Pentax Super-Takumar 3.5/135
    146° Leica Elmarit-R 2.8/180
    120° Nikkor AI 2/85
    104° Zeiss Sonnar T* 2.8/180
    95° Nikkor K 1.8/85
    90° Nikkor AI 3.5/135
    80° Nikkor AI 1.2/50
    72° Nikkor AI 2.8/180 (non-ED, ED is just slightly different)
    72° Nikkor AI 2.5/105 (the AI-S has a shorter focusing throw)
    60° Nikon Series E 2.8/135
    40° Nikkor AI-S 2.8/28
    40° Vivitar 2.8/100 Macro
    34° Micro-Nikkor-P 3.5/55
    32° Micro-Nikkor 4/105
    27° Voigtländer 2.5/125 Macro

    So the Apo-Lanthar has the shortes focus throw of the lenses
    I measured. I'm sure there are thill shorter throws in some
    zoom and especially AF lenses, though.

    Christoph Breitkopf, Jun 24, 2004
  14. David Kilpatrick wrote:

    Picking a few nits here:
    The old Lanthar is a three element design and the Skopar four (and a
    well-deserved reputation as the best of the Tessars)...

    Chris Loffredo, Jun 25, 2004
  15. A triplet isn't the same as a three-element - two of the elements in the
    Skopar are cemented, it's still a triplet.

    The original Lanthar is a large format lens of very old vintage.

    David Kilpatrick, Jun 26, 2004
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