New macro lens! Voigtlander 65mm F2 for Sony E-mount

Voigtlander 65mm F2 Macro Lens for Sony E-mount

The list of full-frame E-mount lenses for macro photography just grew a little longer. Voigtlander has announced an all-metal 65mm F2 macro lens, available now on Amazon.

The first Voigtlander macro lens for Sony

According to the company, the optical performance of this lens rates as one of the finest in its history.

The official name for the lens is E-Mount 65 mm F2 Macro Apo-Lanthar. It’s important to note the lens is manual focus and manual aperture only. But while autofocus won’t work with this lens, it does support the excellent focus peaking capability of Sony mirrorless cameras. And lens settings will be included in the Exif data.

The lens has a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:2 with a minimum focus distance of 12.2 inches. It’s comparatively compact – about 3.6 inches in length – and weighs just under 1.4lbs (or 625g).

What does “Apo-Lanthar” in the name mean?

Voigtlander gives the Apo-Lanthar designation to its high-performance lens lineup. (For the history of Apo-Lanthar lenses, which includes a Japanese emperor, read the press release at the bottom.)

“Apo” is short for apochromatic lens, which corrects chromatic and spherical aberrations better than the more common achromatic lenses. Put simply, apochromatic lenses should reduce color fringing and improve the definition of the image.

E-mount lenses – macro

Compare all E-mount lenses and features using our master lens comparison chart.

PictureModelAnnouncedTypeCategoryMin. Focal LengthMax. Focal LengthMax. ApertureAuto FocusMin. Focus DistanceWeightDxOMark Rating
SpecialtyCheck Prices
Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GMSony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM
201705ZoomWide00001616 mm00003535 mm000000f/2.8Auto0.92 ft (0.28 m)1.5 lb (680 g)No rating available00219800Amazon
Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GMSony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM
201602ZoomStandard00002424 mm00002424 mm000000f/2.8Auto1.25 ft (0.38 m)1.95 lb (886 g)3333
Tested on A7R II
Sony FE 24-240mm F3.5-6.3 OSSSony FE 24-240mm F3.5-6.3 OSS
201503ZoomSuper Zoom00002424 mm000240240 mm000000f/3.5 6.3Auto1.64 ft (0.5 m)1.72 lb (780 g)2626
Tested on a7R II
Zeiss Batis Distagon T* FE 25 mm F2Zeiss Batis Distagon T* FE 25 mm F2
201504PrimeWide00002525 mm00002525 mm000000f/2Auto0.66 ft (0.2 m)0.74 lb (335 g)4646
Tested on a7R II
Too low to displayAmazon
Too low to display
Sony Zeiss Batis Distagon T* FE 35 mm F1.4 ZASony Zeiss Batis Distagon T* FE 35 mm F1.4 ZA
201503PrimeWide00003535 mm00003535 mm000000f/1.4Auto0.98 ft (0.3 m)1.39 lb (630 g)4444
Tested on a7R II
Sony FE 50mm F2.8 MacroSony FE 50mm F2.8 Macro
201608PrimeStandard00005050 mm00005050 mm000000f/2.8Auto0.52 ft (0.16 m)0.52 lb (236 g)4141
Tested on a7R II
Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSSSony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS
201602ZoomTelephoto00007070 mm000200200 mm000000f/2.8Auto3.15 ft (0.96 m)3.26 lb (1480 g)3939
Tested on a7R II
Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSSSony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS
201310ZoomTelephoto00007070 mm000200200 mm000000f/4Auto3.28 ft (1 m)1.85 lb (840 g)3434
Tested on a7R II
Sony FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSSSony FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS
201603ZoomTelephoto00007070 mm000300300 mm000000f/4.5 5.6Auto2.95 ft (0.9 m)1.88 lb (854 g)2626
Tested on a7R II
Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GMSony FE 85mm F1.4 GM
201602PrimeShort Telephoto00008585 mm00008585 mm000000f/1.4Auto2.79 ft (0.85 m)1.81 lb (820 g)4949
Tested on a7R II
Sony FE 85mm F1.8Sony FE 85mm F1.8
201702PrimeShort Telephoto00008585 mm00008585 mm000000f/1.8Auto2.62 ft (0.8 m)0.82 lb (371 g)4646
Tested on a7R II
Sony FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G OSSSony FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G OSS
201503PrimeShort Telephoto00009090 mm00009090 mm000000f/2.8Auto0.92 ft (0.28 m)1.33 lb (602 g)4747
Tested on a7R II
Sony FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSSSony FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS
201704ZoomSuper Telephoto000100100 mm000400400 mm000000f/4.5 5.6Auto3.21 ft (0.98 m)3.08 lb (1395 g)2929
Tested on A7R II
Lensbaby Velvet 85 F1.8Lensbaby Velvet 85 F1.8
201706PrimeShort Telephoto00008585 mm00008585 mm000000f/1.8Manual Only0.79 ft (0.24 m)1.17 lb (530 g)No rating availableMacro, Soft Focus00049995Amazon
Sony 12-24mm F4 GSony 12-24mm F4 G
201705ZoomUltra Wide00001212 mm00002424 mm000000f/4Auto0.92 ft (0.28 m)1.25 lb (565 g)No rating available00169800Amazon
Voigtlander 65mm F2 Macro Apo-LantharVoigtlander 65mm F2 Macro Apo-Lanthar
201707PrimeStandard00006565 mm00006565 mm000000f/2Manual Only1.02 ft (0.31 m)1.38 lb (625 g)No rating availableMacro00089900Amazon
Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm F4 ZA OSS Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm F4 ZA OSS
201409ZoomWide00001616 mm00003535 mm000000f/4Auto0.92 ft (0.28 m)1.14 lb (518 g)3333
Tested on A7R II
Lensbaby Velvet 56 F1.6Lensbaby Velvet 56 F1.6
201504PrimeStandard00005656 mm00005656 mm000000f/1.6Manual Only0.43 ft (0.13 m)0.9 lb (410 g)No rating availableMacro, Soft Focus00044990Amazon
Venus Laowa 15mm F4 Wide Angle MacroVenus Laowa 15mm F4 Wide Angle Macro
201506PrimeUltra Wide00001515 mm00001515 mm000000f/2Manual Only0.39 ft (0.12 m)0.9 lb (410 g)No rating available00049400Amazon
Samyang Rokinon 50mm F1.4Samyang Rokinon 50mm F1.4
201605PrimeStandard00005050 mm00005050 mm000000f/1.4Manual Only1.48 ft (0.45 m)1.18 lb (535 g)No rating available00036900Amazon
Samyang Rokinon 14mm F2.8Samyang Rokinon 14mm F2.8
201608PrimeUltra Wide00001414 mm00001414 mm000000f/2.8Manual Only0.92 ft (0.28 m)1.21 lb (550 g)No rating available00024900Amazon
Sony FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM OSSony FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM OS
201702PrimeTelephoto000100100 mm000100100 mm000000f/2.8Auto1.87 ft (0.57 m)1.54 lb (700 g)3434
Tested on a7R II
Samyang Rokinon 12mm F2.8 Ultra Wide FisheyeSamyang Rokinon 12mm F2.8 Ultra Wide Fisheye
201409PrimeUltra Wide00001212 mm00001212 mm000000f/2.8Manual Only0.66 ft (0.2 m)1.14 lb (515 g)No rating availableFisheye00034900Amazon
Samyang Rokinon 20mm F1.8 Wide AngleSamyang Rokinon 20mm F1.8 Wide Angle
201608PrimeUltra Wide00002020 mm00002020 mm000000f/1.8Manual Only0.66 ft (0.2 m)1.16 lb (525 g)No rating available00044400Amazon
Samyang Rokinon 24mm F3.5 Tilt Shift Samyang Rokinon 24mm F3.5 Tilt Shift
201209PrimeWide00002424 mm00002424 mm000000f/3.5Manual Only0.66 ft (0.2 m)1.62 lb (734 g)No rating availableTilt Shift00089950Amazon
Samyang Rokinon 35mm F1.4Samyang Rokinon 35mm F1.4
201704PrimeStandard00003535 mm00003535 mm000000f/1.4Manual Only0.98 ft (0.3 m)1.57 lb (710 g)No rating available00039900Amazon
Samyang Rokinon 85mm F1.4 Samyang Rokinon 85mm F1.4
201609PrimeShort Telephoto00008585 mm00008585 mm000000f/1.4Manual Only3.28 ft (1 m)1.19 lb (540 g)No rating available00024400Amazon
Samyang Rokinon 100mm F2.8Samyang Rokinon 100mm F2.8
201504PrimeTelephoto000100100 mm000100100 mm000000f/2.8Manual Only1.02 ft (0.31 m)1.61 lb (730 g)No rating available00054900Amazon
Samyang Rokinon 135mm F2.0Samyang Rokinon 135mm F2.0
201501PrimeTelephoto000135135 mm000135135 mm000000f/2Manual Only2.62 ft (0.8 m)1.83 lb (830 g)No rating available00042900Amazon
Sony FE 24-105mm F4Sony FE 24-105mm F4
201710ZoomSuper Zoom00002424 mm000105105 mm000000f/4Auto1.25 ft (0.38 m)1.46 lb (663 g)No rating availableToo low to displayAmazon
Too low to display
Zeiss Batis Distagon T* FE 18mm F2.8Zeiss Batis Distagon T* FE 18mm F2.8
201604PrimeUltra Wide00001818 mm00001818 mm000000f/2.8Auto0.82 ft (0.25 m)0.73 lb (330 g)No rating available00127400Amazon
Voigtlander Nokton 40mm F1.2 Aspherical Voigtlander Nokton 40mm F1.2 Aspherical
201710PrimeStandard00004040 mm00004040 mm000000f/1.2Manual Only1.15 ft (0.35 m)0.93 lb (420 g)No rating available00099900Amazon
Zeiss Loxia 21mm F2.8Zeiss Loxia 21mm F2.8
201509PrimeWide00002121 mm00002121 mm000000f/2.8Manual Only0.82 ft (0.25 m)0.87 lb (394 g)4242
Tested on a7R II

Press Release

JULY 24, 2017

Announcing the release of the Voigtländer MACRO APO-LANTHAR 65mm F2 Aspherical, a Sony E-mount macro lens for full frame sensors incorporating an apochromatic optical design and inscribed with the designation “APO-LANTHAR.”

We announce the release of the Voigtländer MACRO APO-LANTHAR 65mm F2 Aspherical, a Sony E-mount macro lens for full frame sensors. The APO-LANTHAR designation is given to especially high performance lenses in the Voigtländer lens lineup. The legendary APO-LANTHAR lens that continues to enthrall photographers with its outstanding imaging performance and beautiful rendering was born in 1954, but its origins can be traced back around 120 years (see additional info about the APO-LANTHAR below).

A need for apochromatic optical designs that reduce the longitudinal chromatic aberrations of the three primary colors (RGB) of light to practically zero arose with the increasing popularity of color film. Now, with the current range of high- resolution digitals sensors, this need for extremely high-level control of chromatic aberrations is even more pertinent than when film changed from monochrome to color. So rather than just being for already solved old technologies, apochromatic optical designs are indeed a subject requiring serious consideration in the digital age.

The Voigtländer MACRO APO-LANTHAR 65mm F2 Aspherical, which inherits the designation “APO-LANTHAR”, is a high performance manual focus macro lens optimized for the imaging sensors of Sony mirrorless cameras. The optical performance of this lens, which provides an image circle capable of covering a full frame sensor, rates as one of the finest in the history of Voigtländer. Sharp imaging performance is obtained from maximum aperture where you can enjoy blurring the background, and by utilizing a floating mechanism this lens delivers outstanding image quality for subjects from the minimum focusing distance of 31cm (reproduction ratio of 1:2) through to infinity. This lens is a manual focus and manual aperture design, but also features electrical contacts that enable the lens settings at image capture to be included in the Exif information of the image data. Furthermore, the lens is installed with a distance encoder to enable support for 5-axis image stabilization on bodies with this feature, for example by providing distance to subject information used in X,Y shift compensation. Focus peaking while manual focusing is also supported.

Main features

  • Full frame Sony E-mount with electrical contacts
  • Apochromatic optical design that eliminates chromatic aberrations
  • Enhanced high performance utilizing aspherical lens surfaces
  • Optical design optimized for digital imaging sensors
  • Extremely solid and durable all-metal barrel
  • Manual focus for precise focusing
  • Maximum reproduction ratio of 1:2 at a minimum focus distance of 31 cm

Additional info about the APO-LANTHAR

The history of the APO-LANTHAR begins with the HELIAR invented by Hans Harting in 1900. Despite its simple optical configuration of five elements in three groups, the HELIAR was a lens with superb depictive performance. As an example of the HELIAR optical formula still being valid in the present day, it is used in the currently available HELIAR Vintage Line 50mm F3.5, a lens known for its superb depictive performance. Furthermore, a HELIAR is recorded as being the lens used to take imperial portraits of Emperor Showa, and it is said the HELIAR lens was extremely highly regarded for its beautiful depictive performance and even treated as a family treasure by portrait photography businesses during the Showa period.

Moving forward about half a century from the birth of the HELIAR to 1954, Albrecht Wilhelm Tronnier developed a lens using the same five-elements-three-groups configuration as the HELIAR utilizing new glass types to achieve performance that exceeded the HELIAR. That lens was the APO-LANTHAR. The APO in APO- LANTHAR indicates an apochromatic optical design. The main characteristic of such a lens is that longitudinal chromatic aberrations caused by the different wavelengths (frequencies) of the three primary colors (RGB) of light are reduced to practically zero to achieve high-level color reproduction. Color film slowly gained popularity after its release in 1935, and one reason why the APO-LANTHAR was developed was to address a growing need to capture light more faithfully than possible with monochrome film.

The first camera to be fitted with an APO-LANTHAR lens was the 6 x 9 roll film rangefinder camera representative of post-war Voigtlander, the Bessa II. There were three different lens variations of this camera: APO-LANTHAR 4.5/100, COLOR-HELIAR 3.5/105, and COLOR-SKOPAR 3.5/105. The APO-LANTHAR 4.5/100 variation has red, green, and blue (RGB) rings indicating the apochromatic optical design engraved around the front of the lens barrel to differentiate it from the other versions as a special lens. Due to the rarity and high performance of the Bessa II fitted with APO-LANTHAR lens, this camera has become a legendary camera traded on the used market at high prices and the envy of camera collectors.

As homage to the RGB colors that differentiate the APO-LANTHAR from other lenses beginning with the BESSA II, the MACRO APO-LANTHAR 65mm F2 Aspherical also features three colored dashes indicating the RGB colors at the front edge of the lens barrel.

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