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Thread: Differences between 150mm Apo Sironar S and N

  1. #1

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    Differences between 150mm Apo Sironar S and N

    I am considering a 150mm lens - either an Apo Sironar S or N.

    In another thread, mention was made that w/r/t 135mm Apo Sironars, the Apo Sironar N would be better suited for work at infinity focus, whereas the Apo Sironar S is better suited for closer focusing. This difference is attributable to the inherent lens design (optimization) differences between the two versions.

    I searched other threads but did not find an answer to this as far as 150mm Sironars is concerned. I'm wondering what experience others might have had with actual use of these lenses and if the same comment holds true.

    Most of my work is landscape photography and does not involve closeup work. However, I prefer a lens that is as sharp as possible at infinity. Does that preclude the Apo Sironar S, which by reputation is considered a better lens ? Perhaps the S would not be a "better" choice for my purposes if the N is designed for optimum infinity focusing.

    Thanks in advance for your input any any experience with the lenses mentioned.
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  2. #2

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    Re: Differences between 150mm Apo Sironar S and N

    The Apo Sironar S has more coverage, and incorporates ED glass elements. It does not have a better reputation, it is a better lens all around, and also considerably more expensive. Will it be noticeably sharper then any any other modern lens? I am not so sure, but perhaps if you test in LPM beyond what the naked eye can see in an 8X10 print..., maybe.

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    Re: Differences between 150mm Apo Sironar S and N

    My 135 sironar-s is sharper than the nikkor, and symmar-s that I owned. That's in enlargements and viewing my drum scans at 100%. I haven't used the 150mm but the sironar-s series produce wicked sharp results (the extra coverage is nice too) and everyone I know who has used them also sold off their other lenses of matching focal length. They aren't cheap.

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    Re: Differences between 150mm Apo Sironar S and N

    Thanks for your responses KOH303 and Vinny.

    My question regards sharpness of the Apo Sironars when focused at infinity.

    The quote below is from another current thread discussing 135mm Nikor and ApoSironar lenses. I did not want to hijack that thread with my question so I started a new thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sal Santamaura View Post
    I own both of those lenses as well as a 135mm Rodenstock Apo-Sironar-S.

    I don't find technical differences between the Nikon and others "very minor." My sample is consistent with the one Kerry and Christopher tested, namely its edge performance is substantially worse than in the center or middle of a 4x5 frame, even without movements. Between the Rodenstock N and S versions, at infinity my N sample is sharper. The S series is computed for 1:10, while the N was designed for 1:20. It shows in my negatives. Since my work is mostly at infinity, I prefer the N. If a substantial portion of my shooting were of closeups, I'd go for the S.
    I'm thinking the same design considerations must apply to the 150mm Apo Sironars, making the N version a better choice for landscape and the S version a better choice for close-up work.

    I'd enjoy hearing from anyone who has had experience with both of these lenses with respect to this question.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Differences between 150mm Apo Sironar S and N

    I started a thread a while back asking how sharp the APO Sironar S lenses really are. The consensus on the forum is that the APO Sironar S lenses are some of the sharpest lenses you can buy, that is if you can afford them.

    The photographers on here that own them highly recommend them for landscape work.

  6. #6

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    Re: Differences between 150mm Apo Sironar S and N

    This is the first time I've ever heard the comment in regards to infinity. I shoot at infinity (and beyond frequently so my comparison took that into account. My results with the 135 were obvious even with my flatbed scanner.

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    Re: Differences between 150mm Apo Sironar S and N

    Interesting discussion. You can find Apo-Sironar-N and Apo-Sironar-S brochures, complete with MTF charts, here: http://1drv.ms/12OFqc2

    Neither specifies the distance for which the MTF curves were calculated or measured. I suspect, can't prove, that it is infinity.

    The big difference between -N and -S is coverage. 225 and 250 mm, respectively. MTF falls off near the edge in much the same way for both lenses.

  8. #8

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    Re: Differences between 150mm Apo Sironar S and N

    I can't answer your question but will give you my 2 cents. The Sironar N is a fine lens. I had the 135. But the Apo-Sironar S/W are really something. I had an Apo Sironar W that was outstanding. Very sharp and good coverage. It really boils down to budget. If you have the money this is an easy decision in favor of the S.

  9. #9

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    Re: Differences between 150mm Apo Sironar S and N

    I heard the N was sharper..just with less coverage..I have a 300 N..and its really really beautiful..

  10. #10

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    Re: Differences between 150mm Apo Sironar S and N

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    Interesting discussion. You can find Apo-Sironar-N and Apo-Sironar-S brochures, complete with MTF charts, here: http://1drv.ms/12OFqc2

    Neither specifies the distance for which the MTF curves were calculated or measured. I suspect, can't prove, that it is infinity...
    Your suspicion is unfounded. The magnifications specified are consistent with Rodenstock's design parameters, namely, the N series at 1:20 and S series at 1:10.

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