View Full Version : Nikkor 135 w vs Rodenstock 135 sironar-s

Brad Rippe
19-May-2008, 16:36
I've been looking for a Rodentock 135 Apo Sironar-s, and a Nikkor 135-W came up for sale on this forum, and I was wondering if anyone had an opinion on each of these lenses. Chris Perez lens tests show some falloff with the nikkor.

I'll be mostly taking landscapes, and backpacking with this lens.


Bjorn Nilsson
24-May-2008, 07:20
It's fairy self-explanatory if you look at other similar threads. The Sironar-S is the ever so slightly better lens but it comes at an economical premium. The Nikkor lens is a very good lens too, but it doesn't have the edge that the Rodenstock has, i.e. slightly more coverage and also a little bit better test chart readings. But please be aware of the fact that the difference is so small that "the best" Nikkor could be "better" than the "average" Rodenstock. It's really down to specimen variation.
Another way of putting it is that whatever you do (and don't do) when you are out there in the field has everything to do with the end result and the choice in between these two lens manufacturers just about doesn't matter at all. If someone did shoot the same scenery with both of these two lenses, probably noone could tell them apart.
So, in normal photography you would most probably not notice any difference. They are both compact lenses, where the Rodenstock again is slighty more compact but 40 grammes heavier (according to specifications). A more practical issue is the filter size which is 49mm on the Rodenstock and 52mm on the Nikkor.

If you have the money, the Rodenstock is the slightly better lens. The Nikkor is/should be cheaper, money that could be spent on film, giving you more pictures.

I had a similar choice a couple of years ago, and I choose to go with a "Linhof" Symmar-S instead of a Sironar-S. I feel content with what I got and I "know" that it's good enough for what I shoot.


Ron Marshall
24-May-2008, 07:51
What Bjorn said.

The APO Sironar-S has only 5mm more rise than the Nikon, in landscape orientation.

24-May-2008, 09:23
Brad, I've seen some of Chris Perez's test results and the reality is many of the lenses he's tested perform far better than his figures suggest.

It's fairly unlikely you'd notice a difference when shooting landscapes.


George Hart
24-May-2008, 09:34
I agree with the sentiments that have been expressed so far, but I feel I should say that the 135 Apo-Sironar S lens is possibly the sharpest LF lens that I own (out of ~10)!

Brad Rippe
2-Jun-2008, 21:15
Thanks everyone for your help. I hopefully found an excellent condition Rodenstock.
I have several Nikon lenses; 200m, 300m and the Nikkor SW 90 f/8, and all are great.

I totally agree it would probably be very difficult to see differences between the Rodenstock and Nikkors, but I commonly hear how scary sharp the Rodenstock is.


2-Jun-2008, 22:04
There's a reason you hear how sharp it is.
A little bit sharper goes a long way in a 16x20 print.