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Thread: Sironar-N"MC" question

  1. #1

    Sironar-N"MC" question

    I just picked up a used Rodenstock Sironar-N 210mm lens. It's aperture range is f45.6 - f45 and has "MC" stamped on it which I assume stands for multi-coated. I t has a serial number of 10332697.

    I'm assuming this is an older version of the APO Sironar-N series. Can anyone ou t there in large format land confirm my older version theory and let me know a l ittle more about the lens?


    Larry Mendenhall

  2. #2

    Sironar-N"MC" question

    Ooops! Typo. Aperture range is f5.6 - f45.
    Larry Mendenhall

  3. #3
    Dave Karp
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Los Angeles, CA

    Sironar-N"MC" question


    According to the chart on Kerry Thalmann's web page (, your lens was made between 1979 and 1984. This lens was a predecessor to the APO Sironar-N series, but I don't know what changes may have followed in the interim between your lens and the APO series.

    Perhaps Bob Salomon will jump in here and let you know, or you can E- Mail him. He jumps in on many threads here, so if he does not jump in here it will be easy for you to find his e-mail address. His company is the U.S. distributor for Rodenstock lenses. He has given me helpful information before.

  4. #4

    Sironar-N"MC" question

    Bob answered my similar question about a Sironar MC in this forum; "MC" stands for multicoating, and the lenses are basically the same as the newer APO Sironar-N lenses.

    I have the Caltar-branded version of this lens, and I use it as a wide-angle on 8x10. (It covers fine focused several hundred feet away. I've never focused it on infinity proper.) It's bright and sharp, and suffers less from flare than my longer G-Claron.

  5. #5

    Sironar-N"MC" question

    Apparently the story goes something like this:

    Sironar-N MC lenses were multicoated Apo lenses. Then Schneider came out with Apo-Symmar lenses = Apo versions of the Symmar-S. It became an advertising duel and Rodenstock changed the name from Sironar-N (which did not directly state that the lenses had apocromatic correction) to the current name Apo-Sironar MC. Same lenses pretty much, but a far more catchy name...

    (Both the Sironar-N and Apo Sironars are razor sharp...)

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 1998

    Sironar-N"MC" question

    Yes it the immediate predecessor of the current Apo Sironar N.

    Changes are constantly happening in the way the lenses are ground, polihed, coated, centered, etc. A lens 10 years older then another will not necessarily perform the same as the lenses keep evolving.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2002

    Sironar-N"MC" question

    That has been my main lens for 4x5 for years, and it has worked great, including for critical color transparency work. Lots of movement for 4x5. I max out my front fall and then add back rise on the Wisner Technical, and the lens covers without problem so far. A nice lens, I think.

  8. #8

    Sironar-N"MC" question

    Per is close, but not quite 100% accurate. The Sironar-N is the direct predecessor to the current APO Sironar-N. In fact, all the mechanical specs and basic design is unchanged between the two lines. At the time it was a change in name and labeling only (as Bob mentioned, manufacturers are alwasy teaking their processes and materials to improve perfomance and yields, but this is regardles of the name change from Sironar-N MC to APO Sironar-N). I don't have my reference materials in front of me, but the name change occured sometime in the early 1990s.

    The lenses labeled APO Sironar are a totally different design. The APO Sironar line debuted in the mid to late 1980s and was an 80 degree design. Intially, the APO Sironar line consisted of just two focal lengths (50mm and 210mm). A 300mm was eventually added. The name of this line was eventually changed to APO Sironar-W (and was recently discontinued).

    The APO Sironar-S line also debuted in the early 1990s. This was a new design covering 75 degrees. It was when the APO Sironar-S line was introduced that Rodenstock changed the names of the other two lines (Sironar-N MC to APO Sironar-N and APO Sironar to APO Sironar- W). This provided a consistant naming convention for all three lines and made distinuguishing between the three product lines much easier. So, if you have a lens that is just labeled APO Sironar, it is really the same as the 80 degree APO Sironar-W.

    I have (and still do) use lenses frm all three product lines. All are fantastic and have their own advantages and disadvantages. They are all great performers, but in general, the APO Sironar-N line has the least amount of coverage (72 degrees), but they are also a little smaller, lighter and less expensive. The APO Sironar-S line are fantastic performers with a little more coverage (75 degrees), but are still competively priced and reasonably small and light. The APO Sironar-W series was discontinued a couple years ago, but are still available on the used market. They are bigger, heavier and more expensive than the other two lines, but they have a generous 80 degree coverage (the 150 APO Sironar-W and 210mm APO Sironar-W make good semi-wide angle lenses for 5x7 and 8x10 landsape shooting, for example). Given the coverage, they are not outrageously large, heavy or expensive for modern, multicoated lenses capable of covering 80 degrees.


  9. #9

    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Reykjavík, Iceland

    Sironar-N"MC" question

    I have a few Rodenstock lenses bought 20 and 16 years ago. Three Grandagons (75mm,90mm and 115) , two Sironars (135 mm and 360 mm) I find those still a state of the art lenses. My Grandagons still compair favorably to my 47 XL Super Angulon and 150 XL Super Symar. There are however to superb Rodenstock lenses whos image quality stands out whenever enlarged; the 210 mm Apo Sironar W and a newly bougth 135 mm Apo Sironar S. Those are great semi wide angle lenses with a big image circle and suberb contrast and resolution. It is regrettable that the Apo Sironar Wide series found so few buyers that it had to be discontinued.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 1998

    Sironar-N"MC" question

    "It is regrettable that the Apo Sironar Wide series found so few buyers that it had to be discontinued. "

    Actually they were discontinued because of the performance, smaller size and lower weight and cost of the S series

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