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Thread: IQ180 and quality of older large format lens

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    IQ180 and quality of older large format lens

    Well, it's a boring hazy afternoon in Hong Kong. I "borrowed" my friend's IQ180 and decided to test my set of lens between standard to tele range. I wanted to try out how live view work and how my some of the older lens fare against the digital lenses.

    Test equipment are:

    - Linhof Techno and IQ180
    - Rodenstock 70mm HR-W
    - Rodenstock 90mm HR-W
    - Schneider 110mm Super Symmar XL
    - Rodenstock 150mm APO Sironar-S
    - Rodenstock 180mm APO Sironar-S

    All shot at ISO 100, F11, no shift, no tilt, focus confirmed through live view at 100% to 150%. Photo processed under capture one, resized in photoshop, ZERO sharpening.

    70mm

    analog lens test 70mm by yatlee, on Flickr

    70mm Crop

    analog lens test 70mm crop by yatlee, on Flickr

    90mm

    analog lens test 90mm by yatlee, on Flickr

    90mm Crop

    analog lens test 90mm crop by yatlee, on Flickr

    110mm

    analog lens test 110mm by yatlee, on Flickr

    110mm Crop

    analog lens test 110mm crop by yatlee, on Flickr

    150mm

    analog lens test 150mm by yatlee, on Flickr

    150mm Crop

    analog lens test 150mm crop by yatlee, on Flickr

    180mm

    analog lens test 180mm by yatlee, on Flickr

    180mm Crop

    analog lens test 180mm crop by yatlee, on Flickr

    I'm quite surprised by how well the Rodenstock Sironar 150mm and 180mm look and IQ live view and focus mask simply rock! I don't normally do this type of test. Any comments are welcome and I will try to improve it.

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    Re: IQ180 and quality of older large format lens

    Quote Originally Posted by yatlee View Post
    I'm quite surprised by how well the Rodenstock Sironar 150mm and 180mm look
    No surprise , but interesting to see they also hold up on even 80MP --- the 110 and 150mm are in Kerry Thalman's list of "Future Classics" with following comments:

    "110mm f5.6 Schneider Super Symmar XL (430g, 67mm - front, 52mm -rear, 288mm) - see Figure 2.
    This is the lens that started this whole discussion. Well, I had to wait seven months for mine to arrive (of course, they are available off the shelf these days), but it was well worth the wait. This is one fantastic lens - absolutely amazing sharpness from corner to corner. The illumination on the ground glass is bright and even. I instantly found the 110mm focal length to be a very comfortable moderate wide angle for the way I like to work (I don't use my 90mm nearly as much these days). This lens is not tiny, but with105 degree coverage, it is a LOT smaller than the 100 degree 120mm f8 Super Angulon (700g, 82mm, 288mm) it is destined to replace - and a full stop faster as well. As a frame of reference, it's slightly smaller and lighter than the typical modern 210mm f5.6 plasmat. The rear element is quite tiny, and is threaded for 52mm filters (a nice touch - especially since I have standardized around this size filters for my backpacking lenses). The relatively small size and light weight, combined with huge coverage and mind boggling performance make this lens an instant classic, and quite simply the most amazing large format optic I have ever used. It can also serve double duty as a "very wide" for 5x7 use. Now, if only Schneider would give it a baby brother (it already has a mommy - the 150 SS XL and a BIG daddy - the 210mm SS XL). An 85mm SS XL would be the ultimate 4x5 wide angle for us backpackers, or anyone else who favors compact, lightweight lenses with generous coverage and outstanding sharpness."

    "150mm f5.6 Rodenstock APO Sironar-S (230g, 49mm, 231mm) - see Figure 4.
    135mm f5.6 Rodenstock APO Sironar-S (215g, 49mm, 208mm) - see Figure 3.
    This is a wonderful little lens. Compact, lightweight and more coverage (231mm) than the other 150mm 4x5 lenses (I consider the larger 150mm APO Sironar-W and 150mm Super Symmar HM to be overkill for 4x5 landscapes and better suited for the 5x7 format in that application - see below). It uses ED glass and is incredibly sharp all the way to edges, and even at large stops (I have found it to be incredibly sharp even wide open, and have read at least one test report that showed it to achieve maximum LPM at f5.6 - which is where it should be sharpest in theory, but in practice is rarely true). I don't know what it is about this lens, but images made with it just scream SHARP! and have an incredible sense of "depth". I've used a lot 4x5 "normal" lenses, both modern and classic, and this one beats them all IMHO. Out of all the lenses I own, this is the last one I would ever part with (you'll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands (OK, 110 SS XL in one hand, 150 APO Sironar-S in the other)). In general, the comments above also hold true for the 135mm APO Sironar-S (if you prefer that focal length over the slightly longer 150mm). The 135mm APO Sironar-S has an image circle of 208mm, which is slightly larger than any of the other current 135s. It also has the wonderful sharpness, compact size and lightweight of the 150mm APO Sironar-S."

    Above in bold is by me. Ref: http://www.thalmann.com/largeformat/future.htm

    I have the 150mm Sironar-N, predecessor to Sironar-S which I believe is equal sharp with just coating difference or similar. When trying it on 28MP Aptus 65 it seemed sharper than most of my Mamiya lenses.

    The 180mm might be similar to the 150 in design.

    Another traditional Schneider that is SHARP is the 72XL...

    Best regards
    Anders

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    Re: IQ180 and quality of older large format lens

    Hi Anders,

    I do like the 110mm a lot on my 617, but it seems to be reaching it's limit on the IQ180. The Rodenstock 150mm and 180mm resolves a bit better when viewed at 100% (especially on those rocks). I used to have the 72XL, but sold it due to it's size. I do miss it once a while when I'm need a bit more reach than the 90mm on my 4x5.

    Best regards,

    Yat
    Last edited by yatlee; 28th August 2011 at 03:24.

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    Re: IQ180 and quality of older large format lens

    Good, this will help me on my choices of LF lenses, i have Rodenstock Sironar-N 150 not the S model, i want to get wider lenses such as 90 or 75 and so for my 4x5.
    Tareq

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    Re: IQ180 and quality of older large format lens

    once, i've tried all my lenses with my Aptus 22... the 90 digaron was far superior to my 110 XL... the apo symmar L 120 was in between !

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    Re: IQ180 and quality of older large format lens

    I tested most of the LF glass on my Betterlight several years back. I also found the 90 Digiron outresolved everything else I had at the time, including the 110XL and 150 APO Sironar, SK 120 APO L, however, those last 3 were very close to the Digiron -- at least at the levels the BL back could resolve to. I had an SK 90 SA XL, but a SINAR badged version that was also right in there. A friend at Betterlight tested the 180 and 135 APO Sironar, and felt the 180 was the best lens he had ever seen, and the 135 just behind it. Most of the other 4x5 glass I tested was not up to those standards...

    At present, I am finding my 40 HR-W the sharpest lens I have ever seen for MF (or anything else for that matter) on the IQ180. My 70 HR-W while excellent and on par with the Phase/SK LS lenses, is not quite at the same level as the 40 -- IOW, the 40 is stellar.
    Jack
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    Re: IQ180 and quality of older large format lens

    Yes, the 180mm is probably the best on the IQ back out of all the LF lenses I have. Jack, have you tried the SK 120 Digitar Macro and Non-Macro? This is the lens I'm seriously considering.

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    Re: IQ180 and quality of older large format lens

    I am interested in the SK 120 Digitar Macro for the RM3di, but have not really found anyone that has the lens or used it much. Perhaps I have overlooked a post on this somewhere? Charles

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    Re: IQ180 and quality of older large format lens

    Quote Originally Posted by yatlee View Post
    Jack, have you tried the SK 120 Digitar Macro and Non-Macro? This is the lens I'm seriously considering.
    I have not tried the SK 120 macro D, but I do have the regular SK 120 Digitar on order and hope to take delivery this week.
    Jack
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    Re: IQ180 and quality of older large format lens

    Sorry to resurect this thread, but I am looking to get a 150mm lens for my Arca-swiss Factum + IQ160.
    I have found two options:
    - Schneider Kreutznach Apo Digitar 150mm
    - Rodenstock Apo Sironar S 150mm

    It seems the SK is the "canonical choice" for a 150mm on a tech cam. The Rodenstock is slightly cheaper (but only slightly). Any opinions as to which is "better" ?

    It's a bit hard to get info on this focal length, most people use their SLR for this...
    Thanks in advance !

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    Re: IQ180 and quality of older large format lens

    I have not tried the Rodi but as everyone in this forum knows, I love my sk150. When I focus it right I think it is just as sharp as the modern Rodi's, at least at f/8 - f/16 where I normally use it.

    Dave
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    Re: IQ180 and quality of older large format lens

    I also wonder if the 180mm HR Digaron from Rodenstock would be a significantly better solution ? 180mm is a bit long-ish, BUT the other offerings in the HR line are superb.
    Does anybody know the history of these lenses ? i.e. is the HR line's design much newer (hence better) than both the 150mm above ? Did I say the other HRs are amazing ?
    I'm not so much concerned about movements, but rather the always-important corner to corner sharpness on an IQ-160, unshifted.

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    Re: IQ180 and quality of older large format lens

    Quote Originally Posted by yatlee View Post
    Yes, the 180mm is probably the best on the IQ back out of all the LF lenses I have. Jack, have you tried the SK 120 Digitar Macro and Non-Macro? This is the lens I'm seriously considering.
    I have used SK 120 Macro several times at f11 and macro above 1:4...
    But I don't compare lenses. So, not much to tell... After spending 10 hours combining different focus images(I don't trust the software..) and retouch, there is not much to think about the sharpness... It's sharp and good enough for me. I guess I'm not aiming for super sharpness. For that, I need to shoot.. at f8 and combining 10 images...
    (we see some super sharp watch, positioned angled, AD in magazines and wonder... usually the photographer use best lens and shoot at f5.6 and combine 20 images by hand( I mean photoshop_masking)...probably by retouching crews...)
    I'm happy with SK 100 digital N and heard SK 120 N is as good as SK 100 or better.
    The macro SK 120 has no(not much) competition. But I remember that it's better than SK 110 and SK 100 at around 1:2 macro test I did long ago at f11.

    I heard that the new SK 120 Aspherical is very very good, but never tried. Actually there is not much way to try.. before buying it...
    But I'm interested in the new SK 120 which is about twice expensive(at B&H) than SK 120 N, I think.
    Last edited by studio347; 10th May 2014 at 00:34.

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