Apo-Ronar MC vs. Sironar S

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Has anyone ever compared Rodenstock's Apo-Ronar MC with its Sironar S or N?

I am contemplating the purchase of a 300mm, 360mm, or 480mm lens for 8 x10 portraiture relatively close up (half-figure), and am wondering if there would be a difference in sharpness, contrast, resolution, overall picture quality, as well as aesthetic "look" between these two admittedly dissimliar lens types.

The Sironar S is Rodenstock's top-of-the-line general use lens, reputed to be among its sharpest, while the Apo-Ronar, a "process lens", is advertised as "world famous for extreme sharpness", particularly at 1:1.

Bob Solomon of HP Marketing has told me that the Apo-Ronar was never designed to render properly the volume and space of three-dimensional objects such as a human being--and is thus not the right lens for portraiture. Moreover, he maintains that, in spite of the process lens excelling at close shooting distances, at ratios of 1:4 or 1:5 (one-quarter or one-fifth life size, my taking ratio) the Sironar S will still outperform the Apo-Ronar on all counts, most notably in terms of sharpness.

Do you agree? Any thoughts?

-- Nick Rowan (nrowan@vf.com), April 09, 2001


Hi, Nick. Are you sure you need all that resolution on 8x10 portraiture? Probably, the most interesting aspect to look after is the quality of out-of-focus planes, as they will sure come around with those lenses. Unfortunatly, testing both may be the only way to be certain about the aesthetically look you care for. About objective qualities, Sironars sure can stand the proof. Regards.

Cesar B.

-- Cesar Barreto (cesarb@infolink.com.br), April 09, 2001.

Hi Nick

1. The 300mm Ronar dos`nt cover 8x0 2. The Apo Ronar 360 you only have 4 and 3mm of movements. So I`m a owner of a 300 Apo Ronar for my 4x5 and it is outstanding sharp. But in your case I would prever the APO Sironar 360 mm then you have a lots of movement so you can use the lens also for other things and of course not a 480mm because of the very limited DOF!

-- Armin Seeholzer (armin.seeholzer@smile.ch), April 10, 2001.

As the aye can resolv no more then 7 lines per mm' on the print, it will matter only if you are going to enlarge to a realy big scale. If the lens gives you 60 lines at f 45, than you can enlarg to 68cm on 85cm with no visible fall in qoality. Considering viewing distans for such format, i don't think you have to worry in choosing between this two lenses, both are exelent so go for the less expensive one. Yuval

-- Yuval Sion (yuvalsion@degania.org.il), April 12, 2001.

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