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Thread: Rodenstock APO-Sironar S or Schneider APO-Symmar L 5.6/150mm

  1. #1

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    Rodenstock APO-Sironar S or Schneider APO-Symmar L 5.6/150mm

    I'm about to move to LF, hence my first post in this forum - so hello to all!

    I'm geting a Linhof and need to decide between the two lenses. I understand I'm splitting hairs here, but since neither lens is inexpensive (Rodenstock about 15% more than the Schneider here in Europe) I'm looking for some user experience regarding the quality of the out-of-focus areas and distortion.

    All I need is to purchase a good lens and forget about it so that I can put my energy towards picture making. The reason I want a LF camera is to be able to make small (but still big enough) contct prints and keep the process simple. I doubt I will ever get another lens. Or an enlarger than can handle 4x5.

    Please do not suggest alternatives, I know there are a lot of them but I'm sticking to the lenses mentioned.

    Thanks in advance.

    Miha

  2. #2

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    Re: Rodenstock APO-Sironar S or Schneider APO-Symmar L 5.6/150mm

    The reason I want a LF camera is to be able to make small (but still big enough) contct prints

    If you're making 4x5 contact prints, then image quality will be indistinguishable. What differences remain are image circle (coverage), size, filter size, weight, etc.

  3. #3

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    Re: Rodenstock APO-Sironar S or Schneider APO-Symmar L 5.6/150mm

    Ditto what Ken says. Save the money on the lens and spend it on film, paper and chemicals!

  4. #4
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Rodenstock APO-Sironar S or Schneider APO-Symmar L 5.6/150mm

    The Apo-Sironar-S 150/5.6 is a superb lens. I use it frequently on 4x5.
    I have most of the focal lengths in that series, because I think they're the best lenses available.

    As Ken said, for contact prints (and even for enlargements), I doubt you would see any difference unless
    you're doing extremely critical work.

    I do not like Schneider lenses because of the Schneideritis problem (degradation of the internal finish)
    that has existed forever and which Schneider refuses to correct.
    In my opinion that shows a lack of regard for their customers.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  5. #5
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Rodenstock APO-Sironar S or Schneider APO-Symmar L 5.6/150mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Lee
    Ditto what Leigh says...and Peter )
    The last time I bought a Schneider lens was 1971 and would be very reluctant to get another, for that reason.
    That has always been a concern with me.

    Nobody (that I know of) has ever reported any performance degradation as a consequence of Schneideritis except for
    one report of possibly diminished contrast. I don't know how accurate that assessment was.

    What bothers me is that the problem has persisted for decades and Schneider ignores it.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  6. #6

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    Re: Rodenstock APO-Sironar S or Schneider APO-Symmar L 5.6/150mm

    Thanks for the replies so far gents. As indicated I'm not interested in sharpness difference (if there is any) but want to know if there is a difference in distortion and in the quality in the out-of focus areas between the lenses - these can be seen in contacts.

  7. #7

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    Re: Rodenstock APO-Sironar S or Schneider APO-Symmar L 5.6/150mm

    I'd suggest finding a 150mm that has out of focus characteristics that you find pleasing. With a 4x5 contact print, sharpness differences between 150mm lenses will be minimal. If I were choosing, it would probably be a heliar.
    Peter Y.

  8. #8
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Rodenstock APO-Sironar S or Schneider APO-Symmar L 5.6/150mm

    In re: out-of-focus areas...
    Sounds like you're referring to "bokeh".

    I remember a street scene posted on an MF forum where you could read an "OPEN" sign in a store window.
    It was pleasantly out of focus, but easily recognizable and readable.

    That concept is not commonly applied to LF work because of the longer lens focal lengths involved.
    DoF is more shallow, and OOF areas go out much faster and more dramatically than with shorter lenses.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  9. #9
    Daniel Stone's Avatar
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    Re: Rodenstock APO-Sironar S or Schneider APO-Symmar L 5.6/150mm

    Both lenses are SUPERB optics. I highly doubt you'll see any difference in a 4x5 contact print between the two.

    -however-

    I personally believe that your "out of focus areas" will be primarily affected by how many APERTURE blades there are in your shutter. MORE BLADES(more circular aperture opening) = SMOOTHER "bokeh". The modern Copal/Compur shutter have about 1/2 the amount of blades that many shutters did. If you want the smoothest renderings of OOF areas, I'd look at lenses mounted in older Synchro-Compur, Compur(flat faced black ones), or COMPOUND(best option I.M.O.) shutters.

    but since you mentioned you are not interested in alternatives to these two lenses, I'd go with either.

    -Dan

    here are some comparison images to show what I'm referring to:

    modern copal(as would be included with your lens choices):



    older synchro compur:



    much older compound shutter(this is a bigger one, but almost identical to smaller ones):


  10. #10
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Rodenstock APO-Sironar S or Schneider APO-Symmar L 5.6/150mm

    Daniel is correct in the general case.

    However, the two lenses under consideration use the same Copal #0 shutter, so no difference in blades.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

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