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Hi Rollei Friends
I am considering a portrait lens for my 6008.
Kindly share with me your experience on hand-held shots with either of the lenses. Is 1/125s sufficient to prevent blur?
Is the 180/2.8 worth the extra price over the 150/4?
Hi Daniel, I am not the steadiest person but I have no problems with the Rollei at 1/125th with the 180 but you need to take care. The 180 is a very good lens but you need space to use it. If you are limited in space especially indoors then I would strongly consider the 150. I use a 9mm extension tube to get closer. The 180 is also a lot heavier than the 150 which might be a drawback if you are going to have the camera and lens in your hands for awhile. br darrill
I was in the same position a few months ago, and chose to go with the 150/4 for several reasons: 1 - it's reputed to be the sharpest/finest lens ever made for the Rollei; 2 - it's substantially smaller/lighter than the 180/2.8 and I didn't need the extra stop as much as a lighter setup to carry around with me; 3 - the 150's are a bit harder to find on the used market, but generally much more affordable (most go for around $1000, the 180 seems to hover closer to $1800 used on eBay); 4 - both can be used with the 1.4x Longar or 2x teleconverter (I have the 1.4 myself); 5 - it uses the same Bay VI filter size as most other Rollei lenses (the 180 uses a larger filter size)
The 180 is available only as a PQS shutter as far as I could tell, the 150 in both PQ and PQS shutters. I originally bought a PQS, but it turned out to be grossly misrepresented by the seller (it was a dog) and I returned it. A few weeks later I found a PQ version in near mint condition for a very good price. If you ever have to replace/repair the shutter, the PQ is much more affordable (the PQS is not servicable, the entire shutter mechanism has to be replaced for around $1000, with the PQ shutter you can replace motors, leaves, etc for around $100 or so as needed).
I've used a different MF setup for many many years and never felt the need for 1/1000 shutter speed, so for me PQ/PQS didn't really matter, as long as the lens itself was in great shape.
I have heard that the Schneider Tele Xenar 150/4 is better than the CZ Sonnar 150/4, delivering even sharper images due to the former's floating elements. Does anyone have any experience regarding this comparison?
Yes, I do. I have both. The Schneider was discontinued a long time ago, and is VERY hard to find. I was lucky and was able to buy one last month. Tested against the Sonnar, the Xenotar is only marginally better, not in the centre, but at the edges, at wide apertures. I do landscape, so edges are quite important. The Sonnar is absolutely fine for studio work and it would be indistinguishable from the Xenotar in all but the optimum working conditions.
Either the 150 Sonnar or the 180 Schneider Tele Xenar lens will make a fine portrait lens. For individual portraits, I personally prefer the perspective of the 180 Schneider, because of the background blur that is more pronounced than compared to the 150 Sonnar. With the 180 lens, you can shoot at f/2.8 for ex&le at a distance of 10 feet, and have the background blurred out completely for a very nice perspective. Furthermore, with the faster speed of 2.8 with the 180 lens, I find this more versatile when shooting with existing light. With the 150 Sonnar, one can move in a little closer to get a similar perspective of the 180, but it is the background blur that the 150 lens cannot emulate.
As far as what speed one can hand hold either of these two lenses, this is something that will vary from individual to individual. Personally, I always strive to use a tripod when shooting with the 6008i. The slightest movement when the shutter engages will degrade the sharpness of your images. If you make a 16"x16" enlargement, you will really see the difference between a shot hand held, and the very same shot done with a tripod. I would estimate that most people could probably shoot with a 150 lens at f/5.6 at 1/250 of a second, and get fairly sharp looking 5"x5" prints. With the 180 lens being much heavier than the 150, doing hand held shots and obtaining a high level of sharpness is even more difficult.
If there is a way that you could see some s&les of the 150 Sonnar lens perspective, and some of the 180 Schneider lens for comparison, perhaps this would give you a better idea as to which lens you might prefer. Just to let you know, the 150 4.0 Schneider Tele Xenar lens will become available again sometime around October 2005, and this lens will be auto focus. The 150 Sonnar version is every bit as good as the 150 Schneider version, except the Schneider has a little higher resolution at f/4, and the Sonnar has a little higher resolution at f/5.6.
Dear Daniel -
I have the 150 Schneider. I rarely shoot with telephoto, having used the lens only a few times. But once, I took it to the circus, and shot BW at 800 ASA, resting it on the railing, and I think down to 1/125 or less (maybe even 1/30?). The shots were incredible, one of the best images I have taken.Available light, overall scene, and yet full of detail. I'd be happy to share one with you by email - it will blow you away for the light rendition in the highs/lows, as well as the sharpness edge/edge. The nice thing about the 150 is that is really isn't too much tele, rather just a 2X. Like the old Nikkor 105 lens. Of course, 2.8 would be nice, but the size may not be worth it.
Dear Rollei Friends
Thank you for sharing your experience with me which I find extremely useful. I would love to have the faster 180/2.8 for the background effects, but since most of my shots will be hand-held, I will probably go for a 150/4 - thanks Dale for your valuable insight.
One more thing, which I'm sure will be hotly contested here - from everything I've read and heard, the 150 Sonnar is decidedly not sharp. Ideal for portraits with a nice smooth soft Zeiss look, but nowhere near the sharpness and resolving power of the comparable Schneider.
This is anecdotal info only, I've never shot the Sonnar myself. However, people on the Rollei list with experience and opinions that I respect have in no uncertain terms "bashed" the Sonnar 150.
I managed to get very good used 180/2.8 Tele-Xenar PQ lens. Unfortunately, the lens shutter does not open fully from 1/250 upwards. Looking through the lens and firing the shutter, I could see the shutter leaves firing partially, shaped like a "star". At higher speeds, it does not open at all. Would appreciate if any of you have experience this before and what could be the potential cause? There is nothing wrong with the camera as my other lenses do not have this problem.
Wishing all of you a Happy New Year 2006.