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Thread: Zeiss Sonnar 4.8/180mm vs modern Plasmats 180mm

  1. #1

    Zeiss Sonnar 4.8/180mm vs modern Plasmats 180mm

    Dear gentlemen,
    is there anyone who could compare the performance of the Zeiss Sonnar 4.8 / 180 lens with modern Symmar-S or Sironar Plasmats? I'm interested in sharpness, resolution and bokeh f 5.6 f 8.
    I would like to use a lens with a shorter focal lens distance and greater luminosity for portraits. My Symmar-S is somewhat dangerous for Super Technica V 23. (Shutter vibration Compur 1 at a distance
    180mm +.)
    I apologize for "my" English, I use the translator.
    Thanks for the anwers.

  2. #2

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    Jul 2016
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    Re: Zeiss Sonnar 4.8/180mm vs modern Plasmats 180mm

    Hello Alef,

    IIRC the Sonnar 180 f/4.8 is a lens intended for up to 6x9cm format, covering a 140mm circle, but even covering just 4x5 at infinite in practice, beyond Zeiss specs.

    Those Sironar and Symmar-S 180 are covering 260mm circles. The Symmar-Sironars 135 cover around 200mm.

    IMHO you won't experience any resolving power increase with a large format lens in a medium format camera. A large format lens has to cover a larger circle so corrections have to work also for distant corners and cannot be optimized as perfectly for the 2x3 useful circle.

    Anyway a Symmar-S/Sironar may make equally sharp images in practice than the Zeiss, also because sharpness have a lot of contributing factors beyond the lens ultimate performance. And there is a very significative sample to sample variation in ultimate performance for any production series.

    Sonnar bokeh is credited as being very nice, but this is a mater of taste, just search Flickr for Symmar-S and Sironar shot samples.

    Symmar-S/Sironar MC (non early) versions are multicoated, so this may be an advantage over that Zeiss (single coated) in some jobs.

    I don't think the compur is shaking your shots...

    Attach a toy laser pointer (pointing to at some 10m) in your camera to see if tripod vibrates. Also make sure the ground glass alignment, shot a ruler on the floor and see if focused plane on the shot is the same on the focusing system.


    For perfectly sharp studio shots use flash. Some praise the beauty of natural light... but IMHO with the right strobes you can do the same or better, see Yousuf Karsh.

    Regards

  3. #3

    Re: Zeiss Sonnar 4.8/180mm vs modern Plasmats 180mm

    Hello Pere,
    thank you for your views. The focus of my Symmar-S is correct. I'll do the laser pointer test, that's a great idea.
    Some images, under certain conditions - distance approx. 2m - 3m and shutter speed approx. 1 / 2-1 sec. sometimes they come shivering. I noticed that lenses with longer focal lengths in shutters no. 1 do not always work ideally. (For example, Xenar 6.1 / 210mm in Copal 1). I am also interested in the quality gain at full luminance or aperture f 5.6. Sonnar is known to work well even if it is fully open.
    My Symmar-S MC needs an aperture f 11 - f 22 to do a great job...

  4. #4

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    Re: Zeiss Sonnar 4.8/180mm vs modern Plasmats 180mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Alef Papas View Post
    Hello Pere,
    thank you for your views. The focus of my Symmar-S is correct. I'll do the laser pointer test, that's a great idea.
    Some images, under certain conditions - distance approx. 2m - 3m and shutter speed approx. 1 / 2-1 sec. sometimes they come shivering. I noticed that lenses with longer focal lengths in shutters no. 1 do not always work ideally. (For example, Xenar 6.1 / 210mm in Copal 1). I am also interested in the quality gain at full luminance or aperture f 5.6. Sonnar is known to work well even if it is fully open.
    My Symmar-S MC needs an aperture f 11 - f 22 to do a great job...
    If you place the laser in the camera you will see if there is any shake when you release shutter, make somebody press it while you are in front of the laser spot some 10m away.

    Here you have performance tests at different apertures, not a lab test, but a practical one.

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

  5. #5

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    Re: Zeiss Sonnar 4.8/180mm vs modern Plasmats 180mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    If you place the laser in the camera you will see if there is any shake when you release shutter, make somebody press it while you are in front of the laser spot some 10m away.
    Get this right the first time. Depending on the laser it may be your last time Lasers are much more powerful than they used to be. Do not look at them!
    Bill
    "There are a great many things I am in doubt about at the moment, and I should consider myself favoured if you would kindly enlighten me. Signed, Doubtful, off to Canada." (BJP 1914).

  6. #6

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    Re: Zeiss Sonnar 4.8/180mm vs modern Plasmats 180mm

    Quote Originally Posted by cowanw View Post
    Get this right the first time. Depending on the laser it may be your last time Lasers are much more powerful than they used to be. Do not look at them!
    Just a 3 milliwatt one, this is not Star Wars

  7. #7

    Re: Zeiss Sonnar 4.8/180mm vs modern Plasmats 180mm

    Thank you for the information. I know Chris Perez's work. I myself tested some 20 lenses ( f65-210) for a long time, but I did not have telephoto lenses, and the Sonnar 4.8 / 180mm, which I tested, was in poor condition (fungus).
    I know there is no lens that meets all my requirements = small and light, bright, sharp, ....

  8. #8

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    Jul 2016
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    Re: Zeiss Sonnar 4.8/180mm vs modern Plasmats 180mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Alef Papas View Post
    Thank you for the information. I know Chris Perez's work. I myself tested some 20 lenses ( f65-210) for a long time, but I did not have telephoto lenses, and the Sonnar 4.8 / 180mm, which I tested, was in poor condition (fungus).
    I know there is no lens that meets all my requirements = small and light, bright, sharp, ....
    Well, think in the other way, a lens is a jewel, it has a soul, and it wants you meet all its requirements. It is an approach that it works for me, it allows the photographer concentrate in the subject, and to get great images.

    IMHO MF and LF have intrinsic unlimited sharpness for the human eye, the difficult thing is to make a counterpoint between sharpness and unsharpness, in the same way that cool and hot colors are nicely combined in a color image, just a thought I like to express...

  9. #9

    Re: Zeiss Sonnar 4.8/180mm vs modern Plasmats 180mm

    Great to say! You're right!
    I have a couple of amazing lenses and I can not even use their features. Still, I'm trying to get something unattainable ...

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