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Author Topic: Schneider Lens Preferences?  (Read 6498 times)
Mort54
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« on: June 21, 2007, 02:01:55 PM »
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Hello All. This is directed at those who are using (or have used) Schneider lenses on technical cameras (ALPA, Cambo, Sylvestrie, etc).

I'm mulling putting together a small light compact kit for landscape photography. I recently purchased a Mamiya 645 AFD II system and a P45+ back, and while it's everything I had hoped for, and reasonably small and light as far as MF systems go, it's a bit more weight and size than I want to haul around on some upcoming trips (too much hiking involved, limited access to power for charging batteries, etc). What I have in mind is an ALPA TC, P45+ back, and three lenses. For lenses, I'm primarily looking at the Schneider Digitar series, but maybe also some other Schneider or Rodenstock lenses. I'm interested in any feedback or opinions you might have on such lenses, preferrably based on actual usage.

For wide, I'm primarily interested in 47mm or thereabouts. The choices are the Schneider APO-Digitar 47/5.6, the Schneider Super-Angulon 47/5.6, the Schneider/ALPA APO-Helvetar 48/5.6, and the Schneider/ALPA APO-Alpar 45/5.6. What's the buzz on these lenses? Is one clearly superior to the others in sharpness and contrast?

For mid-range, I'm primarily interested in the range from 72mm to 90mm. The choices are the Schneider APO-Digitar 72/5.6, the Schneider Super-Angulon 72/5.6, the Schneider APO-Digitar 80/4.0, the Schneider Super-Symmar Aspheric 80/4.5, and the Schneider APO-Digitar 90/4.5. Again, the same questions as for the wide lenses.

For short telephoto, I'm primarily interested in 120mm. The choices are the Schneider APO-Digitar 120/5.6 N, the Schneider APO-Digitar 120/5.6 M (macro), and the Schneider APO-Symmar 120/5.6. Again, same questions.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2007, 02:40:17 PM by Mort54 » Logged

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rainer_v
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« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2007, 07:33:10 PM »
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i would take a close look to the rodenstock/ sinar HR lenses, as far they are available in the foca length you ned them.
they exists as 28/ 35/60/100 and 180mm. i think they are by far the best lenses in the market for digital. one advantage is that they are already sharp even without beeing stopped down.
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MattLaver
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« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2007, 09:52:49 PM »
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Also depending on what you mean by 'wide' the 47s are not very wide on a P45, hence the existence of the 35s and 24/28s. I use mine for architecture though, so your needs may not be as extreme as mine, depending on your style.

Another note; the 120 macro digitar claims to be optimised for 1:4 to 4:1 shooting distances, in other words quarter life size to four times life size, so shines as a macro but not great beyond that, unlike say a Zeiss 120 Macro for Contax/Hasselblad etc which would be designed for short tele use as well as macro. Just something to keep in mind.

Matt
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Mort54
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« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2007, 11:03:03 PM »
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Also depending on what you mean by 'wide' the 47s are not very wide on a P45, hence the existence of the 35s and 24/28s. I use mine for architecture though, so your needs may not be as extreme as mine, depending on your style.
Hi Matt. Yes, I understand how wide (or not so wide) the 47 is on the P45. It's about a 33mm in 35mm DSLR terms. But 47 is what I have in mind. I'm looking for a three lens kit to take on some long, strenuous hikes, so that means I have to make some compromises. If I need wider, I'll have to take several shots and stitch them together. If I'm working out of, or near, my car, then I'll have my Mamiya kit, with lenses from 35mm thru 300mm.
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Mort54
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« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2007, 11:22:33 PM »
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i would take a close look to the rodenstock/ sinar HR lenses, as far they are available in the foca length you ned them.
they exists as 28/ 35/60/100 and 180mm.
Hi Rainer. Yes, I hear many wonderful things about Rodenstock's APO-Sironar HR lenses. They are all available for the Alpa TC. Unfortunately, they are just not the focal lengths I'm looking for (maybe I should be looking at other focal lengths :-) They also tend to be a little faster than the Schneider lenses, which is nice, but it also makes them somewhat heavier than the Schneider's. Do you know of any web sites that do side by side comparisons of Rodenstock and Schneider lenses? I've run a number of Google searches and come up blank.

Regards,
Mort.
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ericstaud
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« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2007, 03:34:24 AM »
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Hi Mort,

Hard to find someone with knowledge of how all these lenses perform on a sensor like the P45+.  The Alpa forum would be a good place to go as well.  They will have direct experience using the film vs. digital lenses on a digital back.  It is a great resource that they have so much direct communication with Schneider and Rodenstock and that you can ask them questions directly.

I am using the 24, 35, 60, and 100 digitars on that back with the Alpas.

It is my understanding (not through experience) that the film lenses have the possibility of giving you some Chromatic Aberration.  With these Digitar lenses, and I'm sure with the HR lenses, there is VERY little or no CA.

You will deal with Lens Cast on the P45 with any of the lenses considered wide.  Because you would be working without shifts though, you may be able to make a reference set of three LCC settings rather than having to shoot the white plexi after every shot.

The 47 digitar is a great lens.  It gets a nice wide view without feeling wide angle.

Here would be my choices for your money....

Schneider Apo-Digitar 5.6/47 mm XL
Schneider Apo-Digitar 5.6/72 mm L
Schneider Apo-Digitar 5.6/120 mm N

The 90 or 100 is too close to the 120 and too far from the 47.
I would not buy the film versions unless you can test them first or get a first hand review from someone you trust.
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rainer_v
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« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2007, 05:09:53 AM »
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hi mort,
no i never saw such camparision, but i did with several rodenstock lenses when i bought the HR. i compared the rodenstoch digital 35, 55 and 90 with the HR 35, 60 and 100. huge difference between the normal digital and the Hr versions.
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Mort54
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« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2007, 11:04:49 AM »
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I am using the 24, 35, 60, and 100 digitars on that back with the Alpas.

Here would be my choices for your money....

Schneider Apo-Digitar 5.6/47 mm XL
Schneider Apo-Digitar 5.6/72 mm L
Schneider Apo-Digitar 5.6/120 mm N
Hi Eric. Thanks for the excellent feedback. I have a few questions for you.

First, do you use center filters on any of your lenses with the Alpa and P45? Are they needed, or can I can I just correct in Photoshop?

Second, have you shot your P45 on any of the mainstream MF products (Hassy, Rollei, Mamiya, Contax, etc.), and if so, how do the images shot on your Alpa with the Schneider's compare? I've heard very good things about sharpness and micro-contrast, etc. on the Schneiders and Rodenstocks, but it's so difficult to separate subjective opinion from objective fact in lens comparisons.

Third, I noticed on the Alpa site that the 72mm lens is back-ordered. Is that because it is highly sought after, or some other reason? Or put another way, are you recommending the 72 over the 80 because it's recognized as being optically superior to the 80?

Thanks again,
Mort.
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ericstaud
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« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2007, 11:55:19 AM »
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Hi Eric. Thanks for the excellent feedback. I have a few questions for you.

First, do you use center filters on any of your lenses with the Alpa and P45? Are they needed, or can I can I just correct in Photoshop?

Second, have you shot your P45 on any of the mainstream MF products (Hassy, Rollei, Mamiya, Contax, etc.), and if so, how do the images shot on your Alpa with the Schneider's compare? I've heard very good things about sharpness and micro-contrast, etc. on the Schneiders and Rodenstocks, but it's so difficult to separate subjective opinion from objective fact in lens comparisons.

Third, I noticed on the Alpa site that the 72mm lens is back-ordered. Is that because it is highly sought after, or some other reason? Or put another way, are you recommending the 72 over the 80 because it's recognized as being optically superior to the 80?

Thanks again,
Mort.
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I think you should wait on center filters for now.  It might be a different story if you were getting the 24 or 35.  I have been correcting fall-off in photoshop without any real problems with image quality.  I have heard rumors that C1 Pro will incorporate fall-off adjustment in the v4 release.  The tool Leaf provides is like magic.... just choose a percentage between 1-100 and that is how much fall-off is removed.  When I was shooting with an Aptus 75 I just set the fall-off adjustment at 50% and left it.

I have not shot enough with an H1 and my P45.  As an architecture shooter it was important to me to eliminate any kind of barrel distortion or chromatic aberration that killed working with Canon or Nikon cameras for me.  The 50-100 H1 lens is a miracle lens from the results I have seen, but to add correcting barrel/pincushion distortion, perspective, and a little Chromatic Aberration to my workflow in post would really eat up my time.

I have only had a 72L for about 14 hours now, and I was sleeping for 8 of those.  I waited months for the lens.  It appears to be an excellent lens.  I will likely sell my 60 mm digitar on ebay in the next few days to subsidize the 72L.  I recommended the 72 to you because it was a nice fit in between the two other lenses.  I think Schneider is slow to deliver these lenses and that everybody wants one.  I am sure the 80 is very nice.  For my money the 72L has more shift, is a better choice to go between my 47 and 100, and can be cropped down to get the effect of an 80 very easily.
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free1000
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« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2007, 12:10:17 PM »
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The Schneider Digitar 72L is a stunning lens.

I've compared it with my 72XL super angulon and it knocks the film lens into a cocked hat.

Maybe the Rodenstocks have an edge on the Schneider Digitars, but for the price they should do.

A bonus of the Digitars is their lightness.  I have the 24, 35, 47 and 72.  I would rate them in order of resolution

72 L
35 XL
47 XL
24 XL

They are all great lenses. I use them with the Aptus 75.  Amazing how little weight the kit is, definitely compares well with a largish DSLR in terms of portability. If only lighter and better batteries were available (when will the vendors switch to LiPolys.... cant be soon enough for me).

I now use them with the Cambo in a variety of shooting circumstances. One of the great things is shooting handheld at f11 or so. Opens up some opportunities that weren't feasible before.
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Mort54
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« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2007, 01:07:48 PM »
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The Schneider Digitar 72L is a stunning lens.

A bonus of the Digitars is their lightness.  I have the 24, 35, 47 and 72.  I would rate them in order of resolution

They are all great lenses. I use them with the Aptus 75.

I now use them with the Cambo in a variety of shooting circumstances.
Hi Paul. Thanks for you input. Between you and Eric, you've given me some great first hand feedback on these lenses. I'll ask you the same question I asked Eric - have you shot the Aptus 75 on one of the mainstream MF systems (e.g. Hassy, etc), and if so, how do the Schneider lenses compare to the lenses of that system? I guess what I'm asking is "Am I going to see a meaningful difference if I use Schneider or Rodenstock lenses?"
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rljones
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« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2007, 02:30:36 PM »
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I mostly use the 24XL and the 47XL on my Alpa. In fact, I so rarely have used the 100 Rodenstock that I have it up for sale on eBay.

Regards,

Robert
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« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2007, 01:57:55 AM »
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I also have the Mamiya AFD with 35 (manual), 80, the 55-110 zoom and the 150.
 
There is a noticeable improvement with the Schneider lenses, but the difference is less with the 80mm lens. Also the 55-110 is surprisingly good stopped down, and in truth the comparison is a bit apples-oranges when you compare the convenience of a Mamiya with a zoom lens on it to a view camera.

Its the wide angle lenses where the difference is most notable. The Schneider 35 is much sharper, with better edge performance than the Mamiya lens.

I have no experience with the Hassleblad gear.  

If I didn't need movements I'd personally be looking at the new Leaf AFi because of the Schneider glass. However, I didn't really consider the rental issue when I chose the Mamiya route and I've since discovered that the only rentable camera is the Hassy. Worth keeping in mind if you might need to rent backup, or other kit in the future.


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Hi Paul. Thanks for you input. Between you and Eric, you've given me some great first hand feedback on these lenses. I'll ask you the same question I asked Eric - have you shot the Aptus 75 on one of the mainstream MF systems (e.g. Hassy, etc), and if so, how do the Schneider lenses compare to the lenses of that system? I guess what I'm asking is "Am I going to see a meaningful difference if I use Schneider or Rodenstock lenses?"
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« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2007, 03:54:29 AM »
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as wider the lense as bigger the difference between symmetric or pseudo-symmetric ( schneider + rodenstock ) and rectilinear lenses as hassy contax mamiya and so on. 60mm and up there will not be any advantage for symmetric constructions.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2007, 03:55:09 AM by rehnniar » Logged

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Prakash Patel
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« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2007, 10:03:25 PM »
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The Schneider Digitar 72L is a stunning lens.

I've compared it with my 72XL super angulon and it knocks the film lens into a cocked hat.

Maybe the Rodenstocks have an edge on the Schneider Digitars, but for the price they should do.

A bonus of the Digitars is their lightness.  I have the 24, 35, 47 and 72.  I would rate them in order of resolution

72 L
35 XL
47 XL
24 XL

They are all great lenses. I use them with the Aptus 75.  Amazing how little weight the kit is, definitely compares well with a largish DSLR in terms of portability. If only lighter and better batteries were available (when will the vendors switch to LiPolys.... cant be soon enough for me).

I now use them with the Cambo in a variety of shooting circumstances. One of the great things is shooting handheld at f11 or so. Opens up some opportunities that weren't feasible before.
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Paul

I have the Schneider analog 72xl and the 90 and am very happy with the results for digital capture using the Cambo DS. The ability to apply 40mm of rise is great on these analog lenses. Have you had the opportunity to test the maximum movements for the 72L digitar? It is my understanding that the 20mm of movement in landscape position is a conservative specification that is published by Schneider.

I am curious to see your test results between the Schneider analog 72xl and the digitar 72L.
It is still kind of hard to get a hold of the 72L for testing..........if your test files are still accessible,
would you mind posting your test results?

regards
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