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Thread: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

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    Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    Hi all,
    I'm seeking opinions on the Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital lens. I'm currently borrowing a Schneider 60mm f5.6 APO-Digitar XL and am using on my Linhof Techno with 6c7cm roll film. I've got an eye to digital capture in about twelve to eighteen months, probably with either a P40+ or P65+ back. I have an option to buy the 60mm lens but the price is substantially more than the Rodenstock 55mm. I've been leant the 60mm because there is a delay in production of the 55mm at the factory – one very trusting and generous dealer leant me a new copy of the 60mm in the mean time. I'm really after opinions of the performance of the Rodenstock 55mm lens, both with analogue and digital capture, and if it's up to snuff with the smaller pixel pitch sensors found in the above mentioned backs. In an ideal world I'd buy the best once and be confident I'm set when eventually moving up, but cost is an issue and if opinion has it the 55mm is a great lens for less money I'd rather have the money in the bank!
    Thanks guys,
    TJV

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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    I love that lens. It's not quite as sharp as some of my others but it's still plenty sharp on my P65+. And it has a huge image circle. I tested it on my M Line 2, shifted all the way up and down 35mm in each direction. There was some softness near the edges but it still gave me a really big image.

    Thumbs up from me.

    CB

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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    Really good lens with an image circle that covers 4x5" !
    But not really good wide open... i use it for architecture @ F8, F11...
    This lens can be find in the second hand market... a bargain sometimes !
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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    Thanks guys, plus to everyone who has PM'd me with opinions.
    It looks as if this lens is great litter performer, if not when used wide open.

    May I ask if people think the 60mm Schneider f5.6 APO-Digiron is *worth* the premium over the Rodenstock 55mm? This is a tough one for me as I'd really rather put the extra money towards a better tripod head but want to assure high end optical quality when I move to digital.

    Thanks agian,

    TJV

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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    I've never used a lens on a tech camera that I liked as much as the 60 Super Digitar.

    Note that there was a previous Schneider 60mm Digitar. I am speaking of the around-one-year-old 60mm Super Digitar.

    It is really remarkable how sharp that lens is even with radical amounts of rise/fall/shift/swing/tilt.

    Whether it's "worth" it over another lens is something only any given user can evaluate.
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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    TJV

    you may also consider the Rodenstock Apo Sironar Digital HR 4/60mm.

    I have this as a demolens on our HCam-B1v and this is a really nice lens. see sample -testshot @ F11 on a P45+ here

    http://www.hcam.de/downloads/HCamB1V-Test-f11.jpg

    Regards
    Stefan
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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    One of the best bangs for the buck in tech glass. The rendering is similar to the HR32 in terms of clarity and micro-contrast. I have used it with the IQ180 and been very pleased with the resolution at f/5.6 and up. You may notice a slight softening wide open but nothing that cannot be easily brought back in C1.

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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    I use the 55mm on my cambo/IQ180 rig and am very happy with it. Moved to the Rodie 55mm from the SK 47mm when I went P65 to the IQ180 because of LCC issues. I am a stitcher so a large image circle is one of my top priorities and the 55mm has it. I rarely shoot to much off f/11.5 so I can really speak to the overall performance, but it works well for me. BTW, I've also owned the SK 72mm and still own the SK 90mm.

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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    It is a re-badged film lens. I had one on my Horseman SW612. It is a terrific lens. I used it for 6x12 with the Schneider 58mm center filter. It is optimized for use at f/11 and above for 6x12/4x5.

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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    the Rodie 55 is of low price, I used one in the last 6 months adapted for Alpa STC. Easily stitching 18mm end-to-end with my 1.1 crop sensor. Don't really need center filter on D.back. color cast is less, until 15-18mm movement edge.

    One down side I found it quite prone to flare. Not sure if it's with mine only, or latest copy will improve as I was using the early green ring Sinar version.

    A sample shot to show
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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    Brilliant, thanks so much guys.
    I knew this would be the best place to ask this question.
    No question, the Schneider 60mm lens is brilliant. Even on 6x7cm film with movements.
    I guess it comes down to me having to do the maths!
    Tim

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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    Are you sure you aren't thinking of the APO–Gradagon, not the APO–Sironar? The former has a 165mm image circle vs. 125mm.

    Quote Originally Posted by archivue View Post
    Really good lens with an image circle that covers 4x5" !
    But not really good wide open... i use it for architecture @ F8, F11...
    This lens can be find in the second hand market... a bargain sometimes !

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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    Has anyone done a comparison between the 55mm APO–Gradagon and the 55mm APO–Sironar? Is there a big difference between the two lens. The older Gradagon has a much bigger image circle. Would I notice the difference using a p65 back.

    I have the older Gradagon with center filter and was wondering if its worth getting it mounted on my technical camera.

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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    Although I have no direct experience with these two lenses, I've been told by everyone I've asked that the APO–Grandigon is not up to digital capture. Obviously, you might have an alternative opinion if you're happy using it! One persons half full glass is another persons half empty glass, I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by neil View Post
    Has anyone done a comparison between the 55mm APO–Gradagon and the 55mm APO–Sironar? Is there a big difference between the two lens. The older Gradagon has a much bigger image circle. Would I notice the difference using a p65 back.

    I have the older Gradagon with center filter and was wondering if its worth getting it mounted on my technical camera.

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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    Actually the Apo Grandagon 55 (green ring) is a lens optimise for film
    with the advent of MFDB, it was one of the best lens for digital use that came from the film era... Sinar did sell it as a digital lens.
    The rodenstock took the same elements, and change the spacing a little bit, in order to increase quality in the center for digital use... this is the 55 apo sironar digital (pink ring).
    4 years ago, i've tested this two lenses side by side with film... both had the same circle of illumination... then, i've test these two lenses with a digital back (it was only an aptus 22... ) the quality with THIS back was quite similar... but it looks like that with biggers backs, the digital version is sharper !

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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    Previous version for film use :


    The sinar version... digital optimisation or just rebadged ?



    The digital version :
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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    Thanks for posting the pictures of the lens.

    It gave me a push and I tried the previous green film version on my IQ 140.
    Resolution seems to be quite acceptable. But the lens seems to easily flair and the images come out with low contrast. Does anyone know if this was improved in the digital version of the lens.
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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    Actually, I'm really interested in seeing these tests if you are able to please share them? I originally paid for the APO-Gradagon but then changed my mind to the APO-Sironar, only to be loaned the Schneider 60mm f5.6 APO-Digitar XL because of a production delay... I'm interested to know what other people have seen between the Gradagon and Sironar, too...

    Quote Originally Posted by neil View Post
    Thanks for posting the pictures of the lens.

    It gave me a push and I tried the previous green film version on my IQ 140.
    Resolution seems to be quite acceptable. But the lens seems to easily flair and the images come out with low contrast. Does anyone know if this was improved in the digital version of the lens.

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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    I used exactly the middle Sinar green ring in above lens variation. As I point out earlier, flare like hell... Consider the picture I posted earlier with just top portion seeing the bright sky between the leaves (not even direct light into the lens FOV), I have to use a small umbrella to shelter the Alpa+lens. Contrast was improved significantly!

    Quote Originally Posted by neil View Post
    Thanks for posting the pictures of the lens.

    It gave me a push and I tried the previous green film version on my IQ 140.
    Resolution seems to be quite acceptable. But the lens seems to easily flair and the images come out with low contrast. Does anyone know if this was improved in the digital version of the lens.

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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    anyway with tecnical cameras (arca, alpa, cambo...) it's important to use a compendium because lenses have a huge image circle, we are using movements, and the bodies are small with moving parts... so the baffling can't be perfect !

    My copie of the 55 Apo sironar is quite flare resistant... but in this respect the 45 is better... anyway i always use compendium now !

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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    Is the 55mm ASD what people term retro focus?

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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    from the Apo-Sironar digital brochure :
    This line of lenses provides the photographer with even larger image circles for digital photos with adjustable professional cameras. They allow taking two and more laterally shifted overlapping photos for stitching as well as taking large-format photos with scanner backs. Focal lengths from 5 mm mean that real wide-angle shots are possible, even with the standard area sensor sizes, while still allowing large movements. The gap between the focal lengths 55 mm and 105 mm can be closed with the HR Digaron-W 70 mm and 90 mm lenses with image circles of 100 mm and 125 mm diameter respectively.
    Due to the small formats on the one hand (which are sensitive to higher diffraction!) and the high illumination requirements of the CCD image sensor on the other, digital photography does not allow the lenses to be stopped down as much as in conventional large-format photography. As a result, these lenses have been optimized for a working aperture of 8 to 11. Because both the surface of the area sensors and the area scanned by the CCD line sensors have greater planarity than conventional roll and sheet films, special attention was given to the correction of the curvature of field. The freedom from distortion, which is so important for product and building pho- tography, and the uniformity of illumination are also excellent.


    the flange focus length is 48.9 mm for the 55 !

    http://www.linhofstudio.com/products..._Lensespdf.pdf

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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    Hi again, all.
    Thanks for all of your comments and advise.
    I finally decided that I would continue with my 55mm APO Sironar Digital purchase instead of anti up for the 60mm Schneider. While the 60mm is undoubtably one of the best lenses in its class – I now have negatives that are proof – what swayed me was both the extra cost of the Schneider and the ever so slightly wider perspective of the Rodenstock. (I know, it's very minor but somehow in practice made a difference.) Additionally, I was very heartened to hear that people are using he Rodenstock with good success on 60mpx sensors. Because in an ideal fantasy land I want to get a P65+ next year, this was an essential requirement for me. I hate buying things twice and am learning this lesson for the millionth time now with my tripod... But that's another story...
    Thanks again,

    TJV

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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    Quote Originally Posted by wesley View Post
    A sample shot to show
    Hi,

    Where is that picture from? Not HK is it, or if it is, where exactly?

    (I like those trees )

    Thanks!

    Best regards,
    Anders

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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    Anders,

    Yes, it's in Hong Kong. The spot is in Shing Mun Reservoir country park. Yeah, those trees are especially nice in the hot summer typhoon season with good flow of water, green on stones. Just 30min walk from parking area.

    Cheers,
    Wesley

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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    Wesley,

    Much thanks! Google images tells me it is a further good place to visit... smack near Tsuen Wan!

    Appreciated.

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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    I received the 55mm this week. Had a few test rolls processed and can confirm that it's sharp as a tack. Probably sharper than my Mamiya 7 50mm lens, even with movements, and that's quite something!

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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    I also just received my digital 55mm after selling my older film 55mm.
    The digital version is less prone to flare and is sharper.
    The digital version I got is a linhof branded version. I wonder if this is making the difference. I suppose linhof hand picks the best lens from a batch.

    This is a great lens, a gem for the price.

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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    Does anyone know if the Rodenstock 55mm f4,5 Sinaron Digital is the exact same lens as a Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital?

    Peter
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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    Hello Peter,
    The Sinaron lenses are the Rodenstock Apo-Sironar lenses made for Sinar.
    They are the exact same lenses. Some pretend that the Sinaron ones have been carefully chosen by Sinar and are of better quality (double quality check) but nothing proves it and it can be just marketing.
    If other can confirm that, please do.

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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    Thanks for the reply, I got the same information from Rodenstock. (the part of the lenses being identical)

    Peter

    Quote Originally Posted by anGy View Post
    Hello Peter,
    The Sinaron lenses are the Rodenstock Apo-Sironar lenses made for Sinar.
    They are the exact same lenses. Some pretend that the Sinaron ones have been carefully chosen by Sinar and are of better quality (double quality check) but nothing proves it and it can be just marketing.
    If other can confirm that, please do.
    Peter
    My website

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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    Have anybody been using the Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital lens for flat stitching? How are the extreme corners when applying say 15 mm shift and 15 mm rise at the same time?
    I have a Leaf Aptus II 7 back (33MP) on which I will be using it if I decide to get it.

    Peter
    Last edited by Pemihan; 15th November 2013 at 07:40.
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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    Thought I revive this very old thread...
    I was interested to read the Linhof Studio lens product page the following data on the 55mm APO-SD

    Filter Thread 67mm
    Image Circle 125mm
    Flange Focal Distance 67.6mm
    Lensboard Techno Part no. 1143
    Lensboard M679cs Part no. 1160

    I was particularly interested in the flange focal distance mentioned. Pardon my ignorance, but might I assume from this number that the 55mm is indeed termed a retrofocus lens after all? Would this mean I might be able to expect better performnce using it it with shifts on the new CMOS sensor than, say, the Schneider 47mm XL?

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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    Thought I revive this very old thread...
    I was interested to read the Linhof Studio lens product page the following data on the 55mm APO-SD

    Filter Thread 67mm
    Image Circle 125mm
    Flange Focal Distance 67.6mm
    Lensboard Techno Part no. 1143
    Lensboard M679cs Part no. 1160

    I was particularly interested in the flange focal distance mentioned. Pardon my ignorance, but might I assume from this number that the 55mm is indeed termed a retrofocus lens after all? Would this mean I might be able to expect better performnce using it it with shifts on the new CMOS sensor than, say, the Schneider 47mm XL?

    Theoretically, yes. It's a longer lens, the rear optic position is further from the sensor, and the image circle is slightly larger as well (125mm vs 113mm).

    I think you just have to watch for sample variation - if you have a good copy, it can be very good. Several clients have purchased this lens and used it with 60mm and 80mm digital backs with good sharp results (I've seen 30x40 prints from them).


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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    Thanks Steve, that's very promising info for me. Here's hoping I can demo it on a 50c sometime soon and report back how it performs.

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    Re: Opinions of Rodenstock 55mm f4.5 Apo-Sironar Digital

    As far as I understand a larger flange focal distance does not necessarily mean it's retrofocus, it could mean that the lens just has a large nodal point separation. I don't know any specifics of the Rodenstock 55mm though.

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