Rodenstock Sironar S vs. Sironar N

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by JackRosa, Aug 1, 2005.

  1. JackRosa

    JackRosa Member

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    Anyone with experience with 300mm Sironar-S versus 300mm Sironar-N (other than a hefty $700 price difference)?

    Your insight will be much appreciated.
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The Sironar-S has a larger image circle.
     
  3. MarcoF

    MarcoF Member

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    I just bought a 300 Sironar S and I'm totally amazed from the results, all the 8x10" originals I shoot with this lens came out impossibly crisp and sharp, but I never made a comparison with the 300 N.
    Another difference between the N and S series, is that the S lenses use ED glass (extra-low dispersion) for better perfomance in the chromatic aberration "department".
    I think that the excellent Paul Butzi website has some great informations about these Rodenstock lenses (both N and S).

    Ciao
    Marco
     
  4. Steve Hamley

    Steve Hamley Member

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    IIRC, Bob Salomon once posted that the Sironar-S was optimized for 1:5 to infinity while the "N" was optimized for 1:10 to infinity. Might be of issue if you're shooting tabletop or up close.

    Steve
     
  5. JackRosa

    JackRosa Member

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    ------------

    Marco: Are you shooting table top (close-ups) or landscapes (infinity)? Thank you for your insight, by the way.
     
  6. Frank Petronio

    Frank Petronio Inactive

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    If you don't need the extreme coverage of the S, I doubt you could tell a difference in outdoor work and optical (traditional enlargement). You might see a very slight advantage if you are someone who scans super hi-res on top dollar scanners, making mural sized prints. But who really has shot and compared?
     
  7. JackRosa

    JackRosa Member

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    Frank: Thank you for your insight. MY works is motly landscapes. I shoot 8x10 negatives and enlarge them to 20x24 and 30x40
     
  8. Donsta

    Donsta Member

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    Jack

    A while ago, I tested 10 modern 150mm lenses - the APO Sironar N and S were among them. The test involved shooting both a test target and a real world 3-D subject at round 50 feet (roughly 20 times focal lengh). At anything up to around 6X enlargement, there was no real difference in 9 out of the 10 lenses (and I suspect that the 10th lens was a dog, given the closeness of the others). Only at extreme magnifications would there have been any discernible difference in some of the lenses - very small resolving differences. Color rendition was a little more noticable, but differences on the whole were still slight at most. A 30X40 from an 8X10 enlargement is very modest and my advice would be to go with the APO Sironar N and save the money - I am 100% certain that you will not be able to detect any differences at that level of enlargement.
     
  9. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I would choose on the basis of practical considerations, rather than optical quality, which should be excellent in either case. The tradeoff is between coverage, price, and physical size/weight of the lens.
     
  10. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    I agree. Size, weight and cost.

    My 2 Cents is this. I own a 300mm F9 Rodenstock Geronar, supposedly a very simple cery basic lens with only 340mm of coverage....from a family of lenses regrded by many as inferior. It is TINY i.e much smaller than a 210mm f5.6 plasmat. The performance of this lens on the equivalent of a 40" enlargement from 10x8 is beyond reproach and the coverage ample. It is optically moer than good enough to allow sniffing of a 40" print! A 300mm Sironar N would undoubtedly be a better performer still.

    On 10x8 a lens is not having to do any real work even for a 30" enlargement. I would go for the cheaper lighter, smaller one. The 300mm f5.6 N still has a big circle. If you are doing landscapes and intend to carry more than one lens, I would go for A 305 g Claron, smaller and light by far and superb up close and at infinity! I own one and have not yet compared to to the Geronar. Coverage is IMMENSE and it comes in a nice small Copal 1 rather than whopper Coapl 3. It is under 1/2 the weight of 300mm sironars.


    Tom
     
  11. Frank Petronio

    Frank Petronio Inactive

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    If you're shooting outdoors, as many of the APUGs are, then I think atmospheric conditions and all of the subtle environmental variations (wind being the major factor) between shots is going to play a much larger role in the outcome of your photography. In general, I would consider a 300-S to be the kind of lens a deep pocketed architectural or studio shooter would want, with the N-series more practical for field work. Of course, if I could afford it, I would outfit myself with a range of the shorter, more compact S lenses for 4x5, as they seem to be the state of the art these days.
     
  12. jjstafford

    jjstafford Inactive

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    Ya big silly. If you didn't buy that SOTA D*l camera you could have have almost any lens you want.
     
  13. MarcoF

    MarcoF Member

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    I shoot industrial landscapes/architectural and "things" :wink: with my wife: http://www.cristinamian.com.

    We started in 8x10" with a Nikkor 300M f/9, it was part of our 4x5" outfit, but we became soon disappointed by the performance of this lens, we use a lot of rise/fall and found the Nikkor quite soft at the edges.
    We were buying a 305 G Claron but then I read a post of my very good friend, Chris Jordan, about the outstanding performances of the Sironar S series and decided to spend the extra money, mainly because we make huge enlargements from our 8x10" originals.
    I have to say that the 300 Sironar S is big, heavy and bulky, if you do a lot of landscapes with some hiking it's not an ideal choice, this is the lens to bring with you if you are planning to shoot very close to the car :wink:.

    Ciao
    Marco
     
  14. Frank Petronio

    Frank Petronio Inactive

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    Marco and his wife's website is definitely worth checking out, excellent work.

    jjstafford "Ya big silly. If you didn't buy that SOTA D*l camera you could have have almost any lens you want."

    I love shooting 4x5. What is limiting is getting a good scanner or buying scans, plus the time involved. Right now, the 69 mb file I get from the new digitoy is better than what I can pull from a 4x5 on an Epson flatbed, using good techniques for both. That translates into better (inkjet) prints in the 11x14 to 20x30 range. Of course, I lose the ability to use camera movements and the slow pace of contemplation - but frankly, the digitoy works for me professionally. If I were to really commit to shooting LF again then I would definitely go the high-end route (Sironar-S lenses, Arcas and Linhofs, Tango drum scans, Lightjet prints, etc.) and commit to doing 40x50 prints... or maybe go retro and do ULF contacts... but I think I'll need to make more money off the DSLR to be able to indulge in those "hobbies." ;-)
     
  15. jjstafford

    jjstafford Inactive

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    You lost me. What dimital camera did you get that give 69mb files?
     
  16. Frank Petronio

    Frank Petronio Inactive

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    D2x = 12mp x RGB x 16-bit = 72mb or ~ 69mb files.

    You thought I meant 69mb resolution? Gee, that would be a ~400mb working file.... Next thing you know we'll be talking about Clifford Ross or some other wealthy idiot claiming to have the world's highest resoultion camera.
     
  17. jjstafford

    jjstafford Inactive

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    Whaaaaat? All digital cameras are RGB. Where do you get off multiplying by 16? Seriously. Enlighten me, please.
     
  18. Early Riser

    Early Riser Subscriber

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    I own several Sironar-S lenses, the 150mm, 180mm, 210mm and 360mm, I used to own their Sironar -N counterparts and have found the S's to be higher contrast, higher resolving and having greater coverage. In most applications you may not see much of a difference. If the cost is no object, I'd go with the S's.
     
  19. JackRosa

    JackRosa Member

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    Thank You All. How about the Symmar?

    Thank you all fro your insight and input. How about the Sironar-N and -S versus the Schneider Symmar?
     
  20. Frank Petronio

    Frank Petronio Inactive

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    The latest Schneiders are comparable to the latest Rodenstocks. In my opinion, Rodenstock has better consistency and quality control since the early 1980s, but the Schneiders are much better than they used to be in the 1960s - 1980s. Also Schneider is conservative on their lens coverage charts.
     
  21. MarcoF

    MarcoF Member

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    Thank you Frank, thank you very much for your kind words!!!

    I apologize with FrankRosa and the forum for this OT question: Frank, are you italian or have italian relatives?
    Your last name sounds definitely italian to my ears!! :wink:

    Ciao
    Marco
     
  22. JackRosa

    JackRosa Member

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    Italian?

    Ciao Marco. Jack, not Frank, although I do have a brother called Francisco (Frank). Originally from Spain. LOVE Italy, by the way. Lived in Milano from 1991 to 1994 and loved it. I would move back to Italy in a second.
     
  23. MarcoF

    MarcoF Member

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    Jack, I quoted Frank Petronio and was referring to him, and then I apologize with you for the OT :wink:.
    Anyway, great to hear that you lived in, and still love, Italy!!!!
    I live very close to Milan, about 20 miles, if you ever will come here again give me a "call" (my email address is on my website), we can go out and have a dinner together (and you'll be my guest, of course!!!).

    Sorry, another OT :wink: : did you work in Milan as a photographer?

    Ciao
    Marco
     
  24. Frank Petronio

    Frank Petronio Inactive

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    Hi Marco, Most of my ancestors came from the countryside around Palermo, Sicily, but I am not sure if that really qualifies them as Italians. My daughter has studied in Italy and studies Italian at college. The funny thing is that after being "Americanized" we feel more like northerners.

    Petronio wrote the "Satyricon" during Nero's reign; there was also a General Petronius who killed all the jews in Libya during Roman times. While it would be nice to claim Roman heritage, I suspect that my ancestors were southern serfs who took their master's name. Anyway, "Petronio" is still popular family name - there is a great modern dancer in San Francisco (The Stephen Petronio Company), a tool making company in Italy, a chain of fancy menswear shops (I have a shirt), and Linda Petronio - a hot blonde Italian pornstar.
     
  25. MarcoF

    MarcoF Member

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    Thank you for the (great!!) reply Frank, I can't stop laughing for the porno star thing...

    Palermo, Sicilia, yes, definitely Italy :wink:...without being americanized, even if I really LOVE hiking in the South West (I usually spend my vacation between Utah and Arizona), I'm a northern guy (Milan) with a southern "blood" (my mother is from Lipari - Sicily)...

    Ciao
    Marco