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ben_hutcherson
12-Mar-2017, 08:42
I'm still in gear-buying mode for LF stuff, and one of the things I really want is a "modern" normal lens(at this point everything I have is pre-WWII or early postwar).

Looking at KEH, I've come across two tempting options-a Rodenstock APO-Sironar N, and a Fuji Fujinon W. The Rodenstock is in a Copal shutter, and the Fuji in a Seiko shutter. Both are f/5.6. These would be used on my Pacemaker Speed and a Burke and James wooden view camera for 4x5.

I have to admit that the lure of German glass is appealing to me. My only real experience with it is on my Rolleis in older Tessar-type lenses(I have one Tessar and a couple of Schneider Xenars). I've had pretty extensive experience with Japanese glass in both 35mm(Canon) and medium format(Bronica).

In any case, I know that there's a lot more than absolute resolution, and with a big negative/transparency one doesn't have to split hairs over the resolution like you necessarily do in 35mm. Heck, I've never really done that even in 35mm since I figure that most of my good Canon prime lenses can probably out-resolve my skills when I'm hand-holding.

All of that aside, I'm mostly a landscape and architecture guy, and color performance IS important to me. I shoot a lot of B&W but also shoot Velvia. I've been a bit underwhelmed by the color performance of my older lenses compared to what I'm use to seeing.

Some quick Google work seems to point to the Fuji as being the generally better lens, and I also can't get around it being 2/3 the price of the Rodenstock(even though I can swing buying either). I also know enough to know that there's sample-to-sample variation that can be even more pronounced on used lenses depending on how they've been handled.

So, I'd appreciate opinions as to which would be a better choice. I know I can also do what KEH reps have encouraged me to do in the past, and that's buy both and return the one I like the least, but then I hate to abuse that priviledge.

Also-one last complete LF newbie question-I'm assuming I'll need two different lens boards to use the lens on both cameras I've mentioned. Is that indeed the case?

Dan Fromm
12-Mar-2017, 09:08
They are both very bad.

There were several versions of the 150/5.6 Fujinon-W, all poorly documented and explained. Here is a field guide to Fuji lenses: http://www.subclub.org/fujinon/index.htm

Strongly suggest that you shop eBay too. I think you'll find that Fujinons are less expensive that the equivalent R'stock and that prices on eBay are lower than KEH's. In my limited experience eBay sellers located in Japan have been very reliable.



Also-one last complete LF newbie question-I'm assuming I'll need two different lens boards to use the lens on both cameras I've mentioned. Is that indeed the case?

Hmm. You have both cameras. Why not ask them? On general principles, Pacemaker Graphic boards are compatible with no other cameras. If you're going to use the same lenses on both cameras, look into buying an adapter that will hold a board for one camera on a board for the other. This will be easier to live with than remounting lenses as needed and may save enough money on boards to pay for the adapter.

Edited to make sarcasm more visible.

Peter Lewin
12-Mar-2017, 10:51
Here is some information on Rodenstock lenses: http://www.prograf.ru/rodenstock/largeformat_en.html. The Apo-Sironar-S 150 is my "go to" lens, probably used 80% of the time. Per the documentation, the "N" version has a little less coverage. I don't see why it would be "very bad" but have no experience to go by. If there is not a significant quality difference, I would look at the relative image circles and weight. The former will give an indication of how much freedom you have to use tilts, swings, and displacements, the latter an idea of how "transportable" they are, since most of us prefer less bulk and weight where possible.

Alan Gales
12-Mar-2017, 11:23
Fujinons bring less money because they are Fujinons. I don't know why. It's just some perceived thing. Also the Fujinon is in a Seiko shutter which will bring less money than a Copal. Seiko shutters are fine. RZ67 lenses use Seiko shutters.

ben_hutcherson
12-Mar-2017, 11:49
Thanks guys for giving me some stuff to digest.

As for the Seiko shutter-I'm a watchmaker and I have the utmost respect for the quality of Seiko products. Even their low end mechanical watches are mechanically sound even if not particularly elegantly finished. My much beloved SQ-A system uses Seiko shutters also, albeit electronically timed ones(at all but 1/500).

I know Copal is something of the standard in LF, although I'm more familiar with Copal Squares as in my grandfather's Autoreflex TC and the Canon EF I've always lusted after.

Ivan J. Eberle
12-Mar-2017, 12:02
Some of the Fujinons may be single coated. All of the Rodenstock Sironar N's (also rebadged as Caltar IIN, Sinaron, and Linhof) use apocromatic glass and are multicoated. In the 150mm length the Sironar S has noticeably more image circle than the N version (not as big a difference in the 135mm length), but it's typically about twice as expensive, used.

David Karp
12-Mar-2017, 12:17
I have both a 150mm Sironar-N (same as APO-Sironar-N) and a 150mm Fujinon NW (outer lettering on the lens barrel). Both are fine lenses.

After checking out the KEH website, I saw multiple 150mm Rodenstock examples and one Fujinon. The Fujinon is listed in a Seiko, but the lens pictured is the NW version. I have never seen an NW in a Seiko shutter, although that may have happened. The NW Fujinons are labeled "W" on the barrel instead of "NW." (Just another LF mystery - Who knows why Fuji did this.) The W series is single coated. The NW series is EBC multicoated. The confusing factor is that KEH uses stock photos, so they might really be selling the single coated version in a Seiko. You should check before you buy.

My Fujinon NW is slightly larger than my Sironar-N. It also has a larger image circle. Not as large as the very expensive Rodenstock APO-Sironar-S, but larger than the APO-Sironar-N or Sironar-N. You can get the image circle for the Rodenstock here: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/lenses/LF4x5in.html. You can get information for all Fujinons here: http://www.subclub.org/fujinon/byseries.htm. You can see that the image circle for the Fujinon approaches that for the APO-Sironar-S.

I purchased my 150mm Fujinon NW many years ago from Midwest Photo Exchange, but I see them for sale on eBay from Japan regularly. Or, contact B.S. Kumar on this forum and ask him to keep an eye out for one. He is in Japan. I purchased my Sironar-N on eBay for less than $1 per mm! It was in an all black Copal shutter and in perfect condition. (I actually got it for the shutter, but that need disappeared magically, and I liked the lens enough to keep it, but not so much to make me dump the Fujinon.)

In my opinion, you can't go wrong with either one. If you need every mm of image circle, then you might want the Fujinon, if it is indeed the multicoated NW version.

As for color rendition, I shoot black and white, so others will have to help you there.

ben_hutcherson
12-Mar-2017, 12:41
After checking out the KEH website, I saw multiple 150mm Rodenstock examples and one Fujinon. The Fujinon is listed in a Seiko, but the lens pictured is the NW version. I have never seen an NW in a Seiko shutter, although that may have happened. The NW Fujinons are labeled "W" on the barrel instead of "NW." (Just another LF mystery - Who knows why Fuji did this.) The W series is single coated. The NW series is EBC multicoated. The confusing factor is that KEH uses stock photos, so they might really be selling the single coated version in a Seiko. You should check before you buy.


Thanks for that bit of information.

I've spent a lot with KEH over the years, and in the past they've pulled lenses from the warehouse for me and held them in their hand while I asked questions. I might call them tomorrow about that.

BTW, I know there are cheaper sources than KEH, but they've been good to me over the years and I like to give them my business.

David Karp
12-Mar-2017, 12:49
I should also have mentioned that many Fujinon lenses are great deals for very high quality lenses. You can put together a very nice set of lenses by purchasing Fujinons. Nobody will ask you why you used a Fujinon instead of a Rodenstock when they look at your photos!

Some Fujinons are unique and command higher prices. These include the Fujinon C series (300mm, 450mm, 600mm), and Fujinon A series (180mm, 240mm, 300mm, 360mm). These are prized due to their excellent quality and smaller size when compared to other lenses of similar focal length.

Bob Salomon
12-Mar-2017, 13:09
Some of the Fujinons may be single coated. All of the Rodenstock Sironar N's (also rebadged as Caltar IIN, Sinaron, and Linhof) use apocromatic glass and are multicoated. In the 150mm length the Sironar S has noticeably more image circle than the N version (not as big a difference in the 135mm length), but it's typically about twice as expensive, used.

Except for a lens sold by Linhof as the Portrait lens and the lens on the Linhof 220 series there are no Linhof relabeled Rodenstock lenses.
Perhaps you are thinking about Linhof tested lenses that carries both the Linhof logo as well as the Rodenstock logo and model name.
Or maybe you were thinking about Alpa, they sell relabeled Rodenstock lenses.
Not all Sironar N lenses were multicoated. Only those marked Sironar N MC were multicoated. Of course all were coated.

locutus
12-Mar-2017, 13:19
I've been amazed how sharp my Fuji lenses when looking at the negative with a 10 loupe!

From looking at the negatives I have shot so far I can say for sure that the lenses aren't the limiting factor at all in my case tripod stability is the limitation!

David Karp
12-Mar-2017, 14:19
. . . I've spent a lot with KEH over the years, and in the past they've pulled lenses from the warehouse for me and held them in their hand while I asked questions. I might call them tomorrow about that.

BTW, I know there are cheaper sources than KEH, but they've been good to me over the years and I like to give them my business.

I get it. I have a lot of stuff from KEH. They go over the stuff you sell them with a FINE tooth comb. You know you benefit from that treatment when you purchase from them.

Pere Casals
12-Mar-2017, 16:05
Some quick Google work seems to point to the Fuji as being the generally better lens


Not at all: Rodenstock, Scheneider, Nikon and Fuji all are very good. I've 2 Fuji, 65mm and 90mm, very happy. But also very, very happy with Sironar-N. An this is from a Nikon W https://www.flickr.com/photos/125592977@N05/32535835184/in/dateposted-public/

...Sironar-S is top notch, these are jewels. Symmars... I've 5, four of them single coated convertible, also very good. So that googling is completely missleading and false. All 4 brands are superb, just peek a model that fits what you want regarding multicoating, focal, circle, speed, price and conservation.


Perhaps you have seen that:

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/lenses/LF4x5in.html

"This is at best a relative (not absolute) comparison between these lenses" not very scientific, and with sample to sample variations

http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/testing.html


Sample to sample concerns to ultimate resolution "at extintion", so in conditions that are not very useful anyway, what I want to say is that at the end those great manufacturers were selling always well performing glasses, with some exceptions.




Looking at KEH, I've come across two tempting options-a Rodenstock APO-Sironar N, and a Fuji Fujinon W. The Rodenstock is in a Copal shutter, and the Fuji in a Seiko shutter. Both are f/5.6. .



As you are to shot Velvia you have to nail the exposure: Be careful with shutters !!! Marked speed may be +/- 30 % with a brand new shutter and be still under specs. I use a pretty dirt collection of shutters near recovered from trash, some are jewels like Compound 5. Buy a shutter tester (ebay from $15 to $90) and check all your shutters, check if they repeat same time and what's the true speed. With old shutters you may expect one full stop of error in higher speed. Write true speds over lens board. Read this: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/exposure-large-format.htm

Seiko clockwork is more complicated, (I repair, somtimes destroy, my shutters...) so ask about service.

As you are to shot Velvia you should buy multicoated lenses, Fuji EBD coating is really good, but also with other brands.







All of that aside, I'm mostly a landscape and architecture guy

Your backpack will be heavy !

For arquitecture you will want plenty of movements, and a large circle is a heavier glass, while for hiking you'll prefer less weight. So think twice before buying.

Pere Casals
12-Mar-2017, 16:10
I've been amazed how sharp my Fuji lenses when looking at the negative with a 10 loupe!

From looking at the negatives I have shot so far I can say for sure that the lenses aren't the limiting factor at all in my case tripod stability is the limitation!

One suggestion. Just place a toy laser pointer in your front standard and point to a stone 20 m far. You'll know how much time you have to wait until settles after inserting holder, and when the tripod/wind can be blamed or not.

That was very useful to me. I was blaming my tripod and it wasn't.

Leigh
12-Mar-2017, 16:29
In the 150mm length the Sironar S has noticeably more image circle than the N version...
The APO-Sironar-N and APO-Sironar-S have identical 231mm image circles.

I expect your brain cell is conflating the regular Sironar-N with it's 214mm image circle.

- Leigh

Leigh
12-Mar-2017, 16:44
...Sironar-S is top notch, these are jewels.
I presume you mean the APO-Sironar-S product line.
I'm not aware of any offerings that are not APO designs.

Some years ago I decided the APO-Sironar-S lenses were probably the highest quality lenses available for LF.
So I standardized on that line. I have all available focal lengths through 240mm.
I don't have the 300mm or 360mm because I've never found one available.

I must say I've never regretted my decision. Images are outstanding.

- Leigh

Bob Salomon
12-Mar-2017, 17:03
The APO-Sironar-N and APO-Sironar-S have identical 231mm image circles.

I expect your brain cell is conflating the regular Sironar-N with it's 214mm image circle.

- Leigh

Sorry, no they don't! The N covers 72 and the S cover 75. Focal length for focal length the S covers a larger circle at the same distance and at the same f stop. If you see a chart that states otherwise it is incorrect.

Leigh
12-Mar-2017, 17:51
If you see a chart that states otherwise it is incorrect.
Bob,

I did find a reference to a 214mm IC in a Russian datasheet.

Perhaps the 231mm in my database is a typo.

- Leigh

David Karp
12-Mar-2017, 19:21
Bob should know!

According to the comparison chart on the home page (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/lenses/LF4x5in.html), the APO-Sironar-N has an image circle of 214mm. The APO-Sironar-S is shown to have a 231mm image circle. This is consistent with everything I have ever seen.

Bob, the only difference between a 150mm Sironar-N and an APO-Sironar-N is its name, right? In other words, am I correct in understanding that the lenses is the same and the name was added for marketing purposes, to be consistent with the other concurrent Sironar lines?

Jody_S
12-Mar-2017, 19:38
Largely a matter of personal preference at this point, given that all of these lenses now have a history before we buy them. You'll find superb lenses and dogs from all of the big makers, and no way of knowing which is which until you're examining your negs. I've decided to go with Fujinon for my 'modern' lenses simply for the cost, and honest Japanese sellers. But then I found some deals like my Super-Angulon 65/5.6 for under $100, how could I pass that up? I don't care what's written on the barrel.

Pere Casals
13-Mar-2017, 01:58
Bob,

I did find a reference to a 214mm IC in a Russian datasheet.

Perhaps the 231mm in my database is a typo.

- Leigh

Hello Leigh,

Bob is like the bible, dot. No typos, never. :)


I've Sironar-N, I'd like the S, like you. Problem is only my budged. Resolution is not always important, but it also has better microcontrast and I guess less flare. A precission tool to get the most possible from velvia and tabulars. I also guess it would make less a difference with HP5 or TXP, as film may not be sharp enough to see the difference.

Leigh
13-Mar-2017, 02:18
I also guess it would make less a difference with HP5 or TXP, as film is not sharp enough to see the difference.
I have no idea, since I shoot no films faster than ASA100, preferably much slower.

I expect those films would not be sharp enough to evaluate the lens' performance.

- Leigh

Pere Casals
13-Mar-2017, 02:51
I have no idea, since I shoot no films faster than ASA100, preferably much slower.

I expect those films would not be sharp enough to evaluate the lens' performance.

- Leigh

I guess TMX will see it perfectly, as it resolves way beyond LF lenses. Still it should be a technically perfect shot, at peak performance aperture, careful focus and no shake.

TMX resolves 200 LP/mm at 1:1000 contrast, (63 LP/mm at 1.6:1 contrast) ( ISO Norm 6328)

See Image structure section, page 8 http://imaging.kodakalaris.com/sites/prod/files/files/products/f4016_TMax_100.pdf

So in theory (I've not an S...) TMX will record very well (for example) edges between well illuminated objects and a dark background, here TMX can resolve those 200 Lp/mm.

With textures is different... if the texture has 1.6:1 (on film) microcontrast then TMX will record those 63LP/mm only, but if we have a texture with say 1:10 microcontrast then the S should depict it much better than N because then film has the capability.

Also as the S delivers better microcontrast (less flare) then it should help film to record the texture better.

I like to comment about this because some time ago I was trying to learn how to record textures.

There are some magnificient monster prints around depicting incredible textures. These are jobs for the S glasses, IMHO.

Pere Casals
13-Mar-2017, 03:14
Leigh, I forgot something.

Have you a 4x5 box of Adox CMS 20 ???

Buy one !!! (with the Adotech developer)

Shot it ISO 6. CMS 20 resolves 700 Lp/mm, it's sharp Microfilm, I mean sharper than other microfilm. It's a PITA because narrow latitude, exposure must be nailed, so a shutter tester is mandatory.

This is a film that will make the S shine.

Bob Salomon
13-Mar-2017, 07:24
Bob should know!

According to the comparison chart on the home page (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/lenses/LF4x5in.html), the APO-Sironar-N has an image circle of 214mm. The APO-Sironar-S is shown to have a 231mm image circle. This is consistent with everything I have ever seen.

Bob, the only difference between a 150mm Sironar-N and an APO-Sironar-N is its name, right? In other words, am I correct in understanding that the lenses is the same and the name was added for marketing purposes, to be consistent with the other concurrent Sironar lines?

The Sironar N MC became the Apo Sironar N. the Sironar N MC replaced the Sironar N and that replaced the Sironar.

David Karp
13-Mar-2017, 07:41
Thanks Bob.

Leigh
13-Mar-2017, 11:48
Leigh, I forgot something.
Have you a 4x5 box of Adox CMS 20 ???
Buy one !!! (with the Adotech developer)
Hi Pere,

No, I don't.

I would buy it in a heartbeat if the seller also offered the Adotech developer, which they don't.
Apparently the seller hired a brain-dead marketing manager because he was cheap.

- Leigh

Pere Casals
13-Mar-2017, 13:45
Hi Pere,

No, I don't.

I would buy it in a heartbeat if the seller also offered the Adotech developer, which they don't.
Apparently the seller hired a brain-dead marketing manager because he was cheap.

- Leigh

I buy it at Fotoimpex and Maco Direct (ships to USA https://www.macodirect.de/en/payment-delivery-information also I think Fotoimpex).

You can also develop in Caffenol or HC-110, but then should be shot at ISO 6 or 3, instead 20 or 12

Leigh
13-Mar-2017, 14:23
I buy it at Fotoimpex and Maco Direct (ships to USA https://www.macodirect.de/en/payment-delivery-information also I think Fotoimpex).
Hi Pere,

Yes, I know I can get what I want from Europe.
I've ordered from Fotoimpex before.

I was commenting on the stupidity of the American firms that sell the film but not the requisite developer.

- Leigh

Pere Casals
13-Mar-2017, 16:28
Hi Pere,

Yes, I know I can get what I want from Europe.
I've ordered from Fotoimpex before.

I was commenting on the stupidity of the American firms that sell the film but not the requisite developer.

- Leigh

Yes... you are right.

(Sorry for the Off Topic...)

Drew Bedo
14-Mar-2017, 05:59
From what I am reading here there seem to be discernable differences between the lenses and brands being discussed, but no one has seriously described any version of either brand as a bad image maker.

I know that for some applications, image circle, flair, contrast and other specifications may be more or less optimal. However, in what I would call the "modern" era of multi-coated computer designed lenses I think the imaging ability is pretty high across the board among the name brands of Schneider, Rodenstock, Fujinon and Nikon.

How wrong am I in making this gross oversimplification?

Peter Lewin
14-Mar-2017, 06:19
Drew, I think you are absolutely correct. I've been following this thread, and keep coming back to the thought that I have yet to get to the point where the problem with any of my images is the optics of my lens rather than my own abilities as a photographer.

Pere Casals
14-Mar-2017, 06:47
From what I am reading here there seem to be discernable differences between the lenses and brands being discussed


Drew, I think you are absolutely correct. I've been following this thread,

Read it again, speaking for me, in post #13 I first wrote "Not at all: Rodenstock, Scheneider, Nikon and Fuji all are very good"

OP is investigating how LF glass are for gathering his first set, and he was thinking some brands were better.

All we know that we may favor some models over others because matching personal needs.

What it is fairly true is that Rodenstock had two different performance ranges: N and S. first way cheaper than second, and the second optically better than the first.

I've the N, but I'd prefer the S.

IMHO most LF photographers even doesn't need to know about that difference, N is really excellent and just exceeds their real needs. But some optical difference is clearly there, no doubt, and the S will be worth for those that want that edge for something, for example to depict fine BW textures in big enlargements, and for those that place sun in their Velvia pictures, citing examples I'm aware. For portraits N may be better, for some at least.

Bob Salomon
14-Mar-2017, 07:03
Read it again, speaking for me, in post #13 I first wrote "Not at all: Rodenstock, Scheneider, Nikon and Fuji all are very good"

OP is investigating how LF glass are for gathering his first set, and he was thinking some brands were better.

All we know that we may favor some models over others because matching personal needs.

What it is fairly true is that Rodenstock had two different performance ranges: N and S. first way cheaper than second, and the second optically better than the first.

I've the N, but I'd prefer the S.

IMHO most LF photographers even doesn't need to know about that difference, N is really excellent and just exceeds their real needs. But some optical difference is clearly there, no doubt, and the S will be worth for those that want that edge for something, for example to depict fine BW textures in big enlargements, and for those that place sun in their Velvia pictures, citing examples I'm aware. For portraits N may be better, for some at least.
No, they had three. The Apo Sironar N 72, the Apo Sironar S 75 and the Apo Sironar/Apo Sironar W 80. The latter was only made in 150, 210 and 300mm but the three versions were all available at the same time until first the W was discontinued and then the N was discontinued.

Pere Casals
14-Mar-2017, 08:26
No, they had three. The Apo Sironar N 72, the Apo Sironar S 75 and the Apo Sironar/Apo Sironar W 80. The latter was only made in 150, 210 and 300mm but the three versions were all available at the same time until first the W was discontinued and then the N was discontinued.

Hello Bob,

I'd like to ask if the W, beyond larger circle, it also really featured better optical performance than S...

No doubt that 150 covering well 5x7 and 210 doing it with 8x10 is an advantage, but what about ultimate optical performance ?

Regards

Bob Salomon
14-Mar-2017, 08:35
Hello Bob,

I'd like to ask if the W, beyond larger circle, it also really featured better optical performance than S...

No doubt that 150 covering well 5x7 and 210 doing it with 8x10 is an advantage, but what about ultimate optical performance ?

Regards

Actually the reason the W was discontinued was because the performance of the S, other then the coverage, was as good, or better, depending on the focal length.

The 150S fully covers 57 and the 210 S fully covers 810. Although not without much movement capability.

Pere Casals
14-Mar-2017, 12:32
Actually the reason the W was discontinued was because the performance of the S, other then the coverage, was as good, or better, depending on the focal length.

The 150S fully covers 57 and the 210 S fully covers 810. Although not without much movement capability.

Thanks for that information !

Eric Woodbury
14-Mar-2017, 15:19
The 150mm Sironar W is my favorite 5x7 lens of all time. Beautiful, simply beautiful.

"striving to better, oft we mar what's well", --W.S. 1608

xkaes
18-Mar-2017, 16:22
Only the early Fujinons used Seiko shuttters. The current crop is multi-coated and every bit as good as the comparable German lenses. In fact, many Fujinons have larger image circles -- for less money.

Bob Salomon
18-Mar-2017, 16:44
Only the early Fujinons used Seiko shuttters. The current crop is multi-coated and ever bit as good as the comparable German lenses. In fact, many Fujinons have larger image circles -- for less money.

A larger image circle is only one consideration. You also have to compare MTF, over the same area of coverage, distortion curves, color curves, etc.. then you can compare them by performance.

Vaughn
19-Mar-2017, 00:46
Well, I am happy with my Caltar IIN 150/5.6. Many fine enlargements from 4x5 negs to 16x20. Nice small compact size. Bought it new in the early 80s.