Voigtlander 110mm F2.5 APO Macro Hands-On: Photokina Recap Part 5

Specifications

Diameter 78 mm
Length 100 mm
Filter Thread 58 mm
Weight 771 g
Max. Magnification 1:1
Close Focusing Distance from the sensor 0.35 m
Number of aperture blades 10
Elements/ Groups 14/12

$1099 at B&H (affiliate link)

I think it came across from my review that I was quite impressed by the Voigtländer 2/65‘s performance. So when Cosina announced the 2.5/110 they had my attention and I made my interest in a review copy known immediately. For some reason though the release date has been postponed from August. I hope we don’t have to wait much longer.

Features

The Voigtlander 110mm F2.5 APO-Lanthar Macro focuses down to a magnification ratio of 1:1. Unlike the Sony FE 2.8/90 it does not focus internally so it extends a lot when focused at smaller objects. I couldn’t test the working distance at PK but it will be interesting to see how it compares to the Sony macro.

Another key-feature is the APO-correction. While other companies have used this term rather generously the 2/65 APO offers a really high degree of correction for any kind of CA so the expectation is quite high here. Conditions at PK didn’t allow for much testing of the CA-correction.

Another “feature” is that this is the longest native manual focus lens in E-mount. I think together with my 1.2/40 and the new 3.5/21 it could form a really nice three prime set which covers almost any application I would have for it from landscape over macro to portrait. If your focus is on portraits you will almost certainly be better served by the mighty GM 1.4/85 and eye-AF. But if you like to take an occasional portrait while your focus is on other applications and you enjoy manual focus this lens might work very well for you. At least that is what I am hoping for.

Handling

Voigtlander 2/65 besides 2.5/110

At Photokina I could handle a copy and take some images. I was positively surprised to note that the 110mm Macro is just 9mm longer than the 65mm. This is possible because while the 65’s front element is deeply recessed the 110mm’s is not. Another advantage is a more reasonable filter size of 58mm. This is shared by most other Voigtlanders.

I can’t say that much about the handling: The focus ring felt nice. I didn’t use it enough to notice how it balances. The aperture ring has moved from the front to the back which one will get used to. So it most likely will be what one has come to expect from a modern Voigtlander lens which is a very pleasant to use lens.

both lenses fully extended

Optical performance

Again I didn’t learn a lot from the short usage at PK. An exhausting fair where you are constantly bombarded by information and sounds isn’t a good testing ground. You can find my test images in this set. They were handheld and didn’t show anything unexpected.

One aspect I looked at was bokeh and cat-eyes. This is the full image and out of focus highlights look pretty smooth and not defined. Cat-eyes are pronounced though.

I also don’t see any onion rings which is good news.

Conclusion

I didn’t learn much about the CV 2.5/110 APO at Pk but I didn’t learn anything negative either. I look forward to either reviewing it myself or reading David’s review, depending who gets one first. I think it could find a constant place in my kit.

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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.

8 thoughts on “Voigtlander 110mm F2.5 APO Macro Hands-On: Photokina Recap Part 5”

  1. Many thanks for this report, I have been wanting to see life-signs from this lens since the pre-order was delayed, and Cosina hasn’t been up front about the reasons behind the delay, nor an up-coming release date.

    Is the surprising length the 110mm Apo Lanthar extends to, a sign of a long focus throw, as in the 65mm Apo Lanthar?

    Much looking forward to know about the qualities of this lens, and if the positive expectations the 65mm Apo Lanthar motivated, justified the pre-order.

    1. There’s actually nothing surprising about the length of this lens at close focus; it’s the length you would expect for a non-internal focus 1:1 macro of this FL. It’s the traditional design approach. The downside is the amount it extends. The benefit is you tend not to get effective focal length reduction at high magnification, and the length of the lens focussed arbor hear infinity is usually quite a bit less than IF non extending designs.

  2. Also, a comparison with the Zeiss Batis 135mm (or the preceding 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar iterations), being another apochromatic lens in a more or less similar focal range, would be quite interesting.

    Schöne Grüße!

    1. If I end up with a copy of this to review first I might do brief some comparisons with those lenses – I do have them available – but my prime interest will be comparable tele macro lenses. If Phillip gets one first I suspect he will have a similar focus.

  3. Thanks for the brief and enlightening explanation, David, will stay tuned for your upcoming account of this promising lens.

  4. I’d love to see how this lens does with macro beauty shots, as the 65 has too short of a working distance, which causes issues with flash and shadows

  5. According to latest disclaimers from adorama, the 110mm f/2.5 Makro Apo Lanthar will start shipping today. Hopefully you’ll have a copy up for review soon; would much like to see a comparison to the Milvus Planar 100mm f/2, if possible.

    The Zeiss is not an apochromatic lens and only does half the magnificatoon of the Voigtländer, but it makes a fantastic telephoto lens for architecture and landscape – the use I would mostly give the Voigtländer, and I suspect many others would too.

    Both lenses are very similar in size and weight, so nothing to fuzz about there. If the performance is similar to the 65mm f2 Apo Lanthar, I can hardly imagine anyone whining about carrying it in their bag. If the performance bests the Zeiss, Voigtländer will have added yet another very compelling makro – and multi-purpose lens – to the E-mount universe. Fingers crossed!

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