Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Voigtlander Lanthar 50mm f2.8 from Vitoret D


Scored 3 broken rangefinder cameras from the antique market on Sunday.  One of them is the Voigtlander Vitoret D with a Lanthar 50mm f2.8 lens, which I have been using for the last few days and I really enjoy it.

It's commonly believed that the original Lanthar lenses were made with glass containing lanthanum, a rare earth element that gives the glass high refractive index.  Later ones made by Cosina, like the Lanthar 90mm f3.5 and the 125mm f2.5, do not contain lanthanum, I believe.  Of course, lenses containing lanthanum does not automatically mean great lens by default.  The Color-Lanthar 42mm f2.8 that I tried was OK, but not great.  This 50mm f2.8 Lanthar, I like it quite a bit more.

The Lanthar 50mm f2.8 contains 4 aperture blades, as oppose to most of the old Voigtlander rangefinder lenses with 5.  This creates interesting bokeh, like the enlarging lenses I tried, here, here, and here.  But when shot wide open, the bokeh looks normal, of course, and it's quite nice in fact.

I also have no complains about the optical performance of the lens, given that it's not top of the line lens.  Wide open the center of the frame is acceptably sharp, but the outer edges are mushy, but improves as the lens is stopped down, but the edges are still not critically sharp until f16.  It's interesting how much difference between f11 and f16.  But of course the overall sharpness starts to suffer a bit at f16 due to diffraction limit, though still excellent.

To me, it's acceptable for a lens to have at least one aperture that provides uniform sharpness when needed.  My shooting style does not require uniform sharpness most of the time and when I do need it, I can stop it down to get it.

Overall, I think it's a very good lens for the money.  The Vitoret D I got was $20, and it was very easy to remove the lens.

All pictures below were taken with the Voigtlander Lanthar 50mm f2.8 and Sony A7.






11 comments:

  1. I asked this on flickr also. Can you let me know how to remove the lens from camera. Thanks.

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    1. You need to remove the front of the camera skin, which will reveal 4 screws. Unscrew them and the whole lens assembly comes out. If I remember correctly, the lens is held by a retention ring, which is easy to remove.

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  2. Also can you suggest the helicoid where I can buy on ebay? Thanks a lot for your help.

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    1. I use a Yeenon 18-33mm focus helicoid and I find it much better than the cheaper 17-32mm ones that everyone else are selling. It costs a bit more, but it much better made.

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    2. thanks a lot, can you link to the product you are referring on ebay?

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    3. I don't see them selling the one I have any more. The closest one is this http://www.ebay.ca/itm/M42-to-M36-x-17mm-Focusing-Helicoid-Macro-Extension-Tube-Black-/261875572443?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cf9001edb. Mine has M42 mount with 52mm opening. This one in the link has a 36mm mount with M42 opening.

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    4. I bougth some time ago a yeenon helicoid following Yu-Lin suggestions, and I can also recomemnd this.

      You can find the yeenon shop in ebay at http://www.ebay.com/usr/yeenon_cn

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  3. Hi,
    After remove the lens from Vitoret D, which mount using for this lens? Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. I glued a 52mm filter ring on the lens and screw that on the 18-33mm focus helicoid.

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  4. Hi, would like to use this lens on Canon EOS, but i dont find a solution for that. Which Mount has a Lanthar after removing from Vitoret to get some adapter for?
    Do you have some pictures of your solutin?
    Or, what kind of focusing helicoid i cant use to get this lens on Canon?

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!

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  5. Thanks, I did, excellent with Fuji xt1

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