Announced: Voigtlander 35mm F2 Apo-Lanthar

Cosina just announced the Voigtlander 35mm F2 APO-Lanthar.


Diameter 63 mm
Length 67 mm
Filter Thread 49 mm
Weight (no hood, no caps) 352g
Max. Magnification 1:6.4
Close Focusing Distance from the sensor 0.35 m
Number of aperture blades 12
Elements/ Groups 11/9


Translated by Google Translate

  • Adopted an apochromat design that makes the on-axis chromatic aberration of RGB, which constitutes the three primary colors of light, as close to zero as possible. A semi-wide-angle lens that doubles as the APO-LANTHAR 50mm F2, a standard lens that pursues ultimate performance. It combines the performance of the best quasi-wide-angle lens in Voigtlander history with the compactness and ease of handling. Main features:
  • Compatible with Sony E mount. Equipped with electronic contacts, the Exif information of shooting data reflects the usage status of the lens. In addition, since it has a built-in distance encoder, it supports 5-axis camera shake correction on the camera body side. It is also possible to enlarge the viewfinder by operating the focus ring.
  • Optimized optical design A full-size image circle is secured and an optical design optimized for the Sony E-mount sensor is adopted. High resolution is maintained up to the periphery of the screen, and phenomena such as color cast are suppressed.
  • apochromatic design to correspond to digital sensors with high pixel current, and thoroughly suppress longitudinal chromatic aberration and lateral chromatic aberration.
  • ball blur 12 sheets squeezed to enjoy the representation aperture blades not only F2 open F2.8, F5.6, adopted a special shape to be circular even F16. It is possible to draw using “ball blur” such as a point light source.
  • Manual focus that enables reliable focusing. By adopting an all-metal helicoid unit that has been processed and adjusted with high precision and high-quality grease that produces appropriate torque, focusing with a smooth operation feeling is realized. Allows for delicate focus adjustment.
  • Aperture click switching mechanism Equipped with an aperture click switching mechanism that can open and close the aperture ring steplessly without generating a click sound. There is no need to worry about picking up the aperture ring operation sound when recording a video.

No surprises here. The 2/35 APO inherits the 2/50 APO’s aperture design, CA correction as well as the mechanical construction we have come to appreciate.

Our Expectations

As Voigtlander lenses have been very consistent in the past and Cosina emphasizes the close relationship to their excellent Voigtlander 2/50 APO we have very high expectations for their 35mm lens. We expect class-leading sharpness and correction of axial CA as well as excellent handling. We are especially curious about the bokeh.

It is funny: The field of E-mount 35mm has been crowded by rather mediocre lenses (by current standards at least) for the last 6 years, with the huge Sigma 1.2/35 being the first optically excellent 35mm to arrive in 2019. But then we got the excellent Sigma 2/35 two months ago (David and Phillip have bought one and are very happy with it. Review coming when it is done) and Sony launched the surprisingly compact GM 1.4/35 to a very loud chorus of praise by sometimes more and sometimes less independent reviewers. And we would be very surprised if the Voigtlander wouldn’t join the ranks of these excellent lenses, giving those who put emphasis on optical perfection an even harder time to decide.


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I have two hobbies: Photography and photographic gear. Both are related only to a small degree.

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44 thoughts on “Announced: Voigtlander 35mm F2 Apo-Lanthar”

  1. If this lens is anywhere near to the 50mm APO I’ll want one. You are correct about there being lots of mediocre 35mm lenses for e-mount.
    The Sigma is simply too enormous and the Sony GM is more of a 35mm-50mm with its outrageous focus breathing.

    1. To be honest, if you go back to the reviews of previously released 35mm lenses for E mount, the focus breathing is quite heavy for Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art and Sigma 40mm f1.4 Art. Similarly for FE 24mm f1.4 GM and FE 20mm f1.8 G. So it is not a problem for you with those lenses, it probably will not with the new 35mm GM.

  2. will be a stellar lens for sure and a joy for landscape photography.
    The problem for me personally is that i mostly use 35-50mm primes in scenarios where i cannot live without AF…
    Is there a 35 GM review coming too, despite pruduction issues?

  3. Both Sony 35GMF1.4 and VE 50/2 APO would be similar MTF but different trait and usage. Most photographers want to keep both for worthy enough.

  4. Woah bro that looks badass. lol I don’t think I, a college student, could warrant buying one when I already have the Zeiss Jena 35 2.4 that I bought a few months ago but if it is excellent wide open and has nice bokeh, contrast and tonal expression for portraits and has good sunstars and flare resistance, I might have to get it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    1. (*not a request*) but it would be fascinating to see a Sigma I – series 35 f2, Zeiss Loxia 35 f2, and Voigtlander APO 35 f2 head to head comparison!

      I would expect the Loxia to have best stopped down micro contrast, sunstars, and overall character, the Voigtlander to have the best wide open performance and uncompromising correction of aberrations and sheer resolution with otherwise great contrast and the Sigma to be a great budget and user friendly with great resolution, though less impressive and more ‘sanitized’ than the Voigtlander

  5. The issue with 35 or 50 mm lenses is that they are usually first in a new product line. Only over time, production issues, tooling and design knowledge matures, but the early products stay mediocre while the later improve. It’s only now, with a second iteration that these focal lengths gain from all the knowledge that had been gathered over the years.

    But, yes, the upcoming Voigtländer will be a banger. No doubt. Waiting for your test to prove it. Though, the 50/2 was a bit too perfect for my taste afair.

    1. Have been waiting for this since I started using the 50apo. For me it’s images are spot on but I have always wanted something wider.

      Something I haven’t heard mentioned before is that when I amusing the 50apo I have no doubts. I know, I feel, that I am shooting with perfection and that the quality of the shot is just down to me. I have the camera and the lens that is the best I could have. This means a lot. Having doubts about my equipment only brings me down and therefore gets in the way of my work. It’s a kinda GAS thing but it’s real and I’m sure troubles others. In fact I’m sure companies take advantage of this mental disorder!! Haha.

      I guess I must say that I strive for perfect images – corner to corner, back to front, top to bottom, front or back lit. The 50apo takes it all and crushes it. I think the review on here is a bit harsh on the 50apo… I do think it’s best lens I’ve used in nearly 40 years!

      I just hope the 35apo arrives before the bluebells come out.

        1. Sorry for slow reply!

          None that I noticed… I have been using a ZM 50 1.5 C and that does focus breath and I notice this a lot. So I don’t think the apo does.

          Funnily I have now sold that lens. I used it all the time for a year.. Im always stressing about my work and wanting it to be better. Fretting possibly. I decided that the apo was too contrasty – the colours too strong. Im using a Leica and the Sonnar. I am not sure if I am happy but time will tell.

          What I will say is that a year with the 50 apo taught me what a sharp image looks like. I now understand that whilst this is important to me other factors are possibly more or as important.

          One day I work out how to take good photos! hehe

  6. So now we live in abundance of 35mm options, and that’s great. I was almost ready to pay for the upcoming GM, but this voigtländer means a bigger temptation for the use I was thinking of (street photography more than portraiture). I hope the hype of the 35s will be followed by the hype of the 28s, the only real gap we still have in the e-mount line up.

  7. I own a CV 50/1.2 and i want to add a 35/1.2. I really love the APOs but my usage at those focal lengths requires either autofocus or the occasional speciality of shooting at F1.2.

    Looking forward to a review.

    1. I think this makes sense. I’m in the same boat. I’ll splurge for better OOF rendering any time, but sharpness differences aren’t enough. Second to that would be speed.

  8. Great news – the 35mm f/2 Apo-Lanthar is exactly what I was hoping for! No need to carry around a focus by wire 1kg behemoth (Sigma); no overpriced compact plasticky focus by wire lens -if you’re lucky enough to get a good copy- full of gimmicks I have use for(GM), nor the well-built and respectable yet flawed and overpriced Loxia.

    Finally a state of the art compact manual focus 35mm, with excellent build quality and handling. I have the other 3 Apo-Lanthars, and with this 4th Apo-Lanthar along with my 15mm Heliar, 25 & 85mm Loxias, I’m pretty much set!

  9. Correction: “…no overpriced compact plasticky focus by wire lens -if you’re lucky enough to get a good copy- full of gimmicks I have NO use for(GM)…”

  10. Will you guys be reviewing the 35 1.4 GM when it’s available? I know you usually focus on MF lenses, but the GM is very promising and would be a highly appealing alternative for those that want/need AF and don’t want to carry a bazooka (Sigma) around.

      1. Got it, thanks for all you guys do!

        Excited to see your Voigtlander 35 APO and Sigma f/2 reviews.

        I just picked up the Sony 35 1.8 and Sigma f/2 for an identical price this week and plan to compare them side by side and decide which one I’ll keep. It’ll be my first 35 mm lens. I have and love the Voigtlander 40 1.2, but have found myself missing AF when photographing people.

  11. I wish some one can give some comment about the following lens comparison:
    Sigma 35mm F2 DC DN
    Sony 35mm F1.8
    Samyang 35mm F1.8
    Loxia 35mm

    1. I can only tell you about the 35mm 1.8 which is a good compact always in your bag lens. Its nice and sharp but mainly very good in the center. I sold the old Zeiss E 1.4/35 mm which I was quite dissappointed with (it was one of the first FE lenses available so outdated by now).
      What I absolutely admire with the APO Lanthar 2.0/50 is the wonderful color rendering and its superb sharpnes that I NEVER experieced with any lens (Nikon F – incl. the 1.2 NOCT 50 and 1.4/28 ASPH & Sony FE incl. 1.4 50 E Zeiss and 105mm STF) before. I think its one of the reasons to buy into a Sony FE System if you like BEST image Quality and don´t mind MF lens. Can´t believe most people dont seem to know that.

  12. That MTF chart is amazing. Just amazing. This should be an awesome lens just like the 50mm Apo Lanthar.

    By the way, it seems there are both a VM mount and an E mount version. I would love to see a comparison between how these two work on the Sony camera. Will the VM mount version suffer significantly with the Sony filter stack? I noticed the optics are slightly different, so it may be optimized for the different filter stack, just like the 7artisans FE+ lenses. Aside from EXIF data and 5-axis IBIS, the M mount version seems more future-proof for me in case I get a Leica camera for fun or switch to a different system (e.g. L mount).

    I am also interested in a comparison of the 50mm Apo Lanthar between the VM and the E versions.

      1. Hopefully, if the M-mount version isn’t too horrible on digital sensors, it could still be worth buying. It would be amazing to put it on some other compact mirrorless bodies such as the new Sigma FP-L.

  13. Why does this 35mm come, I’m not happy. Recently acquired incredibly sharp 50mm APO with nice bokeh, I am very happy, if I still prefer Zeiss color palette. I had expected FE variant of 1.5/75mm from Voigtländer before this 35mm, I need a longer lens that is lightweight in my bag.

  14. The Apo-Lanthar lenses have incredible optics, but if you are carrying them into the field in anything but perfectly dry and dust free conditions, wrap gaffer tape around the lens mount. The 2/65 has an additional liability due to the length of exposed barrel when close focused, which drags dust and sticky pollen into the lens. Fun to use, but not built for the beach, nor in the desert, nor in the mountains. Pity CV omitted gaskets. Nevertheless I own 2 (the 50 & the 65), but they do not travel with me.

    1. I agree that at this price point a gasket and effective sealings should be included but my 1.2/40 and 2.5/110 which are my most used lenses for years now don‘t have a abnormal amount of dust in them nor is my sensor a lot more dusty.

      1. Phil, when I was still shooting Sony APS-C I was in Chile carrying three Nex-7 bodies. On one I had the 4/18-105 G with its nice internal focusing helicoid and internal zooming, but no gasket. Got caught in some wind in the Atacama. Fine dust entered the lens mount, despite keeping the camera under my anorak and blowing it afterwards. Then in the Chilean fjords got caught in a mild rain. Kept the camera under my Goretex anorak except when shooting. Moisture penetrated the mount, carrying Atacama residue onto the sensor where it solidified to cement. Lesson learned, and I now keep gaffer tape wrapped around a tripod leg, for application to the lens mount if I’m caught out with a lens lacking the gasket.

  15. Hi Phillip, thanks for all the work that you guys do! Waiting for your review of this lens: have you already tested the new APO 35? How would you compare it with the 40 1.2?
    I am a documentarist and I am torn between these two as an upgrade from my Loxia 35 for video. Is the slower APO worth it?

    1. The 1.2/40 and 2/35 follow two rather different approaches: The 2/35 APO corrects all aberrations very close to perfectly. The price you pay for that is not only in cash but also in speed and a little harsher rendering it seems.

      The 1.2/40 and its sibling the 1.2/35 correct aberrations only to a degree so that they are not bothersome in most scenarios but for some cases you might wish for a little less CA or a somewhat higher sharpness. Allowing for those aberrations makes the 1.5 stops at similar size as the APO and a little lower price possible and rendering in general is smoother but not perfect in general.

      So now to your question: I have no idea what is important to you. Personally I can appreciate the perfection of the 2/35 APO or the 2/50 APO (which I have actually used, unlike the 2/35) but I decided to stick to my trusty 1.2/40 which has been my most used lens for several years now, because speed and the (mostly) smooth rendering are more important to me. Jannik on the other hand decided to go with the 2/50 APO.

      1. Thank you for the answer. At the moment my kit consists of two Batis lenses (18 and 85, both for mainly AF works) and a Loxia 35 for MF and creative details on a A7SIII camera.

        Of course speed is a big plus, but I am very impressed by the Apo sharpness. I am not really sure if this sharpness will make a difference on a small sensor like the A7SIII, though. I will try to test them both before choosing, and I will be waiting for your review.

        The positive thing is that I guess both 35 (or 40) Notkon and 35 Apo would be (for the different reasons that you explained) a step up from my Loxia, which I find slow and soft.

        Ps. Is the 1.2/40 not too close to a 50mm in real life use?

  16. Now that the Voigtlander 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar and the Sony 35mm f/1.4 GM have been out in the wild for a while (and reviewed by Fred Miranda), I wonder what your team will do pending your own reviews.

    As I recall, some of you enjoyed the Sony 24 GM, which is just a bit smaller than the new Sony 35. Others stuck with manual-focus lenses. There’s a similar choice to be made here.

    So, what will you choose, if you choose at all? Do you have any guesses at this point?

    1. Thanks to Brexit it is much harder for us in Germany to get Voigtlander review samples, so we cannot publish reviews as fast as you may are used to from past experiences.
      Personally, I already have three 35mm lenses, Sigma 35mm 1.2 Art, Voigtlander VM 35mm 1.2 III (for M10) and Voigtlander VM 35mm 1.7 + 5m PCX (for Sonys).
      From what I have seen I see little reason to replace the 1.2/35 Art with the 1.4/35 GM.
      I do consider replacing the VM 35mm 1.7 with the 2/35 Apo Lanthar at some point mainly to get Exif but I haven’t been a big fan of the Apo Lanthar bokeh so far, so I will wait for some comparisons here (or do my own at some point 🙂 ).

      David on the other hand replaced the 1.2/35 Art with the 1.4/35 GM.
      He might also replace his 2/35 Loxia with the 2/35 Apo Lanthar.

      Phillip is now using the 2/35 iSigma.

      1. It’s interesting and understandable that each of you seem to have chosen different excellent new lenses.

        Like you, I’m not a fan of the samples of the Voigtlander APO outlining wide open. However, Fred Miranda has shown that the transition zone quiets down (and seems about as smooth as with the Sigma 35/2) at f/2.8. (I haven’t noticed examples at f/2.2 or f/2.5, when the lens might be better than at f/2.) Nonetheless, I think that I could be happy with the lens’s rendering at the nicely circular apertures at f/2.8 or f/5.6 except for when I need to close the lens down for sunstars or open it for situations where I can accept that the outlining could be a minor problem. I’ll look forward to your review whether or not I’ve purchased the lens by the time you publish it.

  17. While we continue to wait for your hoped-for review:

    Jack Takahashi compared the Voigtlander 35mm APO to his Leica $ummilux FLE. Takahashi prefers the Leica lens (which is faster, lighter, and small enough so that it minimally blocks his M10’s viewfinder), but he notes, and his examples show, that, wide open, the Voigtlander is sharper than the Leica at f/2. He wrote, “The Voigtlander 35 APO is the highest resolution 35mm M-mount lens I’ve ever used.” (That is high praise: he has used other excellent lenses including the Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4, which seems quite excellent, corner to corner, on the M10.)

    In his review of the Summilux FLE, Takahashi noted that it sometimes produces outlining around the specular highlights, just as the Voigtlander can: “The 35 FLE’s bokeh is not as clinically perfect as some other lenses like the Zeiss 35/1.4 or the Voigtlander 35/2 APO. The 35 FLE sometimes produces soap-bubble bokeh in the background, which adds contrasty edges to out-of-focus regions and can make them look harsh. There’s also a small amount of green-magenta longitudinal CA, or spherochromatism.”

    Takahashi also commented on focus shift like that Lloyd Chambers saw with the Voigtlander: “The 35 FLE is not completely free of focus shift. If you look closely at the above sharpness test, the point of focus moves slightly rearward at f/2.8.”

    Chambers wrote, “When focused properly, the Voigtlander FE 35mm f/2 APO-Lanthar has no competition at 35mm and it trounces even fine lenses like the Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM at f/2 and f/2.8 for across-the-frame sharpness.” (Chambers was referring to the sort of focus shift that Takahashi also saw in the Leica lenses. The plane of focus shift slightly rearwards when moving from wide open to taking apertures.)

    1. We got most of our Voigtlander samples from Robert White in the UK.
      Due to Brexit this is unfortunately not as easy anymore so we are looking for options here right now.

  18. I have this lens and I love it. Buy it folks! Just want this kind of quality moving forward. So I have a question. I am looking for a lens in the 100 – 150 range. 135 should be spot on. I have looked at Zeiss Batis 135, but now my eyes are falling on old manual lenses. I am looking for a lens that gives me great colors, and great micro contrast. I know the latter is disputed but I see it in my Voigt. I want to have that feel of 3 d pop, presence. Can you suggest me the best sh-t you ever tried? New or old. Or maybe a recommendation for both. AF can be very useful when I shoot surf. But image feel and quality is number one! Selling my Sigma Art 24 -70 and go for primes only from now on. So lets hope you can lead me in the right direction. I can probably find it looking through all your reviews, but something probably comes to your mind 🙂 Christian (@christian.azu)

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