Voigtlander APOLANTER-SL 2.5/125

Review of using the Voigtlander APOLANTER-SL 2.5/125 with a HASSELBLAD X2D.

Table of contents

Gallery / Photo example from HASSELBLAD X2D

The 12mm and 15mm lenses were special lenses used with the mirror up and were often used on mirrorless cameras via a mount adapter in later years. I saw the 12mm and 15mm lenses in the used market several times, but I did not want to buy them because they have the same lens configuration as the VM-mounted Ultra Wide Heliar 12mm and Super Wide Heliar 15mm lenses, which are troublesome because they require a mount adapter. I did not want to buy it because of the hassle of having to use a mount adapter.
This lens is the largest and heaviest of the early SL lenses, and feels like a lump of steel and glass.
When I owned M42 mount, I used it with SIGMA SD10 and SONY α900. Later I sold it because the lens was used less frequently; in 2014 I found a used OM mount at a reasonable price and bought it and used it with my SONY α7 (ILCE-7).
Three times in 2023 I bought the EF mount version for use with the HASSELBLAD X2D.
The lens image circle is wide enough to adequately cover the 44x33mm sensor.
I chose the EF mount version because I had the TCX-01 X-EF mount adapter from TECHART.
Since it is a MF lens, it is obvious that AF is immobilized, but it was a major miscalculation that the mount adapter’s signal conversion was not yet ready and the EF mount’s electrical aperture would not work.
The camera detected the lens as XCD125mm and IBIS (in-body image stabilization) seemed to be working, so some signals were transmitted from the lens to the camera, but it was a pity that the operation was halfway through. For example, I used the lens with the electronic contacts insulated with masking tape.
Since I did not feel any advantage of EF mount and did not know the timing of firmware update for TCX-01, this combination was sold to a map shop as a substitute for something else in a short time. If this had been the case, I would have preferred to buy a Nikon-F or other mount with a real aperture instead of an EF mount, but that has already happened.
I used the X2D for a short period of time with the lens open aperture only, but I had no difficulty in focusing when I used the magnification function of the EVF. However, the focus position at wide aperture was severe and a slight movement of the focus ring caused the focus to go out of focus, which made shooting a little tiring.
The SLR cameras I had used in the past also allowed me to easily find the focus peak, and macro photography was not a problem; however, some CANON-EF users said that focusing was difficult with the EOSxx, so it seems to depend on the photographer’s eyesight and the quality of the optical viewfinder of the camera.
I remember that I had no problem with the SONY α900 and SIGMA SDxx series that I used.
The 125mm lens is one of the Koshina-Foktrender SL lenses that has no direct descendants, such as the 75mm and 180mm lenses, while the 40mm and 90mm lenses have been succeeded by several generations of lenses.
The APO-SONNAR 135/2 of the Carl Zeiss brand has a relatively similar lens configuration to this lens, but I imagine it has a longer minimum focus distance, a brighter f-number, and a 10mm longer focal length, so the feel of the lens may be quite different.
I am not sure if it is due to cost or unavailability of lens glass, but it is a wonder that a renewed version of the lens has not been released, since it is still considered to be a usable lens.
The only single focal length lens with a focal length of 125mm is LEICA’s HEKTOR 125mm for VISOFLEX, so I have not included it in this list of lenses for comparison of specifications.

A 125mm medium telephoto single focal length lens with a minimum focusing distance of 18cm, allowing for close-up photography.
The focusing section is thick (about 9cm), but the smooth helicoid makes it easy to operate.
The lens length is about twice as long as the maximum macro setting with two-step telescoping.
The filter diameter is 58mm, which is hidden when the hood is on, but without the hood, the lens looks like a small mouth.
Accessories include a case, rectangular hood, and hood cap.
The lens has been released with mounts such as NIKON-F, PENTAX-K, M42, CANON-EF, MINOLTA-A mount, OLYMPUS-OM, YASHICA-CONTAX, and others.

Local length(mm)125125
Max aperture2.52.5
Min aperture2222
Leaf blade920
Lens Construction10elements in 9group4elements in 3group
Min distance(m)0.181.2
Lens length(mm)7677(VISO-M)
Lens Max diameter(mm)8263
Filter Size(mm)5858
Release date2000〜20031949〜1960

The following is a list of early COSINA / Voigtlander brand lenses for SLR cameras. Two lenses, 15mm and 12mm, are excluded from the table below because they are special lenses that are used with the mirror up.

ItemsULTRONCOLOR HELIARApo-lantharMacro Apo-lantharApo-lanthar
Focal length(mm)407590125180
Max aperture22.53.52.54
Min aperture22
Leaf blade9
Lens Construction5群6枚9群11枚7群9枚
Min distance(m)
Lens length(mm)29.5(Ais)40.2(Ais)57.6(Ais)88.2(Ais)79(Ais)
Max diameter(mm)63.57665.6
Filter Size(mm)52495849
Release date2002.052000.072002.032001.062003.08

Reference links


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