The introduction of colored film meant camera lenses needed to correct for colored fringing or chromatic aberration, but German optics company Voigtlander says that the increased resolution of digital camera sensors makes the specially calibrated lenses even more essential. The company recently announced the Voigtlander Macro APO-Lanthar 65mm f/2 lens, a high-end macro lens for Sony E mount, designed to minimize the colored distortion.
The lens is based on a design from 1900 but integrates modern adjustments to maximize performance on high-resolution sensors, creating what the company describes as one of the best performances for the brand yet. The APO in the name is for apochromatic optical design, which means the lens is specifically designed to nearly eliminate chromatic aberration, or odd colored fringing often spotted in high contrast areas.
Along with correcting for that colored distortion, the Voigtlander Macro APO-Lanthar 65mm offers a 1:2 macro reproduction ratio with the ability to focus on objects as close as about 12.2 inches from the front of the lens. The manual focus-only lens is also designed for sharpness, even at the widest f/2 aperture, the company says.
Designed for pairing with Sony’s full-frame E-mount cameras including the a7 series and the new a9, the lens includes the electronic contacts to ensure compatibility with several features, including in-body stabilization as well as recording EXIF data. That electronic connection with the camera also allows the lens to use focus peaking, which should be helpful since the lens will only focus manually.
The lens is designed with 10 elements in eight groups on the inside, with an all-metal barrel exterior and lens hood. The lens weighs about 22 ounces (625 grams) and measures about 3.6 inches long.
The Voigtlander 65 mm lens follows two trends that several brands seem to be embracing for the latest lens updates. The lens is based on a classic lens, an approach that several crowdfunding projects are also taking including Meyer-Optic and Glaukar. Several brands are also introducing high-end lenses that do not use autofocus but claim to have enhanced performance that is a better match for today’s cameras with increasingly higher megapixel counts.
The lens is expected to retail for about $1,060 with availability in August.