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View Full Version : 150mm APO Sironar W -- Wow!



Eric Leppanen
25-Jan-2007, 16:34
Note that we have a new contender for an exquisite optic selling at an exquisite price: this 150mm APO Sironar W just sold for $1,710 on Ebay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=019&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&viewitem=&item=290073790077&rd=1&rd=1

Among relatively small, compact lenses this lens has outpaced the venerable Fuji 360A and even the 240mm Germinar W in resale value.

Congratulations to seller Fred Newman, and may the new owner make many fantastic photographs with it (and may he/she have deep pockets too!).

It is gratifying to see such auctions, as there is clearly strong demand for rare LF products, particularly within the 5x7 format for which this was lens was presumably purchased.

Brian Vuillemenot
25-Jan-2007, 16:41
Looks like another case of designer lens worship syndrome. Why not buy a Nikkor SW, or even a Super Symmar XL if you're going to dump that amount of money into a 150 lens?

Frank Petronio
25-Jan-2007, 16:54
Wish my auctions got some luvving ;=(

Armin Seeholzer
25-Jan-2007, 17:06
Frank you only sell the wrong lenses;--))))

Armin

Steve Hamley
25-Jan-2007, 19:16
If they could have gotten this much for them, they'd never stopped production.

Steve

Ted Harris
25-Jan-2007, 19:57
::::::::::shaaking my head::::::::::: I paid $800 for mine in LN condition about two years ago and in a Compur shutter! However, if you look at the new price for the 210's that were offered last year and the 300's this year as part of special runs the eBay price is not so out of line.

C. D. Keth
25-Jan-2007, 20:15
Frank you only sell the wrong lenses;--))))

Armin

He's right. I hear you sell that Caltar shit, Frank. You need to sell some better lenses ;)

Kerry L. Thalmann
26-Jan-2007, 01:19
What's really amazing is earlier this week a sample of the Sinar version of this same lens sold for nearly $1000 less on the German eBay (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&sspagename=ADME%3AL%3ARTQ%3AUS%3A1&viewitem=&item=140075444084).

Although I have one of these and think it's a great lens, I don't think I've ever seen one sell for more than $800 - well until now. In fact $1710 is about $500 more than the 210mm APO Sironar-W usually sells for.

Oh well, that's the beauty of an auction. It only takes two people who REALLY want something to drive the price through the roof. As everybody else dropped out at, or below, $800, that seems to have been the case here.

Kerry

archivue
26-Jan-2007, 10:23
wow, i'm in the process to sell my G claron 305 black copal... so, if you know two people who REALLY want it, please keep me inform ;-)

Emmanuel BIGLER
26-Jan-2007, 10:39
About a comparison of different apo-sironars, there has been an interesting discussion here on photo-dot-net (thanks to David G., to whom I say "bonjour" for pointing this to me ; BTW in French, people would say : photo-point-nette, which translates as : unsharp photo)

http://photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=004Nn1 (2003)

Arne Croell has placed a MTF chart (@10lp/mm : I would have preferred @20lp ;) ) for the 300 mm apo-sironar N, the S and the W. May be if he reads this he could add a comment.

http://photo.net/bboard/uploaded-file?bboard_upload_id=11156684

This diagram is a good explanation of the different trade-off in the design between the -N, -S, and -W ; the apo-N does not really suffer by comparison except for its more limited coverage. And the -W is not better at the center.. but covers slightly more.

Now for the extra 5° (in fact : only +2.5° on both sides of the image ;) ) how much do you want to pay ? ;) This is the real question..

Another discussion, 2002
http://photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=0046lE&tag=

Oren Grad
26-Jan-2007, 11:05
Now for the extra 5 (in fact : only +2.5 on both sides of the image ;) ) how much do you want to pay ? ;) This is the real question..


The real answer was "nothing" until I acquired 11x14 and 7x17 cameras. Then the real answer became "quite a bit". ;)

Brian Vuillemenot
26-Jan-2007, 11:30
The sum of well over $1000 that you save by sacrificing that few degrees of coverage buys a hell of a lot of film. I've got my $200 210/5.6 Caltar IIN and it can't be beat on 4X5! The "S" or "W" would have set me back a huge sum of cash, with the only real world benefit being that I can say to my other photo buddies "My lens cost more than yours". ;)

Kerry L. Thalmann
26-Jan-2007, 12:50
The sum of well over $1000 that you save by sacrificing that few degrees of coverage buys a hell of a lot of film. I've got my $200 210/5.6 Caltar IIN and it can't be beat on 4X5! The "S" or "W" would have set me back a huge sum of cash, with the only real world benefit being that I can say to my other photo buddies "My lens cost more than yours". ;)

Brian,

Most people don't pay an extra $1000+ for that extra 5 degrees of coverage. As I mentioned in my previous post, this is the first time I've seen a 150mm APO Sironar-W sell for over $800. I paid $440 for mine on eBay a few years back. I bought a 210mm APO Sironar-W last June from the Calumet booth at the View Camera conference trade show in Rockford for $799 - and it was one of two they sold at that price during the conference. So, you don't have to pay a ridiculous premium to get that extra five degrees of coverage.

This particular eBay auction is atypical, just like the 240mm Germinar-W that recently sold for over $1600 when just last year I sold a bunch of them new and unused in barrel mounts for $250 each. Some people gust get carried away on eBay and run up the prices to previously unheard of levels one some items.

The real benefit of these 80 degree lenses is they make great moderate wide angles "one format up". So, the 150mm APO Sironar-W makes a great moderate wide angle on 5x7 (about like a 110 on 4x5). Same with the 210mm on 8x10. They are much smaller and lighter than the 100 - 110 super wide lenses (APO Symmar XL, Super Angulon, Nikkor SW, Grandagon-N) and USUALLY cost a lot less as well. However, on those formats they offer enough extra coverage over a 72 - 75 degree lens to truly make a difference.

For example, when I shot 5x7 I tried using my 75 degree APO Sironar-S. It's a beautiful lens that I love on 4x5 and as enough coverage for 5x7 with a tiny bit to spare. However, I soon learned that if I tried to use any front rise at all, I quicky ran out over coverage and ended up with vignetted top corners on my 5x7 transparencies. I couldn't really justify the cost/weight of a 150mm superwide, but I really liked the 150mm focal length on the 5x7 format. So, I picked up a very nice 150mm APO Sironar (mine didn't have the -W or the spiffy yellow racing stripe, but it still has 80 degrees of coverage). I found this lens MUCH more usable on 5x7 than my 150mm APO Sironar-S. The extra fve degrees of coverage provided twice as much front rise on 5x7 as the 150mm APO Sironar-S I had been using. This proved to be enough for my needs and I no longer had to worry about vignetted top corners.

Ditto for the 210mm APO Sironar-W on 8x10. Try using a 72-75 degree 210 lens on 8x10 and you'll either just miss or just barely cover the full image area. You will have little or no headroom for movements. With an 80 degree 210mm you have enough coverage to actually use some moderate movements on 8x10 in a lens that's not tiny, but less than 1/2 the weight and usually 1/4 - 1/2 the price of a 210mm Super Symmar XL.

And, if you don't mind carrying a bigger, heavier lens, everything I said above also applies to the Schneider Super Symmar HM series. Once upon a time, the Super Symmar HM was Schneider's top-of-the-line, state-of-the-art product line. At the time, they were quite expensive and sold for even more than Rodenstock's competing APO Sironar-W line. Then Schneider came out with the Super Symmar XL line with even more coverage and that was pretty much the end of the 80 degree plasmats. Super Symmar HMs could be snapped up at bargain prices as many photographers sold them off in a rush to get the latest and greatest Super Symmar XL series. Prices have crept back up a little, but I have yet to see anything approaching the $1700 level for a 150mm Super Symmar HM. They typically sell for about $750. I've seen a few go for less on eBay and a few priced a little higher at dealers.

In any case, sorry to ramble. I think $1700 is way over the top for a 150mm APO Sironar-W. I certainly wouldn't pay that much for one (and I love the lens). I was just trying to answer your question about what benefit the extra 5 - 8 degrees of coverage provides compared to a standard 72 - 75 degree plasmat.

Kerry

Oren Grad
26-Jan-2007, 13:08
Following up on Kerry's point: the 150 ASW is an ideal match to a 5x7 Nagaoka or Ikeda. On that wonderful camera, the 150 SS-XL is overkill, and the 150 Nikkor-SW is impossible.

Joseph O'Neil
26-Jan-2007, 13:29
Totally insane on two fronts. First, I personally don't like 150mm lenses - too "normal" for my taste. That's the reason I use a 135 and 180mm.

Secondly, I have a 135mm Sironar N, not W, but N. Bought it new. Now just about every self professed "expert" on every newsgroup, forum, mailing list, web site, etc, etc, goes on and on about how much superior the W version is.

You know what, after years of using the 135 N, I think all these "experts' are nuts. :)
What a wonderful little lens the 135 Sirnar N is. Lightweight, compact, easy to travel with, and you know something, B+W filters in the 40.5mm range are a lot less expensive than in the 50 to 60mm range. :)

I dunno, but do the guys who bid up these prices actually ahve any first hand experience with these optics to begin with?

joe

Christopher Perez
26-Jan-2007, 13:48
Joe,

You're safe. There is no such thing as a 135mm Sironar W.

Superiority only counts if the thing in question actually exists. :)


... I have a 135mm Sironar N, not W, but N. Bought it new. Now just about every self professed "expert" on every newsgroup, forum, mailing list, web site, etc, etc, goes on and on about how much superior the W version is....

Kerry L. Thalmann
26-Jan-2007, 14:24
Secondly, I have a 135mm Sironar N, not W, but N. Bought it new. Now just about every self professed "expert" on every newsgroup, forum, mailing list, web site, etc, etc, goes on and on about how much superior the W version is.

You know what, after years of using the 135 N, I think all these "experts' are nuts. :)
What a wonderful little lens the 135 Sirnar N is. Lightweight, compact, easy to travel with, and you know something, B+W filters in the 40.5mm range are a lot less expensive than in the 50 to 60mm range. :)

Joseph,

I agree that the 135mm Sironar-N is a wonderful little lens. I have one that I use for backpacking with my 4x5 Toho. It's a perfect fit between my 90mm Congo and my 200mm Nikkor M.

However, it doesn't cover 5x7 at all. That's the one area where the 150mm APO Sironar-W is "superior" to the smaller, lighter, less expensive 135mm APO Sironar-N. Comparing the two is definitely apples:oranges.

Kerry

Bob Salomon
26-Jan-2007, 14:46
"B+W filters in the 40.5mm range are a lot less expensive than in the 50 to 60mm range. "

I can't speak for the other German company but I can for Heliopan.

40.5 filters are less expensive then 58 to 62mm filters. 40.5mm filters are more expensive then 46, 49 and 52 and 55mm filters. 40.5 filters are the same price as 48mm filters.

The price depends on the popularity of a size as well as the size of the glass, the coatings and the amount of brass needed to make the ring.

Of course these examples are for standard 6 coat per side UV, KR, KB, and black and white filters. For 12 coat per side and other types of fillters the price differences may vary from the above examples. And before anyone asks, yes these are slim mounts as those are the only type of mount used by Heliopan for these types of filters.

Bob Salomon
26-Jan-2007, 15:01
" it doesn't cover 5x7 at all. That's the one area where the 150mm APO Sironar-W is "superior" to the smaller, lighter, less expensive 135mm APO Sironar-N."

The Apo Sironar N 150mm most certainly does cover 5x7. The factory specifies it as covering a 214mm circle which just allows 3mm and 2mm of shift on 5x7.

The Apo Sironar S 150mm that replaced the W covers a 231mm circle which allows for 17mm of rise and 13mm of shift on 5x7 in a relatively small and light lens.

The Apo Sironar/Apo Sironar W 150mm covered a 252mm circle allowing for 33mm of rise and 26mm of shift.

The Apo Sironar N 150 weighs 7.8 oz and takes 49mm filters.
The Apo Sironar S 150 weighs 8.8 oz and takes 49mm filters.
The Apo Sironar W 150 weighs 13.4 oz and takes 72mm filters.

That makes the S an outstanding performer as well as very small and light when compared to the W and at far less cost.

Arne Croell
26-Jan-2007, 16:24
Arne Croell has placed a MTF chart (@10lp/mm : I would have preferred @20lp ;) ) for the 300 mm apo-sironar N, the S and the W. May be if he reads this he could add a comment.

http://photo.net/bboard/uploaded-file?bboard_upload_id=11156684

This diagram is a good explanation of the different trade-off in the design between the -N, -S, and -W ; the apo-N does not really suffer by comparison except for its more limited coverage. And the -W is not better at the center.. but covers slightly more.


Emmanuel, I don't have much to add - the diagrams show, as you said, the design tradeoffs. Here are the original MTF curves, for the 210mm Apo-Sironar-N, -S, and -W lenses, from left to right, respectively (and including the 20lp/mm curve). Note that the x-axes are scaled differently due to the differences in coverage.

Kerry L. Thalmann
26-Jan-2007, 16:25
" it doesn't cover 5x7 at all. That's the one area where the 150mm APO Sironar-W is "superior" to the smaller, lighter, less expensive 135mm APO Sironar-N."


The Apo Sironar N 150mm most certainly does cover 5x7. The factory specifies it as covering a 214mm circle which just allows 3mm and 2mm of shift on 5x7.

Bob,

If you read what I actually wrote, you'll notice I specifically said the 135mm APO Sironar-N doesn't cover 5x7. I never mentioned the 150mm APO Sironar-N.


The Apo Sironar S 150mm that replaced the W covers a 231mm circle which allows for 17mm of rise and 13mm of shift on 5x7 in a relatively small and light lens.

The Apo Sironar/Apo Sironar W 150mm covered a 252mm circle allowing for 33mm of rise and 26mm of shift.

Which is exactly what I wrote above when I stated: "The extra fve degrees of coverage provided twice as much front rise on 5x7 as the 150mm APO Sironar-S I had been using."

While the 150mm APO Sironar-N technically covers 5x7, if you want to use movements forget it. 2 - 3mm of front rise is insignificant. Even the 13-17mm of front rise provided by the 150mm APO Sironar-S, as I stated above, was insufficient for my needs on 5x7.

Finally, the 150mm APO Sironmar-S did not replace the 150mm APO Sironar-W. Both lenses coexisited for 5 - 6 years. Perhaps slow sales of the 150mm APO Sironar-W compared to the more popular 150mm APO Sironar-S lead to the eventual discontinuation of the 150mm APO Sironar-W, but it was not replaced by the 150mm APO Sironar-S.

Kerry

Bob Salomon
26-Jan-2007, 16:44
" the 150mm APO Sironmar-S did not replace the 150mm APO Sironar-W. Both lenses coexisited for 5 - 6 years. "

The factory specifically announced to the distributors that the W series was replaced by the S series. Yes they were both sold at the same time for a while but once stocks of the W needed to be replaced by new manufacturing runs the W was discontinued and the S was the replacement.

Today all of the N (except for the 150 and 210) and all W lenses are no longer manufactured except when one commits to a total production run of lenses as Greiner did with the 300mm W recently.

archivue
26-Jan-2007, 16:54
" the 150mm APO Sironar-S did not replace the 150mm APO Sironar-W. Both lenses coexisited for 5 - 6 years. "

and there was in the same catalogue...
N supposed to be a good standard lens
S supposed to be the new terrific standard lens
W supposed to provide more coverage
but it wasn"t clear about the comparison between the S and the W except for coverage... at list in the french sinar catalogue !

Oren Grad
26-Jan-2007, 17:16
In the 9/93 "Rodenstock Lenses for Large Format Cameras" brochure, the three Apo-Sironar series are characterized as follows:

N: "the all-round lens for the professional photographer"

S: "a lens for universal use which has been modified to provide the highest image reproduction quality"

W: "offers such a large image circle diameter that the lens can serve as a medium wide-angle unit for the next larger film format and still permit reasonable shifts... As it is primarily intended for studio use, performance has been optimized for a 1:10 scale of reproduction, but with no noticeable loss at infinity, either"

There's more, but that captures the respective market positioning in a nutshell.

Basically:

N is the choice for economy

S is the choice for maximum image quality across the nominal image format (i.e., when it serves as a "normal" focal length) plus extended movements

W is the choice where maximum coverage or movement is required, especially in studio applications

Oren Grad
26-Jan-2007, 17:22
Arne -

Thanks for posting the MTF for the 210 N/S/W. I'd already saved the superimposed curves from the 300 N/S/W from the PN thread a while back. Would you happen to have the corresponding data for the 150 W? I've got the N and S data, but not the W.

Kerry L. Thalmann
26-Jan-2007, 17:29
Yes they were both sold at the same time for a while but once stocks of the W needed to be replaced by new manufacturing runs the W was discontinued and the S was the replacement.

Bob,

Are you saying once the APO Sironar-S series was announced, no more APO Sironar-W lenses were produced (until the recent special production run) and they were just sold from existing stock until they were all gone?

Kerry

Sheldon N
26-Jan-2007, 19:00
I know this is heresy to compare these lenses - but isn't the old single coated Fujinon 150mm f/5.6 an 80 degree lens with an image circle within 5-10mm of the Super Symmar HM/APO Sironar W lenses?

Those can be had for around $150-200 used and would make a great little wide angle for 5x7.

It's not the latest high tech wonder optic, but I'd bet you'd have a hard time differentiating the results in a double blind test.

Steve Hamley
26-Jan-2007, 19:53
I know this is heresy to compare these lenses - but isn't the old single coated Fujinon 150mm f/5.6 an 80 degree lens with an image circle within 5-10mm of the Super Symmar HM/APO Sironar W lenses?

Those can be had for around $150-200 used and would make a great little wide angle for 5x7.

It's not the latest high tech wonder optic, but I'd bet you'd have a hard time differentiating the results in a double blind test.

Shame on you for bursting the bubble! it isn't about lenses, it's about photographs.

Steve

Colin Graham
26-Jan-2007, 22:32
I know this is heresy to compare these lenses - but isn't the old single coated Fujinon 150mm f/5.6 an 80 degree lens with an image circle within 5-10mm of the Super Symmar HM/APO Sironar W lenses?

Those can be had for around $150-200 used and would make a great little wide angle for 5x7.

It's not the latest high tech wonder optic, but I'd bet you'd have a hard time differentiating the results in a double blind test.

Ha, was going to say the same thing. It's tiny too, 46mm filters. There was a buy-it-now several months ago for 140 or so that went the distance. I thought about selling my sironar s and getting it. I really like the older single-coated fujinons.

Kerry L. Thalmann
27-Jan-2007, 09:16
I know this is heresy to compare these lenses - but isn't the old single coated Fujinon 150mm f/5.6 an 80 degree lens with an image circle within 5-10mm of the Super Symmar HM/APO Sironar W lenses?

Those can be had for around $150-200 used and would make a great little wide angle for 5x7.

It's not the latest high tech wonder optic, but I'd bet you'd have a hard time differentiating the results in a double blind test.

And then there's the 150mm f9 Computar/APO Kyvyttar/Graphic-Kowa triplets. They cover even more than 80 degrees. I've successfully used a 150mm Graphic-Kowa on 4x10 with a bit left over for movements. I bought it unused in barrel mount for $100 and transferred the cells (direct fit) into a Copal Press No. 1 shutter I picked up for $150. Even by the tme I had the scales engraved, my total investment was only about $300.

The tiny 150mm f9 G Claron and 150mm f9 Docter Germinar-W also cover about 80 degrees when used at small stops (f32 and smaller).

Of course, the 150mm APO Sironar-W is a more sophisticated, more modern multicoated design (the Germinar-W is also multicoated). It's over a full stop brighter on the ground glass than these f9 process plasmats. In order to get acceptable performance at infinity, the manufacturers of these lenses suggest they be stopped down to at least f22 (or f16 in the case of the Germinar-W). So, in addition to being faster, the 150mm APO Sironar-W will most likely provide better corner to corner performance between wide open and f16.

I'm not trying to justify the $1700 selling price (I mentioned above that I thought it was ridiculous), but there are certain advantages for certain applications that the 150mm APO Sironar-W has over other 150mm lenses with ~ 80 degrees of coverage. It's my all time perssonal favorite moderate wide angle for the 5x7 format. However, since most of my work is done at f22 or there abouts, I'm perfectly happy to use the 150mm Graphic-Kowa on 4x10 and the little 150mm Germinar-W as my backpacking lens for 4x5 in this focal length. There are certainly options (none current, unfortunately) in 150mm ~80 degree lenses. The 150mm APO Sironar-W is one of the best all around, but there are other options available that will certainly cost a lot less than $1700.

Kerry