Voigtlander APO-Lanthar 90mm f/3.5 SL (Nikon) - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (APS-C)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published July 2007


The Voigtlander (Voigtländer) APO-Lanthar 90mm f/3.5 SL is another representative of the dying species of high-end lenses made and designed by Cosina. The SL series has been phased out in favor of the Zeiss ZF/ZS/ZK series which is now manufactured in the same lens plant. It is pretty obvious that the philosophy of these two worlds (Zeiss vs Voigtlander) is virtually identical - the build quality is basically the same, both lens series offer manual focusing only and even the outer design is fairly similar.

The build quality of the lens is excellent thanks to an outer metal shell and very tight tolerances. The lens has a sturdy mono cam focus design and it extends when focusing towards very close distances. The focus ring operates very smooth and exceptionally very well damped. It takes a ~270 degree turn from infinity to the most extreme close focus setting (1:3.5 max. magnification). Due to the very moderate max. aperture it is a tiny lens but don't expect it to be super light-weight. As you may have guessed the Voigtlander 90mm f/3.5 is a full-format lens and when used on an APS-C DSLR its field-of-view is equivalent to about 135mm.

The Voigtlander behaves like a Nikon Ai-S lens with manual focusing and manually controlled (automatic) aperture. Therefore it is not compatible to base class Nikon DSLRs. However, it handles like a breeze on the Nikon D200 and manual focusing is fairly easy thanks to an active focus indicator in the viewfinder.

Equiv. focal length135 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/5.3 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction6 elements in 5 groups inc. 1 APO element
Number of aperture blades9
min. focus distance0.5 m (max. magnification ratio 1:3.5)
Dimensions58 x 64 mm
Weight390 g
Filter size49 mm (non-rotating)
Hoodoptional, square-shaped
Other features-

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