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Thread: APO Sironar S lenses in 300mm + in today's market

  1. #61

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    Re: APO Sironar S lenses in 300mm + in today's market

    Quote Originally Posted by StuartR View Post
    The serial number is over 14 million and it is in a Copal 1 black shutter (although this could be later), so I guess it is more likely to be a plasmat version.
    Plasmat. Dagors ended somewhat above 12 000 000.

  2. #62
    Helcio J Tagliolatto's Avatar
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    Re: APO Sironar S lenses in 300mm + in today's market

    Quote Originally Posted by Sal Santamaura View Post
    I strongly recommend you read through this thread, especially starting with my post #163 from two years ago:


    While I have no direct experience with the 300mm Apo Sironar S, Lenny, who I purchased my 300mm Nikkor W from, does. I do own a 135mm Apo Sironar S. With distant subjects and using f/22, it's less sharp than the 135mm Apo Sironar N and 135mm CM-Fujinon W I also have.

    As always, sample variation must be considered when evaluating lenses. Good luck.
    I've just read the post and the subsequent discussion. Hombre, you deserve heaven for your almost infinite patience.

  3. #63

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    Re: APO Sironar S lenses in 300mm + in today's market

    Quote Originally Posted by Helcio J Tagliolatto View Post
    I've just read the post and the subsequent discussion. Hombre, you deserve heaven for your almost infinite patience.
    If even one reader learned to always question those who claim they know everything, it was worth the effort.

  4. #64

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    Re: APO Sironar S lenses in 300mm + in today's market

    If I have learned anything from my large format journey so far, it has been that sample variation is frustratingly more important than any other factor, at least with used modern lenses. If you find a good lens, never sell it. I am still waiting to try the lenses I bought (I can update in September), but it is really hard to get much objective information, as the results themselves seem to vary too much between lenses and people. This has not really been my experience in smaller formats, but in LF, it seems that the best way is to acquire several lenses that are generally regarded as "good" and then just test.

  5. #65

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    Re: APO Sironar S lenses in 300mm + in today's market

    Quote Originally Posted by StuartR View Post
    If I have learned anything from my large format journey so far, it has been that sample variation is frustratingly more important than any other factor, at least with used modern lenses. If you find a good lens, never sell it. I am still waiting to try the lenses I bought (I can update in September), but it is really hard to get much objective information, as the results themselves seem to vary too much between lenses and people. This has not really been my experience in smaller formats, but in LF, it seems that the best way is to acquire several lenses that are generally regarded as "good" and then just test.
    It is true that there is a sample to sample variation for the ultimate peformance, but this hapens at contrast extintion with high lp/mm, and in a region in what regular film anyway is not resolving all what a lens can deliver so while there is certain impact in ultra fine detail... that it's hard to be seen in a real photograph.

    At the end we are not in a lab with flat targets, we usually photograph 3d objecs and nothing is in absolutely perfect focus, some times we need to stop the lens for DOF sake and limiting the lens performance. Modern 4x5 lenses are diffraction limited by f/22.

    Rodenstock, Schneider, Fuji and Nikon were very serious manufactures and it's hard to find a lens from them that is not perfectly able, delivering tons of image quality.

    The weakest link in the LF chain, IMHO, it's the photographer himself. Today we all can have gear that's way better than the one owned by AA, or Karsh. Another thing is making a comparable work...

  6. #66

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    Re: APO Sironar S lenses in 300mm + in today's market

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    It is true that there is a sample to sample variation for the ultimate peformance, but this hapens at contrast extintion with high lp/mm, and in a region in what regular film anyway is not resolving all what a lens can deliver so while there is certain impact in ultra fine detail... that it's hard to be seen in a real photograph.

    At the end we are not in a lab with flat targets, we usually photograph 3d objecs and nothing is in absolutely perfect focus, some times we need to stop the lens for DOF sake and limiting the lens performance. Modern 4x5 lenses are diffraction limited by f/22.

    Rodenstock, Schneider, Fuji and Nikon were very serious manufactures and it's hard to find a lens from them that is not perfectly able, delivering tons of image quality.

    The weakest link in the LF chain, IMHO, it's the photographer himself. Today we all can have gear that's way better than the one owned by AA, or Karsh. Another thing is making a comparable work...

    Hi Pere,
    This has not been my experience. Perhaps it is not "sample variation" so much as buying lenses that are broken. Or it could be that my workflow is more demanding. I am not trying to be arrogant or say that I am a better photographer than the greats or that these lenses could not make great images, only that I see very clear visible differences in my workflow between the lenses I have bought, and the quality of the lens IS the limiting factor with several of my lenses. I am often using flash in nature at apertures from f/11 to f/22, and I get phenomenal results from a few lenses, but from others the results have been less spectacular. This is consistent over time and throughout testing. I cannot say if it is the lens itself that is broken or suboptimal, or if it is that the "great" lenses are just better suited to my camera. But the fact remains that I can get great results with some lenses, not others. I don't think this is my failure as a photographer...I think this is the failure of the lens to perform as well as another lens. I run a lab printing exhibition prints and exhibit my own work often at large scale, so I am quite accustomed to working within fairly demanding constraints. I know when something is possibly thrown off because of wind or missed focus. I am not talking about that, I am talking about consistent results over a large sample of images indicating that one lens is performing better, and how that seems to be less tied to the maker of the lens and its model than to which lens copy it is. For example, I have had opportunity to test two APO Sironar S 150mm lenses, (well three, but one turned out to be a frankenstein lens that someone sold me with a Rodenstock front cell and Schneider rear cell), and one was clearly better than the other. I sent my copy to Rodenstock to repair, so my hope is that it comes back better, but we will see. And when I say test, I mean I produced an exhibition consisting of 12 1mX1.25m prints and 30 40x50cm prints for the National Museum of Iceland, of which I scanned and printed all the originals. So I saw a lot of samples...I then shot it alongside my own copy of the lens making test images both in the studio and in the field, and I could see variations.

  7. #67

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    Re: APO Sironar S lenses in 300mm + in today's market

    Quote Originally Posted by StuartR View Post
    (well three, but one turned out to be a frankenstein lens that someone sold me with a Rodenstock front cell and Schneider rear cell), and one was clearly better than the other. I sent my copy to Rodenstock to repair, so my hope is that it comes back better,
    With used gear a common issue is that the calibrated shims in the front cell are lost. This can be easily DIY addressed, but manufacturer's technical service, if available, is also an excellent choice, of course.

  8. #68
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: APO Sironar S lenses in 300mm + in today's market

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    With used gear a common issue is that the calibrated shims in the front cell are lost.
    That is quite true.
    But how is a user to know whether of not that has happened?

    I've serviced many hundreds of lenses/shutters.
    I don't think I've found more than two or three with shims.
    That seems a very small percentage.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  9. #69

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    Re: APO Sironar S lenses in 300mm + in today's market

    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh View Post

    But how is a user to know whether of not that has happened?
    Optimal shimming it's easy to check. I placed a microscope eyepiece (periplan, etc) in a metal plating sized like a 4x5 film holder, a 30x is perfect:

    Then, with GG removed, you unscreew the front lens until you have we have best image in the center. By the number of tours and pitch we know the shimming we need. Note that we have to iterate unscreew+focus+check.

    It may happen that optimal shimming for the center is not the optimal for the corner.

    If we want to check that we can make some test shots of a resolution chart in we focus optimally for the center, but in each shot we screewed/unsecreewed the front cell from the optimal shimming for the center, then we judge if we may move the shimming a bit (from the optimal position for the center) in a way we get the best balance.

    My guess is that we can make a shimming that's slightly better for the center or for the corners.

    Instead the eyepiece, we can also place a dslr in the back, without the dslr lens, of course...

  10. #70
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: APO Sironar S lenses in 300mm + in today's market

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    Then you unscreew the front lens until you have we have best image in the center.
    By the number of tours and pitch we know the shimming we need.
    OK.

    But as soon as you loosen the front element you introduce tilt due to clearance in the threads.
    That throws the front cell off-axis relative to the rear cell.
    ???

    A proper optical test jig holds both cells rigid, and allows the spacing to be changed accurately.
    Then the spacing is measured, compared with the shutter thickness, and shims calculated.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

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