Lens review

Voigtlander Apo Lanthar 35 mm f/2 Aspherical

11 June 2021
Maciej Latałło

3. Build quality

There are a lot of 2/35 or similar lenses available on the market so we didn't lack material for comparison.  Our first chart consists of just manual lenses. The optical construction of the Voigtlander is really impressing as it features the highest number of elements, even one more than the Leica, an apochromatic device as well. Also the Apo Lanthar can be called the heaviest in this group of lenses but differences in this category are really slight.

The next chart shows a comparison between the Voigtlander and other lenses with similar parameters, also designed for mirrorless cameras, but this time equipped with autofocus. The Apo Lanthar still sticks out with its weight and physical dimensions but this time you can find bigger and heavier instruments without any problem; the complexity of their optical constructions also seems to be on the same level. Apart from that, some autofocus lenses feature shorter minimum focusing distances.

It doesn't change the fact that, for contemporary standards, the Voigtlander Apo Lanthar 35 mm f/2 Aspherical remains a rather handy and shapely lens. Let's glance at a photo below: the tested device is positioned next to its 2/65 brother and the Canon EF 35 mm f/2 IS USM, designed for reflex cameras.

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Voigtlander Apo Lanthar 35 mm f/2 Aspherical  - Build quality

The tested lens starts with a metal mount which surrounds contacts and a rear element, 24 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 a black, well matted part of the barrel. When the focus is set at infinity the element is positioned on the same level as the contacts; when you pass to the minimum focusing distance it hides over 1 cm deep inside.

Voigtlander Apo Lanthar 35 mm f/2 Aspherical  - 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/16, f/11, f/8, f/5.6 and f/4.0 (the f/5.6 mark is not inscribed due to lack of space). On both sides of the scale there are some scallops for a firmer, more secure grip. 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 '35' number– its the focal length of the lens.

Voigtlander Apo Lanthar 35 mm f/2 Aspherical  - Build quality

A manual focus ring takes the most of space on the body of the lens as it is 30 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.The ring moves evenly and is properly damped; running though the whole distance scale needs a turn through an angle of as much as 160 degrees, more than enough for comfortable focusing.

Turning the manual focus ring moves the whole optical system so the front part of the lens with the front element extends forward. The lens doesn't change its focal length and it significantly limits 'focus breathing', a fact that will make video-recording users very happy.

Voigtlander Apo Lanthar 35 mm f/2 Aspherical  - Build quality

Then you see an aperture ring, 9 mm wide, with fine ribs to improve your grip.The ring moves every 1/3 EV stop.

The lens ends with an immobile part of the barrel on which you can find a colourful logo and an inscription APO- LANTHAR. That part doesn’t feature a typical hood mount as in this case the hood is screwed into the threads at the front of the lens. The front element is 29 mm in diameter and quite flat. It is surrounded by a part of the barrel with inscriptions stating the name and parameters of the lens, along with a non-rotating filter thread, 49 mm in diameter.

Voigtlander Apo Lanthar 35 mm f/2 Aspherical  - Build quality

The optical construction of the lens consists of 11 elements positioned in 9 groups. 5 elements are made of abnomal partial dispersion glass and two are double-sided aspherical. Inside, you can also find an aperture with as many as 12 blades which can be closed down to a value of f/16. From f/4.0 onwards it provides an interesting star-like shape.

Buyers get in the box with the lens a simple hood, a rear cap and two front caps: one of them fits the lens and the second fits the hood.

Voigtlander Apo Lanthar 35 mm f/2 Aspherical  - Build quality

Voigtlander Apo Lanthar 35 mm f/2 Aspherical  - Build quality