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Thread: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

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    Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    I sold my 645D to move to a Cambo Actus with my a7 as a back (roughly the same pixel density per area). I kept a couple of my Hassy lenses to use with the camera, the CF 40 FLE and CF 100, and while both are exactly what I was expecting performance-wise, both are... well, exactly what I expected. Not very high resolution but perfectly acceptable for the relatively low pixel density, good micro-contrast, lousy edges, some color issues that make for better mono conversions than corrected color prints, and image circles that don't completely fill either the 64x63mm or 76x51mm area the Actus can cover. For some things, I'm perfectly happy with them both, even though the 40 is huge and the FLE is fussy. But for some things I've got in mind for the summer, I want better options.

    So, like I'm guessing everyone does when they purchase one of these, I started looking at the Schneider and Rodenstock digital lenses. I fell in love with the images I found from the Rodenstock APO-Sironar 55/4.5. Great focal length, usable wide open, nearly perfect by f/11, handles higher pixel densities well if I ever decide to upgrade, and enough recommended-usage area (96x72) to cover anything I want to shoot now and make a transition to the DB if I ever decided to go that route. My target was to acquire one a month or so in advance of my Montana trip in August, so I put it on my used search list and started re-engineering my budget to cover a new one in July if I didn't find one used.

    Finding a used copy looked like it was going to be a challenge. Then I came across a used Sinar Sinaron Digital 55/4.5 at Adorama. I had nothing more than a passing familiarity with the brand, so I looked them up. The lenses on the English version of their site looked shockingly familiar after having stared at the photos of Rodenstocks. Some further research provided the common internet knowledge that Sinar rebrands Rodenstock lenses, and the only comparable "digital" model from Rodenstock is the APO-Sironar.

    Assuming the lens arrives in shooting condition, did I really just get the lens I wanted for $400? Is that a good price for a user copy? Please feel free to burst my bubble. This dopey grin feels unnatural on my face.

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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    Quote Originally Posted by freaklikeme View Post
    I sold my 645D to move to a Cambo Actus with my a7 as a back (roughly the same pixel density per area). I kept a couple of my Hassy lenses to use with the camera, the CF 40 FLE and CF 100, and while both are exactly what I was expecting performance-wise, both are... well, exactly what I expected. Not very high resolution but perfectly acceptable for the relatively low pixel density, good micro-contrast, lousy edges, some color issues that make for better mono conversions than corrected color prints, and image circles that don't completely fill either the 64x63mm or 76x51mm area the Actus can cover. For some things, I'm perfectly happy with them both, even though the 40 is huge and the FLE is fussy. But for some things I've got in mind for the summer, I want better options.

    So, like I'm guessing everyone does when they purchase one of these, I started looking at the Schneider and Rodenstock digital lenses. I fell in love with the images I found from the Rodenstock APO-Sironar 55/4.5. Great focal length, usable wide open, nearly perfect by f/11, handles higher pixel densities well if I ever decide to upgrade, and enough recommended-usage area (96x72) to cover anything I want to shoot now and make a transition to the DB if I ever decided to go that route. My target was to acquire one a month or so in advance of my Montana trip in August, so I put it on my used search list and started re-engineering my budget to cover a new one in July if I didn't find one used.

    Finding a used copy looked like it was going to be a challenge. Then I came across a used Sinar Sinaron Digital 55/4.5 at Adorama. I had nothing more than a passing familiarity with the brand, so I looked them up. The lenses on the English version of their site looked shockingly familiar after having stared at the photos of Rodenstocks. Some further research provided the common internet knowledge that Sinar rebrands Rodenstock lenses, and the only comparable "digital" model from Rodenstock is the APO-Sironar.

    Assuming the lens arrives in shooting condition, did I really just get the lens I wanted for $400? Is that a good price for a user copy? Please feel free to burst my bubble. This dopey grin feels unnatural on my face.
    As I understand it, the Apo-Sironar Digital (pink band around lens) is the same as the Rodenstock HR Series which Rodenstock replaced with the HR-S series but dropped the 55 from that lineup. Just like they dropped the 90mm from the HR-W, HR, and Apo-Sironar Digital lineup.

    Some say the Apo-Sironar's were hand picked from the general lens lineup at the time for the Sironar cameras.

    I currently have both a 28mm and the older 90mm in the Apo-Sironar Digital brand and both are excellent lenses. The 28mm is still sold as the HR-S still with a pink band. The 90mm now is in the HR-SW with a yellow band.

    The key to me is what color the band is on the lens, if your 55 comes with a pink band, you got a great deal. If it's a green band, then it's an older version, but still should be a very good lens. The 55mm Apo Sironar Digital is a sleeper lens, excellent.

    BTW, Rodenstock has redone with website and it's much much more informative on all the focal ranges.

    55 mm /4,5 Apo-Sironar-digital

    Paul
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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    Thanks, Paul! So it's either a Grandagon or Sironar depending on the color of the band? From looking at the few samples I've found from both, I doubt I'll be disappointed with either. Thanks for the link, too.

    My only concern now is that it's coming mounted on a unknown board, which may be one of Sinar's auto-shutter boards. If so, I'll need to pick up a Copal 0 shutter, so it may be less of a bargain regardless of version.

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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    Quote Originally Posted by freaklikeme View Post
    Thanks, Paul! So it's either a Grandagon or Sironar depending on the color of the band? From looking at the few samples I've found from both, I doubt I'll be disappointed with either. Thanks for the link, too.

    My only concern now is that it's coming mounted on a unknown board, which may be one of Sinar's auto-shutter boards. If so, I'll need to pick up a Copal 0 shutter, so it may be less of a bargain regardless of version.
    In general even "lesser" tech camera lenses are much better than SLR lenses. SLR lenses are designed with the huge limitation of long flange focal distances due to having to be mounted well away from the image plane due to the mirror box of SLR cameras.

    Tech camera lenses sit much closer to the film/sensor plane. This is most times a good thing except with wide angles being too close creating light angles too extreme to be dealt by most sensors. The Leica M sensor is specially designed to deal with this issue. ASFAIK it's the only one.

    I think the 55mm is a long enough focal length that you shouldn't have any issues with it and your A7. Wider than that im not sure.
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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    Quote Originally Posted by freaklikeme View Post
    Thanks, Paul! So it's either a Grandagon or Sironar depending on the color of the band? From looking at the few samples I've found from both, I doubt I'll be disappointed with either. Thanks for the link, too.

    My only concern now is that it's coming mounted on a unknown board, which may be one of Sinar's auto-shutter boards. If so, I'll need to pick up a Copal 0 shutter, so it may be less of a bargain regardless of version.
    One other note, if you need to replace the shutter you might have to send the lens back to Rodenstock. If a shutter is pulled, I have been taught the lens has to be re-colimated. This can only be done by the lens company. Others feel it's simple enough to do and attempt it.

    The Copol 0 is no longer made, so you might try looking on ebay to see if there are any out there.

    Paul

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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    SKGrimes still list Copal 0 shutters for sale: http://www.skgrimes.com/products/new...standardcopals Though this may be out of date.

    They appear on eBay (I bought a new one a year or so ago), as do very inexpensive LF lenses with shutters. (This is the Graham Welland solution. )
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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    SKGrimes still list Copal 0 shutters for sale: http://www.skgrimes.com/products/new...standardcopals Though this may be out of date.

    They appear on eBay (I bought a new one a year or so ago), as do very inexpensive LF lenses with shutters. (This is the Graham Welland solution. )
    Hee hee - yes I shocked my dealer by buying a soft Nikkor 150mm with a perfect Copal 0 shutter for $100 and then promptly disassembled the lens and gave it back to him minus the Shutter/retaining ring

    A very cost effective approach for putting together a pinhole lens but where else will you get a nice shutter for $100?
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    my two new rodies are not color coordinated blue ring 32, yellow ring 90
    boo hoo ;(
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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    my two new rodies are not color coordinated blue ring 32, yellow ring 90
    boo hoo ;(
    I would complain and send them back!! No man can be expected to have the best Rodies without matching rings.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    Quote Originally Posted by freaklikeme View Post
    I sold my 645D to move to a Cambo Actus with my a7 as a back (roughly the same pixel density per area). I kept a couple of my Hassy lenses to use with the camera, the CF 40 FLE and CF 100, and while both are exactly what I was expecting performance-wise, both are... well, exactly what I expected. Not very high resolution but perfectly acceptable for the relatively low pixel density, good micro-contrast, lousy edges, some color issues that make for better mono conversions than corrected color prints, and image circles that don't completely fill either the 64x63mm or 76x51mm area the Actus can cover. For some things, I'm perfectly happy with them both, even though the 40 is huge and the FLE is fussy. But for some things I've got in mind for the summer, I want better options.

    So, like I'm guessing everyone does when they purchase one of these, I started looking at the Schneider and Rodenstock digital lenses. I fell in love with the images I found from the Rodenstock APO-Sironar 55/4.5. Great focal length, usable wide open, nearly perfect by f/11, handles higher pixel densities well if I ever decide to upgrade, and enough recommended-usage area (96x72) to cover anything I want to shoot now and make a transition to the DB if I ever decided to go that route. My target was to acquire one a month or so in advance of my Montana trip in August, so I put it on my used search list and started re-engineering my budget to cover a new one in July if I didn't find one used.

    Finding a used copy looked like it was going to be a challenge. Then I came across a used Sinar Sinaron Digital 55/4.5 at Adorama. I had nothing more than a passing familiarity with the brand, so I looked them up. The lenses on the English version of their site looked shockingly familiar after having stared at the photos of Rodenstocks. Some further research provided the common internet knowledge that Sinar rebrands Rodenstock lenses, and the only comparable "digital" model from Rodenstock is the APO-Sironar.

    Assuming the lens arrives in shooting condition, did I really just get the lens I wanted for $400? Is that a good price for a user copy? Please feel free to burst my bubble. This dopey grin feels unnatural on my face.
    I've been using the Cambo Actus with my A7R as a digital back. I started like you with a few Hassy lenses and then switched to using LF lenses (analog). I have been very pleased with the performance of the Rodenstock Grandagons (both the APO 55 and 45 as well as the N version 75 and 90). The 55 is my favorite focal length for this setup. The 45 will not focus to infinity with the standard bellows so I purchased a the fixed wide bellows to use specifically with that lens. If I had know what a huge PITA it is to switch back and forth between bellows I would not have gone that route. Otherwise I'm quite happy with the Actus/A7r and the 55-90 Grandagons. Razor sharp edge to edge and no complaints about resolution for landscape work.
    Carl
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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken_R View Post
    In general even "lesser" tech camera lenses are much better than SLR lenses. SLR lenses are designed with the huge limitation of long flange focal distances due to having to be mounted well away from the image plane due to the mirror box of SLR cameras.

    Tech camera lenses sit much closer to the film/sensor plane. This is most times a good thing except with wide angles being too close creating light angles too extreme to be dealt by most sensors. The Leica M sensor is specially designed to deal with this issue. ASFAIK it's the only one.

    I think the 55mm is a long enough focal length that you shouldn't have any issues with it and your A7. Wider than that im not sure.
    Thanks for the info, Ken. I also think I'll be okay with the 55. If it works out well, though, then the next lens will probably be the APO-Grandagon 35, but I plan to have the a7 moded with the Kolari thin cover glass before that. That won't do anything for the color cast, which will still have to be profiled out in LR or CornerFix, but it should stop any smearing. The people who have had it done report fantastic improvements with oblique rays from RF lenses, so the response should be the same with an UW tech lens.

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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post
    One other note, if you need to replace the shutter you might have to send the lens back to Rodenstock. If a shutter is pulled, I have been taught the lens has to be re-colimated. This can only be done by the lens company. Others feel it's simple enough to do and attempt it.

    The Copol 0 is no longer made, so you might try looking on ebay to see if there are any out there.

    Paul
    I haven't discounted that possibility, but, from an engineering and manufacturing perspective, it seems unlikely to me that Sinar got anything "special" beyond what Rodenstock did for their own branded lenses, and even their auto shutters for the lenses still use the same thread size as Copal 0. My hope, assuming it comes to this, is that will only require remounting the elements. Fingers crossed.

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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    SKGrimes still list Copal 0 shutters for sale: http://www.skgrimes.com/products/new...standardcopals Though this may be out of date.

    They appear on eBay (I bought a new one a year or so ago), as do very inexpensive LF lenses with shutters. (This is the Graham Welland solution. )
    There are a couple of newish ones on eBay, but I like Graham's solution. Particularly since, for now, I don't even need a working shutter. I just need one that's not stuck closed and has a working aperture control and retaining ring.

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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    my two new rodies are not color coordinated blue ring 32, yellow ring 90
    boo hoo ;(
    If you pick up a pink and a green, you could have the Rodenstock Highlighter lens collection.

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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    Quote Originally Posted by scho View Post
    I've been using the Cambo Actus with my A7R as a digital back. I started like you with a few Hassy lenses and then switched to using LF lenses (analog). I have been very pleased with the performance of the Rodenstock Grandagons (both the APO 55 and 45 as well as the N version 75 and 90). The 55 is my favorite focal length for this setup. The 45 will not focus to infinity with the standard bellows so I purchased a the fixed wide bellows to use specifically with that lens. If I had know what a huge PITA it is to switch back and forth between bellows I would not have gone that route. Otherwise I'm quite happy with the Actus/A7r and the 55-90 Grandagons. Razor sharp edge to edge and no complaints about resolution for landscape work.
    Fantastic. Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm very excited about the 55 and am fairly certain it'll be the most-used focal length, but like I said earlier, I am interested in going with a 35 eventually. I knew I'd have to get the WA bellows for it but I didn't think it would be a pain to change them given the magnetic attachment. What's giving you fits about it?

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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    Quote Originally Posted by freaklikeme View Post
    Fantastic. Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm very excited about the 55 and am fairly certain it'll be the most-used focal length, but like I said earlier, I am interested in going with a 35 eventually. I knew I'd have to get the WA bellows for it but I didn't think it would be a pain to change them given the magnetic attachment. What's giving you fits about it?
    You have to change out the rear standard by removing a set screw and pulling out the original. The tricky part is a little ball bearing underneath sitting on a spring to hold it against the standard. If you are not careful it will pop out and it is very difficult to hold it in place when re-attaching the rear standard. The WA bellows is permanently attached to the replacement rear standard so you are not just changing the bellows.
    Carl
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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    my actus is the digital back model; the bellows connects to the front and rear standards with the magnets, no breakdown required i was able to get a 210mm alpa lens to focus at 10' using the WA bellows, but that was a it for both the bellows and the rail.
    Last edited by jlm; 26th May 2015 at 11:17.
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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    Quote Originally Posted by scho View Post
    You have to change out the rear standard by removing a set screw and pulling out the original. The tricky part is a little ball bearing underneath sitting on a spring to hold it against the standard. If you are not careful it will pop out and it is very difficult to hold it in place when re-attaching the rear standard. The WA bellows is permanently attached to the replacement rear standard so you are not just changing the bellows.
    Thanks again, Carl. You saved me the heartache of just ordering the WA angle bellows and then finding out it won't work. Cambo doesn't seem to make that clear on their website but I found the part on B&H. $975 for the rear standard and bellows and a non-rotating mount. Will it only mount with the camera in landscape orientation?

    Hmm. I may have to rethink the 35.

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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    Quote Originally Posted by freaklikeme View Post
    Thanks again, Carl. You saved me the heartache of just ordering the WA angle bellows and then finding out it won't work. Cambo doesn't seem to make that clear on their website but I found the part on B&H. $975 for the rear standard and bellows and a non-rotating mount. Will it only mount with the camera in landscape orientation?

    Hmm. I may have to rethink the 35.
    Yes, the mount does not rotate.
    Cambo Actus ACB-310
    Last edited by scho; 27th May 2015 at 06:26. Reason: add link
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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    Quote Originally Posted by freaklikeme View Post
    Thanks again, Carl. You saved me the heartache of just ordering the WA angle bellows and then finding out it won't work. Cambo doesn't seem to make that clear on their website but I found the part on B&H. $975 for the rear standard and bellows and a non-rotating mount. Will it only mount with the camera in landscape orientation?

    Hmm. I may have to rethink the 35.

    We typically stock all of the Actus products, though I don't have one of these on my shelf at the moment, but I thought that you could re-mount the bayonet. I had to double check with one of our clients - naturally the Sony A7r camera does not rotate with the embedded bellows standard, but he confirmed you do have the option to change the orientation of the Sony bayonet, and then re-mount the Sony A7r. Or turn the whole camera sideways (He says this isn't as bad as he expected).


    Steve Hendrix
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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    Also - my historical impression has been that a Sinaron lens (vs an off the shelf Rodenstock) benefits from more extensive quality control (good ones stay in, not so good ones go back). I'm sure most of them are good - but the process likely catches some of the versions that might appear ok, when in fact one side is out more than the other, for example. It's difficult for an end user, with a single copy to assess this, especially the lenses that are in the grey area between good/not good. In this case, relativity is an equalizer.


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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    Quote Originally Posted by scho View Post
    Yes, the mount does not rotate.
    Cambo Actus ACB-310
    One more question, Carl. Can you get to infinity on the WA bellows with the 55? If so, have you checked to see what your MFD is with the lens?

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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Hendrix View Post
    Also - my historical impression has been that a Sinaron lens (vs an off the shelf Rodenstock) benefits from more extensive quality control (good ones stay in, not so good ones go back). I'm sure most of them are good - but the process likely catches some of the versions that might appear ok, when in fact one side is out more than the other, for example. It's difficult for an end user, with a single copy to assess this, especially the lenses that are in the grey area between good/not good. In this case, relativity is an equalizer.


    Steve Hendrix
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    Thanks for checking out the mount and for this info, Steve. It makes sense that any company purchasing a rebrand would add their own layer of quality control. While it probably won't mean as much on my used copy, at least I'll know it probably started out in perfect shape.

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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    Quote Originally Posted by freaklikeme View Post
    One more question, Carl. Can you get to infinity on the WA bellows with the 55? If so, have you checked to see what your MFD is with the lens?
    Yes, the 55 will also focus to infinity on the ACB-310. I did not check the MFD.
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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    Quote Originally Posted by scho View Post
    Yes, the 55 will also focus to infinity on the ACB-310. I did not check the MFD.
    You are the man. Thanks again.
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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    So it arrived and it's a green-banded Grandagon. The junker Caltar II N 65/4.5 I bought for the doner shutter arrived as well, and I'm confident I could make this solution work with a little shimming between the rear element of the 55 and the shutter.

    However, the "junker" Caltar is actually beautiful. The Sinar's in good optical condition, but the Caltar is flawless. I'll find out tomorrow if the 65 shoots as good as it looks, but if it does, should I expect a big performance delta between it and the 55 or is it just going to be a slightly wider angle of view?

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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    It was closer than I actually thought it would be, and both are excellent lenses. Even at larger apertures, both were impressive. The 55's just a bit too long to be my widest lens and I prefer the 65's focal length for closer stuff. So I'm keeping the bargain 65 and sending the good-deal-with-some-work 55 back. I think I'll take this as an excuse to try out a Schneider 47 XL, which is apparently the widest lens that will achieve infinity with the standard bellows and Sony rotating mount. If I can make that work, then I'll be set for the summer.

    Here's one of the test shots with the 65 wide open. I haven't quite gotten the sharpening routine down. I started with the same thing I use for the Mamiya 120/4 macro and modified a bit until I got some detail in the leaves, but there's room for improvement there.

    a7_Actus_Rode65_GrowingThrough by Bradley Clemens, on Flickr
    Last edited by freaklikeme; 4th June 2015 at 19:36. Reason: typo

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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    Quote Originally Posted by freaklikeme View Post
    It was closer than I actually thought it would be, and both are excellent lenses. Even at larger apertures, both were impressive. The 55's just a bit too long to be my widest lens and I prefer the 65's focal length for closer stuff. So I'm keeping the bargain 65 and sending the good-deal-with-some-work 55 back. I think I'll take this as an excuse to try out a Schneider 47 XL, which is apparently the widest lens that will achieve infinity with the standard bellows and Sony rotating mount. If I can make that work, then I'll be set for the summer.

    Here's one of the test shots with the 65 wide open. I haven't quite gotten the sharpening routine down. I started with the same thing I use for the Mamiya 120/4 macro and modified a bit until I got some detail in the leaves, but there's room for improvement there.
    A couple of comparison shots using the 45 and 55 mm Rodenstock APO Grandagons on the Actus with A7r. Click for full size to compare sharpness across frame and evaluate relative FOV of each lens. I prefer the performance of the 55 over the 45, but I am also looking at replacing the 45 (with the required ACB-310 rear standard/bellows) and the 55 for the 47 Schneider, if it can do as well as the 55. A sample 2 shot stitch with the 55 on the Actus is also below.

    45mm Grandagon


    55mm Grandagon


    55mm Grandagon, 2 shot stitch (half size original)

    Carl
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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    Thanks for posting those, Carl. It seems like the 45, 55, and 65 are all fairly consistent, so it does come down to choosing your focal length.

    After remembering what I'd seen on Steve's blog post for the Actus last year (https://captureintegration.com/first-look-cambo-actus/) I decided to skip the SA XL, since I'm not sure I wouldn't end up with some clearance issues with the diameter of the rear element. I also didn't want to pop for a new APO-Digitar without knowing that using hyper focal distances instead of straight infinity will allow for easier movement on the rear standard. KEH had an SA MC that has the same specs as the APO-Digitar so far as size and flange distance, so it seemed like a good test candidate. I'll let you know how it works out after it arrives.

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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    Quote Originally Posted by freaklikeme View Post
    Thanks for posting those, Carl. It seems like the 45, 55, and 65 are all fairly consistent, so it does come down to choosing your focal length.

    After remembering what I'd seen on Steve's blog post for the Actus last year (https://captureintegration.com/first-look-cambo-actus/) I decided to skip the SA XL, since I'm not sure I wouldn't end up with some clearance issues with the diameter of the rear element. I also didn't want to pop for a new APO-Digitar without knowing that using hyper focal distances instead of straight infinity will allow for easier movement on the rear standard. KEH had an SA MC that has the same specs as the APO-Digitar so far as size and flange distance, so it seemed like a good test candidate. I'll let you know how it works out after it arrives.
    Yes, I forgot about the 47mm rear element issues that Steve pointed out in his blog post. I'll just hold for now with my Grandagons and see how your SA MC works out.
    Carl
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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    Well, Carl, I'm sorry to report that I don't think the 47 is the answer if you want much movement at infinity on the standard bellows. You get a couple of mm in any direction and that's it.

    I didn't have much time to play with it, but for this first sample, I set the aperture to f/11, set the focus so the rear element had just enough clearance, pointed it at the edge of the building and walked backward until the edge of "usable" focus was right at the edge of the building. I'm terrible at estimating distances, but I'd say it's 150-200m. I had the camera tilted up slightly, so there were some very slight adjustments on the front standard. I also had the camera rotated 90 degrees, so the a7 was able to reach the maximum 38mm edge and then took a 6 shot pano with a hefty amount of overlap.

    So, aside from the terrible framing and the dramatic shift in lighting mid-shoot, I'm very encouraged by what I see. Good center sharpness. I think I can pick up some improvement on the top edge with Kolari thin-filter mod (I'm sending the a7 off tomorrow). The fairly serious vignetting behaves as a grad ND in this case. There's a little color shift, though the changing light exaggerated the effect. Click through for a larger size.

    a7_Actus_Schn47_Test2 by Bradley Clemens, on Flickr

    So then I moved in closer (7m or so) and normalized the Actus. I shot a six shot 63x64 pano and it looks good. Very manageable color shift. The vignetting is making me think that, if I keep it, a center filter might be a good idea. So then I gave it some (unnecessary) swing, up to the first mark. The color shift changed dramatically, significantly altering the amount of usable frame without correction.

    a7_Actus_Schn47_Test1 by Bradley Clemens, on Flickr

    Something to consider if you use tilt and swing much. I can't imagine that it would be easy to create a correction profile for every given situation, because focus distance and the amount of movement change the behavior quite a bit. My uses for those movements are fairly limited on a lens this wide, so I can get by with a few profiles for my typical use-cases.

    I can't say I'm overwhelmed with the lens, since making it as useful as I want it to be will require the wide rear standard and likely the single most expensive filter I will have ever purchased, but there are four things that make me want to keep it. 1. Where it's good, it's very, very good. 2. Low distortion. 3. Very well color corrected. 4. Feakin' tiny. It's like a fifth the size and weight of the Hassy 40. So I'll wait until the a7 comes back from Kolari and see if that makes a difference.
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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    Quote Originally Posted by freaklikeme View Post
    Thanks for the info, Ken. I also think I'll be okay with the 55. If it works out well, though, then the next lens will probably be the APO-Grandagon 35, but I plan to have the a7 moded with the Kolari thin cover glass before that. That won't do anything for the color cast, which will still have to be profiled out in LR or CornerFix, but it should stop any smearing. The people who have had it done report fantastic improvements with oblique rays from RF lenses, so the response should be the same with an UW tech lens.
    The 35mm from Rodenstock is not nearly the lens that the 55mm is. It exhibits a large amount of focus shift that does not get hidden until F11+
    So it is not critically sharp across the image circle until stopped down to that F11 stop. This also makes the lens a problem for 80mp backs, which often exhibit a high degree of diffraction when wide to standard focal length lenses, are stopped down past F8.5. Diffraction shows up much quicker the smaller the pixel pitch. 60mp and 40mp backs are around 6 microns, while an 80mp back is currently at 5.2 microns. (By the way the D800-810 Nikon uses a pixel of 4.8microns.)
    That, in my opinion, is why Rodenstock went into the 32mm Apo-Digaron HR W, which is a true digital design. It not only has far less of the focus shift problem, it has a large image circle, and can handle the smaller pixel pitch.
    The 35mm Apo-Digaron was a derivative of the 35mm Apo-Grandagon.
    As such it worked with backs of 22-40mp OK, but when backs got into the 56-80mp range it really was not up to it.

    As far as the 55mm goes, it is excellent, and even the 55mm Apo-Grandagon, its predecessor, is a good digital performer.

    The 60mm from Schneider blows both 55mm's away, but more dollars...

    Be well,
    Rod
    Last edited by RodK; 13th June 2015 at 09:03. Reason: grammer
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    Re: Sinar lenses are rebadged Rodenstock?

    Quote Originally Posted by RodK View Post
    The 35mm from Rodenstock is not nearly the lens that the 55mm is. It exhibits a large amount of focus shift that does not get hidden until F11+
    So it is not critically sharp across the image circle until stopped down to that F11 stop. This also makes the lens a problem for 80mp backs, which often exhibit a high degree of diffraction when wide to standard focal length lenses, are stopped down past F8.5. Diffraction shows up much quicker the smaller the pixel pitch. 60mp and 40mp backs are around 6 microns, while an 80mp back is currently at 5.2 microns. (By the way the D800-810 Nikon uses a pixel of 4.8microns.)
    That, in my opinion, is why Rodenstock went into the 32mm Apo-Digaron HR W, which is a true digital design. It not only has far less of the focus shift problem, it has a large image circle, and can handle the smaller pixel pitch.
    The 35mm Apo-Digaron was a derivative of the 35mm Apo-Grandagon.
    As such it worked with backs of 22-40mp OK, but when backs got into the 56-80mp range it really was not up to it.

    As far as the 55mm goes, it is excellent, and even the 55mm Apo-Grandagon, its predecessor, is a good digital performer.

    The 60mm from Schneider blows both 55mm's away, but more dollars...

    Be well,
    Rod
    Thank you so much for the info, Rod. I have pretty much eliminated the Grandagon 35 due to it's short flange distance and relatively long rear group. I think I'd have clearance issues even with the wide Sony rear standard. After some research, I'm thinking the Schneider 38 XL is probably the widest analog lens I'll be able to use with movement and, from what I've read, it's also one of the least problematic lenses so far as color shift and smearing go thanks to its 50mm+ flange distance.

    The pixel pitch problem is one the reasons I stuck with the a7 for this solution. It's pitch is roughly the same as a 40mp 33x44 sensor and, once the sensor stack is thinned down, I'm hoping it'll perform like a smaller version of the Kodak sensor in the 645D/H4D-40 (but with workable live view and better high ISO performance). The smaller size should help, too, since I can't dig as far into the edges and corners of the image circle.

    The modern digital lenses look great, particularly the Digitar 60 XL, but I can't say I've been terribly disappointed with any of the analog lenses. Even with being on the fence about the 47, my talent and desires have a good bit to go before I hit the lens' limitations. So for now I think it's a good idea for me to content myself with the leftovers.

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