300 for 4x5 : rodenstock apo ronar vs nikkorM300

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300mm for 4x5 : apo ronar vs nikkor M300 i know the coverage of the nikkor is better, but i don't need it! i just want a very good 300mm for landscape and very large print (bw and color slides) for my linhof technika V Usually i prefer german lens for colour saturation and grey value ! (i replaced my RZ67 with a 500CM and CF lens, my nikon AFD with leica, and i bought a 180 apo symmar ...all this stuff is excellent !) The nikkor M300 is very popular, i'm shure is very sharp but wath about colour saturation and grey value, is there a difference between it and the rodenstock ?

-- giancatarina (sacripant@online.fr), March 08, 2001


Check this lens review .

-- Andre (5745@deja.com), March 08, 2001.

I would not recommend letting a general "which is better" question get you get hung up on your decision. Both lenses are very high quality from major manufacturers that stand behind their products and I feel that you would be very pleased with either. Some other considerations that I feel should come into play are size, weight, cost, coverage (don't automatically discount coverage as you may opt for a larger format down the road), prior experience and a consistent filter diameter with other lenses you may use. I find the trade off between coverage and weight the most critical as I have cherished my lenses particularly in copal o and 1 shutters when I get into the high country. Cost for me comes in third. Good Luck.

-- Michael Kadillak (m.kadillak@home.com), March 08, 2001.

The Ronar is an excellent lens and the Nikkor is wonderful. But the best of these two is the Fujinon 300C! Some opinions may differ.

-- Paul Schilliger (pschilliger@smile.ch), March 08, 2001.

onsider the Schneider 305 G Clarion. Although designed s a process lens, mine does great at infinity and in general landscape photography. You might find the following ls test site helpful. by Christopher Perez and Kerry Thalman. http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/testing.html

Ibought mine in shutter, coated, and like new for $425. Jeff

-- Jeff Thompson (pohfuff@aol.com), March 09, 2001.

Consider the Schneider 305 G Clarion. Although designed as a process lens, mine does great at infinity and in general landscape photography. You might find the following ls test site helpful. by Christopher Perez and Kerry Thalman. http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/testing.html

I bought mine in shutter, coated, and like new for $425. Jeff

-- Jeff Thompson (poohfuff@aol.com), March 09, 2001.

All of these lenses are very compact and light -- all use No. 1 shutter. All adequately cover 4 x 5. All of these lenses have f/9 or smaller maximum apertures. Depending on your eyesight (those over 50 usually have greater difficulty with dim light than adults under 30), you may find it difficult to focus in low contrast areas when light levels fall to 6, 7s, perhaps even 8 EV. Focussing may also prove difficult if you attach a polaroid filter (- 2 f-stops). Apo Ronar 300 mm lens uses a 49 mm filter. Convenient filter match to 135 mm Rodenstock S lens, another compact and popular lens for landscape photography. My understanding is that Apo Ronar 300 mm does not cover 8 x 10 at infinity, but perhaps I am mistaken. Optimized at 1:1 but outstanding at infinity. All the color saturation you could hope for. I don't know whether your 4 x 5 Linhof camera with narrow neck bellows can accept bulkier 300 mm 5.6 lens. Apo Ronar 300 lens easy to sell on consignment. Schneider G-Claron 305 mm has the most coverage for 8 x 10 among these f9+ lenses.Superb saturation. Optimized at infinity but does great at 1:1. Likewise easy to sell on consignment. I have never seen anyone claim they can tell the difference in a print made with Apo Ronar and that made by G-Claron, Nikkor, Fuji, etc, but possibly there might be a visible difference between Apo-Symmar-S or Apo-Sironon-S and these f/9 lenses. Talk to Bob Salomon, at HP Marketing, distributor of Rodenstock lenses. If you have ever seen prints made by Edward Steichen, you might change your mind about the desirability of a sharp lens -- Steichen made stunning landscape images with diffuse lenses. Purchase price of G-Claron is close to Apo Ronar. Japanese lenses usually have substantially lower purchase prices. A lot of Pros are very enthusiastic fans of these lenses (e.g, John Saxon, Craig Wells). If you want more saturation, detail, etc., you will get more bang for buck by going to larger 8 x 10 format than by fretting over which len

-- David (caldw@aol.com), March 11, 2001.

I currently have a Nikor M300 F9, and may wish to replace it with, you guessed it, an apo Ronar.

I am yet to perform contoled tests to confirm the "limitation" I believe exist with this lens, If you can hang on for a couple of days, I can give you a better opinion.

My reasons for wishing to relieve myself of the Nikon, is that though it has a large image circle, much of it is useless (my opinion). Once I started to use substantial amounts of shift I found that the image near the edges of the picture were, ummm... less than satisfactory.

Now I have seen MTF charts of the Apo Ronar (a few years ago), and if my memory serves me correctly, the data indicated good performace right up to the edge of the image circle (someone correct me if they have current access to one of the charts). I would prefer to have an image circle which I can confidently use, rather than a larger one, of which the outer part is unuseable (my opinion only).

G-Claron: single coating and I don't realy have enough bellow to spare the extra 5mm.

Without useing much shift the lens is excelent.

I am going to perform tests to see where the image starts to deteriorate, and how much stopping down will improve it.


-- Duncan Young (duncan.young@pobox.com), March 12, 2001.

A while ago I tried to evaluate the same 300mm lenses. I was able to get access to a Fuji-C, Fuji-A, and Nikkor-M (and wished to see a Ronar, but couldn't find one locally). I competely agree with the previous post regarding the grossly overstated image circles of the 3 lenses I tested. I tried some semi-controlled experiments and came to the conclusion that the Nikkor-M was the best bang for the buck of the three choices I tested. Yes, the Nikkor-M also had an overstated image circle, but it seemed pretty good to almost the same IC as the Ronar (based on Rodenstock data for their stated image circle). It is also a contrasty lens. I do wish I could have tested a Ronar as well. The Ronar does cost $200 - $300 more than a Nikkor-M, and I couldn't justify it without being able to test the lens. The big disappointment was the Fuji-A which I thought might be a good compromise, but it didn't appear that much better than the Fuji-C or Nikkor-M in reality based on my subjective testing. I also wasn't pleased with the "color" rendered by the Fuji-A sample I tried.

-- Larry Huppert (Larry.HuppertNOSPAM@mail.com), March 13, 2001.

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