View Full Version : Digital lenses for 6x7 / 6x9?

16-Apr-2007, 09:54
Whilst touring the latest digital lens lineups I came across three "digital" lenses that all allegedly have 125 or 150mm circles at f/22. These are:

Rodenstock 90mm f/5.6 Digital APO Sironar (125mm circle)
Rodenstock 135mm f/5.6 Digital APO Sironar (150mm circle)
Rodenstock 150mm f/5.6 Digital APO Sironar (150mm circle)
Rodenstock 180mm f/5.6 Digital APO Sironar (150mm circle)

My question is, does anybody here use any of these for 6x7 or 6x9 work? I sitll (happily) use roll film and don't plan to migrate for a while, but I have been looking out for lenses in this range for my roll film stuff, especially apos because I do a fair amount of IR and the movements I use with 6x7 and 6x9 are usually very conservative.

These Rodenstocks are tempting, particularly if one considers eventually migrating to a digital back. The prices are quite reasonable (~$1000 or less, unlike some of the digitars which also have much smaller circles).

Thoughts anyone? I am sure some of you have thought of this route but I didn't find any examples in a cursory search of the forum.

Gene McCluney
16-Apr-2007, 10:18
It is my opinion that giving lenses the "digital" label is partially a marketing "gimmick" to sell more lenses. Some, indeed are modified. If a lens has an image circle wide enough for the film format you wish to use, it should work just fine. After all, Medium format film cameras accept digital backs and work just fine with the existing lens base. The only difference in "some" digital lenses, primarily for 35mm form factor DSLR's, is a reduced image circle, because the imager is APS size, not full 35mm size.

Atul Mohidekar
16-Apr-2007, 23:15
I have been using Schneider Digitar 120mm for 6x9 photography for some time and have been very happy with it. This is my most used lens on my 6x9 camera. It produces EXTREMELY sharp results. I directly and extensively communicated with Schneider before I bought the lens for 6x9 photography. I was told (by Schneider) that this lens is far sharper than 110mm XL (which I was considering because of its sharpness), even at f/16. Of course, it covers a lot less area than 110mm XL. I do landscape and flower photography. I find the coverage adequate for the kind of 6x9 photography I do.

// Atul

JW Dewdney
16-Apr-2007, 23:27
I think the REASON that nobody's been doing this until now is due to the fact that they cost about a kajillion dollars! Why pay out the big bucks when you can use a Sironar-S or an HM whatever and get perfectly acceptable results? The digital lenses' resolution, I think, is EXCESSIVE for what you need for film. But now they're starting to filter down to the 2nd hand market. So they're actually within reach. I just picked up one of these myself - for about a THIRD of the list price - covers 4x5 with movements(!!). Though - I think it's going to be quite awhile before they'll be really competitive price-wise with the best for-film lenses...

17-Apr-2007, 06:29
I agree that the prices may be somewhat excessive for film and for the limiting IC that you get, but... I would do this with a mind to invest in a digital back at some time in the future. I do definitely see the benefit of apo glass for digital.