8x10 Lens Question: 300 mm Sinaron S versus Sironar N

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by john_bailey|1, Jan 9, 2004.

  1. I am looking at two 300mm lenses. The first is a Sinaron S 1:5.6
    300mm and the other is a Rodenstock (Sinar labeled) Sironar N 1:5.6
    300mm MC.

    Presuming price is not an issue, why would I want one lens or the
    other. What are their respective advantages or limitations? Are
    these too similar in performance and results?


    John Bailey
  2. The Sinarons were made for Sinar. So, I guess they have the Sinar seal of approval, maybe they went through two quality checks. The lenses are highly likely to perform identically. Cheers, DJ
  3. Hi John,
    I've used both versions and don't think there's any significant differences between
    them. Rodenstock is still the manufacturer of both lenses. Both lenses are multi-
    coated and (I believe) they are both of the same optical design.
    There are those folks on "that auction site" that say that the Sinar versions are heads
    and shoulders above the other "because Sinar chose them!" Frankly, I find this hard to
    believe considering Sinar makes cameras and Rodenstock makes lenses!
    I'd be more likely to believe that Sinar approaches Rodenstock to imprint Sinar onto
    certain batches of lenses rather than "a selection choice" based on certain criteria.
    But, who knows?
  4. If the Sinaron follows Rodenstock's N and S naming format, then the Sinaron S should have greater coverage and is made higher quality (ED) Extra Low Dispersion Glass that is supposed produce high image reproduction quality than N lenses. Alot of people say they can see the difference in image quality between N and S lenses, and Bob Salomon (R odenstock's man in North America) will tell you'd have to be blind not to know the difference. Others will tell you it's all marketing hype and the only diffence is the coverage, but their does seem to be a consensus that S lenses are higher quality. You might want to take a look at the Rodenstock N versus S threads.

    According to http://www.graflex.org/lenses/lens-spec.txt the Sinaron S has a coverage of 425mm versus the 400mm for the Sironar N. It's also possible that Sinaron S may not be Multi- Coated since it's not clearly labeled as such. Multi coat production began in the 70's and thus to differentiate Multi coat lenses from single coat lenses from the same time period, they are clearly marke MC. The following APO Sironar series is assumed to be multicoated and thus not marked MC. I couldn't tell you the naming convention for the Sinarons.
  5. Hi,

    "Sinaron S" is identical in design with "Sironar N", while "Sironar SE" is identical with "Sironar S", somewhat confusing indeed.


  6. Joerge, I guess you're right but http://www.graflex.org/lenses/lens-spec.txt listed different image circle figures for the 300mm Sironar N 5.6 (407mm) and the 300mm 5.6 Sinaron S (425mm). And I see this discrepancy with other Sironar N and Sinaron S lenses listed there as well.

    But I also see in many cases two Sironar N image circles listed at many focal lengths. Maybe the difference in the listed image circles is between the older single coated versions and newer multi coated versions which they felt more confident in listing larger image circles for.
  7. In a previous thread I posted a table of the correspondences between Sinar and Rodenstock lenses: http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=004am3. I deduced this table by comparing Rodenstock's and Sinar's specifications for the lenses. It is no secret that current Sinar lenses are actually Rodenstock lenses -- the Sinar lens that I have is also labeled "Made by Rodenstock&quot.
    The current Sinaron S is a Apo-Sironar-N. Sinar's lens specifications lists the coverage of the Sinaron S lenses as 72 degrees and of the 300 mm as 425 mm diameter. This matches the value in Rodenstock's brochure for the Apo-Sironar-N.
    According to Kerry Thalmann's article on Rodenstock lenses in the September/October 2002 issue of View Camera, the Rodenstock Sironar-N is the same lens as the Rodenstock Apo-Sironar-N. I don't know why the Graflex website lists coverages for the Sironar-N that are different from the Apo-Sironar-N. The name was changed in 1992 to have a more consisent naming scheme when Rodenstock introduced additional Sironar types. Kerry says that the earliest Sironar-N lenses were single-coated. Later ones are multicoated and labeled "MC&quot.
    Since the Sironar-N that John is considering has the "MC" label, it isn't an early, single-coated version. The two lenses are of the same type. I don't see much reason to choose between them. If John can examine the lenses, in his place I would pick the one that looks to be in better condition. If the conditions are equal, I would pick the newer one, which may be the Sinaron S. It may be that Sinar lenses undergo additional inspection, but Rodenstock's quality control is so good that I don't see much additional value in this. Also, on a used lens the treatment of the lens by previous owners is likely to be a more important determinant of the current condition.
    I think the age can be deduced from the serial numbers. The Sinar lens that I have has a serial number that makes sense as a Rodenstock serial number. It seems likely that Rodenstock doesn't have special serial numbers for Sinar lenses, so we can compare ages between Rodenstock and Sinar lenses and using the serial numbers. A serial number / date table for Rodenstock lenses is available in Kerry's View Camera article or at http://www.thalmann.com/largeformat/agevs.htm or http://www.bigshotz.co.nz/schneider.html.

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