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Voigtlander 90mm f/3.5 APO-Lanthar SL II

A full report is coming on the new Voigtlander 90mm f/3.5 APO-Lanthar SL II, but I have a backlog of other very interesting material that I am still working through, so it will take a few weeks.

In the meantime, you can read my review of the other three Voigtlander lenses for Nikon and Canon: the diminutive 20/3.5 Color Skopar, the even more diminutive 40mm f/2 Ultron, and the 58mm f/1.4 Nokton (which I deem the “poor man’s Noctilux”). These lenses are bargains. You won’t find anything nearly as good at the same low price. I already own the 40/2, the 58/1.4 and I will probably buy the 90/3.5 as well. And I’d like to own the flare-free 20mm f/3.5.

Originally I wrote that the lens coatings were improved with “SL II”, but I’ve learned that this is actually not the case. The SL II lenses are chipped: set the f-stop at the minimum aperture, and control the aperture from the camera body. Matrix metering is also supported. But since the lenses still have an aperture ring, with a lens adapter, a Nikon mount lens can be used on Canon EOS (but Canon mount SL II lenses are also available).

I am favorably impressed on multiple fronts: build quality and ergonomics, an outstanding focusing helicoid “throw” and feel, compact size and weight, and bitingly sharp image quality wide open (as it should be for an f/3.5 lens). I’ve found a few optical points to pick at, but this is one darn good lens, and a real joy compared to the crappy build quality of too many lenses in its price range today from C and N.

You can get the Voigtlander 90mm f/3.5 APO-Lanthar SL-II and the other models at Stephen Gandy’s CameraQuest, which is the US authorized Voigtlander dealer. The sample I am reviewing is on loan from CameraQuest.

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Nikon D3x + Voigtlander 90mm f/3.5 APO-Lanthar SL II
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