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Thread: Rodenstock Apo Sironar N or Apo Sironar S 150mm f/5.6

  1. #1

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    Rodenstock Apo Sironar N or Apo Sironar S 150mm f/5.6

    The Rodenstock Apo Sironar S costs much more than an Apo Sironar N.

    Does it makes sense to pay the higher price for the "S" ?

  2. #2
    Martin Aislabie's Avatar
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    Re: Rodenstock Apo Sironar N or Apo Sironar S 150mm f/5.6

    Depends on what you want to do with your camera.

    I have a 135mm Sironar S and a 210 Sironar N.

    The Sironar S is an incredibly sharp lens - more so than the Sironar N - which is still a sharp lens but not quite as sharp.

    However, the Sironar N is a smaller lens, weighs less and takes smaller filters - which makes it better for field work.

    The Sironar S has a larger image circle - whether this is important - only you know.

    If I were mainly doing studio work or not carrying my camera too far I would pay out for the Sironar S, otherwise go for the Sironar N.

    I am far from convinced that lens sharpness is as significant a characteristic as it is in smaller formats unless you are producing truly huge prints.

    Martin

  3. #3

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    Re: Rodenstock Apo Sironar N or Apo Sironar S 150mm f/5.6

    Lenses are like musical instruments, audio equipment and automobiles. Each has an overall feeling, a flavor if you will.

    This is subjective but for my taste, Rodenstock Sironar lenses not only check off all the boxes but if you view the image on the ground glass, there's a presence. That's all I can say. I've owned 3 of them.

    The N lenses were offered over a long time and are therefore widely available in the used market. The S series lenses were introduced most recently and represent Rodenstock's best-in-class upgrade to fidelity, coverage and quality, all the way out to the corners.

  4. #4

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    Re: Rodenstock Apo Sironar N or Apo Sironar S 150mm f/5.6

    Hi!

    You'll find here a comparative plot of MTF curves @f/22 and @20 cy/mm for the Apo Sironar N / S / W. Re-plotted from the official manufacturer's data sheet.

    At the center of the field, the Apo Sironar N is as good, if not better, than the two others.
    Of course the Apo Sironar S covers more than the N and is sharper in the corners, and the Apo Sironar W covers even more, but might not be as good as the N at the center of the fiekd.

    "The choice depends on your photgraphic project" .. except of course if your budget is not really limited ;-)

  5. #5

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    Re: Rodenstock Apo Sironar N or Apo Sironar S 150mm f/5.6

    The silent equalizer, f22.
    And there is a LOT more to trying assess the performance of any lens beyond MTF curves and all that.

    Better question, what is one trying to achieve in the finished image.


    Bernice

  6. #6

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    Re: Rodenstock Apo Sironar N or Apo Sironar S 150mm f/5.6

    Not a valid comparison. Rodenstock provided MTF graphs for the N and W at magnification 1:20. For the S, at 1:10.

  7. #7

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    Re: Rodenstock Apo Sironar N or Apo Sironar S 150mm f/5.6

    Hmmm...MTF's about equal (on average) for all three if only considering performance for 4x5 with limited movements. Would like to see the same chart for the three versions (N,S,W) of the 210, as I primarily favor 5x7 these days, and swear by my N version of the 210. I'd also like to see the same chart for the three 210's, but at f/32 (my "favorite" aperture in that the performance compromise at this FL is minimal for the DOF benefits that I truly appreciate), my guess being that this particular aperture (at this FL) might really be "the great equalizer."

    Seriously...I've often thought that I'd someday "trade up" by selling my trusty 210 Sironar N and acquire the S. But I really cannot say that my N version falls short in any way for me...even with my more recent 40x60 enlargements. In truth I love my 210-N, so much so that I would only consider purchasing the S version if I felt I could afford to also hang onto the N version - very difficult right now as my print sales have dropped of drastically since about mid-March (hmmm...I wonder why?)

  8. #8

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    Re: Rodenstock Apo Sironar N or Apo Sironar S 150mm f/5.6

    You may want to consider, as part of this discussion, which enlarging lens you use.

  9. #9

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    Re: Rodenstock Apo Sironar N or Apo Sironar S 150mm f/5.6

    from Sal Santanamura
    Rodenstock provided MTF graphs for ...

    ... M=1/20 for the N and M = 1/10 for the S and W, at least in the docs I have in my archives. But the objection is unchanged, conditions are not the same for the N (M=1/20) compared to the S and W (M=1/10). We do with what Rodenstock has published

    You can find here
    a similar chart for the N S W 300 mm posted 13 years ago by Arne Cr÷ll on photo.net.
    Same magnifications (hence same objections ) as for the 150 mm series (N: 1/10 - S: 1/10 - W: 1/10 ) f-stop = 22 and 10 cy/mm


    MTF curves side by side from the original data sheet, 210 mm, f/22 - 5 - 10 - 20 cy/mm same discrepancy in magnification.

    left : 210 mm N for M= 1/20 ; center : 210 mm S for M = 1/10 ; right : 210 mm W for M=1/10

  10. #10

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    Re: Rodenstock Apo Sironar N or Apo Sironar S 150mm f/5.6

    Hello arri,

    As Bernice and Emmanuel have mentioned, whether the price difference is worth or not depends a great deal on your intended final output (and hip pocket). For most photographers, the “N” series lenses are more than adequate for their needs. The “S” series lenses have acquired a significant price premium on the used market in recent years.

    I regularly use both 150 N and S lenses. I use the “S" most of the time for the larger image circle but for my "ultralight" kit, I carry the “N”.

    Having recently worked a series of 24x30” prints from drum scanned transparencies which featured images shot with both lenses, I suspect few people could pick what was shot with what.

    All the best

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