Horseman Rodenstock Digital - for film ?

Discussion in 'Panoramic Cameras and Accessories' started by mrisney, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. mrisney

    mrisney Member

    Sep 15, 2009
    Portland, Or
    Med. Format RF
    I just picked up a SW612 and a Rodenstock 55mm - f4.5 APO Sironar Digital lens. I debated about the lens, but the more I read, I felt like I was hedging my way to a digital back, when I can afford a P45 someday, and Kodak decides finally they aren't interested in distributing the lovely Kodak Portra 160 for 120. Anyways, the image circle for the 55mm Sironar Digital says its 125mm, so it should cover a 612 film back, but everything I have read, states that there is fall off on the edges.

    Anyone have any experience with any of what I am describing ? One thing that I hear over and over, medium format glass tends to out resolve LF lenses. I get that the Mamiya 7 is pretty much tops in that regard. I went with the Rodenstock Digital, because somewhere I read that Rodenstock improved their digital lenses to deal with that digital backs can accommodate higher resolution than film. Sounds promising. I might be able to get tack sharp images on a film back with a lens that is really meant for digital. Or have I gone and made an expensive experiment into an obscure setup.

    I rarely read any personal experiences with a Horseman 612 and Rodenstock Digital lenses, or much about the Horseman SWD. Sounds pretty out there, whether the medium is film or digital. Would love to here if anyone has anything to pass along, focusing tips, filters, anything really, maybe something reassuring :wink: with my recent endeavor. I do like wides, and I have been patiently looking to get into 6x12 or 6x17.

    Diving into the deep end of panoramic , albeit probably doing it all wrong.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2011
  2. Hikari

    Hikari Member

    Dec 12, 2010
    Medium Format
    I had a SW612 and the 55mm lens. Great camera. I found an optical accessory rangefinder for focusing close was very useful--you can pick them up on eBay.

    There is fall off on the edge of a 6x12 format. I used a Schneider center filter. One of the nicest center filters out there. Stay away from the Heliopan Center Filter as they can have air bubbles in the glass and the distributor is horrible to work with. You will also need to shoot at f/11--the larger apertures will just introduce more vignetting. But the camera produces great images. 6x12 is my favorite pano format as it is much more flexible with different subjects and the SW612 is easy to handhold and carry.

    The 55mm Grandagon is really the film lens that has been rebadged. It is a nice lens, but it is not that special. Flare when shooting into the sun can be a problem as well.

    In order to us a P45 back with the lens, you will need the SW-D body. The lens should be OK with the back--I shoot the same lens with a P25+ back and the images are really very nice. Things start falling apart with large movements.
  3. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Feb 25, 2007
    Midwest USA
    Multi Format
    I'm not familiar with that lens. Did it come with the focusing helicoid and cone? If you have the ground glass back, you can check to see how it covers through the clipped corners. I suspect it will cover fine, but you won't be able to shift the lens like you could with the Grandagon 55mm (image circle 163mm).