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Schneider APO Digitar / Rodenstock Digital with Cambo Actus for Still lifes.

rdeloe

Well-known member
Thanks for the links!

Makro-Symmar 80/5.6 has a 141mm image cirlce, would not this be too big for a cambo setup with a small MF ? I've read somewhere that APO Digitars were somehow modified to fit the MF and I'm kind of scared to get lenses which are not in Cambo's compatibility list...

And for the industrial mounts, do you know what lensplate should be used with Cambo Actus? NK #0 ?
An overly-large image circle that doesn't have the proper measures to control light can be a problem. However, I've only ever encountered this problem once (and that's with long enlarger lenses that were never meant to be taking lenses). The Makro-Symmar 80/5.6 is a taking lens. It's not your only option at 80mm though. Are you actually shooting near 1:1 or higher magnifications? I ask because in your introduction you say you shoot table-top. The Apo-Digitar 80/4 is designed for table-top. You can use it at 1:1, but it won't be quite as good as a macro lens. (Although like a lot of lenses, if you reverse it, it's better at 1:1 than in the normal position.) It excels at tabletop distances. If you don't need 1:1 you could get one of those. Frankly I'd get a Componon-S 80/4 and save myself the money -- but that's me.

Schneider's industrial mount system uses a special "BV" mount, which is designed for their UNIFOC system. Inexpensive adapters from Schneider, and from eBay sellers, convert to more common threads. For example, my Apo-Componon HM 60/4 has the Schneider adapter that converts to Leica thread mount (39mm x 1/26th" -- for enlargers). My Makro-Symmar 120/5.9 has a Chinese eBay adapter that converts to M42x1. The ACB-39 panel is for 39mm x 1/26th" enlarger lens thread mount. They don't seem to have a lenplate for M4x21. However, M42x1 thread lenses would fit in a Copal 1 hole, so you'd just have to use an M42x1 nut to lock them down. The silver ring on the lens at left is the Schneider product, while the black ring at right is generic eBay. They slip over the BV mount and then lock down with three set screws; you can see one set screw to the left of the word "Schneider" on the left-hand lens.

Lenses.jpg

I completely understand your concern about using lenses that Cambo has not given its seal of approval. Keep in mind that just because Cambo hasn't added to its list, that doesn't mean it won't work. Sometimes it does mean that it won't work! However, other times it simply means that Cambo doesn't sell it, or hasn't tried it. In my experience, if the flange distance is appropriate, and if you can put it on a board, and if the image circle is large enough, then it should work.

If you have the money, it's certainly safer to stick to the list of approved lenses.
 

Hemmi

Member
Are you actually shooting near 1:1 or higher magnifications? I ask because in your introduction you say you shoot table-top. The Apo-Digitar 80/4 is designed for table-top. You can use it at 1:1, but it won't be quite as good as a macro lens. (Although like a lot of lenses, if you reverse it, it's better at 1:1 than in the normal position.) It excels at tabletop distances. If you don't need 1:1 you could get one of those. Frankly I'd get a Componon-S 80/4 and save myself the money -- but that's me.
I'll be shooting still life perfumes / cosmetics / watches so I think it's gonna be between 1:7 and 1:1, very rarely going to 2:1 maybe to shoot textures, and I was not sure myself if I need a macro, but now you told me about lens reversing, it can be the trick ! Nevertheless I would prefer a macro lens that can go to 1:7 limits, especially if it's not expensive like the Camponon if there's any...

I've been using only canon primes before mostly for portraits, so even never hold a conventional macro lens in my hands, not to speak about these vintage lenses ... So this 1:7 to 1:1 range is just my guess... Not easy to dive into this MF Cambo world, but you guys have been so helpful !
 

vvince

Member
If you have the money, it's certainly safer to stick to the list of approved lenses.
Well, not even this is safe : check this thread

Cambo says that the Rodenstock 55mm is compatible with the Actus/GFX (but with limited movements) while infinity focus (with no movements) is not achieved :-(
That is not what I call compatible with limited movements...
I would trust more the feedback from users who actually successfully tried/use the lens/camera combo, and this forum is a great place to get such feedback.

Cheers
Vincent
 
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epforever

Member
Do you mean that a specific Copal shutter will always fire for example 1/360 instead of 1/500, every time I use it. Or do you mean a Copal shutter will have a different shutter speed each time I fire it during the same shoot ? If it's the second case, than it's gonna be a problem for focus stacking or stitching...
I'm not the one who brought up the potential inaccuracy of Copal shutters, but I'll answer: Not the second case, and maybe not the first either. The Copal shutter you have on any particular lens might be accurate at all shutter speeds, or it might be slightly off for some of them. But if it's slightly off, it will still expose the same way every shot. No worries for stacking, stitching, etc.

Also, for clarity, when I said, "Try shooting at 1/60, f/11, ISO 100 indoors with only natural light," my point was, that shot will probably be completely black. Which shows you that any inaccuracy in shutter speeds won't make one bit of difference if you're shooting still life indoors, with or without strobes.
 

rdeloe

Well-known member
I'll be shooting still life perfumes / cosmetics / watches so I think it's gonna be between 1:7 and 1:1, very rarely going to 2:1 maybe to shoot textures, and I was not sure myself if I need a macro, but now you told me about lens reversing, it can be the trick ! Nevertheless I would prefer a macro lens that can go to 1:7 limits, especially if it's not expensive like the Camponon if there's any...

I've been using only canon primes before mostly for portraits, so even never hold a conventional macro lens in my hands, not to speak about these vintage lenses ... So this 1:7 to 1:1 range is just my guess... Not easy to dive into this MF Cambo world, but you guys have been so helpful !
I checked a bit more into the Makro-Symmar 80/5.6 and apparently it's a bit soft at 100% (wide-open). That doesn't mean it's a bad lens, but depending on how you use it that might be a concern.

Regarding your point about "vintage", Schneider still makes and sells lenses like the Makro-Symmar 120/5.9, so it's not exactly vintage. I do use a lot of vintage lenses, but that's not one of them.
 

Hemmi

Member
Some more questions about Apo Digitars with Cambo.

As I understood, a copal shutter or an aperture mount use ACB-0 lensplate. What about "focus mount", like this one ? Will it fit with ACB-0 ?

What about this one, it comes attached to a board, I guess I have to remove the lens from the board to install it on Actus ? Is it possible ?

Why do Apo Digitars with electronic shutter are so inexpensive compared to Copal ?
Can I buy one, remove the e-shutter somehow and install the lens on Cambo Actus (to use with GFX50R that has a focal plane shutter)?
 

anyone

Well-known member
The electronic shutters require the fitting lens control device for operation. Nobody stops you to unscrew them and mount them in an aperture mount (disclaimer: I sell currently one), but whether you keep the performance of the lens is the question. I was brave and did it with two lenses and didn‘t regret it, but I guess that depends on your risk tolerance.

Removing lenses from a camera plate is a routine task and just requires a wrench. It doesn‘t take longer than a minute to do it.
 

rdeloe

Well-known member
Some more questions about Apo Digitars with Cambo.

As I understood, a copal shutter or an aperture mount use ACB-0 lensplate. What about "focus mount", like this one ? Will it fit with ACB-0 ?

What about this one, it comes attached to a board, I guess I have to remove the lens from the board to install it on Actus ? Is it possible ?

Why do Apo Digitars with electronic shutter are so inexpensive compared to Copal ?
Can I buy one, remove the e-shutter somehow and install the lens on Cambo Actus (to use with GFX50R that has a focal plane shutter)?
That "focus mount" is simply a helical. I had a Makro-Symmar 180/5.6 in one of those. I could not remove the cells, meaning they were glued in. I have broken the glue bond on other lenses with solvents and heat, but now we're taking a pretty big risk. If you look closely at the pictures on that item, you'll see the mounting plate has four screw holes. It's trivial to screw one of those onto an Actus plate (assuming the diameter of the focus mount base fits on the board, and assuming the rear cell passes through the hole in the board). However, if it fits this will require drilling and tapping four holes into your Actus plate. One nice thing about those focus mounts is they give you a touch more extension.

The Apo-Digitars with electronic shutters are more expensive because they're not used much anymore (I would guess). As Anyone suggested, you can remove the cells and rehouse them in a Copal shutter or an iris mount... but now you have to start worrying about shimming them (possibly) to get best performance.

If you are now open to a 120mm lens, by coincidence I was just chatting with Robert about these. He told me that the Makro-Symmar 120 is better than any Nikon macro lens, 200mm, 105mm, etc that he's ever tested. I believe he concluded (see his site) that it's a toss up between the Apo Digitar M and the Makro-Symmar. He's tested an awful lot of these lenses so I would take his word. The nice thing about these Makro-Symmar 120s in iris mounts is you you can mount them easily without having to modify your Actus board, and you can get them for a whole lot less than Apo-Digitar lenses.
 

Steve Hendrix

Active member
Keep in mind if you have an Actus, that Cambo offers very affordable solutions with the Actar lenses 60mm/80mm/90mm/120mm. These lenses range from around $950 - $1,450 brand new.

Yes, we sell them, so you can buy from an authorized dealer, new lenses at great prices, and with full warranty, for your Actus.

This price also includes the Copal 0 lensboard (normally $166), which is built into the Actar lenses. And the lenses have a very nice aperture ring that works wonderfully. I cannot say what the origin of any Actar lens is - obviously, Cambo does not manufacture lenses themselves . They have taken lenses and created excellent mounting solutions with these lenses for use with the Actus view cameras (as well as the WRS tech cameras).

While I can't officially say that the Actar 60mm/80mm/90mm/120mm lenses are Schneider APO Digitar in origin, if one was looking for Schneider APO Digitar performance, the Actar 60mm/80mm/90mm/120mm lenses would satisfy that itch. ;)


Steve Hendrix/CI
 

med

Active member
While I can't officially say that the Actar 60mm/80mm/90mm/120mm lenses are Schneider APO Digitar in origin, if one was looking for Schneider APO Digitar performance, the Actar 60mm/80mm/90mm/120mm lenses would satisfy that itch. ;)


Steve Hendrix/CI
Would the 120 Actar lens happen to have an ASPH element, and offer performance similar to the Schneider 120 ASPH?
 

Hemmi

Member
Two lenses that work really well for studio are the Schneider APO Digitar 80mm and the APO Digitar 120mm.
Hi, I saw you are selling both lenses ? Have you happened to use the 120 M in 1:3-1:10 range ? I've heard that it's truely great for 3:1-1:3 range but the sharpness degrades quickly after 1:3. Have you noticed it ? I need a 120mm lens for 1:1-1:10 ratios and now hesitating between 120M and 120N.
 

Hemmi

Member
if one was looking for Schneider APO Digitar performance, the Actar 60mm/80mm/90mm/120mm lenses would satisfy that itch.
Hi,

I'm looking for a lens to work in 1:1-1:10 ratios.

Cambo leaflet says Actar 120 is adapted for 1:1-1:10 ratios.
But my Cambo dealer says that the 120 is actually a macro version and that Actar 90 would be better across 1:1-1:10 range for product photography.

Could you possibly explain why ?

Is it because Actar 120 is like Apo Digitar 120M, meaning it's more adapted to 1:1-1:3 but quickly looses sharpness after ? This is where the 90 beats the 120 ?

Thank you !
 

Geoff

Active member
Just want to add a bit of older context to this high-flying discussion - have been using view camera lenses with only copal shutters for some time, without issue. Yes, there are some slight inaccuracies on shutter speeds, but with digital backs, check the histogram, adjust. Or adjust in post. And as long as they reasonably consistent, focus stacking should be feasible, although not done here.
One other thing - the whole tech/view camera world has a lot more flexibility and intrinsic knowledge as part of its realm. This is different than say digital FF camera research, where you ask a question, get an answer. In the view camera world, there are many ways to do things, no one way. What is consistent throughout is that the sheer quality of the image, its clarity, is different. There are many reasons for this, some hard to quantify, but it generally results in high levels of satisfaction, although the path may meander a bit more than one is used to. It takes a while to get used to that.
 

diggles

Well-known member
Hi, I saw you are selling both lenses ? Have you happened to use the 120 M in 1:3-1:10 range ? I've heard that it's truely great for 3:1-1:3 range but the sharpness degrades quickly after 1:3. Have you noticed it ? I need a 120mm lens for 1:1-1:10 ratios and now hesitating between 120M and 120N.
Here is a behind the scenes post of an image that was taken with the Cambo Actus + Schneider 120M:

I'm not sure of the exact ratios, but it seems like it is in the range you are interested in. PM me if you are interested in getting a link to the full res file.
 
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