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Anyone using the Rodenstock 23mm?

peterm1

Member
I have an IQ3 100 I am using with a Cambo tech cam and the Rodenstock 32mm HR and 90mm APO Sinaron lenses. The 32mm is amazing and I am intrigued by the 23mm because I love shooting wide, although I hear that it tends to flare and needs the center filter. Anyone out there using this lens and would be willing to share their thoughts on it (good, bad and ugly?).

Thanks!

Peter
 

Paul2660

Well-known member
Don't own it, but have used it on IQ260, and 3100. Needs the CF, just like the 28mm does, or strong Vignetting even on center. Costs 2 stops. is 95mm outside diameter, 72mm inside. Costs around 1K, (2 years ago). Same filter for 23 works on 28mm.

Flare is supposedly better on new lenses made after around 2016, lens I used both times had flare issues but most wides seem to have that issue Tech glass or Phase One.

Optically amazing, period

Use, for me was too limited since you only have 5mm of shift, due to smaller IC and built in IC indicator which Rodenstock puts in all their glass, and you will see some optical abnormalities before you hit 5mm, (mainly a white band before the hard dark vignette of the IC indicator). Still not sure why Rodenstock puts that in all their glass. White band tends to show up more in the sky, and the LCC will not correct it like it does normal light fall off, so for me in situations where I was working with a lot of sky, shift was really pointless. You have more range with rise and fall, maybe around 7mm? or so. But the 70mm IC is limiting.

Color cast on 3100 is extreme, (do a search on this site for some of the posts from around 2016 when the 3100 was first shipping as there are some great tests of the 23mm) LCC will correct most of it if not all of it in landscape work.

I picked the 28mm over the 23mm and sold the 28mm when I purchased the 32mm since the 32mm IMO was more useable with the 3100 (due less color cast or at least more manageable color cast and a lot more movement).

And it's hard to justify both the 28mm and 32mm. Have looked a few times at the 23mm, but new it's just too much now especially when the CF is added to the price.

Paul C
 

vieri

Well-known member
Hello Peter,

as you know, I just got the PhaseOne XT with the 23, 32 and a couple more lenses - my first, informal tests tells me that the lens is optically amazing, as Paul said. Shift is limited, but you knew that already; if you are OK with the small amount of shift, and considering you'll get more room for shift according to the crop you intend to use (i.e. 1:1 allows for a little more, 2:1 as well, and so on), then limited shift it's a non-issue. Vignette is definitely there, no way around that. However, since vignette is a very personal thing, I would say that you can use it without center filter if you do love vignette and are OK with correcting some of it in post, either via LCC or manually (harder to do but possible). With your back, probably you'll need a LCC anyway to correct for colour cast, so that would take care of vignette as well. Obviously, a center filter would be the ideal solution, without any penalty in noise coming from the LCC raising light levels in shadows areas; the shutter speed penalty is probably something you can easily live with, considering the kind of work you do.

Hope this helps! The 23mm will be the first lens that I will put to my in-depth tests, so if you can wait a couple of weeks I'll have more answers for you :)

Best regards,

Vieri
 

beano_z

Active member
Hi Peter, I was in the same position as you are now a few years back: I had the 32 and the 90 and back then I started to get some assignments in increasingly smaller interiors so I decided to invest in the 23mm. I got the"second" version with the gold ring which was supposed to be more flare resistant than the pink ring version, but still, my experience with it was that it's very, very prone to flare, almost as bad as the HR-SW 90mm. I hate using lens hoods so I came up with my own shade mounted on top of the ALPA body (I think I've posted it in the tech-cam thread around here). There are ready made options from DINKUM for this as well.

I have purchased it with the center filter and have left it on there since the beginning, I found it essential for interiors. A vignette you can always add in post if desired, but a two stop underexposure in the corner I find in some situations very hard to deal with.

When I was using the lens with the IQ3 100mp, I'd always shoot LCC's, because it's basically unusable without. Now with the IQ4 150mp it seems unnecessary, I get away without any LCC shots. As for movements, I often use a modest amount, like 3~4 vertical shift, just to correct the perspective a little bit, I find this more than adequate for interiors.

I've not really shot landscape or cityscape with it, since I find it a little too wide for outdoor shots, the distortion gets out of hand quite quickly.
 

peterm1

Member
Thank you very much everyone. Vieri, looking forward to your report! I found a used copy of the older more flare prone version, but I am hesitant to pull the trigger just yet.
 

LCValla

Active member
I own the 23 along with the 32 and the 70 for my XT.
If I make 100 then I would say that 70% of my pictures are with the 32, 25% withe the 70 and 5% with the 23.
This because I have not used my camera a lot in interiors where the 23 is really useful.
I use center ND filters with the 23 and also with the 32, in my opinion with the 23 the filter is a must and I also think that even with the IQ4 the LCC is needed particularly for the color cast which in some cases is still something I want to correct.
The flare can be a problem and this is the reason why I always use the compendium on my camera and some time it does not solve the problem specially if you deal with a dark subject placed in the center of the frame surrounded by lighter part of the image.

Lorenzo
 

diggles

Well-known member
Anyone out there using this lens and would be willing to share their thoughts…
For the last few weeks I'd been thinking about getting a 23HR. I decided to purchase a preowned copy from Sean at Camera West in California and it arrived two days ago. So I'm hoping that the experiences of someone who just got the lens will help. There are also a few questions that I'm hoping people with more 23HR and Tech Cam experience will answer.

Here we go…

When I get a new lens I like to take test shots to get a sense for how it will work best for my needs. My goal for this test was to check for edge to edge sharpness at different f-stops and LCC. The recommended working f-stop range for the 23HR is 5.6-8 so I took shots at 5.6, 8, and 11. The images were all taken without the center filter–my plans are to get a center filter for this lens, but I do not have one yet. All of the images were taken with a Cambo WRS 1600 using the standard lens board, not the one with tilt/swing.

Here are JPEG files to show you what the raw and lcc files at f8 with no camera adjustments and about 12mm of camera fall look like. The specs list that 11 is the max recommended vertical adjustment. The center of the building was about 40 feet away and the flag was about 20 feet away.

_HBLD-02098-f8-RAW.jpg_HBLD-02099-f8-LCC.jpg_HBLD-02103-f8-12fall-RAW.jpg_HBLD-02104-f8-12fall-LCC.jpg

Here is what the images look like after processing. The LCC was corrected in Phocus and exported as a 16-bit tiff. Then I did the lens corrections using ALPA's Photoshop plugin and some exposure/color adjustments/sharpening in Photoshop as well.

_HBLD-02098-f8-FINAL.jpg_HBLD-02103-f8-12fall-Final.jpg

Even without the center filter Phocus's Scene Calibration (LCC) cleaned up these images pretty well.

Here are 100% crops at the left, center, and right. These are from the images that were taken with no shift/rise/fall. I used live view at 100% with a Hoodman loupe to focus each shot. The Windsor High School sign in the center of the frame was the point of focus and I refocused the camera for each f-stop change. You can see from the above images that the left side of the building is a little closer and the right side is a little further from the center of the frame.

f5.6
_23HR-f56.jpg

f8
_23HR-f8.jpg

f11
_23HR-f11.jpg

On all three images the center sharpness is basically the same. After sharpening, the edge sharpness for the f5.6 and f8 shots is very close as well, but the f8 is a little better in the RAW file. The edge sharpness at f11 is significantly better. I didn't try f16 because I thought that lens diffraction was going to be an issue at f11, but it seems to be fine.

Here are a couple of questions for people that have more experience with this lens, and technical cameras/lenses in general:
  1. Are the results from this test in regards to edge to edge sharpness at different f-stops about the same as your experiences with this lens?
  2. In general, if your goal is to get edge to edge sharpness do you focus at the center of the frame or the edges of the frame?
  3. For a shot like this with different layers, would you focus at the furthest thing away that you want in focus or what's in the middle? Or would you take three shots–one for the closest, middle, and furthest then see which one gives you the best results?
This post about adjusting infinity focus for Alpa lenses is very interesting and leads me to ask one more question:

  • I'm using Cambo WRS and focusing with live view. If the infinity focus is not adjusted properly could that affect edge to edge sharpness, even though I'm able to focus on the sign like I wanted to?

You can see JPEG files of the full sized images here if you are interested:
https://ln2.sync.com/dl/f6e6ce050/idp7zvgc-cpa7qdec-zgvytpqy-bnsrwdki

Warren
 

peterm1

Member
Looks great at F11 with the LCC - my concern is that it would be much harder to correct on the larger IQ3 100 sensor. anyone have any thoughts on that?
 
Warren,

With regards to focus, the beauty of a super wide lens lIke this is that your depth of field is huge. In focusing on the building at a far distance, it should all be sharp focus, particularly at f8 or f11. The only focus concern I find shooting wide angle is at very near range, if you are trying to include the near foreground. A typical approach for this situation is to take a second shot at near focus, and blend the two images together in Helicon Focus.

I think live view is the best way to focus accurately, as it avoids differences in the shim of your different lenses.
 

Paul2660

Well-known member
You might also Do a search in this site for posts by Voidshatter. He did a large series of tests with the 3100 and the 23mm and posted all the images. Hopefully the posts are still live.

Paul C
 

diggles

Well-known member
With regards to focus, the beauty of a super wide lens lIke this is that your depth of field is huge. In focusing on the building at a far distance, it should all be sharp focus, particularly at f8 or f11.
Thank you Smoothjazz!

I've taken a few more test images with the 23HR from f5.6 to f16 with a 5mm camera fall using the Cambo WRS 1600 and Hasselblad CFV II 50c back. Focusing was done with live view at 100% with a Hoodman loupe. The exact same post processing was done on the images in this comment. The images included in this comment were sharpened in Photoshop only. The images of the school in my previous comment had Texture and Clarity added in ACR plus sharpening in photoshop. It's a different scene and I used the moon as my point of focus.

This is the scene:
_HBLD-02145-f11-fall-5-23HR.jpg

Here are 100% crops at the left, center, and right sides of the scene.

f5.6
_23HR-f56.jpg

f8
_23HR-f8.jpg

f11
_23HR-f11.jpg

f16
_23HR-f16.jpg

It seems that f16 adds another level of improvement over f11 at the edges. The center still looks very sharp at f16 as well. Even though it is an improvement, the edges still look a little soft to me.

Here is a link to the full size jpg files, also includes full size jpg files of images taken from the same viewpoint with the 32HR, 50HR, and 90 APO Digitar N for reference. My 70HR is getting mounted on a Cambo lens plate at the moment or I would have included that as well:
https://ln2.sync.com/dl/26375a8e0/b6wfyd8u-c9ibwwx4-4eijkgek-bk9acnaf

These results lead me to ask photographers out there with a 23HR a couple more questions:
  1. Are these results in regards to edge sharpness at different f-stops comparable to results you have seen with your 23HR lenses?
  2. Do the edges ever get completely sharp? or are they always a bit soft with such a wide lens?
  3. Is part of the issue related to the scene being outdoors and the subject being far away from the lens? Does this same softness issue occur when taking interior images?
Overall this copy of the lens seems very sharp. The center and bottom corner is at the same level of the 32HR and 50HR. It is the edges that concern me a bit because I am unsure if the results I am seeing are 'normal' for this lens.

Any insight would be much appreciated!

Thanks!
Warren
 

rdeloe

Active member
These results lead me to ask photographers out there with a 23HR a couple more questions:
  1. Are these results in regards to edge sharpness at different f-stops comparable to results you have seen with your 23HR lenses?
  2. Do the edges ever get completely sharp? or are they always a bit soft with such a wide lens?
  3. Is part of the issue related to the scene being outdoors and the subject being far away from the lens? Does this same softness issue occur when taking interior images?
Overall this copy of the lens seems very sharp. The center and bottom corner is at the same level of the 32HR and 50HR. It is the edges that concern me a bit because I am unsure if the results I am seeing are 'normal' for this lens.

Any insight would be much appreciated!

Thanks!
Warren
Warren, can you get the corners sharp if you focus on them? If you can, then perhaps you're dealing with field curvature inherent to the lens design. (I don't own one of these so I'm not speaking from experience with this lens.) If it is field curvature, then there are strategies for working with that property.

I expect you've seen this article already but it's an enjoyable and informative overview of field curvature by Roger Cicala: https://www.dpreview.com/articles/1351719699/roger-cicala-field-curvature-for-fun-and-profit
 

peterm1

Member
Is the moon the right place to set your focus? I would have focused on the smoke stack or experimented with different focus points, but that's me.
 

diggles

Well-known member
Is the moon the right place to set your focus?
The reason I focused on the moon was for infinity focus and I wanted to see how things stay in focus from far to near. With the 23 I'm not sure you can see the difference whether I focus on the moon or the smokestack, but I could tell the difference when I focused on the smokestack or the moon with the 90mm. When focusing on the smokestack with the 90mm, the electric pole next to it is slightly out of focus.

I would have focused on the smoke stack or experimented with different focus points, but that's me.
That is exactly what I'm going to do next :cool: .

My plan is to compare edge to edge sharpness when focusing in the center, right, left, and about half way in between. I'm hoping that right and left edges are in focus at the same time. The article that @rdeloe linked to above gives great insight on how to test the field curvature of your lens and use it to your advantage.
 
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diggles

Well-known member
After reading the article about field curvature I felt compelled to test the 23HR again. I went back to the park with the smokestack and took a series of three images with different focal points:
  1. electric pole just to the left of the smokestack
  2. the trees at the right side edge of the frame
  3. about halfway in between
A few things to note. The electric pole is in focus just a little shy of the hard stop. When focusing on the trees at the right edge I went all the way to the hard stop, but it seems that they would even be more in focus if I was able to go further.

Here is the scene
_HBLD-02163-f11-fall-5-edges-23HR-2048.jpg

Focusing at the edges gave me the sharpest overall image.

f11
_23HR-f11-edges.jpg

You can see the full sized image at f11 here:
https://ln2.sync.com/dl/75fc535f0/56f3nfkd-maq7j5j4-wyrbassw-p47e2gr3

After running this test I was considering adjusting the infinity stop on the lens so I could turn the focus ring a little further and get the trees at the edge perfectly in focus.

Before doing so, I decided to take an interior photo with the 23HR to see how the focus looks at the edges. The edges on the interior shot looked great. They were just as sharp as the rest of the image. Would it be possible for the edges to be less sharp when the subject matter is further away? Like the trees in the park image?
 

rdeloe

Active member
Would it be possible for the edges to be less sharp when the subject matter is further away? Like the trees in the park image?
The example you posted here looks good to me.

To your question, I have lenses where the quality of the image at the edges varies directly with both aperture and focus distance. One in particular, which unlike yours was designed for close work, is superb wide open across the frame at its design distance, but only gets good at the edges once I hit f/11. What you're describing sounds entirely possible.

By the way, I had a look at Rodenstock's MTF data for the lens you're using. What a lovely optic. I wish I could use it on my outfit.
 
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