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Lens review

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

1 December 2017
Arkadiusz Olech

4. Image resolution

The resolution test (resolution meaning the MTF50 function values) of the Voigtlander Apo-Lanthar 65 mm f/2 Aspherical 1:2 Macro was based on RAW files from the Sony A7R II camera. In the case of that mirrorless device the decency level we set about 38-40 lpmm and the best fixed focal length lenses might reach 65- 70 lpmm. So far the record holder has been the Tokina Fírin 20 mm f/2 FE MF with a value of 72.6 lpmm.

Let’s check how the tested lens compares – its performance in the frame centre, on the edge of the APS-C sensor and on the edge of full frame presents a graph below.

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

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At the time of the announcement the Cosina company claimed the Voigtlander 2/65 would be one of the sharpest lenses available on the market. The results of our test show they didn’t exaggerate even a bit. Already at the maximum relative aperture the lens reaches almost 66 lpmm so several lpmm higher than the maximum resolution value of the Zeiss Sonnar T* 55 mm f/1.8 ZE. It is very impressive. If the maximum aperture is so good, small wonder on stopping down the situation becomes even better. By f/2.8 you see an absolute resolution record among lenses we have tested on the A7R II so far, a value of 78.5 ± 1.1 lpmm. What’s more, even the lower result of 74.7 lpmm obtained by f/4.0 would be enough to constitute a new record.

The performance on the edge of the APS-C sensor is very good as well. Already at the maximum relative aperture the resolution can be called high as it reaches 56 lpmm. The lens is able to get to almost 65 lpmm, a value comparable to the results of many FE primes in the frame centre. A slow increase of resolution on stopping down from f/2.0 to f/2.8 is the only thing that you can have slight reservations about; it was also an effect observed on the edge of full frame.

As we’ve already mentioned the edge of full frame we should also add that the performance in that area is very satisfactory too. Even by f/2.9 you deal with fully useful images because the MTFs reach almost 47 lpmm. On stopping down the lens to f/5.6 the results are able to brush against 60 lpmm.

It’s hard not to be an enthusiast for a lens which resolution results broke all current records and which didn’t have one single weakness in this category. Hats off!

At the end of this chapter, traditionally, we present crops taken from photos of our resolution testing chart, saved as JPEG files along RAW files we used for the analysis above.

A7R II, JPEG, f/2.0
Voigtlander Apo-Lanthar 65 mm f/2 Aspherical 1:2 Macro - Image resolution
A7R II, JPEG, f/4.0
Voigtlander Apo-Lanthar 65 mm f/2 Aspherical 1:2 Macro - Image resolution