New Voigtländer Apo-Lanthar 90mm F3.5 SL II with F-mount

Voigtländer released a new lens for portraits/ macro photography today: Apo-Lanthar 90mm F3.5 SL II Close Focus (F-mount):


  • Focal length / 90mm
  • Relative Aperture / 1:3.5
  • Minimum Aperture / F22
  • Lens / 5 set of 6 pieces
  • Angle / 27 °
  • Number of diaphragm blades / 9 Minimum focusing distance pieces / 0.5m (closed only when seated UP / 0.5 ~ 0.32m)
  • Maximum magnification / 1:3.5 (closed only when seated UP / 1:1.8)
  • Maximum diameter (Ai-S mount) / φ63
  • Filter Size / φ52
  • Overall length (Ai-S mount) / 48.2mm
  • Weight (Ai-S mount) / 320g
  • Type mount / Ai-S (CPU chip), KA / EF
  • Other / special close-up lens comes with a dome-shaped hood
  • Preice: around ¥ 55,000 (around 600 USD)
  • Expected release: March 2010

Source (in English)

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  • Yes, first at last!!! 😀

    • Matstar

      Matthew 20:16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

  • ednafzger

    whoooaw and the price in dollars US please

    • around 600 USD

      • i think those people need couple of business 101 lessons.
        So it is worse then macro 90mm tamron, but costs more! Super.

        • You mean THAN rather than then

        • Toby

          “worse than”. Really? You used this lens? Or its (optically identical) predecessor?

          Oh wait, you just went 2.8 < 3.5 and that was that, right?

          • Louis

            i thought in the macro range one needs a lot of DOF?

      • I’d check out Stephen Gandy’s excellent site dedicated to Cosina products.

    • TomB

      For next time 😉

  • metalorange

    Seems to be a very simple design optically. I wonder if it can be any good when used close-up. I´d rather see them re-releasing the 125mm Apo Lanthar .

    • Just because the lens architecture is simple does not mean poor performance, metalorange. Look at the Cosina made Zeiss designed 50mm F2 Planar ZM M-mount lens, Leica 50mm F2 Summicron (both are double gaussian design) and Cosina made Voigtlander 50mm F3.5 Heliar (a tessar design).

      As for the 125 Apo-Lanthar SLII version, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it come to fruition.

  • SZRimaging

    Having the 20mm myself, I am pleased with the quality of the Voigtlander lenses. This might make it to my bag instead of the AI 105mm f2.5 I was going to buy. Have to wait and see the price.

    • voigtlander

      105 f2.5 costs like 160$ and is uber sharp wide open with exellent bokeh. Of course if you are going for macro then this one must rock but I dont exactly see the interchangeability… Voigtlander 58 f1.4 and 20 f3.5 are amazing too.

      • Toby

        I have, and like, the Nikkor 105/2.5. If you consider that lens wide open uber sharp, then consider that the CV 90 wide open at f/3.5 is sharper than the 105/2.5 at f/5.6. Also, with the apo design, no annoying dark green and purple fringes on out of focus objects. I have both (mine is the SL version not the newly announced SL2, obviously, so no CPU coupling).

      • sigurd

        the Nikkor 105/2.5 was one of my favorite lenses for a long time, but the rather extreme green and purple fringing of out of focus objects is a show stopper when used on anything else than black and white prints.

        I would love the Cosina, but i´m having trouble focusing potraits in dark conditions, so i´ve purchased a 1.8/85 yesterday to shorten the time until Nikon releases a new short tele prime (a 1.4 / 85 with VR and AFS ranks high on my whischlist 😉 ).

  • Kevin Y

    yea i was thinking how this would compare to the 105 2.5. plus for the cpu contacts for lower than d300 bodies! yay

  • D40-owner

    Is this an apochromatic lens?? Anyone know?

    • Toby

      Yes, its apochromatic

  • Chris P

    The original version is reviewed on Photozone and it has one apo element. Looking at the review if the new one is as good as the original it will be well worth considering.

  • Landscape Photo

    Good, but 90mm gives an odd FoV. I’d rather prefer Voiglander 180mm f/4, combining compactness & reach with quality. And 20mm f/3.5 if I were only allowed to have 2 primes cw a FX body. Sure, an AF Nikkor 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6 VR would be much more practical.

    • Adam Maas

      An odd FoV? It’s almost identical to an 85. The reason it’s a 90mm is it’s derived from a Rangefinder lens and standard framelines in M mount are 75 and 90mm

      • 85mm is also odd (except for being a perfect portrait lens). It’s neither normal , nor a real tele. The impression must be close to having a 50mm (60mm actually) on D300. I believe even other than portraits, sometimes there are cases which call that specific FoV, but not as much as the popular 20mm, 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 135mm or 200mm primes.

        • Global

          Odd for what purposes.

          A 28mm 1.4, 85 1.4, and 135/2 would be a great combination for most indoor purposes.

  • hello

    The Voigtlander lenses belong to the best ones on the market and outperform Nikon lenses in any case (same type of focus). @Metalorange: the “simple” construction is also used by Leica and we all know what quality we get there. The high number of lenses we often have today mostly is contraproductive to the optical quality. Vibration reduction, wide zoom range and so on are enemies of a outperforming lens. I don´t know an Apo lens (correction in 3 colours) from Nikon, they have semi-construction so this lens seems to be a real diamond.

  • taurui

    .. this is MF only, right?

    • jsmyth

      yep, manual focus only…

  • Banned

    I wonder how this compares to the newer Nikkor 105mm macro….

    • Banned

      Outside of no AF and VR of course.

      • Toby

        Well, its sharper, and has no annoying colour fringing or line doubling, and renders colours clearer.

  • Landscape Photo

    I can guess the focusing barrel’s motion must be soft but bold & feely like the huge volume knob of an old audio. Together with vf in-focus indicator or at live-view, this makes MF easier, unlike with the jittery, sticky plastic ring of prosumer Nikkor zooms.

  • Bob

    Well this be part of the kit on the new Nikon DSLR?

    • No, but better a compact, optimized 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6 VR bundled with the D900 which may serve for ~80% of the time. Other lenses for further need…

      Yes, an old Nikkor 28-200mm already exists, but it lacks VR, has a plastic bayonet, and it’s no longer under production. Plus, it was designed at film era; not certain whether it can meet the resolution need of a D900.

  • Zorro

    I wouldn’t buy this lens for the rumored D40s.

  • lens baby

    this is an excellent tool – not a toy for techno freaks

    you can expect a mu h better mtf and color saturation because the
    design is “simple” – more surfaces cause more troubles to optimise performance

    a prime needs 6 to 8 lens – thats it unless you have exotic glas with
    unusual abbe nos

  • ArtTwisted

    This lense is tempting for me but I much rather atleast have the option of auto focus even if its a dog slow AF.

  • Despite the rather slow aperture speed, the Apo Lanthar 90mm lens is super sharp and is wonderfully balanced between contrast and detail. It also comes in Leica Threaded Mount (LTM) and the discontinued Nikkor-S mount (as a 85mm). According to T. Abrahamsson, it’s true focal length is something like 87mm.

    I had the first generation F-mount and the lens excels in close-up shots – but it’s not a micro (Nikon does not use the term macro). The lens is considered as an apochromatic corrected lens as well.

    Judging by the photo, the new barrel is thicker and uses the popular 52mm filter thread.

    I posted a photo using the Generation 1 lens at my flickr (see Zen-shooter – search voigtlander)

  • Chris P

    85 mm is not an ‘odd’ focal length, the ‘odd’ focal length on 35mm cameras is the 50mm ‘standard’ lens. Before 35mm cameras came along a ‘standard’ lens was taken to be one whose focal length was equal to the diagonal of the negative, which for the 35mm frame is 43mm, and the ideal focal length for portraits twice the diagonal. 2 x 43 = 86.

    • ArtTwisted

      Some portrait photographers use 300mm f2.8 lenses so it really depends. there is no ideal.

      • Zen-shooter

        Sure if you want to stand 10 meters away and shouting at your subject…

      • Chris P

        Generally it is considered that an 85mm lens is ‘ideal’ for portraits as it appears to give the most natural rendition of human facial features when taking a ‘Head & Shoulders’ shot using 35mm. There has always been some debate on this, a lot of photgraphers and subjects preferring a slightly larger ratio of around 2.5x, which is 100/105mm.

        ‘Head & Shoulders’ shots can be taken with a 300mm or a 24mm lens, but I don’t think you will sell too many pictures to the subject.

  • Ronan

    $600USD… fail.

  • Ren Kockwell

    Seriously? f/3.5 MF in 2010? I appreciate bokeh and saturation as much as the next guy, and I love the Apo Lanthar image quality in medium format, but I have no interest in a prime this slow. How incremental a sharpness/color improvement are we talking here over say the 105mm f/2 DC?

    • Chris P

      It all depends on what the qualities of the lens are at maximum aperture. It could be that the lens is sharper wide open at f3.5 than a rival f2 model is at f4. The best example that I know of this was the Leica R 90mm lenses. The f2.8, for which Leica was asking half the price of the f2, was sharper at f2.8 than the f2 was at f5.6.

  • hello

    Right, Chris P! I wonder that for many readers here a high aperture seems to be a synomyous for pro lenses. Fact is, that a lens with a lower opening as f2,8 or f3,5 is easier to develop than a 1,4 or even 1,2 lens. Leica showed the way and Voigtländer did it in former times, too. Let´s wait for a test at Photozone or so and the results will show that there is a superb lens. As I know, it is manufactures by Cosina in Japan.

  • ben

    “(closed only when seated UP / 1:1.8)”
    From the original Japanese site. It comes with specially designed close-up lens. and the number 1:1.8 is archived when using this attachment.
    So it should read “When attached included close-up lens / 1:1.8” ?

  • Macroman

    It’s the 125mm Apo-Lanthar that needs to be back in production.

  • When is the PMA starting ?
    I did not see any date on the PMA’s main web page.

  • Would be a nice substitution for my rattling and hunting AF Sigma 105 macro.

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