Experience with Apo-Ronar 360/9 and Sch. 400HM?

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I was wondering if anyone has experience with the current Rodenstock Apo-Ronar 360/9 and Schneider 400/5.6HM? Two completely different lenses -- one a process lens, the other a telephoto -- but I'm looking for a long telephoto portrait lens for 4x5 that offers brighter than usual viewing and covers 5x7. I've heard that process lenses simply aren't as sharp for 3 dimensional subjects at medium distances -- while that might be true technically, my experience and moderate, not wall-sized, enlargements hasn't borne this out. Between these two lenses, which might be the sharper, brighter and generall easy to use?

-- george (geod@sbcglobal.net), January 24, 2002


Hi George

Why such a long lens if you take it for 4x5, seems to me to long. I only work with 210mm or 300mm on 4x5 but I prefer the 200mm on my Bronica GS1 6x7 for portraits. But re sharpness is the APO Ronar the winner if you believe the technical dates of Schneider and Rodenstock. Good luck.

-- Armin Seeholzer (armin.seeholzer@smile.ch), January 24, 2002.


the Apo-Ronar is exceptional near 1:1, but when stopped down to at least f22 delivers excellent results at infinity or medium distances, too. A Tele Photo Lens has more distortion than a pure symmetrical design like the Apo Ronar. But this is not important for Portraits. The Apo-Tele-Xenar offers a brighter focussing screen and requires less bellows.

In my opinion, control of unshaprness is much more important than sharpness in connection with portraits.


-- Thilo Schmid (tschmid@2pix.de), January 24, 2002.

Bob Solomon keeps bringing up the "fact" that process lenses do not render 3-dimensional subjects as sharply as "normal" lenses, now it's being repeated. Can anyone explain this phenomena (not Bob, but the lens sharpness issue)?

-- Wayne DeWitt (wdewitt@snip.net), January 24, 2002.

I heard about the process lens issue from Bob, amongst others. Thing is, though, process lenses are smaller and, at least in some cases, a whole lot less expensive.

In 6x6, my primary portrait lenses are 110 and 180 -- I really like 180 for tight or distant shots. I was imaging this lens for more distant portraits as well as some landscapes.

-- george (geod@sbcglobal.net), January 24, 2002.

Subject to lens distance is one factor that I can accept as having a bearing on "sharpness" - the process lenses should be optimized for distances equating to about 1:5-5:1 reproduction ratios, "normal" lenses for anywhere from 1:10-. But I cannot imagine a process lens being inferior to a regular lens in rendering a 3-dimensional object. What are the supposed deficiencies? FWIW I recently purchased a 360mm Ronar for the same reasons that you are considering it (minus the illumination issue - f/9 ain't all that great). I haven't gotten to use it yet (life gets in the way some times), but I can't think of another lens except for a 14"Artar, or 360mm Fujinon A (try to get one of those) that is comparable to it (spec-wise). If you decide to get the Ronar, and are going to buy new, check with Ken Hanson in NYC first. I got mine from him as an overstock item - he may have some more left. It's several-years new, multi-coated, black-shuttered, and his price was hundreds less that I could find anywhere (including R.White).

-- Wayne DeWitt (wdewitt@snip.net), January 24, 2002.

That symol was an infinity symbol when I imported it (sigh).

-- Wayne DeWitt (wdewitt@snip.net), January 24, 2002.

I give up, why can't this site have a preview screen?

-- Wayne DeWitt (wdewitt@snip.net), January 24, 2002.


if you focus on sharpness, then the Apo-Ronar might be the better choice. But remember, the Tele-Xenar is a new design and shouldn't have as much distortion as older tele-lenses. For protrait consider the advantages the 5,6 f-stop will offer: shorter exposure-time or less dof if you want. Wayne, I can't explain the phenomenon you mention 'caus I don't see it when shooting with my Apo-Ronar or Repro-Claron.

-- Thomas Vaehrmann (TVaehrmann@web.de), January 25, 2002.

George, My Apo-Ronar 360/9, the MC version is exceptional from about 3 meter to infinity (can't comment on 1:1 with my master Technika) when stopped down to f22 or f/32. I didn't see a difference between this lens an my 240/9A Fuji or my 110/5,6 XL. I use this lens since about 3 months, it's a real pleasure! Sorry, no experience with the Schneider. In my opinion, the Apo Ronar is worth the money you pay fot it. I hope this can help .. Regards from France

-- Raphael Zeiher (rzeiher@hotmail.com), January 25, 2002.


Thanks so much for the great advice. Bottom line is, I've come across great deals on both lenses...and, as both have rather distinct applications, I might indulge. I can always sell away one done the line.

On another note, does anyone have experience with the 480/9 Apo Ronar? I picked one up with half a mind to use it on a 5x7. This is a 1973 model, according to HP Marketing, and does not appear to be coated.

-- george (geod@sbcglobal.net), January 25, 2002.

George - the 480 Ronar most certainly is coated, but not multi- coated. I skipped the 480 Ronar because of the weight and the #3 shutter and went to the Fuji 450 - no regrets.

-- Wayne DeWitt (wdewitt@snip.net), January 25, 2002.

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