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Cosina Voigtländer APO-Lanthar 90mm f/3.5 Close Focus


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11 replies to this topic

Poll: Rate this lens (21 member(s) have cast votes)

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#1 ChrisLilley

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 21:01

What is your experience with this lens? This topic will be indexed on our OTHER LENSES  page. Please keep your comments related to your experiences with this lens so that others may draw value from them. Off topic comments will be removed.

You may post sample images taken with the lens in this thread. If you have a question relating to the lens, please don't ask here, use the "Lenses For Nikons" board instead.

This thread relates to both the original (chrome focus ring and bayonet-mounted hood) SL version, and the optically identical (black rubber focus ring, screw-on hood, CPU-enabled) SLII version.

Edited by ChrisLilley, 17 March 2011 - 21:07 .

Camera (ˈkæ mə rə), n. Device for taking pictures in bright light
D7k and primes - on flickr

#2 ChrisLilley

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 16:37

I have owned my copy of this now-discontinued lens since March 2009. I paid EUR 350 for it, in genuinely mint condition. I purchased the optional LH-75S hood separately. I have used it on D40 and D90, have not used it on FX or film.

Build quality is exemplary, solid well finished metal throughout with a smoothly turning, well damped focus ring and a crisp aperture ring which offers half stops (except for the smallest two stops). The metal hood mounts with a bayonet (its the same hood for the 75, 90 and 180 lenses in this range).

Optical quality is excellent, very crisp even wide open; so the max aperture is modest, but all the apertures are usable.

Chromatic aberration, both axial and lateral, is very well controlled. This lens excels at sharp, crips, well saturated subjects with shimmering, iridescent, jewel-like colours. I believe this to be a result of the apochromatic design; besides eliminating colour fringes at sharp transitions, it eliminates them everywhere else, where they would show not as fringes but as polluting, desaturating colour admixture.

Bokeh is pretty smooth wide open, becoming slightly nervous by f/8.

I have a flickr set with this lens. Some samples:

Posted Image
D90, ISO 200, 1/250s f/8

Posted Image
D40, ISO 200, 1/1600s, f/3.5, 100% crop from this image.

Posted Image
D90, ISO 200, 1/640s f/8
Camera (ˈkæ mə rə), n. Device for taking pictures in bright light
D7k and primes - on flickr

#3 Leon

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 06:03

Very nice results at FX to, even at full wide aperture.
It outresolves the Nikkor 105mm/2.8 VR (just).
I did a test under studio circumstances on a D700 at full wide aperture, from the same point of view, so keep in mind the just more wide angle of view of the Voigtländer.
Crops are from the left outside borders of the image.
At the left Voigtländer 90mm at f 3.5 - at the right the Nikkor 105mm/2.8 VR at f 2.8 .
http://www.fotograaf...Nik105VR@28.jpg

Edited by Leon, 15 April 2011 - 12:49 .

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Léon

#4 Leon

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 02:18

Both are tested using full wide opening. The difference is only 1/2 stop.
Of course the Nikkor shall become better when stopped down for 1 stop, the Voigtländer too when stopped down a bit.

I have not the opportunity to test the Nikkor 105/2.8 VR again. It is not my own.
For the out of focus regions and high contrast, I think the Nikkor 105mm is a little bit more worse than the Voigtländer as the Nikkor is known prone to color fringing under high contrast circumstances. However the Voigtländer to has some purple color fringing at high shiny contrast edges using wide aperture settings.
As for Longitudinal Chromatic Aberrations (LoCA), I think the Voigtländer is better.

In comparison to an old Micro Nikkor AIS 105mm/2.8 that I do have, the Voigtländer is better at f 3.5 than the Nikkor at f 4.0.

Edited by Leon, 15 April 2011 - 12:50 .

Léon

#5 ChrisLilley

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 16:32

I made this comment about the CV90 vs. the Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 AIS in passing, in the thread about the Nikkor 180mm AIS ED, but obviously its more useful to repeat it here:

Its a very different lens. The Nikkor AIS 85/1.4 is a fast, shallow DOF, glowwy portrait lens. It has all the advantages and disadvantages of a fast lens. It becomes quite sharp stopped down to f/2.8 or more, but is rarely used like that. The CV90 is a shade faster than f/4 (so, nearly three stops slower), is pretty sharp wide open and super sharp one stop down, and is very well corrected for both axial and longitudinal CA - but still has smooth bokeh, it does not trade resolution for harsh, busy bokeh. It excels at crisp, sharp, brilliantly coloured scenes and ones with a good amount of colour detail. I don't own both, but people who do tell me that the CV90 draws very similarly to, but somewhat better than, the CV180/4. So if you like that look, I would certainly advise getting the 90/3.5 as well - but in addition to, not as a replacement for, the Nikkor 85/1.4.


Camera (ˈkæ mə rə), n. Device for taking pictures in bright light
D7k and primes - on flickr

#6 percafluvialitis

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 17:07

Outstanding build quality. Focus throw is smooth, quite long (3/4 of a full turn) and it allows for very precise focusing. Close focusing limit is 0.5m which makes it interesting for close-ups (though of course not macro use, it's only 1:3.5 at closest focusing distance).

Just a hint of vignetting wide open, none when stopped down 1 f-stop (this on D3). Free of color fringing. Sharpness wide open is as good as stopped down (I can't see a difference), this is truly an "every aperture usable" -lens. Five stars, with no hesitation.
Vilhelm

#7 jonny56

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 15:17

CV 90mm f/3.5 SL-II The new "chipped" version is now available. I received mine on Friday 5/7/10. It is a beauty to hold, comes with close-up diopter, f/r lens caps, hood - domed with threaded front protrusion which allows for threading on the diopter.

I am between camera bodies right now, waiting for the D-700 updated version, but I will be acquiring the G2 as soon as available along with the Cosina/Voigtlander Nikon F mount to Micro 4/3 adapter ring, so am unable to provide any pictures as of yet, however I was allowed to try it out on a D90 in a local shutterbug store. The CV mounted smoothly and clicked into the locked position firmly. It metered perfectly right outta the box, f/3.5 showing up. I mounted a tripod plate on the D90, inserted my own SD card, locked it into my Gitzo GT3530LS tripod with Markins M-20 Ballhead, camera settings were: raw, adobe RGB, daylight WB, f/3.5; and took some shots. Outside shots were limited, and of a brick pillar. Due to harsh lighting, the LCD display panel was of limited help for "live view" focusing, but still the shots turned out very crisp, compared to the viewfinder shots (could be my eyes, diopter eyepiece setting, green dot "focusing" (I focused from infinity side). Inside, I shot some advertisements across the store (~45 feet away). I used live view, which blew away manual viewfinder focusing. It was very easy to pick out 10 point sized letters (about the size of those in this posting), once one zoomed in  - on the camera's LCD panel. I was able to do some hurried "close up" shots, handheld, as the store employee was becoming nervous. I could get ~14 inches or so away from the item I was focusing on, and the shots, despite my shaky hand, showed some very sharp, crisp details. I found no traces of chromatic aberration, nor of any color fringing, although as I said above, this was just a quick preliminary test on a D90, and all shots were taken at f/3.5.
I thoroughly liked the throw of the focusing ring, approximately 1 2/3 turns,  smooth and well damped, no slop.
This week I will be traveling to another proshop, where I hope to be able to use a D-700, and take more critical shots, using different f stops, and measuring close focus distances. I plan on posting those shots as I do the write up of what I find.

#8 aure

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 08:28

Just like CV75/2.5 it has it's roos in rangefinder version. While it's clear that it's different from 85/1.4, some people say "why bother with CV90 when I can have an excellent 105/2.5, which is also sharp and nice portrait lens at better price?" . Well, apart from f/stop, the differences are that CV is sharper, has more contrast and "punchier" colors, it's close-focusing and it's APO. Due to such optical qualities and slow f-stop I can't recommend it as a conventional portrait lens (while Nikkor 105/2.5 IS a portrait lens). Think of CV90mm as of "cheap" and slow Leica Apo-Summicron 90mm, they have much more in common.

As you can see, it's not for everyone: manual, neither macro nor portrait, and price for SLII is around 590Euro.

#9 Guest_Makten_*

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 10:29

I'm not as impressed as you guys. It's a fine lens, but not spectacular at great distances, where I'd say it's no better than "average" (whatever that means). But close up, it's brilliant!
The APO design gives little or no CA at any distance, but on the other hand, the local contrast isn't top notch. I've become addicted to Zeiss lenses, and after having used the 50/1.4 ZF, 35/2 ZF and 35/2.8 Biogon, the APO-Lanthar just doesn't cut it anymore. I'll restrict my use of it for closeups.

Edited by Dallas, 08 September 2011 - 15:47 .
Photos were removed at the host.


#10 jonny56

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 18:09

I do know that I am really enjoying the CV lenses I do own = 90/3.5, 58/1.2, 40/2, and 20/3.5. The 90 and 40 have close up diopters which function very well. I have no problem in shooting wide open as needed for all my lenses, except the 20mm does benefit from being stopped down a bit, common for wide angle lenses, especially when using for landscapes with a dramatic close subject.

#11 Guest_Makten_*

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 11:15

I was very happy with Voigtlnder too, until I tried Zeiss. Then there's no going back. ;D
The diopter has nothing with the lens' performance at larger distances to do. It's just an add-on for closeups. I've got a Nikon 5T which is probably better anyway.

My opinion on the lens isn't gonna change just because others think it's better than Zeiss. I don't, and that makes a very good reason for writing about it.

#12 Draculro

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 08:41

Very sharp and nice to work with this lens.

We work together.jpg




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