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Normal to 1:1 product shoots with IQ4-150mp : XF 120mm BR vs SK 120mm Apo Digitar M with X Shutter

Caumont

Member
Hi everyone,

I mainly use the following combo in studio to shoot products : XF + 120mm BR + IQ4-150mp.

I was thinking of getting a SK Apo Digitar 120mm M and convert it with an X Shutter to enjoy mouvement and flash sync on a technical camera.

Did any of you tried this lens with the IQ4-150mp?

I have the Rodenstock 120mm Macro Digital that works well with this DDB but it’s not compatible with the X Shutter.

Also it seems that the ASPH version of the SK 120mm is even better but I’m not sure if it’s as good for 1:1 or close.

Thank you for feedback!
Best,

Vincent
 

RodK

Member
The 120mm ASPH is fantastic at distance as well as up close. I have heard there were discussions to replace the Macro 120 with the ASPH. When it was going to be announced, My boss in France sent the ASPH to me to test as he did not have time. I set it up, as it was not R mounted yet, on my M-Two and first shot it inside. Wow! The contrast and sharpness was spectacular. I highly recommend it. They announced a 100mm, and I immediately ordered, but it was never produced, so I did not get one. I am watching for a 120mm ASPH.

Hope this helps.
Rod
 

gerald.d

Well-known member
The 120mm ASPH is fantastic at distance as well as up close. I have heard there were discussions to replace the Macro 120 with the ASPH. When it was going to be announced, My boss in France sent the ASPH to me to test as he did not have time. I set it up, as it was not R mounted yet, on my M-Two and first shot it inside. Wow! The contrast and sharpness was spectacular. I highly recommend it. They announced a 100mm, and I immediately ordered, but it was never produced, so I did not get one. I am watching for a 120mm ASPH.

Hope this helps.
Rod
Can you define in a little more detail what you mean by "up close"?

I have the 120mm 5.6/120 Aspheric and find it very unsatisfactory at 1:1 magnification. I guess it's possible I have a duff copy - do you have an example of a 1:1 magnification image that you have shot with the lens that you could share?

Kind regards,


Gerald.
 

Alkibiades

Active member
Can you define in a little more detail what you mean by "up close"?

I have the 120mm 5.6/120 Aspheric and find it very unsatisfactory at 1:1 magnification. I guess it's possible I have a duff copy - do you have an example of a 1:1 magnification image that you have shot with the lens that you could share?

Kind regards,


Gerald.
The 120 mm aspheric was made for standart work to replace the Apo digitar n 120 mm. They both are optimated for infinity not for macro work. The Aspheric version allows biger movements with no lost of sharpness and is better in close work indeed. This was the same difference in the analoge period of rodenstock lenses: Apo sironar-n compared to Apo Sironar-S where the ED glasses allows the same increase of image quality and the better close up possibilities.
So for some studio work you will see no difference to real macro lenses, but if you go to 1:1 and closer the real macro lenses will have the advantage.
You cant really optimaze a lens for infinity and real close in one. Even the best lens cant be best at both distances- or you can change the lens design by using floting elements- that use rodenstock with the new 138 mm.
If you make 1:1 just take Apo Digitar macro 120 mm or 80 mm. Thay both will do the job well.
 

dougpeterson

Workshop Member
The 120ASPH and 120mm LS BR are both A or A+ lenses throughout the entire focus range you describe. I would not choose between them based on image quality as there is very little chance you will be disappointed in the color or sharpness of either lens.

You should instead decide based on workflow/features such as:
- XF allows automatic focus stacking
- XF allows autofocus
- XF allows remote focusing from computer
- XF sync speed is a bit faster
- tech camera allows rise/fall/shift
- tech camera allows tilt/swing
- price

I'd emphasize that anytime someone lists pros and cons it can be the case that a longer list of pros is automatically better. That is, of course, not the case. Each item on the list above (and any I may have forgotten) may be very important or not at all important to your particular use case, style, and needs. For example, it would be perfectly reasonable to view all of the above as valid/relevant pros/cons but to find that the allowance of tilt-swing overrides all others on the list – or that automatic focus stacking overrides all others on the list.

But don't worry about the quality – both are fantastic lenses.
 

dougpeterson

Workshop Member
The 120 mm aspheric was made for standart work to replace the Apo digitar n 120 mm. They both are optimated for infinity not for macro work. The Aspheric version allows biger movements with no lost of sharpness and is better in close work indeed. This was the same difference in the analoge period of rodenstock lenses: Apo sironar-n compared to Apo Sironar-S where the ED glasses allows the same increase of image quality and the better close up possibilities.
I have spoken directly to the optical engineer in charge of all three lenses. "The 120 mm aspheric was made for standart work to replace the Apo digitar n 120 mm." – this is simply not correct. The 120mm ASPH was meant to replace (and did replace) BOTH the 120mm N and 120mm M in the Schneider optical lineup. Once the 120mm ASPH was released (well, once the second batch was released – the first had a defect) the 120mm N and 120mm M were discontinued.

The 120mm ASPH performs excellently throughout the infinity to 1:1 range. Any theoretical advantage of the 120mm M at 1:1 is lost on me in practice; I've tested many examples of each (during the development of our DT Film Scanning Kit).

Of course your broader point is correct – if all else is equal, a lens optimized for a given magnification range will outperform a lens that is not. But that "all else equal" assumes no advance in optical design, optical manufacturing, and QC.
 

gerald.d

Well-known member
The 120 mm aspheric was made for standart work to replace the Apo digitar n 120 mm. They both are optimated for infinity not for macro work. The Aspheric version allows biger movements with no lost of sharpness and is better in close work indeed. This was the same difference in the analoge period of rodenstock lenses: Apo sironar-n compared to Apo Sironar-S where the ED glasses allows the same increase of image quality and the better close up possibilities.
So for some studio work you will see no difference to real macro lenses, but if you go to 1:1 and closer the real macro lenses will have the advantage.
You cant really optimaze a lens for infinity and real close in one. Even the best lens cant be best at both distances- or you can change the lens design by using floting elements- that use rodenstock with the new 138 mm.
If you make 1:1 just take Apo Digitar macro 120 mm or 80 mm. Thay both will do the job well.
Thanks for taking the time to reply, but I think you missed the key point I was raising.

I have the 120mm ASPH, and I find it most unsatisfactory for work in the 1:1 ballpark.

The Linos inspec. x L 5.6/105 float (in its various guises) is streets ahead in my experience.

I was asking if anyone had an example of a 1:1 shot taken with the Schneider so that I could compare it to what I get, in order to determine if I have a duff copy.

Maybe I need to shoot the two lenses and share the results.

What aperture would you advise to use on the 120mm at 1:1 to get the best out of it?

Kind regards,


Gerald.
 

Alkibiades

Active member
Thanks for taking the time to reply, but I think you missed the key point I was raising.

I have the 120mm ASPH, and I find it most unsatisfactory for work in the 1:1 ballpark.

The Linos inspec. x L 5.6/105 float (in its various guises) is streets ahead in my experience.

I was asking if anyone had an example of a 1:1 shot taken with the Schneider so that I could compare it to what I get, in order to determine if I have a duff copy.

Maybe I need to shoot the two lenses and share the results.

What aperture would you advise to use on the 120mm at 1:1 to get the best out of it?

Kind regards,


Gerald.
At all Schneider lenses of the last genaration (28, 43, 60 xl) the best aperture is 8, so the 120 asph should be at 8 also on the physical top.
maybe you could send some examples of your shots, details, not the whole file- so we could see it.
 
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