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Thread: 1st Impression: Voigtlander 180/4 APO-Lanther

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    1st Impression: Voigtlander 180/4 APO-Lanther

    For $360. Brand New, this is a killer lens for a D300.

    I have been building a small sized all manual-focus D-300 kit with Zeiss ZF lenses ... but that topped out at 100mm.

    So, what the heck, I sprung for the Voigt 180/4 APO, which is a 270mm field of view on the D300.

    Beyond how good this lens is for the money, the surprise was how close it focuses. 1.2m or 3.9 feet.

    I did a few product shots in the studio with strobes which usually shows up any CA issues immediately ... there was very little, actually close to none @ 100%. Then shot a few of my dog Schnuffy outside in crappy contrasy light to check the 9 aperture blade bokeh ... which was pleasant.

    Pretty freaking sharp for a $360. lens ... and built like a tank (485g or little over a pound).

    Looks like old time Rock 'N Roll with its chrome focusing ring and shade mount ... and the focus throw is pretty long, almost a full revolution from infinity to closest focus, but very well dampened and smooth. Extends out quite a bit a closest focus, but front element doesn't rotate for Polarizer use.

    I like it. I especially like it for $360.
    Last edited by fotografz; 30th July 2008 at 05:15.

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    dlew308
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    Re: 1st Impression: Voigtlander 180/4 APO-Lanther

    ugh...NAS.......

    help haha

    looks like a winner

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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Re: 1st Impression: Voigtlander 180/4 APO-Lanther

    Looks great !

    I've been looking for the Voigtländer 125/2.5 APO-Lanthar but so far without luck.
    I simply don't get it why it was discontinued ??

    Isn't it difficult to manual focus a 180mm with the D300 viewfinder ?

    /Steen

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    Re: 1st Impression: Voigtlander 180/4 APO-Lanther

    Quote Originally Posted by bondo View Post
    Looks great !

    I've been looking for the Voigtländer 125/2.5 APO-Lanthar but so far without luck.
    I simply don't get it why it was discontinued ??

    Isn't it difficult to manual focus a 180mm with the D300 viewfinder ?

    /Steen
    I have a Brightscreen Magnifier on my D300, but it's still a bit of a challenge close up @ f/4 when handholding. I'll probably get a split microprism focusing screen for it also.

    If you're on a tripod, the Live View solves everything ... just zoom in, focus and shoot.

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    Re: 1st Impression: Voigtlander 180/4 APO-Lanther

    foto,
    can you post a link to this lens?
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

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    Re: 1st Impression: Voigtlander 180/4 APO-Lanther

    Quote Originally Posted by etrigan63 View Post
    foto,
    can you post a link to this lens?
    I think you'll find it here:

    http://cameraquest.com/inventor.htm

    Bottom of the page

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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Re: 1st Impression: Voigtlander 180/4 APO-Lanther

    Marc, I have the Nikon DK-21M Magnifier, which doesn't help me much on my D300.
    It has a magnification factor of only 1.17 which is too little for me.

    How big is the magnification factor of your Brightscreen magnifier, and what do you think about it so far ?

    /Steen

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    Re: 1st Impression: Voigtlander 180/4 APO-Lanther

    Quote Originally Posted by bondo View Post
    Marc, I have the Nikon DK-21M Magnifier, which doesn't help me much on my D300.
    It has a magnification factor of only 1.17 which is too little for me.

    How big is the magnification factor of your Brightscreen magnifier, and what do you think about it so far ?

    /Steen
    The new and improved Brightscreen Eyepiece Magnifier D2 is 1.75X and allows full view of viewfinder info including the D300 focus confirmation dot. It is currently on sale for $192. (normally $240.)

    http://www.brightscreen.com/eyepiecemagnifier.html

    So far it's been a BIG help, but not a total solution ... the total solution is AF

    Unfortunately Brightscreen's split image with microprism collar #3, 4, or the desirable #5 is not available for the Nikon D300

    The #5 (b776) screen IS available for the D3.

    I will be ordering the #5 for my new Hasselblad H2F pictured above ... which is intended for use with manual focus Zeiss V lenses and B&W film.

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    Re: 1st Impression: Voigtlander 180/4 APO-Lanther

    Thanks Marc.
    Be aware that Guy warned about the difficulties with installing an alternative screen on the D300, which apparently isn't designed for easy switch of screens by the enduser.
    But maybe you have tried it before. Here's the link to the warning.
    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showth...Katz#post19006
    I remember Kit saying that on the D3 the screen can be switched much easier, on the fly so to say.

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    Re: 1st Impression: Voigtlander 180/4 APO-Lanther

    Quote Originally Posted by bondo View Post
    Thanks Marc.
    Be aware that Guy warned about the difficulties with installing an alternative screen on the D300, which apparently isn't designed for easy switch of screens by the enduser.
    But maybe you have tried it before. Here's the link to the warning.
    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showth...Katz#post19006
    I remember Kit saying that on the D3 the screen can be switched much easier, on the fly so to say.
    Warning noted. It's a moot point since there isn't a Bright Screen with Split Microprism for the D300 anyway. At 1.75X, the Bright Screen Eyepiece Mag. works quite well for manual focus ... and the Live View is the precise solution for any tripod work.

    It all about the slower pace of manual focus IMO, if I'm shooting action it's AF all the way.

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    Re: 1st Impression: Voigtlander 180/4 APO-Lanther

    Quote Originally Posted by bondo View Post
    Looks great !

    I've been looking for the Voigtländer 125/2.5 APO-Lanthar but so far without luck.
    I simply don't get it why it was discontinued ??

    Isn't it difficult to manual focus a 180mm with the D300 viewfinder ?

    /Steen
    I have both the 90/3.5 and 180/4 Voigtländer APO-Lanthar lenses and have found them relatively easy to focus on a tripod using the standard D300 viewfinder. As Marc said, Live View on a tripod makes it easier still but handheld close and wide open is a challenge.

    On the other hand, I've had real difficulty getting accurate focus wide open with the Zeiss Distagon 28/2 on my D300. So much so that I'm reluctant to use that lens at apertures larger than f/5.6.

    I have no idea why the 125/2.5 APO-Lanthar was discontinued -- from the reviews I've read it's a stellar lens. If you're willing to switch to Canon, Stephen Gandy at CameraQuest has it in EOS mount -- for $1400!

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    Re: 1st Impression: Voigtlander 180/4 APO-Lanther

    Yeah Jonathon, I have seen the availability in EOS mount at CameraQuest but I'm not that eager to get it that i'm willing to switch mount

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    Re: 1st Impression: Voigtlander 180/4 APO-Lanther

    Quote Originally Posted by bondo View Post
    Yeah Jonathon, I have seen the availability in EOS mount at CameraQuest but I'm not that eager to get it that i'm willing to switch mount
    $1,400. WOW! I wouldn't be that eager even if it still came in a F mount.

    Nikon needs to update their AF primes ... an AFS 24/2 ASPH, a AFS 35/1.4, an AFS 85/1.4 VR, and an AFS 135/1.8 APO VR ... these new cameras DEMAND it

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    Re: 1st Impression: Voigtlander 180/4 APO-Lanther

    Thanks for the impressions Marc. I agree that Nikon needs to upgrade their primes. I would love an AFS 35/1.4 with performance like the 28/1.4.

    As for CameraQuest...they do have an interesting habit of pricing their items very high as supply runs low. Most camera stores just sell out the remaining stock at list price, but Gandy seems to think he is an art dealer or something.

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    Re: 1st Impression: Voigtlander 180/4 APO-Lanther

    Yes, the 180 Lanthar is now priced at $455, not $360.
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

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    Re: 1st Impression: Voigtlander 180/4 APO-Lanther

    Quote Originally Posted by etrigan63 View Post
    Yes, the 180 Lanthar is now priced at $455, not $360.
    Not at B&H ... I just bought mine new there for $360.

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    Re: 1st Impression: Voigtlander 180/4 APO-Lanther

    I've owned the 125 Lanthar in EOS mount (bought for $750 new). Very capable macro lens, not that impressive at mid distance and longer. Firmly damped. Little CA to worry about.

    The construction was funny - very high quality in some places (metal bayonet hood) but not so much in others. If you gently shook the lens, you could hear and feel the two lens barrels touching one another. Picture a ZF 100/2 (which I've also owned) but of thinner construction - or designed for a lower price point.

    The focus dampening also takes some getting used to after Zeiss CZ and Leica - not as smooth. Focus 'throw' is also much longer than say the Leica 100. At normal distances the Leica focuses pretty quickly - the 125 Lanthar has a very fine consistent 'screw pitch' if you will from MFD to infinity

    My understanding is that Cosina (who makes the ZF line) killed the 125 and appears to be letting the 180 etc die off to avoid conflict with the ZF 100/2, etc.

    Prices have gone nuts on the EOS mount due to its rarity. I had very high expectations of the lens when I was awaiting delivery, but went away disappointed. Decided my $750 had better places to be. Eventually sold it to a Russian photog.

    For $750 it was iffy, for $1400+ it's simply nuts - it's being priced by collectors for it's rarity not by shooters for it's abilities. For $360ish as a dedicated macro lens - it would be a good deal. For a Nikon shooter, the ZF 100/2 (if you get a copy with a smooth focus mech) is 2x the lens for the same money (and same factory) - just lacks APO.

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