View Full Version : APO-Symmar versus APO-Sironar-N

19-Aug-2007, 09:55
I happen to find myself with two 210mm lenses.

One is a Schneider APO-Symmar (not the L) and one is a Rodenstock APO-Sironar-N (white band).

I can only keep one.

Now, I shoot only black and white and I make prints in the darkroom with the maximum size being 16x20.

Am I going to see a difference between the two?

Also, if you could only keep one, which one would it be? (keep an eye on the classifieds)


Bob Salomon
19-Aug-2007, 09:57
Why not go out and decide for yourself and then you tell us which you prefer and why.

19-Aug-2007, 10:01
I'm working on it right now.

Joseph O'Neil
19-Aug-2007, 12:12
According to printed stats, the Schneider has an image circle 4mm larger than the Rodenstock. (oh yeah! :) ).

I've been in a similar position as you, but with a pair of 180mm. The only real reason I picked the Rodenstock over the Schneider was the Rodenstock had a filter size that matched a couple of my other lenses, whereas with the Schneider I would of had to buy all new filters


Armin Seeholzer
19-Aug-2007, 12:20
My APO Symmar 210mm also not the L is at f11 +16 sharper then the Sironar N 210mm which I also own at f 22 its not a visible difference anymore.
I have the Sironar N also because of the smaller back wich fits in my Horsman HF.
And I have the APO Symmar as spare and for studio shoots up to 1:2 when the APO Macro Sironar 120mm is to short!
Hope it helps and tell me your findings also, Armin

19-Aug-2007, 14:39
Personally, I'd keep the Schneider...but, only because their website is better (more informative). I seriously doubt that you or anybody could tell the difference between the two by looking at end results - they're both spectacular lenses.

19-Aug-2007, 20:40
When I compared MTF charts of these exact lenses, I chose the Schneider, but the diferences were so slight that I'd be surprised if I could spot them looking at prints.

The charts suggested that the Schneider might be might be sharper at infinity, and the Rodenstock sharper at 1:10. Since I do a lot of landscape type work and no studio work, that pushed me toward the Schneider.

I also got much better service and information from Schneider reps than from Rodenstock reps (at Schneider I got technical guys on the phone who educated me about optics; at Rodenstock I got sales guys who told me to buy Rodenstock).

Frank Petronio
19-Aug-2007, 21:06
I used to be loyal to Rodenstock and Kodak. Now that the market is shrinking, I see companies like Schneider and Ilford doing more to support large format film photographers, so my brand preference leans their way.... Not that it matters for existing products, but I like the karma.

Doug Dolde
19-Aug-2007, 21:39
I have never owned a Schneider Symmar of any kind that was not an outstanding lens. Just sticking with winners and feel no reason to experiment.