View Full Version : Nikkor M 450mm f/9 vs Schneider Apo Symmar 480 f/8.4

29-Jan-2016, 09:26
I'm looking for a lens somewhere in this focal length for my 8x10 color work. I know the difference in weight, which I've already taken into consideration, but I'm more interested in anyone having direct comparison between the two lenses with regards to contrast / sharpness. Would you choose one over the other and why?

30-Jan-2016, 05:57
I have no experience with the Apo Symmar 480/8,4, but years ago I was in the same situation choosing from Rodenstock apo sironar N 480/8,4 and Rodenstock apo Ronar 480/9 for my architecture and landscape work. I tried both lenses and found that both were exceptional lenses for the purposes I needed. Both were very sharp, with optimal contrast. I choose the Apo Ronar because size, weight and price considerations. Itīs true that the Sironar-n is optimized for 1:20 to infinity and tridimensional objects, and the Apo Ronar, (Mine is the Apo Sinaron version) is optimized for coping flat objects at 1:1, but it renders wonderfully at infinity in landscape and architectural shots. Now Iīm trying a Nikkor M 450/9 to replace my Apo Ronar 480/9, just because 450mm is just in the middle of 300 and 600mm and found it equally impressive as the Apo Ronar 480. The Apo Symmar 480/8,4 is a very well regarded lens, and I donīt think youīll be able to find differences with the Nikkor M 450 which is also exceptional.

Eric Leppanen
30-Jan-2016, 18:01
I used to own both lenses during my 8x10 shooting days. From strictly an optical point of view, I preferred the Schneider because it was equally sharp but had to my eyes a smoother tonality (the Schneider "look"), fine contrast and color saturation, and I found it held shadow detail a bit better when shooting chromes. The Nikon is hard to resist, though, because it is just so darn practical. Not only is it much smaller and can support standard filter sizes, it has a very large usable image circle (much larger than the rated circle, many folks use it as an ULF lens), and I never found myself running out of coverage (whereas I occasionally did with the Schneider, such as when applying a lot of front rise while shooting from the bottom of canyons or photographing architecture).

I did not see a significant resolution difference between the two lenses.

3-Feb-2016, 11:45
Awesome. I bought a 450mm, so I'll give it a whirl. Thanks guys!