210/5.6 Rodenstock Sironar in Copal 1

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Hi again, I need your help with opinions on a 210 Sironar. I have a chance to pick one up and was wondering what the collective experiences on this lens was. I have a 4x5 with a Caltar 150 and wanted a longer lens for portraits. Would this be a reasonalby good choice. Cost is important also. Thanks again for all the wonderful help you have given me. Doug

-- Doug Theall (rooster_two@yahoo.cm), May 06, 2001


210 Sironar 210 Sironar S 210 Sironar S MC 210 Apo Sironar 210 Apo Sironar N 210 Apo Sironr S 210 Apo Sironar W


A complete description makes answering the question possible.

-- Bob Salomon (bobsalomon@mindspring.com), May 06, 2001.

Hi Doug, you might want to do some more research into lenses before you jump on a Sironar (what ever the kind) for portraits. Portraits are a funny animal, and it doesn't take much of a lens for great portraits. I think much of what making a good portrait is, is somehow learning to recognize a good portrait neg. Back to lenses: for 4*5 portraits the tradition was to use about a 10" lens. I've picked up a couple of portrait lenses, they are about 10" more or less a couple of mm; there are plenty of old 4*5 portrait lenses out there, and one in good shape should cost you between $100 and $300 (add $100 if you have to have the shutter cleaned and timed, that's if you don't want to do it yourself). This IMHO is the simple solution your situation calls for. I've a Veritar and a Wollensak Series II variable soft focus, and they both have flash sync. The thing that helped me the most with B&W portraits were some real old Kodak books for photographers on the subject of professional portraits, if this is what you are doing, I recomend reading them before you get to far into this. One interesting thing, on both of the lenses I found, the photographers had scratched their index on the f/stop scale; this must have been their magic number. Also, have you tried moving in closer with your 150? Best of luck, David

-- david clark (doclark@yorku.ca), May 07, 2001.


The poster said it was in Copal 1, hence the only 210mm Sironar that could fit the description is the 210mm Sironar, (non-N, non-S non APO, blah blah).


The lens you have is an ok lens, roughly 45lpmm center, 30lpmm edge. Edge gets better when stopped down, center gets worse. OK coverage.

I personally think you've wasted your money. You already have a 150mm lens that exceeds the quality of the Sironar. All you've done is gone from a 35mm equivalent of a 43mm lens to a 35mm equivalent of a 60mm lens.

I assume you paid around $200-210ish dollars for this lens.

To do portraits you have to at least get a 300mm telephoto lens. It costs more, but as it stands right now, you haven't gained anything by buying that new lens.


-- ed (ekang@cse.nd.edu), May 07, 2001.

"The poster said it was in Copal 1, hence the only 210mm Sironar that could fit the description is the 210mm Sironar, (non-N, non-S non APO)"

I just bought a camera that came with a lens I didn't need that is a 210 Sironar-N MC in a Copal 1. Why do you say it could only be a 210 Sironar?

-- Peter Shier (pshier@mindspring.com), May 07, 2001.

210 Sironar in Copal.

210 Sironar. 210 Sironar N. 310 Sironar N MC. 210 Apo Sironar N. 210 Aps Sironar S.

The Apo Sironar and Apo Sironar W are the only ones not in a 1 shutter.

Why did you think otherwise?

-- Bob Salomon (bobsalomon@mindspring.com), May 07, 2001.

I have an Apo-Sironar-S 210mm lens in Copal 1, bought new in 2000 for use on a 4X5. It is a wonderful lens for portraiture, and I bought it for this purpose after much thought and research.

This is a wondeful focal length for 4X5 portraiture. It gives you more depth of field than a 300mm lens, and you are less limited in terms of bellows draw. Depth of field in head & shoulder shots and tight head shots is punishingly small, even with a 210mm lens.

To shatter the myth that 210mm is too short for 4X5 portraiture, look at the work of some masters. Avedon's 'In the American West' was all shot with a 360mm lens on an 8X10 camera, equivalent to 180mm on a 4X5. Nicholas Nixon uses wide angle lenses for 8X10 portraiture. Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, Imogen Cunningham, Diane Arbus and many others used Rolleiflex TLR's with 80mm lenses (i.e. normal lenses) extensively for portraiture. The Gods can't all be wrong...

-- Mark Nowaczynski (archivalprints@home.com), May 07, 2001.

I have done lots of nice portraits with my 210 Nikkor W but I find that for tight head shots and sometimes even for head-and-shoulders it is a bit too wide and exaggerates facial features. As an example, I wanted to test that 210 Sironar-N that came with the camera and I did a head-and-shoulders with it and then another with a Fuji-C 300. The subject has nice facial structure but I found that with the 210 the size of her nose is exaggerated and her face is much rounder (almost a bit bloated). This is not particular to the Sironar-N as I have seen the same thing with the Nikkor but it does give an example of the difference in perspectives of the lenses. I have shot numerous 3/4 length portraits of the same subject with the Nikkor 210 and the perspective is just right.

-- Peter Shier (pshier@mindspring.com), May 07, 2001.

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