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Author Topic: Rodenstock Digitar 180mm Verses Sironar S 180mm  (Read 1117 times)
Drew Harty
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« on: February 11, 2013, 09:56:36 AM »
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Hello,

I am looking to get a longer lens for use with a Aptus 10 back and have been looking at Rodenstock lens in the 180mm to 210mm range.  It is not a lens I will use a lot but one I would like to have in my kit for a cross-country photography project I will be doing. 

Has anyone tested the differences in quality between these two lens, or other similar digital/analogue lens in this focal length? Does the ability of a lens to focus all wave lengths precisely on the sensor plain become less critical when the back focus length is much longer?  I would typically be stopping down to F/11 when using either lens. 

I am reluctant to spend the $2100 for a new Digitar 180mm when there are many 210mm Sironar S lens available used, if there is not much gain in image sharpness.

Thanks,
Drew Harty
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torger
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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2013, 08:39:30 AM »
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You are correct, long analog lenses can perform really well on digital, I've seen that myself. Shorter analogs (say below 60mm or so) don't perform that well since the lens design then needs to take sensor glass into account due to the low angle of the incoming light, and there's also a higher overall need of correction which older designs don't have. I haven't done this particular comparison though I hope someone has, I'm also interested in the result.

I guess you mean the Rodenstock Digaron-S 180mm, there is a Schneider Digitar 180mm too which costs significantly less than the Rodenstock, actually about the same as the analog-based design Rodenstock Apo-Sironar digital 180mm. I'm not sure what the difference is between "Apo-Sironar" and "Apo-Sironar digital", the claimed image circle on the analog version is much larger though. Of all these the budget alternative if buying new would for me be the Schneider Digitar 180mm, digital and not more expensive than the analog counterparts. On the second hand market the analog lenses are generally cheaper though.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 08:48:58 AM by torger » Logged
Doug Peterson
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2013, 09:16:57 AM »
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You are correct, long analog lenses can perform really well on digital, I've seen that myself. Shorter analogs (say below 60mm or so) don't perform that well since the lens design then needs to take sensor glass into account due to the low angle of the incoming light, and there's also a higher overall need of correction which older designs don't have. I haven't done this particular comparison though I hope someone has, I'm also interested in the result.

+1 in general

Older+Wide is usually not great with high res digital
Older+Longer is usually good with high res digital
Older+Macro is usually darn good with high res digital

There are exceptions (the Rodenstock 55 is a very respectable lens) but the rules above are pretty good guidelines.

That said I have zero experience with the two lenses you refer to; I've never gone that long with tech cameras, only to 150mm.
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henrikfoto
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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2013, 11:34:32 AM »
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Hi Drew!

I have used many of the Apo Sironar S lenses and the Apo Sironar digital.
You will never see any difference. And the Apo Sironar S gives you much more movements.
The Apo Sironar S 210 is one of the best, and you can get it used for 500$.

Henrik
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 11:36:47 AM by henrikfoto » Logged
Drew Harty
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2013, 09:54:08 AM »
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Thanks everyone for the replies.  It sounds like investing in a Rodenstock Sironar S lens will work for my purposes.

The large field of coverage will help as well because the reason I am buying a lens to use on my Arca 6x9, when I already have a sharp Mamiya 210 UDL lens, is so I can shift the back for panoramas.

I have wondered, but never test, whether a good analogue lens would work better for shifting because the center area of greatest sharpness might be much large than on a corresponding digital lens with its much smaller field of view.  When I shift my Rodenstock Digitar 45mm, 55mm, or HR 70mm, the corners are always noticeably less sharp.

Drew
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Drew Harty
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« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2013, 09:08:11 AM »
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After everyones' replies, I purchased a Fujinon CM W 180mm.  A Fuji 150mm W was the sharpest analogue lens I ever owned so thought I would try Fuji again.

I tested the Fuji 180mm and my Mamiya 200mm UDL lens inside with a test target and outside on a scene that focused at infinity. 

In terms of sharpness, I could see no difference between the two lens when focusing at infinity.  The Mamiya had the edge in contrast and produced a much cooler image.

With the indoor test target (set up 11 ft. from the lens), the Fuji was clearly sharper at all F/stops.  Curiously, the Mamiya 200 UDL was sharpest at F/4 and got progressively less sharp as I stopped down (becoming nearly unsuable), when focused near its minimum focus distance.  On the outdoor scene focused at infinity, the 200 UDL was an ok performer at F/4 but got progressively sharper as I stopped down up to F/11.  If my Mamiya 200 UDL is typical of other Mamiya 200 UDL lens, I would not recommend it as a portrait lens. 

Drew
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