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Greg
16-Apr-2017, 16:36
Anyone have any experiences with this lens on a 4x5? I have found only one reference that it covers an "image diameter of 160mm" at f/16, which tells me that was made to use only 100% on axis.

thanks

Dan Fromm
16-Apr-2017, 16:56
https://www.google.com/search?as_q=&as_epq=xenotar&as_oq=%22150+mm%22+%22150%2F2.8%22&as_eq=&as_nlo=&as_nhi=&lr=&cr=&as_qdr=all&as_sitesearch=www.largeformatphotography.info&as_occt=any&safe=active&as_filetype=&as_rights=

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EdSawyer
17-Apr-2017, 05:23
It works great on 4x5. I have 3 of them, it covers 4x5 wide-open no problem. I don't use movements with mine much, but it's a fantastic lens, probably the best combination of speed/sharpness in a large-format lens for 4x5. Sharp as or sharper than AE and Pentac, easily fits a shutter, smaller and lighter than the other usual suspects, etc. I expect stopped-down it probably has a larger image circle than 160mm.

Dan Fromm
17-Apr-2017, 06:08
Ed, when people talk about coverage things get a little slippery. Slimy, even. Schneider claims that the 150/2.8 Xenotar covers 160 mm @ f/22. Not that surprising. There may be exceptions but fast double Gauss lenses typically gain little coverage when stopped down.

Corran
19-Apr-2017, 13:48
It works great on 4x5. I have 3 of them, it covers 4x5 wide-open no problem. I don't use movements with mine much, but it's a fantastic lens, probably the best combination of speed/sharpness in a large-format lens for 4x5. Sharp as or sharper than AE and Pentac, easily fits a shutter, smaller and lighter than the other usual suspects, etc. I expect stopped-down it probably has a larger image circle than 160mm.

+1. Except I only have one :).

I've posted lots of images from this lens on my old blog (http://valdostafilm.blogspot.com/search/label/150mm%20Xenotar).

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
19-Apr-2017, 14:03
I agree that the Xenotar covers 4x5 at f2.8 just fine, but note that image circle does not grow much when stopped down. I have tried, bought, and sold dozens of speed lenses and the Xenotar is the sharpest of those I have tested. My current Xenotar has better resolution and less flare than the Cooke Opic and Speedic, Pentac, Aero-Ektar, Trioplan, Dallmeyer 2C, and Xenon lenses that I have tested. But I haven't yet tested an 16.5cm Ernostar...

Jac@stafford.net
19-Apr-2017, 14:11
This is cruel but necessary: If one spends thousands of dollars on the Xenotar f2.8, then stops down for assurance, then he has put at least $2000 into the trash. Better to get a slower lens and enjoy the savings.
.

EdSawyer
19-Apr-2017, 14:19
I actually like most speed lenses closed down one stop - the bokeh smoothes up a bit. I think an AE comes fairly close to a Xenotar, as far as sharpness, but there's the whole size/weight/lack of a shutter that is a bit of a pain. There are also some modern 6" f/2.8 lenses (military aero lenses) which may be sharper, but pretty much either don't go in a shutter or are otherwise cumbersome and annoying to try to adapt. I have a couple of those, I haven't gotten around to testing them, but they are beautiful pieces of glass - they just don't play nice when it comes to practical usability (esp. hand-held). At some point I'll fab up a lensboard for them and try them on a speed or SLR.

Corran
19-Apr-2017, 14:21
What exactly do you mean "for assurance?" As in, for depth of field, or optimum performance? Sure, if you are just wanting a sharp lens to shoot at f/16+ it's definitely not the right choice. I have read claims that at f/5.6 it is sharper than standard plasmats but I don't really know, I've not checked. 95% of the time I've shot mine it was for handheld work and/or very shallow DOF work, and always between f/2.8 and f/8 depending.

It's a fun lens but also I didn't spend much on it. I wouldn't sell it because I won't likely find one again for as cheap as I did. For a little while they were going for stupendous amounts of money. Seems like the prices are coming down. I saw one in a newer Compur with all the accouterments sell for something like $6k a couple years ago.

Jac@stafford.net
19-Apr-2017, 14:43
What exactly do you mean "for assurance?" As in, for depth of field, or optimum performance? Sure, if you are just wanting a sharp lens to shoot at f/16+ it's definitely not the right choice. Exaggerating the argument is not rational. Two stops down brings the lens to within the economical class which perform as well.
I have read claims that at f/5.6 it is sharper than standard plasmats but I don't really know

You don't really know is enough.

Corran
19-Apr-2017, 15:16
What's with the antagonism? What exaggeration? I just asked what you meant, as it wasn't particularly clear to me. Your original post didn't mention f/5.6 specifically as what "stopping down for assurance" meant.

As for not knowing specifically about the performance vs. a modern plasmat @f/5.6, no, I have not specifically tested that directly. The Xenotar definitely cleans up appreciably one stop down at f/4, specifically the spherical aberrations. I think f/4 or so is the sweet-spot for the lens. Limitations on the DOF would be more of an issue than the sharpness IMO.

EdSawyer
20-Apr-2017, 06:27
Schneider themselves stated it was optimal by f/4. Testing has shown the 135 xenotar is as sharp wide open as it is anywhere else in the aperture range. I think tests on the 150 bear that out as well. Prices have fluctuated some but in general they are rarely "cheap". The only one that I have seen recently that sold for insane money was one of the 210/2.8 Xenotars (only like 6 made or something). That went for about $8k I think.

SergeiR
20-Apr-2017, 10:02
I also have 110/2.8.. fun lens, barely covering 4x5... (but 150/2.8 is awesome, yes, i love mine and at east at body portrait distance it works with some movements)

DrTang
20-Apr-2017, 10:15
Schneider themselves stated it was optimal by f/4. Testing has shown the 135 xenotar is as sharp wide open as it is anywhere else in the aperture range. I think tests on the 150 bear that out as well. Prices have fluctuated some but in general they are rarely "cheap". The only one that I have seen recently that sold for insane money was one of the 210/2.8 Xenotars (only like 6 made or something). That went for about $8k I think.


Yikes.. I have a 210mm 3.5 (Xenar)... is a 2/3 a stop that expensive?

Dan Fromm
20-Apr-2017, 11:30
Dr. T, look for prices on 200/1.9 Boyer Saphirs and 200/2 Dallmeyer Super Sixes. $8k won't get you near one. Demand for these monstrosities is driven mainly by collectors, not so much by users.

Funny thing is that 200/2 S.F.O.M.s, including one engraved Kinoptic, don't bring nearly as much.

Greg
20-Apr-2017, 16:44
Thank you for all the responses to my post. I was looking into purchasing a Schneider 150mm f/2.8 Xenotar locally for a fair price. Seller was very vague at first on what he wanted to sell it for. Condition of the lens also described as "a good use". Still told him I was interested in the lens but then he hit me with a high 4 figure "firm" selling price... so much for that transaction.

Bernice Loui
20-Apr-2017, 18:52
Curious, rational for wanting a 150mm f2.8 Xenotar?


Bernice



Thank you for all the responses to my post. I was looking into purchasing a Schneider 150mm f/2.8 Xenotar locally for a fair price. Seller was very vague at first on what he wanted to sell it for. Condition of the lens also described as "a good use". Still told him I was interested in the lens but then he hit me with a high 4 figure "firm" selling price... so much for that transaction.

SergeiR
20-Apr-2017, 20:52
Curious, rational for wanting a 150mm f2.8 Xenotar?


Bernice

Ease of focusing, one of very few of lenses that is very sharp wide open, comfy angle.

There is not a lot of those around, specially in shutter.

MAubrey
20-Apr-2017, 21:44
Thank you for all the responses to my post. I was looking into purchasing a Schneider 150mm f/2.8 Xenotar locally for a fair price. Seller was very vague at first on what he wanted to sell it for. Condition of the lens also described as "a good use". Still told him I was interested in the lens but then he hit me with a high 4 figure "firm" selling price... so much for that transaction.
I haven't seen them go for less than four figures on the auction site for a couple years now (and yes, I keep an eye out). Around $1200 to $1400 has been the lower end for at least three years now.

Bernice Loui
21-Apr-2017, 01:06
Scroll to post# 25, image made using a 135mm f3.5 Xenotar,
http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?108819-Difference-between-Xenotar-135-3-5-and-Zeiss-Planar/page3

With a reply at post# 28.
Mostly given up on lenses with harsh out of focus rendition. Sharpness at the largest aperture does not make up for the harsh out of focus rendition. This does impart a personality to the image, just not for some.

Decades ago these Xenotars were not expensive, no more than $200 for a 150mm f2.8 in barrel. Since then it these have become collectable driving the market price up 10X or more. It seems there is market value is large aperture lenses. While some can be very interesting more often than not there is a trade off that is paid to have that large an aperture.



Bernice



Ease of focusing, one of very few of lenses that is very sharp wide open, comfy angle.

There is not a lot of those around, specially in shutter.

SergeiR
21-Apr-2017, 05:34
Out of curioisity - what you trying to prove?
That you don't need it? That's fine. Why everyone has to agree on this?

I have 150/3.5 and 150/2.8 and quite a few other 150mm :)
Tools for job. That's how it should be.

Picking up lenses for specific situations and subjects, not some universal absolute truth :)

EdSawyer
21-Apr-2017, 07:11
With some effort, they can be found at decent prices. I paid $700 or so for my first one, in barrel, and with an M42 focusing mount. The 2nd one I got was about $760, also in barrel but with a nice custom filter / holder thing. I bought a linhof compur 2 shutter for about $100-150 which fits the Xenotar. The third 150/2.8 I got was $175, it has some scratches on the rear element - it's still sharp, just lower contrast. I only use it for a viewing lens on a TLR.

Greg
21-Apr-2017, 15:58
Curious, rational for wanting a 150mm f2.8 Xenotar?


Bernice

Have been using a 7.0" f/2.5 BUHL projector lens a lot lately for still life close-ups. Has no iris so use it wide open. But being just a projector lens, sharpness over the whole 4x5 format leaves something to be desired.
Greg

Jac@stafford.net
21-Apr-2017, 16:25
Does the Schneider 150mm f/2.8 Xenotar have focus shift if stopped down?
.

Corran
21-Apr-2017, 20:46
I double-checked real quick and saw no focus shift on the ground glass using a 10x loupe while stopping down. If it does it is not perceivable to me. I have not felt like my focus was off in real usage when stopped down but shooting handheld with the RF usually is not conducive to looking for focus shift anyway...

Daniel Unkefer
21-Apr-2017, 20:51
6x9cm roll film, Plaubel Makiflex, 150mm F2.8 Xenotar wide-open. Camera hand-held.

According to my original Schneider literature this is a 60 degree lens covering 4x5". Image circle 160 at F22

https://c1.staticflickr.com/6/5533/30492458690_beb64605dd_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/NsvPCo)Automatic Makiflex 150 Xenotar (https://flic.kr/p/NsvPCo) by Nokton48 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/18134483@N04/), on Flickr

Corran
21-Apr-2017, 20:53
Also, I figured I'd mention for the OP and anyone else who might've missed this - the Xenotar and some other exotic lenses are mentioned with regard to portraits using LF on the homepage here:

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/portrait-lenses/

He mentions the messy out of focus rendering, but as EdSawyer and others have mentioned, stopped down just to f/4 it really cleans up.

By the way, with regard to "why" one might want one, I have to say there has been a couple instances where having an f/2.8 lens was really helpful, especially for focusing. For this image it was pitch-black and to focus a friend illuminated the motorcycle helmet with a cell-phone before getting the fire started. At f/5.6 it would've been a lot harder to see and focus. Sure perhaps it could've been done but boy it was a lot easier...

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XXj6QnM00Ug/VCBb_5091NI/AAAAAAAAFvQ/Gvl3374Gb9Y/s600/fire-0394-morered-16x20s.jpg

Daniel Unkefer
21-Apr-2017, 21:04
Another. 150mm F2.8 Xenotar wide-open, Plaubel Makiflex. Two 4X ND filters attached due to higher film speed.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/6/5629/30678290532_2198106ff4_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/NJWfXE)150 Xenotar Auto Makiflex Foma (https://flic.kr/p/NJWfXE) by Nokton48 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/18134483@N04/), on Flickr

Bernice Loui
22-Apr-2017, 00:04
Might want to try using an enlarging lens 150mm or longer for close ups to 1:1. Beyond 1:1, reverse mount the enlarging lens and a shorter focal length. The results might be surprising.


Bernice



Have been using a 7.0" f/2.5 BUHL projector lens a lot lately for still life close-ups. Has no iris so use it wide open. But being just a projector lens, sharpness over the whole 4x5 format leaves something to be desired.
Greg

Bernice Loui
22-Apr-2017, 00:14
Justification and rational for a lens with f2.8 is to have that as a useful aperture. If stopping down to f4 improves the out of focus rendition, it might make more sense to consider a much lower cost f3.5 to f4.5 Xenar as these are less precious market value wise. Going up in film format size results in similar shallow depth of focus similar to a smaller film format using a lens with larger aperture.

-"Along with high weight, price, and size, lousy bokeh, and a small image circle, another drawback of the Xenotar is flare. In most circumstances one needs a lens shade or a compendium for it, which however does not entirely resolves the problem. Flare can sometimes yield a charming antique look, but as this lens’ results look modern in other ways, the combination with flare is a visual oxymoron to me. Flary images made with an uncoated Heliar or Tessar look consistently old-fashioned and therefore a lot better. In sum, the Xenotar is very special in a few good and in many bad ways. You really have to be blinded by love to keep it. My love didn’t last.
http://www.largeformatphotography.info/portrait-lenses/

IMO for what every it is worth, these large aperture lenses for sheet films have become overly precious in recent years. Another example would be Kodak 6" f2.5 Aero Ektar. There were piles of these decades ago, $50 was the typical market price. In recent years they have become precious. This has been true for smaller format lenses too. Many, many opportunities to use, own and have kept these larger aperture lens from the past, none has been appealing enough to keep.

Much of what is being pointed out here, know precisely what one is getting in a lens personality (and cost) before considering ownership. Nothing more, nothing less.




Bernice.




Also, I figured I'd mention for the OP and anyone else who might've missed this - the Xenotar and some other exotic lenses are mentioned with regard to portraits using LF on the homepage here:

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/portrait-lenses/

He mentions the messy out of focus rendering, but as EdSawyer and others have mentioned, stopped down just to f/4 it really cleans up.

EdSawyer
22-Apr-2017, 05:20
Re: too precious- the same can be said, and even moreso, about the recent craze over the softfocus lenses. IMNSHO, they are mostly overrated, all relatively similar, and even more ridiculous price-wise... But people still want and buy them. Who knows....

Corran
22-Apr-2017, 05:49
Justification and rational for a lens with f2.8 is to have that as a useful aperture. If stopping down to f4 improves the out of focus rendition, it might make more sense to consider a much lower cost f3.5 to f4.5 Xenar as these are less precious market value wise. Going up in film format size results in similar shallow depth of focus similar to a smaller film format using a lens with larger aperture.

A run-of-the-mill Tessar is simply no substitute. I have several 150mm Tessars here, among other focal lengths, and their performance is not in the same league, not by a long shot, most especially at wider stops. And they don't open up to f/2.8 - it's as simple as that. If you need to go there, it's there. Just because you can doesn't mean you have to. As for stepping up to 8x10 and shooting a 300mm f/5.6, the difference there is that I can handhold my Technika and shoot wide-open just fine and shoot easier to manage 4x5 sheets that I can carry dozens of in the field in Grafmatics.

It's simply a unique lens and that's all there is to it. Since they aren't sold new, the market determines their price, and so it is that they sell for so much, but let's not forget that owners of the lens didn't necessarily pay that much for it. My Linhof-Select lens with a matched cam cost me exactly $0. I happened to buy one at a good price, then found another with a large lot of Technika gear from an old pro, and resold the rest and kept one Xenotar. So it goes.

And Ed, great point about the soft focus lenses. People want what they want and the market follows that.

pierre506
22-Apr-2017, 06:35
164125
This is the 150mm xenotar in Photo-Sonics barrel on Graflex Speed 4x5.

Dan Fromm
22-Apr-2017, 06:52
Hmm. I have a couple of normal lenses for 2x3 that are faster than f/2.8. 4"/2.0 TTH Anastigmat, made for Vinten F.95 and Williamson/AGI F. 134 and F.139 aerial cameras. 100/2.5 Uran-27, which flew on several Soviet aerial cameras. Both are bright, heavy and render out-of-focus highlights unpleasantly at large apertures. There are no substitutes when I need the speed but for most of my shooting I use smaller, lighter slower dimmer lenses.

I used to have a 6"/1.9 Dallmeyer Super Six. I never managed to shoot it, eventually sold it. Really too heavy to carry on a Speed Graphic. Same was true of my 200/2.0 S.F.O.M. Completely unusable. Speed brings weight.

All that said, some users value speed highly. I can't say they're wrong. Same goes for soft focus, whatever that means. Not what I like but I can't say that people who value lenses that provide it are wrong. Let them spend their money as they wish and be happy.

Daniel Unkefer
22-Apr-2017, 06:58
One more early Xenotar 150mm F2.8 test. Shot wide-open in bright sun, two 4X-ND filters stacked, and a Sinar 104mm Dark Red Filter added also. Plaubel Makiflex 6x9 Foma rollfilm I put the two 4X ND's on so I can shoot in bright sunlight wide-open even with faster film. Also my Standard Makiflex only goes to 1/125.


https://c1.staticflickr.com/6/5558/30757313716_03e889c08d_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/NRVgNm)Makiflex Std 150 Xenotar 105 Red Sinar Filter + 4XND (https://flic.kr/p/NRVgNm) by Nokton48 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/18134483@N04/), on Flickr

Daniel Unkefer
22-Apr-2017, 07:27
On the left, the classic 150mm F2.8 Schneider Xenotar, in Plaubel Makiflex Auto-Iris mount. I bought the original barrel-mount lens from Photo-Sonics on the big auction site. The Auto Iris mechanism came from Igor in Cleveland.

On the right, a lens that I consider to be very similar to the Xenotar, although slightly longer and 1/2 stop slower. The modern retro Fuji GX680 180mm F3.2 lens cells, removed from the original GX680 mount, and transplanted into a modern Seiko shutter, and then onto a Plaubel Makiflex lens board. Both of these lenses were in the $400-$500 approximate price range at the time.

The rear groups on these two lenses is very similar; I believe Fuji reworked the Xenotar into a retro modern lens. It will be interesting to do a direct comparison and compare the results. Both of these lenses have somewhat of a "cult" following. Both are superb performers wide-open. I do not stop down my Xenotar, I so far have only used it wide open. There it has a definite advantage over other lenses.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2911/34066566491_6f263b1460_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/TUm4mF)DSC05754 (https://flic.kr/p/TUm4mF) by Nokton48 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/18134483@N04/), on Flickr

From the internet, the 150mm F2.8 Xenotar. A lovely example

https://flic.kr/p/574RV1