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Jmarmck
21-Feb-2014, 07:13
.....how are these different than say the Symmar-S?
How does the High Modulation play into this?

Daniel Strasshofer
21-Feb-2014, 07:49
I owned a HM 120mm for years. It was my favorite lens for 4x5! It`s much better than the Symmar-S! (+ sharper, + contrast, + even lighter than Super Symmar 110)

Arne Croell
21-Feb-2014, 09:00
They are a totally different construction; the Super-Symmar HM is not related to the standard Plasmat offerings like the Symmar S. Despite the name, it is a very asymmetric construction (https://www.schneideroptics.com/info/vintage_lens_data/large_format_lenses/super-symmar-hm/super_symmar_hm.pdf) with eight lens elements in six groups. It was designed by Hiltrud Ebbesmeier (Hiltrud Schitthoff at the time) from Schneider, who also designed its successor, the Super-Symmar XL; it was patented in 1988 (https://www.google.com/patents/US4773745?dq=schneider+Kreuznach+Schitthof&ei=sncHU5_KKZHcoAS83oLoAQ&cl=en). The successor of the Symmar-S was the Apo-Symmar, and later the Apo-Symmar L. The Super-Symmar HM was offered in parallel to the Apo-Symmar, with a larger image circle (80-82) than regular Plasmats. Its direct competitor was Rodenstock's Apo-Sironar W. I own the 120mm, and its one of the sharpest lenses I have ever used (including the 110mm XL), reaching its best performance at f/16.

Jmarmck
21-Feb-2014, 11:59
Sounds like a decent lens to have.
Thanks to you both!

Arne Croell
21-Feb-2014, 12:16
I probably should have mentioned that the price for all this optical goodness is the weight and front element size, especially for the 150 and 210mm versions. The 150 comes in at 740g in Copal 1, filter diameter 77mm. That is about 3 times as heavy as an Apo-Sironar S in the same focal length. The 150mm SS HM makes a bit more sense as a medium wide angle on 5x7" than a normal lens on 4x5".

Drew Wiley
21-Feb-2014, 12:29
They had a very odd-shaped fluorite element in them, which also made them relatively heavy for their respective focal lengths. The Symmar S was their general
purpose plastmat series, and not quite as sharp as later recent plasmats by the "big four". Still, the Symmar S could have a lovely rendering to it, and they tend
to be dirt cheap on the used market. The HM was an early rather expensive entry into super-sharp plasmat performance.

Steve Goldstein
21-Feb-2014, 13:11
I probably should have mentioned that the price for all this optical goodness is the weight and front element size, especially for the 150 and 210mm versions. The 150 comes in at 740g in Copal 1, filter diameter 77mm. That is about 3 times as heavy as an Apo-Sironar S in the same focal length. The 150mm SS HM makes a bit more sense as a medium wide angle on 5x7" than a normal lens on 4x5".

I agree that either 150 (Schneider or Rodenstock) makes more sense for 5x7 than for 4x5, where an Apo-Sironar-S or Apo-Symmar-L (both 75 degrees) more than suffice at much less weight.

A more interesting comparison may be to the Apo-Sironar-W, which has the same 80-degree field of view as the Super-Symmar-HM. Numbers for the Super-Symmar HM come from Schneider's datasheet, Apo-Sironar-W data are from the prograf site.

SSHM150 Apo-W150 SSHM210 APO-W210
Filter Size 77mm 72mm 100mm 100mm
Overall Length 101.2mm 56mm 122.1mm 77.5mm
Weight in Shutter 740g 380g 1510g 950g

These are the two focal lengths the lines had in common. There was no 120mm Apo-Sironar-W, nor was there a 300mm Super-Symmar-HM.

What has always fascinated me is that Schneider and Rodenstock ended up with such different solutions for the same problem. The Rodenstocks are physically smaller and much lighter than the Schneiders of the same focal length while delivering very similar performance*.

Sorry about the awful table formatting. It looked pretty good as I typed it, but the forum software apparently removes "redundant" spaces.

*So I surmise based on what I've read on the Internet. I've never done my own comparisons.

Arne Croell
21-Feb-2014, 13:53
What has always fascinated me is that Schneider and Rodenstock ended up with such different solutions for the same problem. The Rodenstocks are physically smaller and much lighter than the Schneiders of the same focal length while delivering very similar performance*.


*So I surmise based on what I've read on the Internet. I've never done my own comparisons.

I have used both the 120mm SS HM and the 150mm Apo-Sironar W (as well as the 150mm S). Of course that is not the same focal length, but subjectively I always thought that the SS HM as well as the Apo-Sironar S had slightly more acutance than the -W. Might have to do with the additional pair of air-glass interfaces in the W, despite all of them being MC.

One can also try to compare the MTF's. The SS HM 150mm is here: http://web.archive.org/web/19971011082301/http://www.schneideroptics.com/large/super_symmar/150/mtf2.html
The Apo-Sironar W 150mm is here: https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?cid=8D71BC33C77D1008&resid=8D71BC33C77D1008!333&app=WordPdf&wdo=1

Rodenstock provides curves only for 1:10, Schneider for infinity, 1:10 and 1:5. The most striking difference for me is that the tangential and radial curves for the SS HM are closest together at infinity and separate more for the closer ranges, whereas the Rodenstock curve for 1:10 shows them close together. So the SS HM seems to be optimized for infinity, and the Apo-S. W for studio distances at 1:10, assuming that Rodenstock is showing the curve for the optimum conjugate.

Jmarmck
21-Feb-2014, 17:15
If I understand that correctly, then the HM would be better suited as a landscape lens? That would suit me just fine.
I have a Symmar-S 5.6/180 and Symmar-S 5.6/210. I was hoping to find something down in the 135mm range.

Jmarmck
23-Feb-2014, 11:56
Well, somone got a deal. $560 for a Super Symmar HM 5.6/150. No, it wasn't me.

Stephen Willard
24-Feb-2014, 20:55
I have the Schneider 150mm Super Symmar HM lens. I bought it because it covers both my 4x10 camera and my 5x7 camera, and it fills a hole in my lens progression. I always test every lens I buy whether it is new or used. I test for sharpness, light fall off, and shutter accuracy.

I paste a big newspaper to a sheet of hardboard because hardboard is very flat. I then hang it from the ceiling from wires and photograph the print on the newspaper at all the apertures. It is very important that the newspaper is evenly light in order to do light fall off testing. I then loop the negative at the center and the edges to check for sharpness. The 150 HM lens was extremely sharp from edge to edge for both 4x10 and 5x7.

I also look at the light fall off at the edges by measuring the background white density at the center of the negative and at the edges of the negative. All the density readings should be very close in value at f/22 or f/32. If the background white density at the edges is notable less, then there is light fall off at the edges. If the density at the edges is 10% less, then I conclude that there is 10% light fall of at the edges. You also need to develop a sheet of film used to photograph a gray card and given a Zone VII exposure with the other test sheets of film. Measure the densities of the Zone VII negative in the same spots on the this sheet film because sheet film does not develop evenly. The Zone VII control film variations in density values can be used to compensate for any uneven development. The 150 HM lens exhibited very even light over the entire area of the film for both 4x10 and 5x7 at f/22.

To test the shutter I have a device that measures the accuracy of all the shutter speeds. Its a good tool to have because it gives you confidence in your lenses. I test all of my shutters once a year before I head out into the field.

I have not used the 150 HM lens that much, so I do not have a personal feel for it, but all the tests I have run said the one I have is superb so I kept it.

Daniel Stone
24-Feb-2014, 21:05
I was going to bid on that 150HM, but realizing I already have a 180A and 125SW fujinon's, I need to use them more. But after using a friend's 150SSHM, I REALLY liked it. SUPER sharp

hiend61
25-Feb-2014, 12:52
I have used both the 120mm SS HM and the 150mm Apo-Sironar W (as well as the 150mm S). Of course that is not the same focal length, but subjectively I always thought that the SS HM as well as the Apo-Sironar S had slightly more acutance than the -W. Might have to do with the additional pair of air-glass interfaces in the W, despite all of them being MC.

One can also try to compare the MTF's. The SS HM 150mm is here: http://web.archive.org/web/19971011082301/http://www.schneideroptics.com/large/super_symmar/150/mtf2.html
The Apo-Sironar W 150mm is here: https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?cid=8D71BC33C77D1008&resid=8D71BC33C77D1008!333&app=WordPdf&wdo=1

Rodenstock provides curves only for 1:10, Schneider for infinity, 1:10 and 1:5. The most striking difference for me is that the tangential and radial curves for the SS HM are closest together at infinity and separate more for the closer ranges, whereas the Rodenstock curve for 1:10 shows them close together. So the SS HM seems to be optimized for infinity, and the Apo-S. W for studio distances at 1:10, assuming that Rodenstock is showing the curve for the optimum conjugate.

Rodenstock clearly states in the literature about Apo Sironar W that it is optimized for 1:10. I purchased mine for its large image circle to use it also as a moderate wide in 5x7. I use it at infinity and Im very happy with it. I wonder if it could be possible to optimize it for infinity adding a shim between shutter and one of the cells like Rodenstock does with Ronars to optimize for 1:20 or infinity.

paulr
25-Feb-2014, 13:49
I probably should have mentioned that the price for all this optical goodness is the weight and front element size, especially for the 150 and 210mm versions.

The price is also the actual price! Back in the day they seemed jaw-droppingly expensive. I didn't know anyone who had one.


The most striking difference for me is that the tangential and radial curves for the SS HM are closest together at infinity and separate more for the closer ranges, whereas the Rodenstock curve for 1:10 shows them close together. So the SS HM seems to be optimized for infinity, and the Apo-S. W for studio distances at 1:10, assuming that Rodenstock is showing the curve for the optimum conjugate

I noticed this with all of both companies' standard lenses. I made the same assumption as you, that Rodenstock was showing their lenses at the optimum focal length when they chose 1:10. Back when I was geeking out over MTF curves, trying to pick a lens, this pushed me toward Schneider ... I knew most of my work would be at infinity.

Now I doubt the differences would be enough to notice in the real world, but they gave me something to obsess about at the time.

jeroldharter
25-Feb-2014, 19:04
As an aside, I recently sold an apo-Sironar W 210 which covers 8x10 with movements. It is an outstanding lens but I have never used the HM lenses.

8x10 user
25-Feb-2014, 19:55
I have used 210 Apo W for landscape and it was a fantastic lens the scans seemed just as sharp as the ones I did from the Sironar S.

Arne Croell
25-Feb-2014, 20:08
The price is also the actual price! Back in the day they seemed jaw-droppingly expensive. I didn't know anyone who had one.

Only until the Super-Symmar XL came out - then it suddenly seemed a bargain...


I noticed this with all of both companies' standard lenses. I made the same assumption as you, that Rodenstock was showing their lenses at the optimum focal length when they chose 1:10. Back when I was geeking out over MTF curves, trying to pick a lens, this pushed me toward Schneider ... I knew most of my work would be at infinity.

Now I doubt the differences would be enough to notice in the real world, but they gave me something to obsess about at the time.
True. I've seen small differences in my own tests, but never with any real world photography. They are all great lenses.