Fujinon w 150mm f/6.3 upgrade to Rodenstock 150mm Sironar-n?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by rustyair, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. rustyair

    rustyair Member

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    Hi,

    Will I see a difference in sharpness or etc when I upgrade Fujinon w 150mm f/6.3 upgrade to Rodenstock 150mm Sironar-n? Number says it would but would I see it in print size 32x40"?

    Fujinon w 150mm f/6.3
    f/11: 60 60 48
    f/16: 48 60 54
    f/22: 54 60 54


    Rodenstock 150mm Sironar-n
    f/11 76 57 27
    f/16 76 76 30
    f/22 60 60 43

    Thanks!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 8, 2013
  2. Huub

    Huub Member

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    The quality of the taking lens is not the only factor that will determine the sharpness of your final print. Other obvious factors will be the quality of the tripod, the head on which the camera is placed, the stability of the camera and the groundglass alignment. Then there is the printing side of it, either using a scanner or wet darkroom. You realy have to address the whole system to reach optimal sharpness. Looking at the tables you've given in your question I would not invest in another lens, also because i think there is more to a perfect picture then sharpness.
     
  3. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    While I am going to agree with the above in terms of a cradle to grave system to get to a sharp print, I will say that out of 7 modern plasmat LF lenses that I own, my 135 Apo Sironar N has a noticeable amount more "Bite" to it over all the other lenses, some more than others.

    That is not to say that prints from my Grandagons, Apo Symmars and Fujinon A are not sharp, just that a good print from the Apo Sironar requires Kevlar gloves to handle it...;-)
     
  4. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    You may see a difference, your corners will be more blurry. Looks like the Fuji has the Rodenstock beat in the corners at all the tested apertures.
     
  5. Aron

    Aron Subscriber

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    The only way you will satisfy your curiousity is if you try both, same subject, same very careful focusing, with and without a lenshood, with movements and without. This way you'll be able to tell with confidence, otherwise you'll always wonder what your images looked like through the other lens. Put these test negatives through your usual workflow and analize the results.

    Don't enlarge the test negatives more than you plan with your prints, don't use more movements than you usually do. If I understand it correctly, you are not trying to learn which one is ultimately the better, but which one is best for your own needs.

    The 32x40" enlargements, while not overly large from 4x5, are at the point where careful technique matters a lot as you already know.

    You didn't tell us what your favourite subjects are, at what distance you like to shoot them, what f/stops you prefer, what film you use, how you develop it.

    If I'm not mistaken, these data come from a test that was done at 1:20 by Christopher M. Perez and Kerry L. Thalmann. While resolution tests for lp/mm pretty close up is the best most of us can do, it really tells only part of the story even if done very carefully. An aperture that gives the highest resolution (high frequency contrast) might not give the best overall acutance or "impact" (low frequency contrast).

    The Fujinon is a Tessar-type lens, that was top of the line a hundred years ago and still highly respectable today. Many believe the 6.3 series is the best of the type. The newest types of the classic 4 elements in 3 groups design stand up extremely well against the more complicated ones, both 35 mm and LF. I personally love them, but they do have their own limitations. So do we, photographers.

    Once in a while I test my cameras/lenses at infinity with real subjects and at a distance of 3,5 meters with resolution charts at home. Numerically we can tell quite a bit from the photographed charts (both sagittal and tangential resolutions for example, even if at least my eyes are always a bit overly optimistic) and it's easy to see how resolution changes with less than superbly corrected lenses by stopping down. In the field with the with blowing or without, well, this matters much less.

    Although I have no direct experience with the two lenses you mentioned, only with similar ones, I'd say if the slightly greater coverage is of no importance to you, then you are very well equipped with your Fujinon. The quoted test suggests it has more even performance at 1:20 than the plasmat Sironar-N.

    If it's greater clarity what you're after, I'd suggest Delta 100/TMX/Acros, with an acutance developer and not stopping down further than f/22. I'd personally rather have a sharp foreground with a slightly out of focus background (and not the other way around) than an overall slightly soft image owing to stopping down too far. And a perfectly aligned enlarger (even though I know no such thing exists, not even in PKM's darkroom:wink:). Maybe you already do this.

    I'm not sure if this was of any help. If you can, buy the Sironar-N, spend a day shooting and comparing the results, give it some thinking and sell the one you like less. Try not to keep both.:whistling:
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The figures aren't for your lens so only you know how good your Fujinon is.

    Only reason I'd change it would be for a lens with better coverage/image circle, otherwise it's an excellent performer, you need to look at your techniques as a whole.

    Ian
     
  7. rustyair

    rustyair Member

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    Wow. I appreciate all the inputs guys! It's mostly landscape and portrait in landscape. Fairly close to the subject, f22 for landscape f8 for people, portra 160 and I develop them myself. :smile:
     
  8. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    If I were deciding based just on resolution figures, I would choose the Fujinon. That is because of the remarkable evenness of the numbers across the image; for me that's more valuable than absolute numbers, in any applications where the corners have detail that is significant. This goes even more for a picture in panoramic format.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2013
  9. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    I have, and use, two of these lenses, the Fuji that is, one on a Razzle and the other is used on various 4x5 cameras.

    This picture was taken with the 150 ΒΌ second at f/22 http://www.apug.org/gallery1/showimage.php?i=30840&c=2

    If you check out my gallery you will see a scan of the contact print itself, this is my final cropped and printed image.

    The Fujinon range of lenses are quite reasonable, I have three of them. Technique overall is really where 99% of the actual and perceived wow factor comes in, the way I see it.

    Mick.
     
  10. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    You failed to state how you plan to print such things, color or b&w, from darkroom or otherwise? Lenses
    can make a bit of a difference, esp if you plan to enlarge 4x5 this much, but there are much more important issues in the total workflow. I wouldn't worry too much about minor differences in lenses,
    unless you are using them with strong tilt or rise movements which require a larger image circle.
     
  11. rustyair

    rustyair Member

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    It will be a 4x5 portra 160 and imacon x5 scan. I guess I don't need to upgrade...:whistling:
     
  12. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    I'd just go with what you have until you have your total workflow ironed out. Then, if for some reason
    there is a shortcoming in your particular lens, you might supplement it with something else. But I don't
    see any reason why it wouldn't be adequate. It helps to be on the main road awhile to learn how to
    drive before veering off onto the 4WD drive tracks and cowpaths. I did entire one-man shows back when I only owned one view camera lens. I've got better lenses now; but some of those old 30x40's
    still look pretty damn good.
     
  13. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    If you can outshoot a 150 6.3 Fuji, you be a better photographer than me. I have had mine since 1985.

    Of course I don't blow mine up to 30 by 40 but I see nothing in my 16x20s that would indicate any lack of sharpness other than personal mistakes, I mean artistic decisions, I might have made.

    Save the money. Buy more film.

    tim in san jose