Rodenstock Apo-Ronar 480mm f/9

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by DannL, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. DannL

    DannL Member

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    I picked one of these up at a garage sale this morning for a song (a very short song). "I know". I was curious how well suited it might be for a new view camera build (11x14 or larger). Would anyone have some examples of work they would like to share, experiences with this glass, etc?

    I do realise some retailers are selling these for some hefty prices. I'm still a little gitty over this particular find.

    thanks in advance
     
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  2. jbbooks

    jbbooks Member

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    480 Ronar

    I saw this earlier and hoped someone who had used this lens on an 11x14 would respond to your inquiry. Since there has been no response, perhaps what I can tell you from its use on an 8x10 might be of some help.

    With the camera movements centered, I tried focusing on some distant targets that were finely detailed with the lens at approximately f10, which is wide open.

    At a distance of a little more than 3,000 meters, in the center of the image, the suspension lines for a cable car are sharp, but becoming fuzzy in the corners while the latticework on a construction crane 760 meters away is acceptably sharp all across the ground glass.

    With the lens stopped down to f22, the cable car lines are sharp enough on the edges and there is no issue with the details of the latticework on the crane.

    However, with movement, using front shift, it seems to me that there is an unacceptable softness of the image in the corners. If I shift the lens at the front and use as much rise as possible, there is a definite fall off on the edges.

    From this, I would think that the lens would not be one I would want to use on a camera as large as an 11x14. Also, I remember, when I was thinking about getting the lens, I saw where someone from Rodenstock made the comment that they would not recommend the lens where the focal length was not two times the longest dimension of the film. From what I can see, on the 8x10, with the 480 being somewhat less than that, their recommendation would be a reasonable one.

    I will say that, as a practical matter, the images I have gotten on film with this lens are very sharp and I have been very pleased with it. Perhaps someone else, who does have experience using the 480 Ronar on an 11x14, will weigh in and tell us about it.

    One other thing, I assume your lens is in a barrel mount. If so, it would have originally been optimized for 1:1 and not for focusing at infinity. Mine has been mounted in a shutter and this may make a difference. The larger Ronars I have, that are still in their barrel mounts, seem to perform well when focused at infinity, but I have never had the opportunity to compare lenses of the same focal length against one another, so I cannot say how much difference the optimization would make.
     
  3. Fred De Van

    Fred De Van Member

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    I almost never had any need to use this lens on 11x14 and maybe used my 11x14 once a year if thet often. I hated the beast. A Sinar Norma was my tool of choice. I used the 480mm Apo-Ronar for Magazine illustration, Still Life, Advertising and scads of covers for outdoor magazines. Mostly 8x10 and some 4x5 Ekatchrome. Out of all the lenses I had it and my Apo-Lanthars were my favorites, but nothing delivered the color quality and subtle shadow detail the way the Apo-Ronar did without fail. That lens is a jewel.
     
  4. DannL

    DannL Member

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    jbbooks, thank you very much for the detailed reply. Wow! I never expected this. From the small amount of information that I was able to squeeze from the internet I believe your assessment is correct. Formats larger than 8x10 would be pushing it. But, that's okay. I'm fine with 8x10, just not this length of bellows draw. Ouch! Macro I can see will be a tough one. I would think the corner fuzziness you mentioned would vanish nearer f/260. I haven't had a chance to witness your results, but I'll get there soon, I hope. Mine is in barrel form, and I have placed a Packard shutter behind it.

    I did find this http://www.prograf.ru/rodenstock/largeformat_en.html#Apo-Ronar

    Another application also comes to mind . . . in an 8x10 enlarger configuration. But then again, I've always been a dreamer. Infact I have a whole desk draw full of unrealized dreams. :D

    Fred De Van - Thanks you also. This gives me hope that I'm not wasting my time with this glass. I have nothing else in my arsenal that even comes close.

    PS - As I progress with this lens I will try to post an update, and hopefully some personal examples. I'm starting to think that a forum area dedicated to examples from specific lenses would be very beneficial to this site.
     
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  5. DannL

    DannL Member

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    Well, that's it. The mind is completely gone. I was hoping I could make it to fifty before it happen. Nope.

    As you can see from the picts below, this configuration isn't going to work long-term. But, I got a taste of what this Apo-Ronar looks like on the ground glass. Lovely is the word. Just lovely. I can see we're going to be good friends, Ron and I.

    I had to deal with my current 8x10 camera for this test. Sadly the bellows is too short by several inches to make the required 19" focal length for infinity. And the lens is way too heavy for the front standard. The goal then was to temporarily add the lens and packard shutter without having to alter the original camera. Thank god for Velcro!

    Ain't she perty?
    :D
     

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  6. jbbooks

    jbbooks Member

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    800mm APO-Ronar

    Well, don’t give up on your 11x14. I have a 800mm APO-Ronar, in a barrel mount, that, at f22, will keep the telephone lines on a farmhouse 1200 meters away sharp and clear with plenty of coverage for an 11x14. Of course, there are some drawbacks. It is 110mm in diameter, will only just fit on a 5 1/4 inch lens board and weighs 8 ½ pounds. Also, for your macro needs, at 1:1 you will require a bellows over five feet long. Of course, since that was what it was for, it should excel for that purpose; provided the subject is flat and you do not need a depth of field greater than the thickness of print on a piece of paper.

    Can I wrap it up for you? :D
     
  7. DannL

    DannL Member

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    Ohhhh, that sure sounds tempting. PM your price for consideration. But really, I need to learn to walk before I start running marathons. And the 480mm is already testing my resolve.
     
  8. fra

    fra Member

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    Well this is an old thread, but I've come upon it while looking for some info on the apor-ronnar 480mm. Do you have anything more to share? Got any picture with it? Thanks in advance. :munch:
     
  9. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Rodenstock data sheets, including ones for process lenses, are on line here: https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=8D71BC33C77D1008!324
     
  10. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    Yet another thread-resurection, I've just scored one of these, an Apo-Ronar 465 f/9 CL (actually, I misread it at first as 480mm, which is how I got here, but it's definitely 465mm/18").
    I bought it thinking that if all else fails, I've got myself a very sharp macro/repro lens.

    But I would like to hack it into a shutter of some sort (somehow), which is the info I'm looking for. If I can get it working it'll nicely round out my collection of 65/90/135/180/270/465. I've got enough tubes and my bellows will stretch out to (I think) 500mm, maybe I'll need to get more as I'd want to use this as a (roughly) 4:1 head/shoulders portrait lens on 4x5.

    Thanks for that link Dan, good info even if the 465 isn't listed.
    But if the 465 is roughly the same as the 480, then a) it covers 8x10 at infinity, which is more than enough as I've only got 4x5 (my inner-GAS is making me write the words "for now"), and b) the 480mm in that databook has a mounting thread of M90x1 (I can always hope that it's closer to the 360mm which is M72, but I doubt it).

    So I'm probably looking at Packard shutters, because it's not going to fit a compur/copal/ilex of any normal size. I've not dealt with Packards before, I've seen roughly how they operate though. Are there any common pitfalls or things to watch out for buying/using them? What's the max speed I can expect to get out of them, and more importantly, are the speeds reliable or is it dependant on how long I squeeze the bulb?

    I suppose if I can't get the required speeds fast enough I can use ND filters. But that's not going to do so well with portraits so I'll just have to setup short-duration flashes and/or pull the film as well.

    Anyway, I never said I wanted things made easy (I suppose if I did, I'd be on dpug and not here). I'll let you know how frankencamera works out if I get this thing working...
     
  11. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    If you have the money, honey, skgrimes has the time. See http://www.skgrimes.com/lens-mounting/table-of-lenses-fitted-to-shutters

    SKGrimes will make a cup-shaped adapter to hold your lens in front of a #1 shutter for considerably less than putting it in shutter. If y'r 4x5 has enough extension, the lens will cover 4x5 with some movements mounted that way. I use a similar cup-shaped adapter and a #1 with my 480/9 Apo-Nikkor (similar to an Apo-Ronar). The most cost-effective #1 for front mounting is the Polaroid MP-4 (so badged, accept no substitutes), a #1 Copal Press shutter without a diaphragm. Unless you use fast film, the #1 Press' top speed of 1/125 is more than fast enough. Front mounting this way on a somewhat larger shutter (first choice, Ilex #3) is also possible.
     
  12. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    Yeah, unfortunately I don't have the money, all of my photography is on a budget. I presume by your 'cup-shaped holder' you're referring to this (which is what I was envisaging having to do anyway, I've seen everything else Grimes can do but I'd never seen that page before somehow). Or maybe I can con the mech guys at work to draw me up a cad model and take it to the cnc machine out the back.
    Of course that depends on what shutter I manage to find.

    Does the MP4 just have regular #1 sized threads and all? I'm wondering if that will really be big enough, if the Apo Ronar is 90mm across, with a 465/9=52mm iris, shoudn't I be looking for something with roughly the same size, like an Ilex #5 goes to 63.5mm or #4 goes to 44.5mm (iris), with 76mm threads. I don't think that I'll be using too extreme movements so I suppose #1 might work without vignetting (i've got a spare one at least to try out when the lens gets here). Like most things the shutter size I get will probably just depend on whatever I find for cheapest.

    The other thing I learned on the weekend is that my Omega 45D has (officially) non-extendable non-(self)-replacable bellows, and I can only get 46cm max film-lensboard out of them before they pop.
    Challenge accepted.
    My idea is to just buy a new front standard, attach bellows to that, and attach the other end of the bellows to a lensboard (with a giant hole in the centre), making it a true 'add-on' for extending, I should get up to 80cm at least with that rig.
    Hopefully that'll save me from having to buy a Sinar/Arca/Toyo45G (like I wanted instead of the Toyo 45D, but couldn't afford).


    Or if none of that works, the final use will be to actually use it as an enlarging lens as intended. Had that dream-conversation with my mum yesterday, where one of her friends may be giving away her late husband's darkroom equipment to yours truly. Or maybe there's an 8x10 in her shed too, won't know for a week or two when I get to inspect it all.
     
  13. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Please read this http://www.galerie-photo.com/telechargement/dan-fromm-6x9-lenses-v2-2011-03-29.pdf and this http://www.galerie-photo.com/baby-bertha-6x9-en.html . They have pictures, explain my approach to front mounting and other things you need to know. Without looking for the bill, I think I paid SKGrimes around $135 for a female M90x1 to male M40x0.75 adapter to hold my 480 Apo Nikkor in front of a #1.

    The MP-4 shutter is a Copal Press #1 shutter with no diaphragm, meets the #1 threading standard. Re big enough, read what I've written.

    If you can cut the stuff precisely, the Aussie equivalent of our light-weight 4" PVC drain pipe will make dandy extension tubes. Read! If you do this, you'll need a crutch to support lens, shutter and tube and something for the crutch to stand on. Read!

    If you add a standard you'll need a longer rail or an extension rail. Are they made for the 45d? If not, you're stuck. Your best option might (think it over carefully, and understand I have no idea how much y'r 45D will bring or how much an SC-2 will cost in OZ) be to change to the Cambo system. I understand that Sinars, about which I know little that's useful, are well-supported and relatively inexpensive too.

    There were many versions of the 480/9 Apo Ronar, some are quite heavy. A #1 will support a 610/9 Apo-Nikkor (cataloged weight 1450 g) plus light-alloy adapter but I wouldn't hang anything much heavier on one.

    Bellows can be attached to lensboads, or, more exactly, a lensboard can be converted into a bellows frame. A draft of a piece on making a bag bellows that will eventually appear on the French LF site is here: http://sdrv.ms/1bNxjZQ This isn't the final version, needs some changes. There are pictures too, you don't need 'em.

    Good luck, accumulate your small monetary units, have fun,

    Dan