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Thread: Views on Rodenstock 150mm APO-Ronar

  1. #1

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    Views on Rodenstock 150mm APO-Ronar

    Has anyone had experience with this lens for macro work? The "real" macro's seem to be running far beyond my budget. Any thoughts are welcome.
    Jerry Cunningham

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    Re: Views on Rodenstock 150mm APO-Ronar

    You could do worse. I have a tiny fairly old one, s/n 4 805 870, that I've been using on a 2x3 Speed Graphic. Its too long to focus really close on my camera, but in the range 1:5 - 1:10 it does very well.

    About the "tiny." If you go to Paul Butzi's site, you'll see that the 150/9 Apo Ronar is supposed to go into a shutter. Not mine, its too small. Mine came on a huge adapter, by an odd coincidence I have another adapter that will hold the huge adapter in front of a #1. And set up that way it covers 2x3 at infinity with no vignetting.

    I'm not sure why, but I intend to keep mine. FYI, I've acquired a couple of 135/4.5 Tominons and no longer have them. I think the 150/9 Apo Ronar is more generally useful. But a 135 Tominon on an MP-4 Polaroid-Copal #1 (no diaphragm, so generally useless and cheap) may be what you want if you want to work around 1:1.

    You might also contemplate getting a good grade of enlarging lens. They're faster, no more expensive, and many will go straight into shutter. Check first about going into shutter, and in the case of the 150 Apo Ronar check hard. As I said, mine will not go into a #00 or #0.

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    Re: Views on Rodenstock 150mm APO-Ronar

    I don't know what magnification ratios you are intending to go to. The main problem with using a 150mm lens for macro is that most cameras will run out of bellows pretty quick. You will need 300mm to get to 1:1. To get to a 2X magnification requires 300mm more extension, and each whole number of magnification requires pushing out another 300mm. Aside from this, the relatively small aperture of the Apo-Ronar means that exposures will become quite long at the higher magnifications. Using a 150mm lens is nice, though, because your lens is far enough away from your subject that it doesn't get in the way of your lighting.

    The 135mm Tominon that Dan Fromm mentions is more of a copy lens than a macro lens. The three shortest Tominons are macro lenses, though, and their cost is miniscule as compared to a Luminar or equal. The Copal Polaroid shutter is very convenient for this work.

    You can more information on macro lenses amongst the articles on this forum. I'm not sure how to find them on this new format, but I'm sure the home page will serve as a starting point.

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    Re: Views on Rodenstock 150mm APO-Ronar

    Thanks with the help! This entire forum is great.
    Jerry Cunningham

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    the Docter is in Arne Croell's Avatar
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    Re: Views on Rodenstock 150mm APO-Ronar

    I have used this lens and other Apo-Ronars. The 150 I did not use with a view camera, but at work in a system measuring surface tension and contact angles of semiconductor melts with the "sessile drop" method. The imaging sensor was a digital microscope camera. We used this lens because negligible distortion was essential for these measurements. The magnification we used was 1:1.4, which is in the macro range and close to the optimum 1:1 for this lens. However, there were additional glass plates in the optical path (a vacuum system window and a heat filter) that may have deteriorated the image a little. At f/11 on the barrel (which is an effective f/16 1/2 at this magnification) the resolution in the center was around 40lp/mm, which is not too bad.

    This was a single coated barrel lens, but note that this lens was available in a Copal 0 shutter, and then newer versions are multicoated. They show up on ebay occasionally.

    For regular photography, I have used the 300mm Apo-Ronar and the very similar 300mm Apo-Germinar in the 1:3 magnification range with very good success. I can certainly recommend them. I think the main difference to the dedicated macro LF lenses (like the Macro-Symmar HM) is the smaller open aperture (f/9 vs. f/5.6) and consequently a smaller optimum aperture, and a slightly smaller image circle.

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    Re: Views on Rodenstock 150mm APO-Ronar

    " I think the main difference to the dedicated macro LF lenses (like the Macro-Symmar HM) is the smaller open aperture (f/9 vs. f/5.6) and consequently a smaller optimum aperture, and a slightly smaller image circle."

    No, the diffferences between a process lens and a dedicated macro lens is that the dedicated lens will handle 3 dimensional subjects much better, especially at the edges, it will work optimally under a wider range of apertures - the Apo Ronar is designed to be used only at f22 for optimal results and the dedicated macro is corrected for a wider range of magnifications in the macro range.

    this assume dedicated macro lenses like the Apo Macro Sironar, Macro Sironar or Apo Macro Sironar Digital and not macro duplicating lenses like an Apo Rodagon D. By Apo Ronar it assumes one made for the photo market and not a dedicated OEM version.

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    the Docter is in Arne Croell's Avatar
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    Re: Views on Rodenstock 150mm APO-Ronar

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
    " I think the main difference to the dedicated macro LF lenses (like the Macro-Symmar HM) is the smaller open aperture (f/9 vs. f/5.6) and consequently a smaller optimum aperture, and a slightly smaller image circle."

    No, the diffferences between a process lens and a dedicated macro lens is that the dedicated lens will handle 3 dimensional subjects much better, especially at the edges, it will work optimally under a wider range of apertures - the Apo Ronar is designed to be used only at f22 for optimal results and the dedicated macro is corrected for a wider range of magnifications in the macro range.

    this assume dedicated macro lenses like the Apo Macro Sironar, Macro Sironar or Apo Macro Sironar Digital and not macro duplicating lenses like an Apo Rodagon D. By Apo Ronar it assumes one made for the photo market and not a dedicated OEM version.
    Please, not again... Bob, I usually value your insight, experience, and opinion, but this thing about better performance in 3D that you bring up again has been discussed several times, here and on photo.net. One example is here: http://www.largeformatphotography.in...ead.php?t=6456

    Essentially paraphrasing what Struan Gray said in that thread: A lens has only one plane of focus and there is the corresponding object plane. These are PLANES, i.e. they are infinitesimally thin in optical theory. Beyond these planes the rules for depth of field/focus apply and those are valid for each type of lens. The only way to get more apparent DOF is to introduce spherical aberration at the cost of overall performance, or to use a curved field that conforms better to the shape of the object than a flat plane. None of that is done with LF macro lenses.
    You have to define a little better what "handles 3D objects better" means - more DOF, more resolution, more local contrast...?
    The only thing that I can imagine you mean with this "3D" thing is that macro lenses show higher contrast (MTF) at certain frequencies than typical process lenses. Artar types like the Apo-Ronar tend to have high resolution numbers, but other lenses can have more contrast at low to medium frequencies (e.g. Apo-Tessars). This could theoretically influence the result in analog color prints or slides.

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    Re: Views on Rodenstock 150mm APO-Ronar

    No Arne,

    If you shoot 3 dimensional objects like watches, guns, flowers, jewelry, etc you will have a better result with a dedicated macro lens compared to a non macro or a process lens.

    Rather then doubting it or reading what people who probably have never done a head to head test go rent one and see for yourself. It is a markedly better image.

  9. #9
    the Docter is in Arne Croell's Avatar
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    Re: Views on Rodenstock 150mm APO-Ronar

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
    No Arne,

    If you shoot 3 dimensional objects like watches, guns, flowers, jewelry, etc you will have a better result with a dedicated macro lens compared to a non macro or a process lens.

    Rather then doubting it or reading what people who probably have never done a head to head test go rent one and see for yourself. It is a markedly better image.
    Ok, Bob, I'll do a comparison. I don't have to rent anything, as I own both a 150mm Apo-Ronar MC in shutter and a 180mm Macro-Symmar HM in barrel (but it fits a shutter size 1 directly). The latter is not an Apo-Macro-Sironar, but will hopefully fit into the dedicated Macro group for you as well. Time to search for the macro rail for the Technikardan....

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    Re: Views on Rodenstock 150mm APO-Ronar

    Quote Originally Posted by Arne Croell
    You have to define a little better what "handles 3D objects better" means - more DOF, more resolution, more local contrast...?
    The only thing that I can imagine you mean with this "3D" thing is that macro lenses show higher contrast (MTF) at certain frequencies than typical process lenses. Artar types like the Apo-Ronar tend to have high resolution numbers, but other lenses can have more contrast at low to medium frequencies (e.g. Apo-Tessars). This could theoretically influence the result in analog color prints or slides.
    Arne, there's at least one aspect of rendering that's missing from this discussion and was also missing from the earlier thread you linked.

    For large-scale subjects, variations in bokeh affect the subjective impression made by three-dimensional subjects. That is, the specific way in which defocus occurs as you move away from the plane of focus, including in particular how far the OOF rendering remains coherent, makes a meaningful difference in the character of the rendering. I see no reason why a similar principle should not apply to subjects on a small scale.

    I don't know whether this specifically is what Bob S. has in mind. But it should be easy enough to test whether there are systematic bokeh differences between the different lens types at macro scales simply by comparing a process lens like an Apo-Ronar or G-Claron against a "macro" lens like a Macro-Sironar or Makro-Symmar with a subject where what's going on in front of and behind the plane of focus matters. I would have run such a test myself by now if I had a macro lens on hand, but I don't.

    Actually, if I had to speculate, I would guess that there are important differences from one design to another, but that they don't necessarily correlate with the general lens type. That is, I wouldn't be surprised if, just as is true with general use plasmats and wide angle types, some process lenses have smooth bokeh in the macro range and some don't, and that the same is true of macro lenses. But this is a hypothesis which should be easy to test.

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