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Lens review

Voigtlander Apo-Lanthar 65 mm f/2 Aspherical 1:2 Macro

1 December 2017
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

The Voigtlander Apo-Lanthar 65 mm f/2 Aspherical 1:2 Macro is such an untypical lens that it would be difficult to find any direct rival for it. There are 1:2 f/2.0 lenses in the line-up of, say, Zeiss but none of them features the 65 mm focal length. On the other hand some macro 1:1 lenses can have a focal length ranging from 60 to 70 mm but then they are only as fast as f/2.8. As you see in our chart it’s difficult to draw any biding conclusions here. The Voigtlander is not physically the biggest but it is certainly the heaviest of all. It is made completely of metal and glass and its entrance pupil is also the biggest of all the group of lenses, described here.

In the photo below the Voigtlander 2/65 is positioned between other full frame lenses: the Sony FE 50 mm f/1.8 and the Sony 50 mm f/1.4.

Voigtlander Apo-Lanthar 65 mm f/2 Aspherical 1:2 Macro - Build quality

The tested lens starts with a metal mount which surrounds contacts and a rear element, 22 mm in diameter. On the metal frame of the mount you find the serial number of the lens and an inscription COSINA CO., LTD. The rear element is surrounded by black, well matted area. When the focus is set at infinity that element is positioned less than 1 cm deep inside; when you pass to the minimum focusing distance it is hidden over 4 cm deep.

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Voigtlander Apo-Lanthar 65 mm f/2 Aspherical 1:2 Macro - Build quality

The proper body of the lens is made of metal; it starts with an immobile ring, 8 mm wide. On that ring you see a depth of field scale with marks by f/22, f/16, f/11 and f/8 (the f/11 mark is not inscribed due to lack of space). On both sides of the scale there are some ribs making the grip more comfortable. Behind the ribbing, on the left, you get a red dot making an alignment with a camera easier, and an inscription “E-mount” and then another inscription “Lens made in Japan”. On the right you see the number 65 – the focal length of the lens.

Voigtlander Apo-Lanthar 65 mm f/2 Aspherical 1:2 Macro - Build quality

A manual focus ring takes the most of space on the body of the lens as it is 61 mm wide. The middle of the ring features huge ribbing with comfortable finger grooves for a better grip. Underneath you see a distance scale expressed in feet and meters and also a reproduction ratio scale. The ring moves evenly and is properly damped; running though the whole distance scale needs a turn through an angle of as much as 310 degrees. Most of that range, however, serves the macro scale. The changing of distance from 0.5 of a meter to infinity means a turn of just about 100 degrees.

Then comes an aperture ring, as wide as 11 mm, with fine ribbing to make the grip more secure. The ring moves every 1/3 EV stop.

Voigtlander Apo-Lanthar 65 mm f/2 Aspherical 1:2 Macro - Build quality

The lens ends with an immobile part of the barrel and an inscription APO- LANTHAR. That part doesn’t feature the typical hood mount as in this case the mount is screwed into the threads on the front of the lens.

The front element of the lens is less than 3 cm in diameter and hidden over 2.5 deep inside a black, ribbed tube. When you set the focus it extends along the whole system; that way the dimension of the lens increases by almost 4 cm as you pass to the minimum focusing distance. On the frame of the front optical system you find an inscription with the name and parameters of the lens along with a non-rotating filter thread, 67 mm in diameter.

Voigtlander Apo-Lanthar 65 mm f/2 Aspherical 1:2 Macro - Build quality

The optical construction of the lens consists of 10 elements positioned in 8 groups. One of the elements is aspherical. Inside you can also find an aperture with ten diaphragm blades which can be closed down to a value of f/22.

Buyers get both caps and a simple hood in the box.

Voigtlander Apo-Lanthar 65 mm f/2 Aspherical 1:2 Macro - Build quality