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Cambo Actus G with Rodenstock 55mm f/4.5 APO Sironar Digital and Nikon Z. Very soft edges...??

rdeloe

Active member
Steve, I've never sent a lens to anyone for calibration, and I've never purchased the kind of lens you're using new. Lenses in Copal shutters are meant to come apart so you can put them on lens boards. Unless someone has messed around with it (which does happen), you should be able to unscrew the rear lens group from the shutter, mount it on your board, and shoot.
 

stevev

Member
UPDATE: The replacement lens has arrived and immediately been tested....

Thanks to Alkibiades and Rob for the additional information and perspective.

The lens arrived an hour ago and a few minutes after I unboxed it, I was down at the (same) local park to test it.

The three shots are, in order

1) an unshifted frame, resized down to 800 odd pixels to show the scene again
2) a 100% crop of the right hand edge of that frame
3) with about 22mm shift to the right, a 100% crop of the right hand edge of the shifted frame

Result: Night and day. The replacement lens is fine. Some slight softening at the fully shifted edges but quite sharp across everywhere else.

Calibration may well have been required on the first lens (now returning eastbound across the Pacific Ocean) to get it working for me, but I'm relieved and pleased that the replacement lens "unused in box" just worked, as Rob indicated it should...right out of the box :)

Unshifted full frame

unshifted-entire.jpg

100% crop of previous image

unshifted-right.jpg

Fully shifted right; 100% crop from right edge

shifted-right.jpg
 

rdeloe

Active member
UPDATE: The replacement lens has arrived and immediately been tested....

Result: Night and day. The replacement lens is fine. Some slight softening at the fully shifted edges but quite sharp across everywhere else.
That is good news indeed. It's really frustrating when you spend the money and time and something weird is going on.

As a side note, I tried an Apo-Grandagon 55/4.5 (the film progenitor of your lens) on my Fuji GFX 50R and returned it because I didn't want to have to deal with the large amount of lens cast that occurred on even small shifts. From your samples, it looks like the sensor on your Nikon Z doesn't have the issue. That's good news.
 

vvince

Member
I agree. Send it back. My copy of that lens is sharp across the frame with no blurry edges. I've used it on an Actus G with FF Sony cameras, Fuji GFX 50, and now Hasselblad 50 CII.
Hello,
I'd be curious to hear what you say about the Sironar digital 55mm on the Actus with Fuji GFX 50, since this is the setup I am considering.
Is shift available in a reasonable amount when focused at infinity? How is the image quality when shifted, compared with e.g. the original GF lenses?
Some reports in this forum said that the non digital version 55mm (the Grandagon 55mm if I remember well) was not good on the GFX when shifted (strong color cast) and was only usable unshifted...
 

rdeloe

Active member
Hello,
I'd be curious to hear what you say about the Sironar digital 55mm on the Actus with Fuji GFX 50, since this is the setup I am considering.
Is shift available in a reasonable amount when focused at infinity? How is the image quality when shifted, compared with e.g. the original GF lenses?
Some reports in this forum said that the non digital version 55mm (the Grandagon 55mm if I remember well) was not good on the GFX when shifted (strong color cast) and was only usable unshifted...
In the post just above yours I mentioned that the Apo-Grandagon 55/4.5 produced a lot of lens cast on shifting on my GFX 50R. Perhaps I am a source of "Some reports"? That's not the only issue though. I'm not using an Actus so I can't say for sure whether or not the rear of the lens clashes with the camera standard on an Actus, but it does on my VX23D outfit. This is a function of the flange distance of the lens and the depth of the sensor inside the GFX camera.

I have a long-shot option for you to think about. I just started using a modified Mamiya G 50mm f/4. It's meant for the 6x6 Mamiya 6 camera, so the image circle is large but not enormous like the Apo-Grandagon 55/4 or its cousin the Apo-Sironar Digital 55/4. Nonetheless, it is large enough to allow for 15mm of shift. Best of all, even though it's a symmetrical lens designed for a rangefinder, there's no lens cast that I can see even at 15mm.

The performance of the Mamiya G 50/4 is outstanding. It reaches what I would call peak performance at f/8. Wide-open at f/4, it's excellent in the centre, but the edges and corners are a bit softer. Colour is a bit on the warm side, but easily corrected. There's no CA that I can detect. Close performance is as good as long distance performance. Distortion is minimal, even shifted to 15mm. It's superb. I also use the Mamiya G 150/4.5, and it's even better -- outstanding from wide-open.

I also have a Fuji GF 50/3.5 so I have made head-to-head comparisons. In summary,
  • At long distances, the GF lens resolves a bit more detail than the Mamiya G, but not a lot, and you have to magnify considerably to see the difference. To my eye, it's not photographically significant in most cases.
  • At long distances, the GF lens is extremely good across the field from wide-open. It's a very consistent performer -- really superb value. In contrast, the Mamiya needs f/8 to be superb across the whole frame on my setup. I emphasize "on my setup" because slightly degraded performance below f/8 at edges and corners may be caused by parallelism problems on my camera. I need to evaluate this further to be sure.
  • Where the GF 50/3.5 falls down is close distances. At or near the minimum focus distance edges and corners are soft, and never become critically sharp. Minimum focus distance on flat targets is hardly the use case for the GF 50/3.5, so I accept the compromise the Fuji engineers made. However, by f/8 the Mamiya G is critically sharp across the whole frame on the test chart, and it's better wide-open in the corners than the GF is at f/8.
  • CA can be very bad on the GF lens, even at f/8. It varies by scene and focus distance. In the same scene, with a minor change in focus, I've gone from acceptable to useless. In that same scene, the Mamiya G lens has been consistently free of CA.
  • I find the GF lenses to be rather cool and bluish. If you only shoot GF lenses you might not notice, but put beside my older Schneider, Mamiya and Pentax lenses, I notice. I prefer the colours of the older glass. This is of course correctable, but it's something to keep in mind if you shoot GF lenses alongside other lenses and need colour consistency.
  • Finally, the GF 50/3.5 is a bit wider than the Mamiya G 50/4. If the GF lens really is 50mm, then the Mamiya G is around 52mm. I wish it had been the other way around, but so it goes.

Here are the two lens in a side-by-side at 100%. This building is 600m from my position, and both lenses are focused at a target approximately 4km in the distance. Lightroom's default sharpening is used (meaning it's a bit heavy-handed, especially for the GF lens). I adjusted the colour temperature of the Mamiya (cooler), and exposure of the Fuji (lowered). I should emphasize that the Mamiya is wide-open at f/4, while the Fuji has been closed down 1/2 stop to f/4. A clue that the Fuji is resolving a bit more is the aliasing under the sign for "the co-operators". It's present on the Fuji GF image, but not the Mamiya G image.

50mm comparison.jpg

Adapting a Mamiya G lens require permanent modifications that will make it unusable on a Mamiya 6 camera -- so forget any notion of using G lenses on both. If you want to do that, without shifting, Fotodiox makes an adapter for Mamiya 7 lenses on GFX cameras. To use a Mamiya G lens, you have to lock the shutter open. And to mount it conveniently, you have to replace the Mamiya 6 mount with something else because there are no adapters for any camera. The work is not very expensive. Locking the shutter open is not something I could do myself; I had an excellent Mamiya technician do that for me (Bill Rogers in Las Vegas). I'm building my own mount solution.

Full-size JPEGs for wide-open to f/22 for both lenses are available from a Google Drive folder I've shared via this page (scroll down to the bottom): https://www.robdeloephotography.com/Pages/Toyo-VX23D-and-Fuji-GFX-50R My only caveat about those files is, as noted aboe, some of the softness at wide apertures on the Mamiya G 50/4 that I'm seeing on the right-hand side of the frame may be due to parallelism problems. I'm using a temporary mount while I'm waiting for the bits and pieces I need to build my replacement mount to come in; the temporary mount might be ever so slightly off -- enough to be noticeable at f/4 and f/5.6.
 
Last edited:

scho

Well-known member
The 55 Grandagon is actually the version that I have and I don't recall experiencing any color casts when using in shifted mode.
 

vvince

Member
In the post just above yours I mentioned that the Apo-Grandagon 55/4.5 produced a lot of lens cast on shifting on my GFX 50R. Perhaps I am a source of "Some reports"? That's not the only issue though. I'm not using an Actus so I can't say for sure whether or not the rear of the lens clashes with the camera standard on an Actus, but it does on my VX23D outfit. This is a function of the flange distance of the lens and the depth of the sensor inside the GFX camera.

I have a long-shot option for you to think about. I just started using a modified Mamiya G 50mm f/4. It's meant for the 6x6 Mamiya 6 camera, so the image circle is large but not enormous like the Apo-Grandagon 55/4 or its cousin the Apo-Sironar Digital 55/4. Nonetheless, it is large enough to allow for 15mm of shift. Best of all, even though it's a symmetrical lens designed for a rangefinder, there's no lens cast that I can see even at 15mm.

The performance of the Mamiya G 50/4 is outstanding. It reaches what I would call peak performance at f/8. Wide-open at f/4, it's excellent in the centre, but the edges and corners are a bit softer. Colour is a bit on the warm side, but easily corrected. There's no CA that I can detect. Close performance is as good as long distance performance. Distortion is minimal, even shifted to 15mm. It's superb. I also use the Mamiya G 150/4.5, and it's even better -- outstanding from wide-open.

I also have a Fuji GF 50/3.5 so I have made head-to-head comparisons. In summary,
  • At long distances, the GF lens resolves a bit more detail than the Mamiya G, but not a lot, and you have to magnify considerably to see the difference. To my eye, it's not photographically significant in most cases.
  • At long distances, the GF lens is extremely good across the field from wide-open. It's a very consistent performer -- really superb value. In contrast, the Mamiya needs f/8 to be superb across the whole frame on my setup. I emphasize "on my setup" because slightly degraded performance below f/8 at edges and corners may be caused by parallelism problems on my camera. I need to evaluate this further to be sure.
  • Where the GF 50/3.5 falls down is close distances. At or near the minimum focus distance edges and corners are soft, and never become critically sharp. Minimum focus distance on flat targets is hardly the use case for the GF 50/3.5, so I accept the compromise the Fuji engineers made. However, by f/8 the Mamiya G is critically sharp across the whole frame on the test chart, and it's better wide-open in the corners than the GF is at f/8.
  • CA can be very bad on the GF lens, even at f/8. It varies by scene and focus distance. In the same scene, with a minor change in focus, I've gone from acceptable to useless. In that same scene, the Mamiya G lens has been consistently free of CA.
  • I find the GF lenses to be rather cool and bluish. If you only shoot GF lenses you might not notice, but put beside my older Schneider, Mamiya and Pentax lenses, I notice. I prefer the colours of the older glass. This is of course correctable, but it's something to keep in mind if you shoot GF lenses alongside other lenses and need colour consistency.
  • Finally, the GF 50/3.5 is a bit wider than the Mamiya G 50/4. If the GF lens really is 50mm, then the Mamiya G is around 52mm. I wish it had been the other way around, but so it goes.

Here are the two lens in a side-by-side at 100%. This building is 600m from my position, and both lenses are focused at a target approximately 4km in the distance. Lightroom's default sharpening is used (meaning it's a bit heavy-handed, especially for the GF lens). I adjusted the colour temperature of the Mamiya (cooler), and exposure of the Fuji (lowered). I should emphasize that the Mamiya is wide-open at f/4, while the Fuji has been closed down 1/2 stop to f/4. A clue that the Fuji is resolving a bit more is the aliasing under the sign for "the co-operators". It's present on the Fuji GF image, but not the Mamiya G image.

View attachment 181582

Adapting a Mamiya G lens require permanent modifications that will make it unusable on a Mamiya 6 camera -- so forget any notion of using G lenses on both. If you want to do that, without shifting, Fotodiox makes an adapter for Mamiya 7 lenses on GFX cameras. To use a Mamiya G lens, you have to lock the shutter open. And to mount it conveniently, you have to replace the Mamiya 6 mount with something else because there are no adapters for any camera. The work is not very expensive. Locking the shutter open is not something I could do myself; I had an excellent Mamiya technician do that for me (Bill Rogers in Las Vegas). I'm building my own mount solution.

Full-size JPEGs for wide-open to f/22 for both lenses are available from a Google Drive folder I've shared via this page (scroll down to the bottom): https://www.robdeloephotography.com/Pages/Toyo-VX23D-and-Fuji-GFX-50R My only caveat about those files is, as noted aboe, some of the softness at wide apertures on the Mamiya G 50/4 that I'm seeing on the right-hand side of the frame may be due to parallelism problems. I'm using a temporary mount while I'm waiting for the bits and pieces I need to build my replacement mount to come in; the temporary mount might be ever so slightly off -- enough to be noticeable at f/4 and f/5.6.
Hello Rob, and thank you very much for taking the time for such a detailed reply.

You are actually the source of "some reports" ;-) I had seen your thread dedicated to the Rodenstock Apo Grandagon 55mm on the Fuji GFX 50.
The reason I asked again here is that you tested the Grandagon with disappointing results, and Carl said he has good result with the 55mm Apo sironar digital version of the lens on the GFX with the Actus (or that is how I interpreted his post). I thought that the digital lens had coatings better optimized for the sensors preventing the color cast you observed. However in the post just above Carl now says that he actually has the Grandagon version, the same you tested, so I am confused now...

Regarding the Mamiya G lenses : you got impressive results! I have a Mamiya 7II with many lenses, including the 50mm (my favourite together with the 80mm). I suspect that it is optically similar to the G lens for the Mamiya 6 (although not exactly the same : the Mamiya 7 50mm is f4.5 while the G 50mm is f4). However it looks like there is no easy way to mount them on an Actus, except with advanced DIY. And I live in Europe and I do not know where I could get the modification for permanently opening the Shutter, so this does not look like a realistic option for me, unfortunately.
I might at some stage try the Fotodiox adapter, but what I was mostly interested in was the tilt/shift capabilities. I already have few GF lenses (including the 50mm) and my focal lengths of interest are already covered.

Cheers
Vincent
 

vvince

Member
The 55 Grandagon is actually the version that I have and I don't recall experiencing any color casts when using in shifted mode.
Carl, could you comment on the image quality of the Grandagon 55mm on the Fuji GFX50? Compared to a GF lens? And with this lens on the Actus, are there problems (the lens being too close to the camera body) for shifting when focused at infinity?
Thanks, cheers
 

stevev

Member
Vincent,

If it is of interest to you, I am using Mamiya RZ67 lenses (50, 65, 75 & 90) on the Cambo Actus with excellent results. FYI, the Mamiya 50mm ULD (the version with floating elements) is, to my eye, sharper than the Rodenstock 55mm APO Sironar Digital. And it is wider of course.

The Rodie sits very close to the camera plate and so tilt/swing looks limited. I don’t want to chance scraping the rear element on the camera plate so I only shift/rise/fall the camera body when using it on the Actus and tend to avoid lens movements altogether. The Mamiya lenses have no such issues as they reside well away from the camera body.

Cheers,
Steve.
 

vvince

Member
Vincent,

If it is of interest to you, I am using Mamiya RZ67 lenses (50, 65, 75 & 90) on the Cambo Actus with excellent results. FYI, the Mamiya 50mm ULD (the version with floating elements) is, to my eye, sharper than the Rodenstock 55mm APO Sironar Digital. And it is wider of course.

The Rodie sits very close to the camera plate and so tilt/swing looks limited. I don’t want to chance scraping the rear element on the camera plate so I only shift/rise/fall the camera body when using it on the Actus and tend to avoid lens movements altogether. The Mamiya lenses have no such issues as they reside well away from the camera body.

Cheers,
Steve.
Thank you Steve, of course it is of great interest! I am really interested in any good option for shifting in the 40-65mm range.
I guess you convinced me that the Rodenstock 55mm APO Sironar Digital is not the option I am looking for. If it was cheap, I could give it a try, but it's not.
The Mamiya 50mm ULD look like a great option, if I can find one (nothing on Ebay Europe at the moment...). Would you know by any chance if a 50mm Sekor Z would perform similarly. I have zero experience with Mamiya RZ67 lenses...
Which version of the 65, 75 and 90mm do you use, also ULD with floating elements?

Cheers
Vincent
 

scho

Well-known member
The Cambo 60mm Actar is relatively inexpensive and performs very well on the Actus.
 

Alkibiades

Active member
I think the most important thing is for what you need the lens.
If you make landscape without much staight lines and with limited movements the Mamiya 50 mm could be OK for you.
If you make architecture this will not be a good option, 50 mm and 50 ULD has visible distortion, 55 as a symetrical lens has no distorion.
Also 55 will give you much bigger image circle with much movements and better corner sharpness.
The big deal with Roddy 55 mm is that it has no color cast issue , on all sensors. Afcourse there is a need for Color correction- but all lenses from rodenstock-schneider need it- even the extremly expensive 90 mm HR WS. The point is that the color correction at the 55 mm can be fully removed- fully. all 55 roddy has same lensdesign and the same LCC is needed, there are no differences between old and new in the color correction.
The differances are only in sharpness but never in LCC.
the 50 MP 33x44 sony sensor has no issuess with 55 mm roddy, but the new sony back illuminated sensor (42-45,60-100,150 MP) is much better for movements indeed.
The sony sensors have same issuess and no differences iin whatl Cameras it has been used, no matter if Phase one, Fuji , Hasselblad, sony, nikon ect... Same sensor, same color cast.
 

rdeloe

Active member
It's interesting that two people have now said there are no lens cast issues with the 55mm Rodenstock on the 50MP 33x44mm sensor, and yet I had very obvious lens cast issues on my GFX 50R. This is shifted around 5mm. I didn't keep the lens once I saw this, so I can't go back and try again to determine if it was operator trouble. Although I'm hard pressed to see how it could be operator trouble. Lenses either do this or they don't on my camera. It's not ambiguous.

Rod 55 lens cast.jpg
 

rdeloe

Active member
Hello Rob, and thank you very much for taking the time for such a detailed reply.

You are actually the source of "some reports" ;-) I had seen your thread dedicated to the Rodenstock Apo Grandagon 55mm on the Fuji GFX 50.
The reason I asked again here is that you tested the Grandagon with disappointing results, and Carl said he has good result with the 55mm Apo sironar digital version of the lens on the GFX with the Actus (or that is how I interpreted his post). I thought that the digital lens had coatings better optimized for the sensors preventing the color cast you observed. However in the post just above Carl now says that he actually has the Grandagon version, the same you tested, so I am confused now...

Regarding the Mamiya G lenses : you got impressive results! I have a Mamiya 7II with many lenses, including the 50mm (my favourite together with the 80mm). I suspect that it is optically similar to the G lens for the Mamiya 6 (although not exactly the same : the Mamiya 7 50mm is f4.5 while the G 50mm is f4). However it looks like there is no easy way to mount them on an Actus, except with advanced DIY. And I live in Europe and I do not know where I could get the modification for permanently opening the Shutter, so this does not look like a realistic option for me, unfortunately.
I might at some stage try the Fotodiox adapter, but what I was mostly interested in was the tilt/shift capabilities. I already have few GF lenses (including the 50mm) and my focal lengths of interest are already covered.

Cheers
Vincent
Vincent, I can't explain why my results with the Rodenstock 55/4 stand out from other peoples' results (but see the sample image above).

If a 60mm lens would be satisfactory, you have more choices. The Apo-Componon HM 60/4 or its identical twin the Apo-Digitar 60/4 has an image circle that on paper seems too small to be useful as a shift lens on GFX, but it's actually a very conservative specification. I can get a clean 9mm of shift at infinity on that lens. Image quality is excellent. Full resolution JPEG samples are available at the link I posted above.
 

Alkibiades

Active member
It's interesting that two people have now said there are no lens cast issues with the 55mm Rodenstock on the 50MP 33x44mm sensor, and yet I had very obvious lens cast issues on my GFX 50R. This is shifted around 5mm. I didn't keep the lens once I saw this, so I can't go back and try again to determine if it was operator trouble. Although I'm hard pressed to see how it could be operator trouble. Lenses either do this or they don't on my camera. It's not ambiguous.

View attachment 181595
please read my expenasion correctly.
All Schneider/Rodenstock lenses- espacially wide- has Color cast. This is a fact. the one less the other more.
More wide- more color cast.
this is not an issue but a normal behavier of these lenses.
Therefor you should make always a standart LCC correction shot with the white milky board and remove the color cast in capture one or phocus.
even when you see no CCast you should do this.
This is not an issue but a normal work.
An issue become CC when the cast is too strong and the software cant remove it correctly.
This would happen on the 50 MP chip with schneider 24,28 and 35 xl lenses as also with roddy 4,5/35 and bigger movements with 4,5/45 mm ( not wit Roddy 4/35 mm HR that is a retrofocus-Digaron lens)
you see a too strong CCast when the color become dark magenta.
I hope it is clear now.
And also the 60 mm apo digitar as the xl 60 mm Digitar has color cast, very similar to the 55 mm, thay all are symetrical lenses.
 

rdeloe

Active member
please read my expenasion correctly.
All Schneider/Rodenstock lenses- espacially wide- has Color cast. This is a fact. the one less the other more.
More wide- more color cast.
this is not an issue but a normal behavier of these lenses.
Therefor you should make always a standart LCC correction shot with the white milky board and remove the color cast in capture one or phocus.
even when you see no CCast you should do this.
This is not an issue but a normal work.
An issue become CC when the cast is too strong and the software cant remove it correctly.
This would happen on the 50 MP chip with schneider 24,28 and 35 xl lenses as also with roddy 4,5/35 and bigger movements with 4,5/45 mm ( not wit Roddy 4/35 mm HR that is a retrofocus-Digaron lens)
you see a too strong CCast when the color become dark magenta.
I hope it is clear now.
And also the 60 mm apo digitar as the xl 60 mm Digitar has color cast, very similar to the 55 mm, thay all are symetrical lenses.
Alkibiades, we seem to have different understandings of what "no color cast issue" means. To me it means there's no visible colour cast, and therefore it's not necessary to shoot an LCC frame. You appear to be more conservative and shoot an LCC frame whether or not colour cast is visible. Thanks for clarifying your view on this.
 

stevev

Member
Would you know by any chance if a 50mm Sekor Z would perform similarly. I have zero experience with Mamiya RZ67 lenses...
Which version of the 65, 75 and 90mm do you use, also ULD with floating elements?
Sorry Vincent, I don't know if the 50mm Sekor Z would be as good as the 50mm ULD.

I use the 50 M ULD f/4.5. the 65 M L-A f/4, the 75 M L f/3.5 and the Mamiya-Sekor Z 90 f/3.5. The 90mm does not have floating elements while all the others do. I usually leave the floating lens focusing ring at infinity unless the subject is quite close but the system does seem to bring the edges of the (shifted) frames into quite good focus. It works well.

Compared to the Rodenstock Apo-Sironar Digital 55mm, the Mamiya 50 ULD has better edges and is slightly crisper overall. Nevertheless the 125mm image circle of the Rodie may yet come in handy when I move to a sensor larger than 36x24mm, so I'm keeping it for now.

If you want some test/comparison shots let me know :)
 

stevev

Member
Vincent,

Both of these were taken with the Cambo Actus G and Mamiya 50mm M ULD, using a Z7 as the "back". It is a great combination. With a S1R on the back I can get over 36,000 pixels across...

Cheers,
Steve.

getdpi-2.jpg

getdpi-1.jpg
 

vvince

Member
Vincent,

Both of these were taken with the Cambo Actus G and Mamiya 50mm M ULD, using a Z7 as the "back". It is a great combination. With a S1R on the back I can get over 36,000 pixels across...

Cheers,
Steve.

View attachment 181620

View attachment 181621

Nice shots Steve! and thank you for the info.
This solution works good for you. But after looking a bit more into it, it looks like the movement will be quite limited with a 33x44mm sensor : about 7mm rise/fall, which is not much...
So I might give the Rodi 55mm a try in the end, hoping that I do not get the obvious color cast of Rob...
 

vvince

Member
Vincent, I can't explain why my results with the Rodenstock 55/4 stand out from other peoples' results (but see the sample image above).

If a 60mm lens would be satisfactory, you have more choices. The Apo-Componon HM 60/4 or its identical twin the Apo-Digitar 60/4 has an image circle that on paper seems too small to be useful as a shift lens on GFX, but it's actually a very conservative specification. I can get a clean 9mm of shift at infinity on that lens. Image quality is excellent. Full resolution JPEG samples are available at the link I posted above.
Thanks Rob.
From the focal length point of view, 60mm is great for me, however 9mm shift is not too much, but I might give it a try if I find no other solution. I'll look at the samples.
 
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