Rodenstock Apo-Ronar 300greenspun.com : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread
Has anyone had any experience with the Rodenstock Apo-Ronar 300 for landscape photography ? (4X5) How does it compare to the Nikon 300 m ? I would appreciatte any information. Thanks, Don Hall
-- Don Hall (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 16, 1999
I have not used the Ronar 300, but I own the Ronar 240 mm and compared that with a Nikkor 300 mm which I owned for a while. Although many people on this forum rave about the Nikkor, I strongly prefer the APO Ronar. I like the color better and I think it's sharper, even at infinity, than the Nikkor. The Nikkor is also an excellent lens, however. If you buy a Ronar, make sure you get one that's multi-coated; they're not easy find with multi-coating. Also the image circle of the Ronar is smaller than that of the Nikkor. Both are fine for 4 x 5, but if you intend to also use it for larger formats, you'd probably then want to go with the Nikk
-- Howard Slavitt (email@example.com), December 17, 1999.
I`m since 2 weeks a owner of the Apo Ronar 300 mm and I just get the first results some days ago. It is my sharphest Lens for landscape and I`m very happy with it. Good luck,Armin
-- armin seeholzer (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 27, 2000.
I have it on good authority that Apo Ronars in shutter are multicoated for at least the last 18 years. Evidently the barrel lenses are single coated. My AR in shutter was manufactured in 1996, but came to me new, from the Rodenstock warehouse in Germany. Held up to a specular light source, it reflects in multiple colors.
I sold my Nikkor-M 300 lens specifically so it could be replaced by the Apo Ronar. The MTF charts alone indicate the Apo-Ronar Celor lens formula to be significantly sharper than the Nikkor's tessar formula.
For posterity, I shot TMX at infinity with both lenses at f/22 with maximum shift. The film isn't back yet, but I expect the Nikkor to be significantly softer away from the center, than is the Ronar. The Nikkor on 4x5 will be more than adequate, even in the corners, with 30mm of portrait rise. Beyond a 195mm image circle, I expect it to be soft, and very much so on 8x10. If you want a 300 for 8x10, I would choose something other than the Nikkor-M 300.
I believe many photogs erroneously assume they require coverage sufficient to provide yards of movement. This assumption leads them to avoid lenses with smaller angles of view, such as the Apo Ronar, Artar, etc. The modest aperture, small size, and stunning optical performance are the benefits received by trading away large angles of coverage.
Rodenstock has done a crappy job of marketing these superb lenses. They use the word "process" and "optimized for 1:1" in the brochure, without mentioning how superb they perform at normal distances. These words scare off a lot of photographers who don't get the benefit of reading these forums. The Celor formula makes them "process" lenses by default. The symmetrical lens configuration is optimized at 1:1 because that is what happens with symmetrical designs. Stopped down to f/22 the MTF charts indicate superior performance at infinity.
Too bad there isn't an Apo-Ronar in 200mm, as I would have one of those any day also.
-- Bruce Gavin (email@example.com), June 27, 2000.
"Rodenstock has done a crappy job of marketing these superb lenses. They use the word "process" and "optimized for 1:1" in the brochure, without mentioning how superb they perform at normal distances. These words scare off a lot of photographers who don't get the benefit of reading these forums. The Celor formula makes them "process" lenses by default. The symmetrical lens configuration is optimized at 1:1 because that is what happens with symmetrical designs. Stopped down to f/22 the MTF charts indicate superior performance at infinity. "
Not really they simply don't perform as well as an Apo Sironar N or S at infinity and were designed and manufactured as process lenses for 1"1 re[rodiction at f22.
Since Rodenstock has ISO 9001 certification they are in no position to promote lenses for applications they were not designed for.
-- Bob Salomon (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 28, 2000.
"Since Rodenstock has ISO 9001 certification they are in no position to promote lenses for applications they were not designed for."
Hmmm... these words don't seem to ring true with those in the brochure... "The Apo-Ronar offers superb image reproduction from a scale of 1:1 to infinity. This is the classical process lens, but it has also more than proved its value as a 'long focal length' lens with clear quality advantages over tele-constructions."
The brochure words clearly promote using the Apo Ronar at infinity. So much for hiding behind ISO 9001 certification. And my point being, if Rodenstock is going to promote the ARs to this degree, why not expound on these stated virtues?
Today, an interested photographer has to jump through hoops to obtain infinity MTF charts. Intelligent marketing would eagerly make this data available to showcase the quality of the lenses. Sadly, the Rodenstock website is sorely lacking in promoting their products. This is a real shame, as the web reaches a far larger audience than paper brochures, and at much less expense. Rodenstock should take a lesson from Schneider on how to use a web site effectively. I have every confidence the Apo Sironars are designed to perform superbly at infinity. Apo performance only occurs at a single magnification, so it is logical that the Sironar has the performance edge at infinity. The Apo Ronar is by design a symmetrical lens optimized at 1:1, and only apochromatic at that magnification. There is no reason, ISO or otherwise, why Rodenstock cannot tout the quality of the Apo Ronars at infinity when they have MTF data to substantiate the claim.
The MTF charts at infinity and f/22 tell me it would be difficult to see on film the difference between the Sironar and Ronar. However, I cannot consider hauling a 1210 gram, 105mm diameter 300mm Sironar-S into the field when I can take a 270 gram, 51mm diameter 300mm Apo- Ronar and get the same results on film.
My 210mm Sironar-S gobbles up enough lensboard real estate on my Crown Graphic that I would gladly use a 200mm Apo Ronar if one were available. In the 240mm focal length, the Sironar-S is unusable here because it is simply too big. My point in all of this is the Apo Ronar holds a valuable place in the Rodenstock line, and should be aggressively marketed as such, rather than ignored as a "legacy" step- child.
-- Bruce Gavin (email@example.com), June 28, 2000.