Voigtlander APO-Lanthar 180mm f/4 SL - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews -
Nikon / Nikkor (APS-C)
Page 1 of 3
After experiencing the performance of the Voigtlander APO-Lanthar 125mm f/2.5 SL
in Canon mount I gave it a try and sniped a APO-Lanthar 180mm f/4 SL in Nikon
mount over in the bay in order to find out whether the SL 125mm was a lonely
bird or an indicator for the rest of the SL series. For those who are not
aware of the Voigtlander SL lenses - these are high quality manual focus
fix-focals made by Cosina and the "unofficial" predecessors of the Zeiss ZF/ZS
series lenses which are manufactured in the same factory. The SL series has also been
phased out in favor of these new Zeiss lenses - quite sad actually because some
of the Voigtlanders have no equivalent on the Zeiss side and that's including
the APO-Lanthar 180mm f/4 SL which is the longest tele lens in this row. It is a full
format lens which has a field-of-view equivalent to 270mm when used on the
Nikon D200 (used for testing).
The build quality of the lens is excellent thanks to an outer metal shell and a
very smooth and very well damped focus ring. It takes a ~300 degree turn
from infinity to the most extreme close focus setting. The lens has a sturdy mono
cam focus design and it extends when focusing towards very close distances.
The overall mechanical design is obviously very related to the current Zeiss ZF lenses
inc. the chrome ring at the front of the lens.
You may think that a 180mm lens is quite "substantial" in term of size and weight
but the Voigtlander is comparatively tiny which does naturally also originate in the
moderate max. aperture.
The Voigtlander behaves like a Nikon Ai-S lens with manual focusing and manual
(but automatic) aperture. Therefore it is not compatible to base class Nikon DSLRs.
It handles like a breeze on the Nikon D200 although manual focusing is difficult
with the standard screen.
|Optical construction||9 elements in 7 groups|
|Number of aperture blades||9|
|min. focus distance||1.2m (max. magnification ratio 1:4)|
|Filter size||49mm (non-rotating)|