View Full Version : Rodenstock sironar-s 150 VS caltar II-s 150?

Jon Paul
4-Apr-2004, 22:53
I am looking at buying a Rodenstock apo Sironar-S 150mm lens for my 4x5. I had been told (and sold) in the past on Caltar lenses, which I was told are made by Rodenstock, and that they are, in essence, the same lenses. Is this true? Is there a quality difference? I want the best quality, but the price difference can be substantial.

Thanks- Jon

Michael S. Briggs
4-Apr-2004, 23:45
The current Caltar II-N lenses are believed with good evidence to be Rodenstock Apo-Sironar-N lenses. For the 150 mm lens, both the Caltar II-N and the Apo-Sironar-N have 6 elements in 4 groups, 72 degrees of coverage (214 mm diameter) and a 49 mm filter size.

Part of the price different is because you are comparing to the Apo-Sironar-S, which has greater coverage, generally 75 degrees, which is 231 mm diameter for the 150 mm focal length.

The Caltar II-S is an older lens, when Schneider had the contract to supply Calumet with private-label lenses.

There are numerous threads in the archive about Caltars.

Kerry L. Thalmann
5-Apr-2004, 00:59

There is no such thing as a Caltar II-S. Perhaps you are thinking of a Caltar-S II. As Michael mentioned, the Caltar-S II was series was made by Schneider. They were made between 1976 and 1983 and were identical to Schneider's own Symmar-S series at that time. In the case of the 150mm Caltar-S II, it has 70 degree coverage for an image circle of 210mm, came in a Copal #0 shutter with a 58m filter size (note: these specs are very different from the Rodenstock APO-Sironar-S with its 75 degree coverage, 231mm image circle and 49mm filter size).

Rodenstock does supply the current Caltar II-N series, and has since 1984. Caltar II-N models are identical to the Grandagon-N and APO-Sironar-N lines from Rodenstock. There has never been a Caltar line equivalent to the APO-Sironar-S line from Rodenstock.

Over the years, five different suppliers (Ilex, Rodenstock, Schneider, Komura and Topcon) have made Caltar lenses for Calumet. Caltar lenses have always represented good value for the money, but it can be a little hard to know exactly what you are getting and who actually made it. I wrote a comprehensive article on the history of Caltar lenses that was published (including spec tables for all Caltar lenses from their introduction in 1965 - present) in the May/June 2003 issue of View Camera. I'd be happy to answer specific questions in the forum, but if you'd like a complete detailed information on all Caltar lenses past and present, you might want to obtain a copy of the magazine from the publisher.


Ron Bose
5-Apr-2004, 15:01
Also, don't get confused with the lenses that Rodenstock make for Sinar. The Sinar/Rodenstock Sinaron-S is the equivalent to the Rodenstock Sironar-N. The Sinaron-SE is the equivalent to the Sironar-S.

I have a Sironar-S 210mm, a fabulous lens which is good for 4x5 and just about for 8x10. The 150mm Sironar-S is deemed to be a future classic by Kerry (check out his website), if you can get ahold of one at a good price, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

Mike Chini
12-Apr-2004, 15:29
The 150 Sironar-S is a *fantastic* lens. Just my 2 cents.