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Thread: Schneider 150mm f/2.8 Xenotar

  1. #1

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    Schneider 150mm f/2.8 Xenotar

    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

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    Re: Schneider 150mm f/2.8 Xenotar


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    Re: Schneider 150mm f/2.8 Xenotar

    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.

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    Re: Schneider 150mm f/2.8 Xenotar

    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.

  5. #5
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Schneider 150mm f/2.8 Xenotar

    Quote Originally Posted by EdSawyer View Post
    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.
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  6. #6

    Re: Schneider 150mm f/2.8 Xenotar

    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...

  7. #7
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Schneider 150mm f/2.8 Xenotar

    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.
    .

  8. #8

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    Re: Schneider 150mm f/2.8 Xenotar

    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.

  9. #9
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    Re: Schneider 150mm f/2.8 Xenotar

    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.
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  10. #10
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Schneider 150mm f/2.8 Xenotar

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    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.

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