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Voigtlander APO-Lanthar 180mm f4 SL

charles stewart , Feb 13, 2004; 11:54 a.m.

I'm always in search of compact, lightweight long lenses. This one is interesting to me, for its focal length, weight and adequate (for me) speed. Pretty close-focussing, too. Attractive price.

But I find no discussion of it on the web. There seems to be one person (Stephen Gandy) who can sell it to you in the US.

Has anybody used this piece of equipment; or does anyone know where I can find a review or sample pictures? Of course, it's in the SLR series of lenses made by Cosina under the Voigtlander name.

Responses

Eric Friedemann , Feb 13, 2004; 01:03 p.m.

Charles:

1. I couldn't find a review either.

2. For what its worth, Stephen Gandy at Cameraquest is very reputable and I would do business with him again.

Antonio Plaza , Feb 13, 2004; 07:42 p.m.

I remember reading an article about these Voigtlander-Cosina made lenses in a magazine some time ago (I just can't remember what magazine was...), and they rated them very high, according to that article, they offered a super high resolving power, great sharpness, color fidelity and contrast, and great resistance to flare. They also said that these lenses construction was amazing, much solid than the plastic crap they make nowadays. I am thinking about getting the 90mm f/3.5 SL Apo-Lanthar in Nikon AIS mount. I also like the Voigtlander Bessaflex camera that comes with the M42 "Pentax" screw mount.

So far I haven't purchased anything from www.cameraquest.com but I have heard only GOOD things about them.

charles stewart , Feb 13, 2004; 08:17 p.m.

Thanks mucn for your replies. It always amazes me how helpful people try to be in this forum. One of the good things about the web. Chas.

W J Gibson , Feb 13, 2004; 09:38 p.m.

Mr. Gandy, I have dealt with, quality all the way. Will deal with him again. Bessa T101, CV 35mm f2.5 classic.

Doug Miles , Feb 15, 2004; 12:54 a.m.

Cameraquest is a great place to shop, and the website is full of useful info. But they don't take credit card payment, primarily PayPal which I won't use any more. That makes it somewhat less convenient.

Last summer I noted that B&H was listing the Voigtlander SL lenses, but just about the point I'd decided to order one, those listings were removed. In any case, there was no way in their online ordering to specify the particular lens mount desired.

So I ordered by phone... and several months later the 40mm f/2 Ultron in Pentax-K mount arrived. It was worth the wait. Downright gorgeous, exquisitely made. It performs as beautifully as it looks. I also ordered the expensive dome-style hood with it.

According to the Cameraquest website, the most easily obtained SL lens mounts are the Pentax M42 screw mount and Nikon bayonet. If I ever get a Voigtlander Bessaflex, I'd order the 40mm and 75 lenses with it for a versatile kit. I've also heard good reports about the 125mm macro, but have heard nothing about the 180mm.

I also could find no reviews of the 40mm Ultron, just several people who'd bought one but had not finished a roll of film or assessed its qualities. All I can say from my brief experience is that it's sharp, conrasty, low in flare, and offers pleasant bokeh. Silky smooth focus action, just the right resistance in the aperture clickstops, and it even unexpectedly has the A position and the electrical contacts normal for the KA lens mount. A first-class product.

Alex Lofquist , Feb 16, 2004; 10:40 p.m.

The APO-Lanthar design has been around for many years. Its name comes from the use of rare-earth (Lanthanum) glass for improved correction of S.A. and Coma. What sort of mount does it have?

Doug Miles , Feb 17, 2004; 03:15 a.m.

Alex, here's a quote from the Cameraquest website:

Produced by Cosina in Japan, Voigtlander SL lenses are a new limited edition series of LUXURY SLR lenses: 12/5.6 Aspherical, 15/4.5 Aspherical, 40/2 Aspherical, 75/2.5, 90/3.5 APO, 125/2.5 APO 1:1 Macro and 180/4 APO. All feature very high quality traditional construction, and are styled to look like classic Zeiss Contarex lenses, even down to the chrome bayonet on lens hoods. Most SL lenses are available in Nikon AIS, Canon FD, Pentax K-A, Pentax 42mm Screw Mount, Minolta MD, Contax / Yashica MM, and Olympus OM. The 12 and 15 are available ONLY in Nikon F mount for mirror lockup. Leica R mount is NOT available. All lenses use the Nikon style of helical focusing direction. The new Voigtlander SL lens lineup offers important new lens choices to fans of these all but discontinued manual focus SLR bodies. Mr. Kobayashi, the President of Cosina, very much enjoys unusual lens designs. Of the 7 Voigtlander SL lenses introduced to date, it is noteworthy 3 are Aspherical and 3 are Apochromatic.

charles stewart , Feb 18, 2004; 11:27 a.m.

I ordered one of these yesterday, and was told that in Contax mount, it is special order (no refunds)and that it will be 2-3 weeks for delivery. If I'm moved to write about it, I'll try and review it somewhere; otherwise anyone interested can email me about it.

Chas.

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