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Thread: rodenstock 23 vs 28

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    Workshop Member Wayne Fox's Avatar
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    rodenstock 23 vs 28

    I'm needing a wider lens for my Rm3di for occasions where stitching isn't practical. My Phase 28mm seems to handle pretty much anything when shooting the DF, but a little wider wouldn't be too bad. Currently considering either the Rodenstock 23 or the 28. I already have the 40mm, so the 32 is just too close.

    Anyone shot both of them? Comments/thoughts on pros and cons using them with an IQ180 back would be appreciated. Would love to see an LCC from each as well. I probably won't shift them, or if so very little shift would be enough.
    wayne
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    Re: rodenstock 23 vs 28

    I was told the 23mm is a slightly better lens. Either way I would pick the 23mm. Since both have an image circle of 70mm I would rather have a slightly wider angle of view and have the option of cropping. (the image circle is too small to allow much movement if any with the 60/80mp backs). I might choose the 28mm if one was available used at a great price. New the cost difference is not large enough IMHO for not choosing the 23mm. I think both need a CF also.

    I also have the 40mm and it's stunning.

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    Re: rodenstock 23 vs 28

    I looked at several more posts online and it's tough to get a definitive answer that does not factor in the differences in angle of view.

    I am sure Doug P can answer this with definitive hands on experience and testing which I believe he has done over the years.

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    Re: rodenstock 23 vs 28

    Hi Wayne, I own both the 23 and the 40. I have shot with the 28 but don't own one. I won't steer you one way or the other - that's your call, but I will share some of the considerations that played on my mind at the time.
    The question of angle of view is obviously one only you can decide for yourself. I can't remember which back you shoot with (forgive me!), but the number of pixels you bring to the game has some bearing on the issue. I shoot with the IQ180, so I have the luxury of cropping when I need to. This was a consideration in choosing the 23 over the 28 and 32. Basically, I chose the widest lens available at the time, knowing I could crop if I needed to. You can't make an image from a 28 or 32 wider after all. I am unashamedly a wide-angle enthusiast and the look suits my style (I could argue that the 23 drives my style as I use it for up to 90% of my work). This is not everyone's cup of tea. If I was making the decision now, the Alpa FPS with a Canon 17mm would be in the mix for sure. Do keep in mind that at this end of the focal-length range, just a few mm's make quite a big difference to FOV.
    Both the 23 and 28 are outstandingly sharp. It takes more than pixel peeping to tell them apart. I even use mine wide open from time to time! Residual distortion is similar as well. It is there, but it's mainly when I have straight lines near edge of frame that I notice it, and even then, mainly when I'm looking for it.
    There are significant differences in size and weight that bear some checking out. As I recall, the 23 is quite a bit heavier than the 28 (but waaaaay less than the 32!). I've read that many use the 28 without a CF and find it acceptable. At the time I tested it, there was no CF available (for the 28) and my view was it needed one. The 23 certainly does much better with the CF and I would never take mine off unless I was desperate for light. It is a large and expensive filter that creates some issues with mounting grads if you use them. I mostly use Blu-Tac to hold my Lee and HiTec 6x4's in place as its quick and expedient in the circumstances I often shoot in. Ugly but effective is how I would describe it. As my camera is a work tool and not an object of vanity, I care only what the pictures look like.
    The 23 has one bugbear that I choose to endure for all the other benefits the lens gives me. It is very, very prone to flare when there is a bright source of light near the edge of the image and also outside it. It manifests as a red area the shape of the diaphragm smack in the middle of the image. (Actually, there are 2, one inside another). One can mitigate this with careful shading of the lens, but there are many, many images where the best masking will not eliminate it. One gets pretty good at fixing it in post eventually, but this is time consuming and a PITA. I live with it because no other lens currently gives me the look this one does.
    If you are shooting with an Alpa, the 23 cannot be used with the tilt-adapter and if I remember correctly, nor can the 28. I use tilt occasionally with my 40 but can't see any circumstances in which I would need it with my 23.
    This is just a quick response with what is top of mind. I'll keep an eye on the thread and add anything further that comes to mind.
    Cheers,
    Siebel
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    www.bryansiebel.com

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    Re: rodenstock 23 vs 28

    Hello Wayne:

    I have the 28mm and have shot it on the 180 and on the 160 I own. I have used the 23mm since it was so close to the 28 I never really considered it.

    A few thoughts on the 28mm, most of which by design will apply to the 23 also.

    70mm image circle allows for about 5mm of shift, after that you hard vignette and will often get a inner white ring (penundrum) of the image circle. The hard vignette is not recoverable.

    Amazingly sharp lens at F8 to F11. Responds very will to a small amount of tilt.

    Has excellent sharpness at F 5.6 also.

    I use the physical CF on mine (Rodenstock uses the the same filter for both the 23 and 28). This takes you to outer of 95mm from 72mm. Without or without a physical CF you can only get 1 filter on the lens without getting corner vignetting. If you are filter user like I am then both the 23 and 28 are a challenge.

    Can flare considerably (not as harsh as the 40mm Rodenstock) and it's something I have to watch for in certain light.

    PM me if you want a LCC as I have quite a few from last year with a 180 (when my 160 was away at Phase One). All were taken with the physical CF on.

    Great lens on the rm3di and has a huge hyperfocal range.

    Guy's review on the 28's (Rodenstock and Schneider) shows a lot of detail on the lens, he used a 160 I believe.

    Paul Caldwell

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    Re: rodenstock 23 vs 28

    From the online spec. the 28mm looks to be 250g heavier than the 23mm. That is significant if it's the case. I though it would be the other way around.

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    Workshop Member Wayne Fox's Avatar
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    Re: rodenstock 23 vs 28

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken_R View Post
    From the online spec. the 28mm looks to be 250g heavier than the 23mm. That is significant if it's the case. I though it would be the other way around.
    Good point. Weight is a big deal, one of the reasons I'm moving to a tech camera. The 28 is a 4.5 while the 23 is a 5.6 which is prob why the 23 is lighter
    wayne
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: rodenstock 23 vs 28

    I have the 23HR and would agree with everything that Bryan Siebel and Paul Caldwell described regarding the lens. It's definitely my favorite technical camera lens although it does take some work to get the best from it.

    I don't have the CF filter for mine so I'm leveraging LCC corrections exclusively. C1 does a great job with this and personally I would find the large center filter an issue with secondary filters (I use LEE grads and NDs with mine). That said I'm using an IQ160 which I know is more forgiving than the IQ180 with respect to LCCs.

    I use the LEE wide angle lens hood with two slots with my 23HR to help avoid issues with the red center flare issue you've heard about. The lens is very sensitive to oblique lighting which will produce the red hot spot. However, the LEE hood does a great job and doesn't vignette with the lens. I know that some folks avoid the flare problem by shooting two shots - one for the scene and another with extreme shading using your hand or a hat etc and then blend the images to fix up any central flare. With the extreme hood I haven't found this necessary.

    With the LEE hood I can successfully use both a LEE ND and a grad (or a pair of grads) without issue. This was actually a little unexpected.

    I haven't tried the Rodenstock 28mm to compare with the 23HR but I do have the Phase One 28mm and while that's a great versatile lens there's no comparison when it comes to edge sharpness. In fact I have to say that my 23mm is the sharpest lens I own, period. I thought that my 90HRW and 35XL were super sharp (ok, they are) until I got the 23mm.

    With regards to image circle and movements, I mount my 23mm on my Alpa TC as I don't really leverage any movements with this lens. Certainly you could use rise with scenes without sky texture and fix in PS to avoid tilting the lens as like all super wides any tilt of the camera introduces significant distortion. When this is unavoidable I find that the Alpa lens correction plugin for photoshop does a good job in correcting image artifacts albeit at the cost of cropping.

    I find with the 23mm I can shoot f/5.6 through f/11 without concern. The huge DOF at this focal length means that I really don't ever need to go beyond f/11 anyway.

    Good luck with your choice.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: rodenstock 23 vs 28

    I followed Graham's advice on the Lee setup and now use it with all the lenses I have. Great hood and you can use the filter slot to hold the Capture Integration LCC white card which makes LCC capture so easy. In fact I now use the Lee setup on pretty much everything, Nikon Canon and Arca.

    Only issue I have with the Lee hood is the fact that it won't lock and you can inadvertently push it off when adjusting shutter/aperture. I have come up with a sort lock that at least takes a lot more pressure. The 105 CL-PL puts a bit more weight on the mount and makes this push off even easier.

    I also use the 105 ring on the front of the hood and use a 105 CL-PL. With this you can shift a 40mm Rod all the way to 16mm with no filter vignetting (you hit the lens disc at around 16mm which creates a hard edge).

    I would also agree that the physical CF is definitely user preference and not as needed as on say the 35SK. There are times I shoot without it and use the Lee setup, I also have figured out a way to use the Lee hood and the CF.

    Both are excellent pieces of glass for sure.

    Paul

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