4x5 360s, Nikkor vs. Rodenstock

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I'm wondering if anyone out there has used both the Nikkor T 360 and the Rodenstock 360 APO Ronar? I've used a 240 Apo Ronar and found it impressive, but I wonder if there's a significant trade-off in image quality using the Nikkor telephoto instead of the Rodenstock.

-- george (geod@cwo.com), December 13, 2001


I have no experience with the Rodenstock, but I own the Nikkor 360T and it is absolutely awesome! I recently picked up a 500mm rear element for it, and it is also incredibly sharp. If the Rodenstock doesn't have the rear-element swap option, I'd stick with the Nikkor. Then again, if you don't have the 350mm of bellows draw needed for the 500mm, that's a moot argument.

-- Todd Caudle (todd@skylinepress.com), December 13, 2001.

Howdy George, Sorry, i don't have an answer for your post but another question. The 360 Nikkor, sounds like it might be a nice people portrait lens for 4 by 5.. Is this what you've used it for?Comments??? One of these years I'd like to do some portraits with the 4 by 5 format... thanks, miles

-- miles feigenbaum (mfa1@ix.netcom.com), December 14, 2001.

The APO Ronar is to my knowledge sharper than the Nikkor 360 T*ED, which is however very good. My Nikkor 500 is significantly less sharp than the 360, somewhat frustrating. The 720 T*ED is the worst of the three. Although I use a heavy tripod with an additional support to stabilise my Wista 4x5 with the long extension bed needed to use the 720, the 720 lacks sharpness so much that I stopped using it, or use it only when I really have no other choice. The lack of sharpness comes from the lens itself and not from wrong handling or diffracton. It is unsharp on Velvia, with no movements, at all f-stops, at any distance, by no wind and also at long exposure times. I seriously intend to replace it by the Fujinon 600 C.

Paul Schilliger however showed me the results of some tests he made and I was stunned by extremely bad results of all lenses tested at f:45, Fujinon 450C included. All fine detail was melted by the diffraction. Apo Ronar and Fujinon were the best, extremely sharp up to f:32. I also use a Nikkor 450 M (which Paul did not test)with 8x10 and while it is very sharp up to f:32, it becomes real bad at f:45 and further. The difference is incredible. BTW, using the front tilt with the 360 T*ED is somewhat tricky, but you can get used to it.

-- Emil Salek (e.salek@salekphotography.com), December 14, 2001.

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