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06-18-2011, 06:29 AM   #1
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Comparisons between Bokina macro and Voigtlander 125mm?

Voigtlander 125mm SL macro since it's release has gone up in price by a factor of 3 or 4. Meanwhile Tokina 90/2.5 can be had for around $300-400 with the 1:1 extender.

Is the Voigt so much better, or is this more the case of the hype of a rare lens?

Speaking of rare, there is always a chance of Cosina releasing a second version of this lens which would make those few copies of the 125/2.5 SL a bit less desirable perhaps..?

There is also another option for Pentax which is very rarely discussed. It is adapting Leica's acclaimed APO 100/2.8 macro. Like the Tokina it only goes 1:2 but there is a dedicated extender as well. It is reputed to be the best macro ever built and I have hear people claim that even with a Leica 2x converter, it is bloody sharp as a macro (but would it focus 1:1??). Together with the extender and the adaptor it would total about $1800 not much more than the Voigtlander, but originally it was well over $4000 (while Voigt sold for $400).

I am mostly interested if anybody compared these lenses directly or had seen comparisons but uninformed opinions can of course be expressed (as they will be!).

06-18-2011, 08:20 AM   #2
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The Leica-R Elmarit 100mm f/2.8 APO macro is indeed an excellent lens, bear in mind for 1:1 magnification you need an accessory lens. With my copy I opted not to adapt the lens to pentax K mount simply because I own a Pentax FA*200mm f/4 ED Macro. As good as the Leica 100mm f/2.8 APO is with a 2X teleconverter it's widest aperture is reduced to f/5.6 - which is a bit dim for manually focusing accurately* so the Pentax FA*200mm f/4 ED Macro gains a one stop advantage over the Leica lens. In terms of resolution: as I recall on film (without the teleconverter) the Leica 100mm f/2.8 APO Macro and the Pentax FA*200mm f/4 ED performed almost identically with the advantage going to the pentax FA*200mm Macro lens which rendered OOF areas much more pleasingly because of it's longer focal length, and the fact that is has 9 aperture blades (the Leica lens has 7). Distortion and fall off from either lens is a non-issue even for the most critical amongst us. The Leica 100mm f/2.8 APO Macro lens possesses a very unusual filter diameter 60mm - as I recall.

The voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 APO Macro is a superlative lens its performance is limited only by diffraction itself - I do not own one in Pentax K mount, but I bought one in Nikon F mount and it is one of my favourite lenses on my Nikon D3s - I prefer it over the Nikkor AF-S 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR

I have only used the Tonkina 90mm f/2.8 "bokina" once, and my lasting impression was that although its overall construction is of a very high quality, it felt somewhat lacklustre in comparison to the lenses I am accustomed to using. Sharpness was excellent however, it suffered from LoCa due to the fact that it isn't apochromatic - which I consider to be an essential optical consideration when buying a macro lens.

*Especially at high magnifications. You can use live view but if it is used in dim light it can be just as bad, if not worse than trying to manually focus though the Viewfinder.

This image is from the Pentax FA*200mm f/4 ED [IF]

Last edited by Digitalis; 06-18-2011 at 09:12 AM.
06-19-2011, 03:28 AM   #3
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Thanks, Digitalis.

I am just amazed that Cosina could offer this lens at ~$500 when it rivals the famed Leica APO-Elmarit-R 100mm macro which retailed at over $4000.

I wonder if they are going to bring out a second version?
06-19-2011, 04:46 AM   #4
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I 'only' have the Tokina AT-X 90mm 2.5, the Leica 100m 2.8 APO and the FA 100mm 2.8 Macro.

The Leica is the sharpest 100mm lens I have. At 2.8 it outresolves the sensor of the K-5 (center and border). Aberrations are very good controlled, but the Sigma 180mm 3.5 is better in terms of bokeh fringing.

For bokeh the Tokina is the best.

With the dedicated close up lens (Elpro) the Leica goes to 1,1:1 without loss of sharpness or light (other than 2x extender).


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