Voigtlander 50mm F2 APO-Lanthar announced

Voigtlander announced a new 50mm F2 APO-Lanthar in E-mount.


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 recommended price in Japan is ¥ 120,000 which is equal to about $1100. For comparison: The Voigtlander 1.2/50 has a recommended price of ¥ 150,000 and sells for $1099 so I would expect a price around $1000.

The official release date is December 2019.


First thoughts

Our praise for the optical performance of the 2/65 APO and 2.5/110 APO was very high indeed. The published MTF look phenomenal but we are not sure if they are comparable to Zeiss’ MTFs. The only real issue with both macros have is that their weight and size makes them less ideal as everyday lenses. And the 2/50 addresses that.

So this sounds like a really interesting lens for those who want a lens well suited for a 61MP sensor. We expect the Voigtlander to outperform any other current 50mm lens in terms of sharpness across the frame and CA-correction.  For now that is just a guess but I think it is a safe one based on the performance of the other two APO-Lanthars.

One interesting question is how the bokeh will compare to less well corrected lenses like Voigtlander’s own 1.2/50 which has excellent bokeh.

We will try get out hands on one as soon as possible which will probably be in December.

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I like to be outside with my camera and I am also a gear head with a love for manual lenses.

53 thoughts on “Voigtlander 50mm F2 APO-Lanthar announced”

      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.

    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 ;–).

  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)

  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

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