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Macro studio lens

cunim

Active member
I use a Rodenstock apo macro sironar digital 120 as my go to studio lens, and the SK macro 120 LS on the XF when I don't need movements. Very pleased with the SK for single or stacked shots and the Rodie 120 is a solid performer. I need its large image circle to set up my typical tilt and swing configuratons. Good IQ is only available over part of the Rodie's IC, but that useful part is enough so that I can avoid stacking most shots.

With the Arca Swiss promotion, the Rodenstock macro HR 105 is discounted prior to the looming price hike. From what I see of the specs, that is a pretty special lens but it is saddled with an 82 mm IC. I could only move a bit with it, but that would be enough for some shots. Started me thinking about whether there would be any rational reason to add this expensive and specialized lens as an intermediate between the Rodie and SK 120s.

Has anyone used the 105 macro enough to know its capabilities on a view camera? I have only found one review.
 

MGrayson

Subscriber and Workshop Member
The Float? Ultra Macro sites give it universally glowing reviews in the 1:4 to 4:1 range. I see that Jim Kasson is less enthralled, though he mentions its extreme CA correction. But he’s testing it only 1:1 and 1:2. No personal experience, sorry.
 
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daz7

Member
I stayed with 120 macros (have both SK and Rodenstock flavour) for the exat same reason - a very limited image circle of the 105 float - only around 80mm. Within its circle it is supposedly to be an awesome lens, better than 120s, but its limited image circle eliminates it from my typical use, when I need large IC and extensive movements. I wish it had at least 120mm IC, that would be a perfect lens.
If you do not need movements, that should be a clear improvement over any of the 120mm options.
 

P. Chong

Well-known member
The 105 Rodie is absolutely superb. I use it on a Novoflex bellows, and don’t even use the floating element adjustment. And love the result. Very sharp at even 5.6. I don’t see much distortion, and I never went beyond 1x. Here is a recent image.

The image is a 12 frame focus stack made by the Alpa Focus Stacking System – comprising of the Alpagon/Rodenstock Switar 5.6/105mm lens, the Novoflex Castel-Micro motorised bellows focusing system, the Alpa FPS focal plane shutter and the Phase One IQ3 100 digital back. The raw IIQ files were processed as jpeg by Capture One, and stacked in Helicon Focus. Resulting image is further processed in Photoshop.

33D55417-1A29-49D7-B766-F875B21437B8.jpeg
 

Paul Spinnler

Well-known member
I have one - it is an astounding lens and to my understanding superior to anything out there between 1:1 and 4:1. I can do a two part stitch of a 67 negative with it which has incredible detail and resolution. You cannot use flash with it except if you get the Alpa FPS as no classic shutter fits it. It comes from the machine vision world. You can buy the same lens from Linos for half the price, but apparently the QC is different compared to the photo variant as in machine vision systems you can align the lens by freely turning it whereas on a photo camera it is fixed.

I would recommend it especially for film scanning.

I cannot see any CA, even when photographing a tree against white sky.
 

Paul Spinnler

Well-known member
I remember trying a few shots and it was not good at infinity, but only at close to medium distances in terms of full width sharpness.

I think it is primarily a macro and close distance lens where it is fantastic.
 

cunim

Active member
Very informative. I have had a look at the images and this lens is superb and the quality goes right out to the edges of the cirle. However, the small IC is so limiting for my application. I would be interested to hear if there is any useful nonparallel movement with a 54 x 40 sensor. For example, do you have to image a book page from directly above or can you get some freedom in camera placement using tilt?
 

Paul Spinnler

Well-known member
Tilt is a principle independent of the lens - if you can mount it on an Arca Swiss view camera with T/S you should be able, as with any macro setup, to benefit from movements. It is just that it is primarily a specialized macro lens, so don't plan to use it for cityscapes ... it is at home in a studio on a bellows camera; I have it fixed on a novoflex bellows camera where I can clip in my digital back at the back.

It really shines when you go really close, ie above 1:1 so a bellows camera or a lot extension tubes are a must.
 

cunim

Active member
Thanks Paul. I use a monolith. Problem is that I often need to establish a fairly oblique POF, and that puts me into compromised areas of the IC using the 120 macro Rodenstock. I think the 105 will just hard clip as soon as I apply any real movement but I was hoping someone had a feel for how much movemment “any” is.
 

Kuky

Member
Thanks Paul. I use a monolith. Problem is that I often need to establish a fairly oblique POF, and that puts me into compromised areas of the IC using the 120 macro Rodenstock. I think the 105 will just hard clip as soon as I apply any real movement but I was hoping someone had a feel for how much movemment “any” is.
You can tilt/swing with the Rodenstock 105 safely 13 degrees on a 44x33. At least that is what I used last time. I will check this week if I have time. But at those magnifications focus stacking is your friend anyway.
 

Paul Spinnler

Well-known member
Thanks Paul. I use a monolith. Problem is that I often need to establish a fairly oblique POF, and that puts me into compromised areas of the IC using the 120 macro Rodenstock. I think the 105 will just hard clip as soon as I apply any real movement but I was hoping someone had a feel for how much movemment “any” is.
Understand. It is true that there's not much wiggle room, but since I have it on this weird V-groove adapter I cannot test it on a proper bellows camera ...
 

MGrayson

Subscriber and Workshop Member
Forgive me, as I don't fully understand your desired setup, but while tilting the lens moves the image circle (well, cone) relative to the sensor, tilting the back doesn't. That would give you everything you want with the proper focus plane, but wouldn't have the desired image geometry (effectively keystoning). I'm wondering if you couldn't then correct the latter in post. This is, in effect, "tilting the camera up" when the shift lens image vignettes before it sees the top of the building.
 
One friend tells me today that the SK industrial filed lens, macro varon 85/4.5, is an alternative solution, it's a CAS lens with float system, from 0.5x to 2x.
And it can cover the 54x40 sensor in his IQ3 100MP Tri, also it's less expensive than the Rodie 105mm float.
 

Kuky

Member
Very sharp at even 5.6.
Actually Rodenstock designed this lens to be the sharpest wide open to counteract effective aperture at high magnification. Recommended working aperture is 5.6-8 up to 1:1 and 5.6 from 2:1 to 4:1.

You cannot use flash with it except if you get the Alpa FPS as no classic shutter fits it.
You can use flash with any camera with mechanical shutter.

How's the infinity performance of this lens?
In my testing from 1:5 a Canon 90 TS-E f2.8/L Macro is a better solution (image quality wise, did not test how large IC the Canon has yet). Even Rodenstock in it's own marketing material acknowledges that from roughly 1:4 to infinity a HR Digaron-S 100mm f/4 is better. So you should buy this lens only if you specifically work in 1:4-4:1 magnification. Otherwise you will be disappointed.

The image circle of the Rodenstock 105 Macro increases in proportion to the magnification ratio. At 1x it has a usable IC of at least 120mm.
I noticed that the image quality was not degrading after the advertised 82mm IC. But on what setup did you test that? On my Cambo Actus-XL I don't have the movements to get a 120mm IC. (Or maybe I don't know how??)
 

Paul Spinnler

Well-known member
You can use flash with any camera with mechanical shutter.
That's clear – but in this context here, we are talking about using this lens in a MFD macro setup. There's no alternative to mounting it on a novoflex bellows attached to an Alpa FPS which will give you flash sync of 1/125. There is no global shutter MFD back available to consumers and that's the whole point here.

Copal doesn't fit the lens and neither does the x-shutter.

The most practical solution is the FPS route – in fact, you can just order the Alpa Macro kit which includes both.

 
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I noticed that the image quality was not degrading after the advertised 82mm IC. But on what setup did you test that? On my Cambo Actus-XL I don't have the movements to get a 120mm IC. (Or maybe I don't know how??)
I didn't test it. But it's just how lenses that do not change their focal length when focusing work. The Linos Inspec.x L 105mm Float (industrial original of the Rodenstock branded photo lens) was designed to cover 82mm line-scan sensors from 1:3 and higher magnifications. Through bellows extension the image circle gets spread over a larger area. You can calculate the IC at a given magnification M for such a lens if you know the infinity IC with this formula:
IC = IC (infinity) * (1 + M)

I just used this formula for a very conservative approximation by assuming the IC is 82mm at 0.3x.
 
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