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Spring Is Here & It's Time To Get Macro (125mm Voigtlander Apo-Lanthar f2.5 SL)

Posted by Jesse Seberras on

While I'm not sure about the rest of the planet it did take spring an awfully long time to arrive here in Ontario. But luckily it did just in time for the Victoria Day holiday weekend and the trilliums were in full bloom. So I took the opportunity to take some pretty photos of flowers (and nature in general) with one phenomenal macro lens.

The Voigtlander 125mm Apo-Lanthar f2.5 SL lens is a pretty powerful beast but before I go into its performance I would like to touch upon the history of the Apo-Lanthar line. Voigtlander the company originated in Vienna in 1756 and from then on until being acquired by Zeiss in the mid 1960's they were consistent inventors and innovators in the photography world. One of their classic creations was the Apo-Lanthar lens. More specifically the 150mm and 105mm Apo-Lanthar large format lenses. These beauties were true masterpieces of their time creating phenomenal photos and are still highly sought after lenses even to this day.

But the name Voigtlander traded hands over the last few decades from one company to another and it has since lost it's quality and shine. Or at least so I thought. It wasn't until this Voigtlander macro lens showed up in store that I decided to take another look at their modern line of lenses and while they do make some quality M glass a lot of complaints I hear is that they are often too soft or too muted in colour. This was not the case for the 125mm macro. 

With D800 in hand I took to the Owen Sound country side and could almost instantly see the results. Beautiful rich colours with virtually no fringing (a testament to its true apochromatic namesake). And with its rounded 9 blade aperture it has a smooth velvety bokeh when shooting in macro.

These lenses are currently manufactured by Cosina and come in a variety of mounts including Nikon, Canon, Sony and even Contax/Yashica. The aesthetic design of the lens looks a lot like the vintage Zeiss Contarex lenses from decades ago and the build quality and feel is that of a modern Leica M lens. Because it is a macro lens with a very long focus throw it's not very good to use for much else beyond critical close focus. Which is unfortunate as it will probably fly under the radar of many users. But if you're looking for a macro lens that's built like a tank with none of that electronic plastic feel I'd say give this one a try.

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We have this lens in stock and can be purchased here.

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