Frank Petronio's post of earlier today about not being able to get even the value of the Copal #3 shutter that his 240 Caltar-IIN came attached to on E-Bay got me thinking. I just received a beautiful mint 210 Caltar-IIN lens, also from the aution site, for a mere $205. The same lens, if it had the words "Rodenstock Apo-Sironar-N" on it and was new, would have sold for more than 4 times as much ($964.95 from B&H). The 210 Apo-Sironar-S would have set me back six times as much!
Since I've been watching this forum, I've seen several lens lines become legendary, most notably the Apo-Sironar-S and Super-Symmar-XL series. However, it seems like no one on here can ever come to any definitive conclusion whether or not these lenses are worth the sustantial premiums under real world (key words) shooting conditions. Don't get me wrong, I frequently use and love several lenses from these series, but I'm beginning to wonder how much of the reputation is real and how much is just a combination of techno-geekery, OCD, paranoia, and "keeping up with the Jonses". I mean, if I had paid over $1200 for an Apo-Sironar-S as opposed to the $200 for the Caltar-IIN, would the difference be worth the extra thousand dollars? Any thought, comments, or observations?