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Thursday, 25 February 2010

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I didn't know that dealers like this existed (could exist) any more. 'Specialty' hardly seems to say it. When I took up photography in the early 80s there were many such here in the UK. All but gone the way of wig-powderers and chariot bodyshops, sadly.

I would agree with all but the focal length. The 150mm has fairly small coverage and the movements are restricted. I prefer the Rodenstock Apo-Sironar-S 210mm. A little longer which took some getting used to, but the image circle is large enough that I sometimes shoot it on the 8X10.

I have many examples of both of these lenses but none on-line that are large enough to see the incredible sharpness of the lens.

oh, thanks a lot! that was the next lens i was gonna get.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, all us Canon Elph shooters have shot away, and rode off, whilst, you, rummageing through the bag, have finally procured the Rodenstock Apo-Sironar-S 150mm ƒ/5.6, attached it to your board of choice, draped yourself in black, and the ranch house flames sputter out.


Oh Boy, do I have a story to tell.

About a year ago, I found out about the Polaroid folder conversion to 4x5 and thought it's a neat way to get into 4x5. So I put myself on the famous Razzle's waiting list. I decided that I would do the conversion with a Rodenstock 150/5.6 for portrait work. So I bought one at a well known used camera place starting with K and ending with H and sent the lens to Dean. I have purchased a few items from this company before and had no problem.

Dean's a busy guy (which I know) and around Christmas he said the camera was about done. I was pretty excited.

In late Jan, it was done but then Dean found that the rear element of the Rodenstock is wrong--smaller than the other Rodenstock 150 he has used before and the lens just would not focus!

Anyway, Dean swapped out the lens and put in one of his Rodenstock and sent both back to me.

I contacted the K company multiple times, giving them the evidence. They did not reply back.

The case now is under dispute with my credit card company. I will never deal with them again.

As for the Razzle 4x5, when it finally came, I was gathering funds to get another camera. So rather than getting started from scratch on the 4x5, I put it on sale, and it was sold within hours. It was really a nice conversion job.

That was my brief encounter with this "Best Lens Evah."

Michael,
The 210mm is good too...on a 5x7. [g]

Mike

"Anybody have any good example pictures from this lens?"

What, that would show its resolving power in a web-sized image?

"What, that would show its resolving power in a web-sized image?"

No, just to show what kinds of things you might have used it for.

Mike

I rather like my Schneider 120/5.6 Apo Symmar, which is a similar angle of view on 6x9 (although bought as widish on 5x4).

Michael said "I would agree with all but the focal length. The 150mm has fairly small coverage and the movements are restricted."

I only have very limited experience with 5x4 but Badger says the lens has coverage of 231mm (presumably at f/16 or 22?), I thought that was pretty decent?

Thought you might me interested in this

http://www.robertwhite.co.uk/about.asp?pid=402&sid=101

There can't be many lenses that cover 20" by 12"

Keith

The best lens is the one that's on your camera when you're taking pictures...without it you'd be pretty much wasting your time. Other considerations are superfluous.

Some day I will have use for just such a lens.

Funnily enough this was the second lens I got for my Shen-Hao (the first being a Rodenstock 210mm). The shutter's a bit rattly when taking a photo, and the cable-release is fiddly to screw into place, but the results are pleasant.

Samples:
Tree roots
Blue Gold Fools' Erosion
Towards Kintail
Loch Shiel

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, all us Canon Elph shooters have shot away, and rode off, whilst, you, rummageing through the bag, have finally procured the Rodenstock Apo-Sironar-S 150mm ƒ/5.6, attached it to your board of choice, draped yourself in black, and the ranch house flames sputter out.

Bron

Mmmm. Canon Elph - the ranch-torchers p&s of choice? Now THAT's a niche product to rank with the lynch-o-matic.

Alas, I own (and use) the Sironar-N 150/5.6. Still is a great lens, though; I don't always understand the maze of labels on these, so I am not sure the difference off hand.

Such shops can exist because of the internet. While the internet is killing you local commodity photoshop, it is also allowing the existence of wildly specialized shops that could not exist otherwise.

And, also, a perfect match for the Toho FC-45X (IMO, of course!) And, a plug for Badger Graphic Sales...absolutely first-class folks that I've dealt with for many, many years.

Another contender for the Best Lens in the World prize would be any of the Schneider Digitar lenses, designed for medium format digital backs on view cameras.

Is there an adapter to m4/3 ? I'm sure you could use it on your GF1 ;-)

Mike,
Is the difference between a lens and another even noticable in LF photography? I am excluding physical properties such as coverage, focus shift, maximum aperture etc.. The negative is so big that it shouldn't make a difference anyway. BTW, I use a 210 and a 240 AS-S, 110 SS, some Fuji compacts, and a big 355 Schneider GD Dagor on 5x7 and 4x10. I really can't tell the difference from the negs alone, though I love the GD for some unknown reason. The difference is mostly in my head I think.

Even if you had not announced it, your return to traditional photo is already perceptible in your blog. It was time to return to Photography, and let image capture medium alone for a bit.

Not that it really shows any difference, but I took all of these with the Rodenstock Apo-Sironar-S 150mm ƒ/5.6:
http://www.martenelder.com/thesis.php

And all of these with the Schneider Apo-Symmar-L 150mm ƒ/5.6:
http://www.martenelder.com/beach.php

"I own (and use) the Sironar-N 150/5.6. Still is a great lens, though; I don't always understand the maze of labels on these, so I am not sure the difference off hand."

Oren could speak to the differences from much more experience, as I believe he owns both. (At least, I believe he owns the N.) Nothing wrong with the Sironar-N, though. The differences in theory would be that the Apo-S would have a little more coverage and would reach optimum aperture ~1 stop wider open. Otherwise the results would be very similar. If you were buying one, you might prefer the Apo-S, but there is nothing wrong with the N if you have it.

In fact from what I've seen there is really a lot of consistency across all the Sironars.

"I love Sironars,"

Mike

I've got a fairly pedestrian (I think) 210mm on my 4x5; something suitable for a student 4x5 package in the early 1980s. I have to admit the "best lens ever" at a 3-figure price does offer a certain temptation. Although my temptations historically have been more towards a 90mm, since landscape is one place where the 4x5 has a lot to offer (and it often holds still long enough to get the 4x5 set up).

Bron: I believe you've just described why view cameras were never used for news coverage, and 4x5 cameras of any sort aren't used for news coverage any more! But, you know, there are lots of kinds of photography, which have somewhat different goals and hence different requirements.

Didn't Calumet carry this lens under the Caltar brand as well? I have one and it's a beauty.

I have the 135mm Sironar-S. I use it on my Ebony 23s (6 x 9) and it is superb. Another lens I would include in the same class is the 180mm ƒ9 Fujinon A. Just as sharp, just as contrasty, tons of coverage for 6 x 9, and is even smaller than the 135 S. The ƒ9 maximum aperture is rarely a problem shooting landscapes.

Given that Schneider and Rodenstock lenses "own" the modern large format lens market, and in spite of the fact that I've never had a bad Rodenstock lens, if I were buying I'd get the Schneider 150mm APO-Symmar L or whatever they call it these days.

Why? Because Schneider is still actively designing and developing new large format lenses, aimed at film shooters. Linos -- Rodenstock's parent company -- chooses to keep their line stagnant.

They'll all good lenses but given the ticket to buy the best, I would opt for a Leica Summilux ASPH, probably in 35mm.

OT (I have the Fujinon 150/5.6,) but I often find 150 a bit wide on 4x5, and am looking to add the Fuji 240/9, which is very small, performs well, and was written up so well by Kerry Thalman that it is now out of my price range on the evil site, short of a modest lottery win or credit card financing.

Having the Sironar would be nice, though ... OM filters are mostly 49mm. :D

> Is the difference between a lens and another even noticeable in LF photography? I am excluding physical properties such as coverage, focus shift, maximum aperture etc..

If you exclude all the important stuff, probably not.:-) My lenses were picked for maximum coverage, since I use a lot of movements. I have tested my sharpest newest lens against my 55 year old Symmar, and, except for coverage and a little more contrast because of multicoating, I see no difference. Really old lenses with lots aberrations do look different, and some folks love that, but I think sharpness is about the same for lenses from the last 60 years, and none of them distort. Ironically, my most expensive lens, the 72XL is probably the least sharp - but boy, what coverage!

"Meanwhile, back at the ranch, all us Canon Elph shooters have shot away..."

Only to find out that diffraction and noise on the teeny sensor softened and blurred any and all detail, rendering it useless visual porridge.

Is the difference between a lens and another even noticeable in LF photography?

Well, I chose my set above based on what I remembered using at the time; it's more a question of assessing what I was most likely to have used at the time rather than looking up any notes, so the primary distinguishing feature is the focal-length being as how I only have one each of 90,150,210mm.

I apologize for my snarkiness; I never developed any affection for any large format camera I've used. Just me

Now, to paraphrase Johannes Brahms, if I've not offended some, I'll try harder next time.

:-)

Bron

After getting my Sinar F1 with lens, I did some research and found that the "Sinaron-S" 150/5.6 I got with the camera appears to be a rebadged Rodenstock Sironar-N. Anybody know if this is true? Appears to be a very nice piece of glass, and I only paid around $300 for the entire outfit!

I believe a Sinaron-S is the same as the Apo-Sironar-N, a 72-degree lens. I'm not really sure what the real difference between the Sironar-N and Apo-Sironar-N series was, though.

Mike

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