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Thread: 120mm macro Lens for digital backs

  1. #1
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    120mm macro Lens for digital backs

    Hello,

    I have a Nikon 120mm ED-AM f/5.6 that I think it is not good enough over digital format. I tried it a few times, but I don't happy with the results.
    I'm considering to buy Rodenstock apo-macro-sironar 120mm which I read in its brochure that it build and design for digital uses.
    It has 150mm image circle, which is kind of too good to be true, and it is not too expensive.

    Anyone familiar with this lens?
    Any other recommendation?

    I use it over Cambo 35/23D system, either with DSLR and medium format (right now I rent a back when I need one - hopefully later this year to buy one).
    I have Schneider Apo-digitar 80mm which is very good. I saw that there is also a 120mm, which can be probably good either for my needs. But:
    1. I don't find a use one and a new it about 700$ more than the Rodenstock.
    2. It has smaller image circle than the Rodenstock

    Thanks in advance,
    Tsur.

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    Re: 120mm macro Lens for digital backs

    Hi
    I use the Rodenstock Apo Macro Sironar digital 120 mm on a
    Cambo (23 and 35) and it is a very good sharp lens.
    You can use the full movements of your camera with it.
    Regards,
    Ben
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    Senior Member Antonio Chagin's Avatar
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    Re: 120mm macro Lens for digital backs

    I had this lens, Nikon 120mm ED-AM f/5.6, mounted on a Horseman + Sony A7R. I sold it a while ago, the results I got were good but not outstanding.

    I've been using Rodenstock 120mm 5.6 Apo taking lens which was not design for digital but which gives me outstanding results. No CA and full detail still now with the A7R2.

    This is a 100% detail of a watch without retouching.

    www.achdigital.com
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    Re: 120mm macro Lens for digital backs

    Antonio's lens is so good, he had to say so twice.
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    Senior Member Antonio Chagin's Avatar
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    Re: 120mm macro Lens for digital backs

    Sorry about the double post.

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    Re: 120mm macro Lens for digital backs

    Hi -

    You should definitely look into the Schneider 120/5.6 APO Digitar Aspheric.

    Every single photo on my Instagram (@watchdxb) was shot with it. Plenty of 100% crops to check out.

    Kind regards,


    Gerald.
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    Re: 120mm macro Lens for digital backs

    Antonio Chagin and gerald.d you both have some very good results.
    It looks like, but it hard to say due to the fact that Gerald pictures are from Instagram, they both have a very good image quality (I need the lens for jewellery and watches photography).

    The Nikon has good quality, but, as said, not outstanding results which I need outstanding results as a professional photographer.
    I think that I'll look for both of them, and the one that will be found first in decent price, I will take.

    Gerald, get a big thumb up for the GS. One of my favorite watch brands.

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    Re: 120mm macro Lens for digital backs

    Quote Originally Posted by TsurTriger View Post
    Antonio Chagin and gerald.d you both have some very good results.
    It looks like, but it hard to say due to the fact that Gerald pictures are from Instagram, they both have a very good image quality (I need the lens for jewellery and watches photography).

    The Nikon has good quality, but, as said, not outstanding results which I need outstanding results as a professional photographer.
    I think that I'll look for both of them, and the one that will be found first in decent price, I will take.

    Gerald, get a big thumb up for the GS. One of my favorite watch brands.
    Hi -

    Most of the time, the detail shots are simply crops of the accompanying full frame shot, so you should be able to get a good idea as to the quality of the lens.

    For example -

    Full frame at IIRC about 1:1.3 magnification


    100% crop from that


    (that's just a single image - no focus stacking)

    Example of 100% crop of a focus stacked image



    Kind regards,


    Gerald.

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    Re: 120mm macro Lens for digital backs

    I shoot a lot of wristwatches ( www.garysmithphoto.com) and use a Schneider 120 5.6 apo digitar (not the asp or macro) with an actus a7r. It's an excellent lens and seems to hold up well up to near 1:1. I hardly ever go beyond 1:1 so I haven't felt the need for a true macro lens. If I was buying new I would get the asph as that replaces both normal apo and macro 120's
    I tend to leave it at f11-1/3 and just stack when needed. I use very little output sharpening and just a final tweak once retouched, no C/A and a big image circle.
    Clients often comment on the sharpness/smoothness/quality of the shots which I guess comes from the lens as I hate aggressive over-sharpening. The shots are reproduced in magazines so OTT sharpening just looks horribly gritty in print.

    It's better than any 35mm system based lens I have tried.
    never trust the opinion of anyone who lists a load of gear in their forum signature. Dealers do not email me asking to buy your products.
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    Re: 120mm macro Lens for digital backs

    MrSmith, you have really beautiful work portfolio.

    I read all your advises and it is very helpful.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Antonio Chagin's Avatar
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    Re: 120mm macro Lens for digital backs

    Quote Originally Posted by TsurTriger View Post
    Antonio Chagin and gerald.d you both have some very good results.
    It looks like, but it hard to say due to the fact that Gerald pictures are from Instagram, they both have a very good image quality (I need the lens for jewellery and watches photography).

    The Nikon has good quality, but, as said, not outstanding results which I need outstanding results as a professional photographer.
    I think that I'll look for both of them, and the one that will be found first in decent price, I will take.

    Gerald, get a big thumb up for the GS. One of my favorite watch brands.
    You should get great results with both Schneider and Rodenstock Macros 120mm. If I were you and if posible I would rent them. Sometimes is a question minimal differences that affect the decision.

    Gerald and Mr Smith have great works.

    Best.

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: 120mm macro Lens for digital backs

    Quote Originally Posted by MrSmith View Post
    I shoot a lot of wristwatches ( www.garysmithphoto.com) and use a Schneider 120 5.6 apo digitar (not the asp or macro) with an actus a7r. It's an excellent lens and seems to hold up well up to near 1:1. I hardly ever go beyond 1:1 so I haven't felt the need for a true macro lens. If I was buying new I would get the asph as that replaces both normal apo and macro 120's
    I tend to leave it at f11-1/3 and just stack when needed. I use very little output sharpening and just a final tweak once retouched, no C/A and a big image circle.
    Clients often comment on the sharpness/smoothness/quality of the shots which I guess comes from the lens as I hate aggressive over-sharpening. The shots are reproduced in magazines so OTT sharpening just looks horribly gritty in print.

    It's better than any 35mm system based lens I have tried.
    I have the 120 Apo-Digitar as well (must be first version, I got it in 2002).

    As a side note: The unique thing about this lens is its very wide image circle. I have been using it for a completely different purpose - on 6x9 and even 6x17 cm film. While specs say 125 mm IC, it actually illuminates to almost cover 6x17 cm - at f/16 I get about 6x16 cm and plenty of resolving power for film. Sharpness deteriorates a little bit towards corners and field probably isn't quite flat out there, but the overall result is still great. Using the full IC, CF helps a lot, the center filter for a 65 SA is a perfect match.

    This week I started looking into using my Copal-mounted lenses on my Nikon D810 - got a dirt cheap bellows to experiment with. So far I have tried the 120 Apo-Digitar and a 100 Apo-Symmar. Preliminary results show that both lenses are stellar WRT resolving power even wide open, easily match even the best Nikon glass. and APO performance is of course rare with consumer DSLR glass. I started a separate thread on this experiment in the Nikon section.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Re: 120mm macro Lens for digital backs

    This thread has generated a couple of PM questions re shooting set-up/methods and I'm happy to share as I too have benefited from info on particular lens's etc in other threads.

    However I don't appreciate being directly emailed by manufacturers/dealers wanting to flog me their kit because they have read this thread and see me as their target market.
    never trust the opinion of anyone who lists a load of gear in their forum signature. Dealers do not email me asking to buy your products.
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