View Full Version : Experience with Apo-Ronar 360/9 and Sch. 400HM?

24-Jan-2002, 14:48
I was wondering if anyone has experience with the current Rodenstock Apo-Ronar 360/9 and Schneider 400/5.6HM? Two completely different lenses -- one a process lens, the other a telephoto -- but I'm looking for a long telephoto portrait lens for 4x5 that offers brighter than usual viewing and covers 5x7. I've heard that process lenses simply aren't as sharp for 3 dimensional subjects at medium distances -- while that might be true technically, my experience and moderate, not wall-sized, enlargements hasn't borne this out. Between these two lenses, which might be the sharper, brighter and generall easy to use?

Thilo Schmid
24-Jan-2002, 17:04

the Apo-Ronar is exceptional near 1:1, but when stopped down to at least f22 delivers excellent results at infinity or medium distances, too. A Tele Photo Lens has more distortion than a pure symmetrical design like the Apo Ronar. But this is not important for Portraits. The Apo-Tele-Xenar offers a brighter focussing screen and requires less bellows.

In my opinion, control of unshaprness is much more important than sharpness in connection with portraits.


24-Jan-2002, 17:21
Bob Solomon keeps bringing up the "fact" that process lenses do not render 3-dimensional subjects as sharply as "normal" lenses, now it's being repeated. Can anyone explain this phenomena (not Bob, but the lens sharpness issue)?

24-Jan-2002, 18:11
I heard about the process lens issue from Bob, amongst others. Thing is, though, process lenses are smaller and, at least in some cases, a whole lot less expensive.

In 6x6, my primary portrait lenses are 110 and 180 -- I really like 180 for tight or distant shots. I was imaging this lens for more distant portraits as well as some landscapes.

24-Jan-2002, 21:54
Subject to lens distance is one factor that I can accept as having a bearing on "sharpness" - the process lenses should be optimized for distances equating to about 1:5-5:1 reproduction ratios, "normal" lenses for anywhere from 1:10-??. But I cannot imagine a process lens being inferior to a regular lens in rendering a 3-dimensional object. What are the supposed deficiencies? FWIW I recently purchased a 360mm Ronar for the same reasons that you are considering it (minus the illumination issue - f/9 ain't all that great). I haven't gotten to use it yet (life gets in the way some times), but I can't think of another lens except for a 14"Artar, or 360mm Fujinon A (try to get one of those) that is comparable to it (spec-wise). If you decide to get the Ronar, and are going to buy new, check with Ken Hanson in NYC first. I got mine from him as an overstock item - he may have some more left. It's several-years new, multi-coated, black-shuttered, and his price was hundreds less that I could find anywhere (including R.White).

24-Jan-2002, 21:57
That symol was an infinity symbol when I imported it (sigh).

24-Jan-2002, 21:58
I give up, why can't this site have a preview screen?

Thomas Vaehrmann
25-Jan-2002, 04:38

if you focus on sharpness, then the Apo-Ronar might be the better choice. But remember, the Tele-Xenar is a new design and shouldn't have as much distortion as older tele-lenses. For protrait consider the advantages the 5,6 f-stop will offer: shorter exposure-time or less dof if you want. Wayne, I can't explain the phenomenon you mention 'caus I don't see it when shooting with my Apo-Ronar or Repro-Claron.

Rapahel Zeiher
25-Jan-2002, 05:09
George, My Apo-Ronar 360/9, the MC version is exceptional from about 3 meter to infinity (can't comment on 1:1 with my master Technika) when stopped down to f22 or f/32. I didn't see a difference between this lens an my 240/9A Fuji or my 110/5,6 XL. I use this lens since about 3 months, it's a real pleasure! Sorry, no experience with the Schneider. In my opinion, the Apo Ronar is worth the money you pay fot it. I hope this can help .. Regards from France

25-Jan-2002, 11:01

Thanks so much for the great advice. Bottom line is, I've come across great deals on both lenses...and, as both have rather distinct applications, I might indulge. I can always sell away one done the line.

On another note, does anyone have experience with the 480/9 Apo Ronar? I picked one up with half a mind to use it on a 5x7. This is a 1973 model, according to HP Marketing, and does not appear to be coated.

25-Jan-2002, 18:44
George - the 480 Ronar most certainly is coated, but not multi- coated. I skipped the 480 Ronar because of the weight and the #3 shutter and went to the Fuji 450 - no regrets.