480mm lens for 4x5

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Can someone with experience using long lenses on 4x5 focused at infinity for color landscape/nature photography please compare the practical aspects of the following three 480mm lenses? (Weight and price are NOT a factor) Rodenstock APO-Ronar 480 f/9 Schneider APO-Symmar 480 f/8.4 Rodenstock APO-Sironar-N 480 f/8.4

-- Neil Carey (ethnos@starband.net), December 29, 2001


Neil, instead of comparing these 3 huge lenses from which the AR would be the only one that I would carry in the field for 4x5 work, let me simply say that the Fujinon C 450/12.5 is in Copal #1, weighs less than 300g and is extremely good. THE perfect landscape photographer choice. ...All right, I just notice that you said weight and price is not a factor. Then the two later would offer a full more stop. But better have a sturdy camera and not too many such lenses in your bag ;-)

-- Paul Schilliger (pschilliger@smile.ch), December 29, 2001.

what are "practical aspects" if weight and price are not factors? have you handled either the apo symmar or sironar? they are roughly the size and weight of the 210 super angulon. both are outstanding lenses designed for low reproduction ratios. the apo symmar takes 105 mm filters, the sironar 112 (lee makes a 105mm adapter ring, a 112mm ring might be a special order item). the images circles are both 500mm. the apo symmar's flange focal distance is 455.2mm, the sironar's 452mm. it's a toss-up. i'd be surprised if too many 4x5 shooters have, much less use, either lens. the apo ronar would be more practical and still yield excellent results. its smaller i.c. (396mm) would present less of a chance for bellows flare.

-- adam (asfberg@hotmail.com), December 29, 2001.

I second the Fujinon.

-- Wayne DeWitt (wdewitt@snip.net), December 29, 2001.


I used the Apo-Symmar 480mm - it was a nightmare on my Sinar. Extra standard, tow bellows, two rail clamps and support bar ... on, and on, and on.

These days I use the Nikkor-M 450mm 1:9 and couldn't be happier. I travelled from Australia to the UK and back with it last year and was able to use it on my Linhof MT because the rear section is so much smaller. (I did have to utilise the Wista Extension Tubes to get infinity focus.)

Certainly worth considering, especially as an alternative to the Apo-Ronar.

Happy New Year ... Walter

-- Walter Glover (walterg@netaus.net.au), December 30, 2001.

Let me throw another lens into the mix. I use a Schneider APO Artar 480 mounted in an Ilex #4 shutter. It can also easily be mounted in a Copal/Compur #3 .. I jsut happened to have the Ilex and so let Steve Grimes mount it in that. It is large for sure but lighter in weight than my 240 Symmar-S MC. I tend to use it, my 360 Apo Germinar and my 240 Symmar MORE on my 8x10 than on my 4x5 largely becaue of the weight. However, when weight is not a factor I have used it for 4x5 and fund it to be among the finest lenses I own in terms of contrast and resolution at all distances. I hvae used the APO Symmar 480 and, at this focal length, THINK I prefer the Artar but I have done no side by side comparisons. I do beleive the Artar is lighter weight you will also likelypay less for a pristine exmple than you will for the Symmar (but not much less).

-- Ted Harris (slberfuchs@aol.com), December 30, 2001.

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