Review: Voigtlander 50mm F2 APO-Lanthar

The Voigtlander 50mm F2 APO-Lanthar has been highly anticipated because of the reputation built by its APO-cousins the mighty 2/65 macro and 2.5/110 Macro. So can the much compact 2/50 APO match or even surpass those lenses performance?

You can find most images in this review in full resolution on flickr where you can also browse them in high quality.

Specifications

Diameter 63 mm
Length 61 mm
Filter Thread 49 mm
Weight (no hood, no caps) 364g
Max. Magnification 1:6.4
Close Focusing Distance from the sensor 0.45 m
Number of aperture blades 12
Elements/ Groups 10/8

The Voigtlander 50mm f2 APO-Lanthar sells for $1049 at cameraquest | Amazon.com | B&H (affiliate links).
If this review was helpful to you, please consider using one of my affiliate links through which I will earn a small commission for each purchase without any additional cost to you. Thanks ?

Disclosure

This copy was loaned to me free of charge from RobertWhite.co.uk for a few weeks. 

Features

The Voigtlander 50mm F2 APO-Lanthar is a fully manual lens so you have to change focus and aperture by yourself. The camera can’t change the aperture so S- and P-mode will not work as with native lenses.

It has electronic contacts to communicate with the camera. The lens provides correct exif-data and distance information so that 5-axis OSS can be used. Focus magnification can be automatically activated when the focus ring gets turned.

You can easily de-click the aperture for video use with the turn of a ring.

Voigtlander calls it an APO lens which means that chromatic aberrations are very well corrected. More on this further below.

Other Resources

Cosina, the Japanese manufacturer of the Voigtlander 50mm F2 APO-Lanthar dedicated it to celebrate the 20 years anniversary of the Voigtlander brands revival. In an unusual move for them they released a 4 parts series along side it which covers the development of the lens and which I found an interesting read. It is in Japanese so google translate is your friend.

I don’t cover the sharpness aspect with great depth because I don’t find much enjoyment in pixel peeping and so I am still content using a 24MP camera where even 45 years old 50mm lenses deliver excellent performance at f/8. Fred Miranda did an excellent job testing it on the a7rIV, so if  you want to know if it holds up 61 MP (spoiler: it does), check out his tests.

Build Quality

The Voigtlander 50mm F2 Macro offers very good build quality. The lens hull is made from nothing but metal and tolerances are very low. Most but not all markings are engraved.

There is no gasket around the mount and Voigtlander does not claim any weather resistance which is a bit of a letdown for such an expensive lens.

Of course I can’t tell you how durable the lens will be in the long term. All I can do is give you my superficial impression which is very positive in this case.

Bastian once had to get his Voigtlander 1.7/35 repaired which had to be done in Japan and he had to wait many weeks for the repair while repairs from other manufacturers are usually much faster. Stephen from CameraQuest in the US told me that they do most repairs in house and that few lenses have to go to Japan.

Handling

Handling is all-round excellent. At the base of the lens there is a wide enough area which is textured in parts to easily un-mount the 2/50 APO.

Focus Ring

The focus ring travels 90 degrees from 45 cm to 1 m and about a further 50 degrees to infinity. This transmission and the focus ring’s very pleasant resistance make focusing at any distance a breeze. Manual focus doesn’t get more enjoyable than with this lens.

Aperture ring

The aperture ring at the front of the lens is a joy to use. You can easily find it by touch and it is made from metal with distinctive stops and a very pleasant resistance. I am not a fan of 1/3 stops but since Sony by default uses these this is not something I blame on Cosina. The Voigtlander stops down to f/16.

Hood

The Voigtlander 50mm F2 has a rather exposed front element. So I prefer to always have the hood attached. The hood is made from metal and modest in size, it increases the length of the lens by about 23mm without changing the diameter. A nice touch is that the hood has a 58mm filter thread and comes with it’s own lens cap.

Size and Weight

The Voigtlander 50mm F2 APO-Lanthar is rather compact lens, about the same size as Sony’s FE 1.8/50 and 10mm shorter than the FE 1.8/55 and much smaller than the Voigtlander 2/65 APO. This makes it a perfect match to my a7ii on which it balances very well.

Optical performance

These results are based on the use with a Sony Alpha 7II.

Flare Resistance

Even when pushed very hard the Voigtlander will show only minor ghosting and veiling flare. A very good performance.

Sunstars

Voigtlander has always used straight aperture blades in the E-mount lenses. First 10, later 12-bladed resulting in very defined sunstars even if the lens is stopped down only a little. The upside of that were sunstars for those who enjoed them and the downside where that you couldn’t avoid the sunstars and negative effects on bokeh. Cosina has further improved on the aperture design which is perfectly round not only at f/2 but also at f/2.8.

In consequence you need to stop down to f/4 for very well defined sunstars which is an overall improvement in my eyes.

Bokeh

 

  • Out of focus highlights are rendered neural with no defined transition
  • Cat’s eyes are rather strong at f/2 and still noticeable at f/4
  • At f/2 and f/2.8 oof highlights are rendered perfectly round thanks to the new aperture design, stopped down to f/4 they are redendered as dodecagons and stopped down even further it is hard to tell them from a circle.
  • The transition zone is smooth in the center and a little harsh off-center
  • I notice no bokeh fringing

Overall bokeh is smooth in most settings but not quite as smooth as the 1.2/50 which has less contrast outside the focal plane and smoother oof-highlights.

Chromatic Aberrations

Since the apochromatic correction is one of the defining features of the Voigtlander 2/50 and the 2/65 and 2.5/110 fared excellent in this aspect I was curious how the Voigtlander APO 2/50 would fare.

This is the most demanding scenario I could come up with while fountains are off in the winter and at 100% I see traces of CA outside the focal plane. This is a way better performance than any other 50mm lens I have tested but not quite as perfect as the 2/65 and 2.5/110 APO.

Lateral CA are corrected really well as well with only traces of it visible.

Vignetting

Vignetting at f/2 is 2.3 stops which is easily visible in many images if uncorrected. Stopping down to f/2.8 reduces vignetting to 1.5 stops which are still noticeable. From f/4 vignetting becomes hardly noticeable at 0.9 stops and at f/8 I measure 0.8 stops.

Distortion

The Voigtlander 50 mm F2 APO shows very minor complex distortion which you will about never notice in an actual image.

Astro Performance

Astro performance is very good with minor deformation of bright stars.

  • extreme corner crop

Sharpness

closeup

At the close focusing distance of 45cm the Voigtlander 2/50 shows excellent sharpness.

infinity

The Voigtlander 2/50 turns out an excellent performance, better than any other 50mm I have ever tested. These summaries are really short when lenses are as excellent.

Alternatives

Zeiss Loxia 2/50The Voigtlander outclasses the Zeiss in every respect. While you won’t see a big difference on 24MP, the Voigtlander is easily sharper than the Loxia on 61 MP. Bokeh rendering at f/2 is also much smoother and CA correction is another plus for the Voigtlander. Used prices of the Loxia have fallen a lot, so on a tighter budget it still is a very capable landscape lens, but without the excellence of the more expensive Voigtlander.

Voigtlander 1.2/50At just 80g heavier the APO-Lanthar’s sibling offers 1.5 stops more and also an even smother rendering. It needs f/5.6 to come close to the AL’s sharpness and doesn’t match it on 61 MP. As a general purpose lens the 1.2/50 with its many aberrations appears more attractive to me because of its rendering but, if that matters to you, the AL 2/50 is of course much better corrected.

Sony FE  ZA 1.8/55: It has often been called a mini Otus. Undeservedly in my eyes, because while it is sharper than any compact 50mm before it, it doesn’t correct CA well, and also suffers from onion rings. The Sony 1.8/55 is very sharp across the frame from wide open so that it withstands significant enlargement but the Voigtlander is clearly a league above. Besides performance differences AF is the most  significant difference between both lenses.

Sony FE ZA 1.4/50: A much bigger and heavier lens the ZA 1.4/50 is even sharper than the Voigtlander in the very center but weaker off-center with good but not as good CA-correction and less vignetting/cat’s eyes. Whereas I see the strength of the 1.4/50 in more dynamic portrait settings it doesn’t compete for landscape use so it is probably a good companion if money is less of an issue to you.

Voigtlander 2/65 APOThe 2/65 Macro shares many traits of the 2/50 like the excellent sharpness and CA correction. The big difference is size: The 2/65 APO is a substantial lens and you might think twice about bringing it with you whereas the 2/50 is much more compact. But of course the 2/65 reaches a magnification of 1:2 and is 15mm longer, opening other applications. Also keep in mind, that the 2/65 is a little harder to focus and does not have the more advanced new aperture design.

Conclusion

pros

  • Excellent Sharpness
  • Very good (but not perfect) CA correction
  • Handling
  • Flare resistance
  • Sunstars
  • Bokeh (most of the time)
average

  • Vignetting/ Cat-Eyes
  • Price
cons

  • No Weather Sealing

The Voigtlander 50mm F2 APO-Lanthar is among the optically most perfect lenses on the market right now. Not only does it show excellent sharpness and contrast across the frame from f/2, it also lives up to the APO-label and corrects CA to a degree where it is a no issue even in demanding images. Bokeh is well above average for a 50mm lens. Distortion is another non issue and flare resistance among the best in class. Other lenses have a little smoother bokeh but most of the time the 2/50 APO’s bokeh is unobtrusive. The only thing that is average about the APO-Lanthar is its vignetting which is a small price to pay for this level of performance and compact size.

But the Voigtlander 2/50 APO doesn’t only deliver an impressive optical performance, it also is one of the most pleasant to handle lenses I have ever used thanks to a relatively small size, well thought out design and excellent mechanics. I only wished Cosina had also added weather sealing since Sony camera’s have improved a lot in this regard and any other lens in its price class offers it.

The designers of the Voigtlander 50mm F2 APO-Lanthar are right to be proud of it. It currently sets the standard both for optical performance as well as for handling. For such a high performing lens the price is very reasonable but of course still high for a 2/50 lens.

Recommendation

So the Voigtlander 2/50 APO is an outstanding lens but should you buy it? In my experience buying a lens just because it is a great performer is usually bad advice.

If you are in the lucky position that spending a little over $1k on a 2/50 won’t cause you any financial stress go for it: You will enjoy handling it. You will also enjoy the images you take with it and you can be certain that there is no better for some applications applications. For example for  landscape photography where speed isn’t important but sharpness, contrast, flare resistance and sunstars clearly make the AL 2/50 best in class and the images you take with it on a high resolution camera will hold up to gigantic enlargement.

But if you are in the more typical situation that this amount of money is a big investment to you I can only advise to not be blinded by the Voigtlander’s technical perfection. Other lenses give in my eyes nicer images for a wider range of uses. Take for example Voigtlander’s own 1.2/50 which is close in price and size but offers 1.5 stops more and also nicer bokeh. Sure the 2/50 AL is a lot better corrected but at the typical enlargements I find aberrations to be hardly ever an issue while speed and bokeh are easily visible in most images.

The Voigtlander 50mm f2 APO-Lanthar sells for $1049 at cameraquest | Amazon.com | B&H (affiliate links).
If this review was helpful to you, please consider using one of my affiliate links through which I will earn a small commission for each purchase without any additional cost to you. Thanks ?

More Image Samples

You can find most images in this review in full resolution on flickr where you can also browse them in high quality.

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

112 thoughts on “Review: Voigtlander 50mm F2 APO-Lanthar”

      1. Können Sie in die Zukunft schauen? Ich wünschte mir mehr ein 28 mm 1.4, dies sei dringender auf dem Sony FE Markt. Von den 50 mm Objektiven einschließlich den 45-55 mm Objektiven gibt es reichlich am Markt, kreativ nach Neuem sieht es gerade nicht aus bei Voigtländer, der Preis für dieses Glas (f2) wird wie viel denn kosten, weit über 1000,- Euro wieder? Wenn die Zukunft KI überall implantiert wird und VL weiterhin nur manuelles anbietet, dann werden sie die Härte des Marktes spüren. Aber auf eine Überprüfung freue ich mich von Ihnen natürlich, nehmen Sie mir meinen ersten Satz nicht übel, das kann man schreiben oder?
        Ein großes Vorbild sollte für VL das Sony FE 35 mm 1.8 sein, da stimmt für mich sogar der Preis mit allem Drumherum.

        1. Ich wünschte mir ein 28 mm 1.4, dies würde auf dem Sony FE Markt dringender gebraucht werden.

          Entschuldigung, aber beim Schreiben werden manche Wörter weggelassen und unkontrolliert wiedergegeben, liegt vielleicht an mir! Deshalb füge ich diesen Satz nach.

    1. Totally with you on that Apo Lanthar series, Vaugh 😉 Just yesterday I was about to pull the trigger on the 35mm & 50mm, Loxias, phew! My 65 and 110mm Apo Lanthar lenses are my favorite pieces of glass, and I use them for everything, especially landscape. The announcement of a 50mm Apo Lanthar just made me jump and touch the ceiling 🙂 Yessss!

      Now the only thing missing – please hear me, Cosina/Voigtländer – is a 35mm f/1.8 Apo Lanthar, and of course the 180mm. Great news, Phillip 🙂

      Schöne Grüße aus DC

  1. I’m using 61MP a7r4 and Voigtlaender 50 1.2. I’m quite happy with the results. Of course at closest distance, wider than F4 is a total mess, but at portrait distance it is acceptable.

    https://1drv.ms/u/s!ApChBCAABuR-idxq92UL5tuNbyfoTA?e=j8HNZs
    I’ve tested my 50 1.2 against my Sony 55 1.8 on A7m3. 55 1.8 has very even sharpness, but at center 50 1.2 is actually sharper and contrastier. Considering its given weight and aperture, I’m quite confident APO Lanthar 50 2.0 would be optically better than the 55 1.8.

  2. I’m a little bit annoyed that this lens didn’t exist when I got my Loxia 50.
    But at least it looks larger. Maybe I can resist and don’t give up the Loxia, which fits my needs totally well.

  3. Also very excited to see this announcement and looking forwards to seeing how it performs, particularly compared to the 65mm.

    As a more general comment, thank you very much for all the great content and images that you post for us all. Really appreciated, thanks.

      1. Whats wrong with the 28mm F1.4 by 7artisans? To me it seems like a pretty good lens – if it werent too narrow for my taste Id have bought it right after reading your review. With the sony 28f2 theres also an OKish alternativ.

        At least for me, a native 25mm color Skopar would hit the sweet spot in terms of image quality, focal lenght, size, weight and price. Loxia is bigger and pretty expensive and 21mm are too wide. I find it pretty challenging to use…

  4. when I want light lenses, have looked at 50 mm 3.5 Heliar, now the choice will be different. Also see that Zeiss Ventum is an optics family of interest

  5. Wondering if you could throw some thoughts. I used 1.2 Nokton lenses and settled with 40mm 1.2 lens, which stays on my camera all the time. Why this f2 at similar price point should be interesting? At 1.2 40mm lens is sharp wide open and at f2 it’s crazy sharp. Why would buyer consider this lens?

    1. Looking at the review section of our review I don’t see excellent across the frame sharpness. Sure for most purposes sharpness the 1.2/50 more than good enough but it is not on the same level as for example the 2/65 APO.

  6. Now I have a quandary: buy the Nokton f/1.2 50mm or wait for this? I’m still thinking the former as bokeh looks superb and I think I’d like to prioritise speed over optical precision but I’m not surr, not sure at all…

    1. Natürlich, können Sie Sitzungen im Freien tätigen und auch mit Blitz können Sie arbeiten, sämtliche Fotografien sind machbar, sogar Unterwasseraufnahmen mit Schutzgehäuse sind möglich.

      1. Liked this : “Regardless, I can only wish Rafael González-Acuña, Alejandro Chaparro-Romo and Julio Gutiérrez-Vega a long and healthy life. Given enough time, maybe they can also solve the “One Memory Card Slot Problem” of the Nikon Z7. To be fair, that one’s been around for less than a year. ”
        🙂

  7. This lense is pointless I think. I owned and sold the 65mm F2 and the 50mm 1.2. I understand the purpose of the 65mm and the 110mm, which I used for product- and repro work. Pure tripod stuff. They deliver soulless perfection what is fine because this is their purpose. I understand the purpose of the Nokton. A modern built superfast 50. OK. But if the point of this 50f2 APO is to be a everday/sparetime lense, who wants that ? Who wants for his everday images that pixelperfect output with no character (which is typically creating lovely “flaws”) and that more harsh/contrasty bokeh which every good APO lense suffers ? If the price is 1K, I see no reason for the 50 APO over the Nokton. Or.. some lovely Takumar/Pancolar/etc…. if you love working manual.

    1. “[I]f the point of this 50f2 APO is to be a everday/sparetime lense, who wants that ?”

      I want that–even if the lens doesn’t suit you.

    2. I don’t have any voigtlander lenses. You mentioned they are sharp but no characters. Which 50mm lenses do you think have more characters? I prefer characters or sharpness. I have several 50mm legacy lenses, such as Pentax, Nikon, Zeiss, minolta, and takumar and I like them. Thanks

    3. “But if the point of this 50f2 APO is to be a everday/sparetime lense, who wants that?”

      Well, people like me, mainly shooting architecture and landscape, may be very well interested in such a lens. For portraits etc., you can argue that “character” in the sense of “lovely ‘flaws’” is very important; for architecture/landscape, resolution, microcontrast and good correction of optical flaws are far more important. I prefer to get “character” by good light and good framing, not by flaws of the lenses ;–).

      1. Okay. I bought it to see if it is all true. It resolves high, yes. But it is far far away from beeing CA corrected. In fact it has the worst CA control of all modern 50ishs I own. The purple fringing is impressive. Unfortunately.

  8. That MTF is amazing. If it is to be believed, it is sharper than the Leica Apo-Summicron-M. (Of course, the Leica doesn’t work on Sony sensors due to thick filter stack, but that’s another story). It should also in theory be sharper on Sony than, for example, the Fujifilm GF 63mm f/2.8 on Fuji GFX (taking into account that 30 lp/mm on GFX is about the same as 40 lp/mm on full frame).

    I’m quite excited to see if it can indeed live up to the hype.

    Cosina seems to have found an amazing way to produce lots of glass with anomalous partial dispersion judging from how they are churning out these reasonably priced APO lenses. Making an APO lens out of a tube of glass with anomalous partial dispersion or fluorite elements is an old trick, but it used to be prohibitively expensive.

    Look at the optical construction of the 110mm: http://www.cosina.co.jp/seihin/voigtlander/e-mount/e-110mm/index.html

    Fully EIGHT elements have anomalous partial dispersion!

    Zeiss Otus lenses and some specialty APO lenses like the Coastal Optics 60mm f/4 are also full of special glass, or fluorite in the latter case.

    1. APD glass has just got cheaper, I think. Cosina aren’t glassmakers. They’ll be buying blanks from one of the big ihdustrial optical glass makers.
      The (largely Tamron designed) Batis 2.8/135 also has eight APD elements, and they are presumably still making a profit at the much lower price it goes for now.
      (BTW at the current best prices, it’s a fabulous lens to take travelling in place of a fast telezoom)

        1. According to the page, 4 branch offices(事業所) of Cosina is making parts of glasses; including raw material processing, glass molding, glass grinding, surface multi-coating, making mechanical parts for building lenses.

          1. One really notices how in control of the whole process they are. Zeiss Loxias for example have great optics but the haptics aren‘t really thought through with the aperture ring being hard to find by touch and lens change and annoyance.

          2. Yes, I also think constant feedback from each branches and making process could make Voigtlaender special. I hope Cosina could make some profit from new lenses and never abandon their own brand.

  9. Oh my! I own both Apo-Lanthar lens from Voigtlander, the 65 and 110 mm and they are very close to perfect glasses to me. The best I’ve ever own. Full of sensual colors. Super rich in tones. Can’t wait for the 50 mm.
    And, can anyone tell them than we need so much a 180 mm apo-lanthar macro lens too!? 🙂

  10. Phillip , any announcements , shipping date ?
    I preordered , but no news from my dealer .
    Will it be December , (anniversary year of Voigtländer ends 2019)

      1. Vorabinfo . Nach Auskunft von Martin Wagner von Ringfoto sollten erste Lieferungen in kleineren Stückzahlen Anfangs Dezember pünktlich zum 20 -jährigen Jubiläum der Voigtländer – Cosina Produktion in Deutschland eintreffen . In den meisten Onlineshops der Ringfotohändler ist das Objektiv inzwischen gelistet.

          1. Hab ich mir fast gedacht . Map Camera Tokyo hätte ne Preorderliste . 🙂 Oft die ersten , die was im Stock haben.

  11. Now it is available for preorder with $1049 + tax
    from Adorama and BHphoto. MTF chars is excellent and will provide smooth bokeh due to small difference between tangential and radial curves

  12. i hear lenses are in stock in germany and preordered lenses have already been shipped.
    Have you guys (phillip/david/bastian) preordered one? I hope we will we get a rolling review before the end of the year 🙂

  13. I am curious to understand whether this will perform better in terms of contrast and sharpness when compared to Nokton 1.2 a F2. I was looking to get the 1.2 until I read this announcement.

    1. Fredmiranda has a a few sunstar pics up. No portaits or daylight pics yet! I can’t wait. The anticipation is APO level right now:)

        1. Just saw the Loxia 50mm comparison. That is truly impressive and think I’ll have to buy this one. Here’s hoping they make a modern 35mm.

  14. Hi, yes the lens is available in small quantities in Middle Europe. I’m getting my copy from a small store in Vienna tomorrow.
    And yes I prefer the optical perfectness over “Charm” through imperfection in the glass. If needed, old glass with imperfections in the glass can be bought second hand at good prices.
    But when you want to squeeze out the “last pixel” from a high resolution sensor you need the optical perfectness of new glass. In this sense I wish you all good light

    1. First impressions.
      Extremely sharp across the frame
      Midfield resolution phantastic
      My lens for BW photography

      Size and handling ideal for the Sony A 7 series
      Cons : Not so CAS free as advertised

  15. As usual, well done review.

    If a small lens is requested, you might expect a whole lot of vignetting. Looking at other people’s pictures I can see the hint of color shift in the blue in addition to vignetting. Is it just me who imagines me?

    (bokeh test you have to swap places in the Pictures f2.8 and f4)

    1. When I boost the f/2 vignetting test image by 2.3 stops the corner reads 84.3/83.7/85.1 (RGB) so there is a minor shift but low enough that I didn’t feel I had to report it.

      Fixed the bokeh test image order, thanks 🙂

  16. I know that this is not a relevant question, but since I cannot find anything on the internet I will ask it anyway…
    Do you have any idea if there will be an updated 35mm from Voigtlander? You seem to have a good relationship with them, perhaps you could ask them for 🙂

    Thanks in advance!

  17. “The Voigtlander declasses the Zeiss in any regard” wurde im GOOGLE TRANSLATER übersetzt mit “Der Voigtländer deklassiert den Zeiss in keiner Hinsicht.” … VORSICHT!

  18. Based on your image samples, the len have too much “global” contrast than my taste. I really loved all dreamy/brilliant look of your landscape images from milnota, contax and … I feels my loxia 50 have more balance btw sharpness, global and micro contrast. I’m searching the market for voigtlander lens but the 50 apo not my styles.

  19. Just looking at the pictures in this review (which might not be the best way to judge…) to my eyes the bokeh rendering seems a bit harsh. Also in comparison to the Sony FE ZA 1.8/55, which admittedly shows imperfections in terms of CA control and onion rings, the rendering of the Zony bokeh seems smoother exhibiting Sonnar typical character traits.

  20. Even though CA correction is good when compared to other lenses, it is really quite bad for an APO lens. I think this should be listed on the side of the cons.
    Otherwise good review.

      1. Whether that is an issue or not depends on the type of photos you take. For landscapes etc. is probably doesn’t matter, but for anything closer it does.
        The fact is the sell it as APO but obviously it is not really APO, and this should be pointed out as a negative aspect of the lens in my opinion.

  21. Apo lanthar 50 is not fast, not inexpensive, has no AF, but it is definitely desirable lens indeed.
    Maybe it is unwise to use MF lenses with the camera has most capable AF function, but I really love Voigtlaender MF lenses, especially pre 70s Leica-ish grooved edge design. I might be edgy, but I really like classical things.

  22. I obtained it from Cameraquest yesterday, and tested it. Review from Phillip tell us everything about it as he described. Thanks to review and impressed on mentioning key points.

  23. Thank you for another thorough review. I now have to come to terms with whether or not the potential return on investment (in terms of enjoyment and results) can justify the purchase of the 2.0/50 and the potential sale of my Zeiss 1.8/55. My primary use for such a lens would be family snaps (advantage Zeiss autofocus) and for landscape use while hiking (better microcontrast and colors from the Voigtlander, lighter weight for the Zeiss, both fine at infinity focus) paired with a Loxia 25. Since I don’t print pictures of people at any large size and my landscape prints aren’t larger than 16×24 inches (from an A7R III), would the new lens be worth the effort and the cost? What would you do?

  24. I just adapted the Nokton Voigtalander 58mm f1.4 to my Sony a7ii and spent under $400. While it performs 9.9/10 and is fantastic optically, 58mm kind of sucks as a focal length as opposed to the standard 50mm. its enough to hinder my ability to do closerish landscapes. and (adapted) it isn’t as small as I would like either. I usually stop it down to f2 for better image quality anyways so i’m wondering if it would be worth selling my 58mm in a year or so and see if I can snag this lens used for like $800 or so if thats realistic

  25. Maybe the better alternative to the Zeiss Loxia 50 F2 but the price is hefty and it´s still larger.

    It is really a nice addition to the e-mount like every Cosina lens but I don´t feel like I have to sell my Loxia for it. At F8 the Loxia is not distinguishable on 24 MP from the Voigtländer and I like the Bokeh of the Loxia. I have shot quite a lot of nice pictures, where it really shines.

    But if you look at the effort it costs to produce a 50 mm lens with this performance it is really impressive. The Loxia design is more like a dinosaur.

  26. Great review Phillip.

    After using the lens for three weeks now on my A7R3, I agree with ever comment in your review. I am amazed how well/smooth it renders for a well corrected lens.

    I still see a place for my FE ZA 50mm F1.4 with its AF and f1.4 mainly for portraiture.

    Cheers Dave (down in NZ)

  27. I’m curious how this lens compares to the Batis 40mm in terms of CA and corner resolution…I know they’re different focal lengths and that the AF vs MF is huge, but as someone who has the Batis, but doesn’t enjoy using it when on a tripod and shooting still subjects…has anyone compared these 2?

  28. Your conclusion “The Voigtlander 50mm F2 APO-Lanthar is among the optically most perfect lenses on the market right now.” I agree with that. Unexpected to me that it has NO hot spot in IR.

    1. Hi David
      The 50 APO-Lanthar is my go to lens for IR having no hot spot with great sharpness, contrast, tonality. I also own the Voigtlander 65mm f2, 40mm 1.2 that have hot spots. Other IR lenses that are very good for me are Voigtlander 15mm f2, Loxia 21mm and Loxia 85mm. If that was the only lens to own I’d be happy.

  29. Hi guys!

    It’s been a few months, and I’m wondering how those of you who bought this lens are feeling about it—especially compared to the 50mm 1.2. Here in isolation, I was hoping to buy one or the other for my walk-arounds (which means mainly shooting empty streets, foliage, fire hydrants, and some people from more than 10 feet away. I have an A7R3. Both lenses are only $50 apart, so money isn’t the issue. (I also have an 85 1.4 GM, but I’m not worried about how the images synch up.)

    I think ideally I’d get the Zeiss 35 1.4 ZM and crop, but it’s twice the price and that’s a little scary right now.

    Thanks so much for your wonderful site. I’m slowly making my way through all the posts, and really enjoying them.

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