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Thread: What high-quality 90mm lens for Intrepid 4x5 and Chamonix 45H-1?

  1. #1

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    What high-quality 90mm lens for Intrepid 4x5 and Chamonix 45H-1?

    Dear all,

    I recently ordered a Intrepid 4x5 2nd Gen camera.

    Now IŽm looking for 90mm lens fitting this camera, but later on also to a more refined model like the Chamonix 45H-1.

    As best optical quality is a prerequisite, it seems that the Schneider Super-Angulon f5.6 is a viable option. Would you suggest to go for the standard or the XL variant? Are both usable with the Intrepid and the Chamonix?

    Any other ideas for excellent lenses in this focal range? Many thanks in advance.

  2. #2

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    Re: What high-quality 90mm lens for Intrepid 4x5 and Chamonix 45H-1?

    Sure, the Schneider 90mm Super-Angulon f5.6 is an excellent option. It came in a single-coated and a multi-coated version. But Rodenstock, Nikon, Fuji -- and probably others -- made very similar lenses. The Fujinon came in at least two versions -- all were multi-coated, have the same image circle and filter thread as the Schneider. The last verion of the Fujinon had a 8/6 optical design as compared to the Schneider's 8/4. All of them will produce the same great results on either camera, but there will be differences in features (shutter, weight, size, cost, etc.) that might be important to consider.

    The XL version adds 20mm to the image circle, but for most 4x5 users that is an expensive, superfluous gain -- about 3/8" of movement in any direction -- with no impact on quality.

  3. #3
    Thalmees's Avatar
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    Re: What high-quality 90mm lens for Intrepid 4x5 and Chamonix 45H-1?

    Hello tom,
    Welcome to the forum.
    Have used two(2) 90mm lenses.
    One is an older version of Sinaron W, AKA Grandagon N 90/4.5, the other is also sinar lens but much recent and has f/6.8 aperture.
    In every way(except size and weight), Sinaron W 90/4.5 is better than the other one(f/6.8). I can confidently and correctly, recommend this lens over other lenses if the only consideration is image quality.
    But, considering Interpid camera, I do not think any of the two will do justice with Interpid.
    My opinion, is to look for smaller/lighter 90mm lens, to justify the weight and physical tolerability of the Interpid, and of course to comply with the purpose of using this very light weight camera.
    Welcome to the forum.

    The generosity of spirit in this forum is great, its warmly appreciated.
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  4. #4
    Foamer
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    Re: What high-quality 90mm lens for Intrepid 4x5 and Chamonix 45H-1?

    I'm using a Nikon 90mm f4.5 on my Chamonix 045n, and really like it.


    Kent in SD
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  5. #5

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    Re: What high-quality 90mm lens for Intrepid 4x5 and Chamonix 45H-1?

    I'll parrot the above answers and tell you that any of the late model lenses will be plenty sharp and contrasty. I'd worry more about condition and price.

    You also need to decide if you want a faster lens like an f/4.5 or a slower lens like an f/8. A faster lens makes it easier to focus in low light like in a forest or at night. A slower lens is smaller and lighter weight so it is easier to backpack with.

    Welcome to the forum!

  6. #6
    Dave Karp
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    Re: What high-quality 90mm lens for Intrepid 4x5 and Chamonix 45H-1?

    For 90mm lenses there are a few options. The Super Angulon XL will have the largest image circle. It is a big lens that takes large filters. Nobody else that I am aware of made an equivalent.

    The next group is like the Super Angulon you mentioned with the f/5.6 maximum. All of the major manufacturers made something like this. Rodenstock's and Nikon's lenses will have f/4.5 max apertures. Schneider and Fuji are f/5.6 maximum. They all have roughly the same image circle. I too once owned the Grandagon-N. It was an outstanding lens.

    Moving on, there are 90s with a smaller maximum aperture, smaller size, and lighter weight. Most of these have a similar image circle that is smaller than that of the group listed above. There is one exception to that. Rodenstock's version has an f/6.8 maximum aperture. There is also a version of the Super Angulon with the same max aperture. The others (including some Super Angulons) are f/8. The Nikon version is unique in that it has an image circle as large as the second group above. For many of us, this lens is the best compromise. Smaller, lighter weight, generous image circle, but f/8 maximum aperture. If you are hiking, this might be the one for you. I have one of these. Before that, I had a 90mm f/8 Fujinon. The only reason I sold it was to get the larger image circle of the Nikon.

    There is yet another group. This one includes old Schneider Angulons (not Super Angulon), Wollensak Raptars, and Graflex Optars (the latter made by Wollensak and identical to the Raptar). These are small, with tight image circles. Don't expect much usable movement. I have a Raptar that I was going to use on a Travelwide large format point and shoot. It is absolutely tiny. I never really got around to using my Travelwide, so I might give this a whirl on one of my 4x5s.

    I really like my Nikon. As mentioned above, it seemed to me to be the best compromise of many factors in a 90mm.

  7. #7

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    Re: What high-quality 90mm lens for Intrepid 4x5 and Chamonix 45H-1?

    Another lighter possibility is the Ilex-Caltar 90/8. Like the Nikon version, it has a larger image circle, and you can get one for $100. I personally would not pair a 90/5.6 or 4.5 with the Intrepid. Sure, they are good lenses, but they weigh almost as much as the camera, and I doubt the Intrepid will move enough to take advantage of the larger image circle, so why?

  8. #8
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: What high-quality 90mm lens for Intrepid 4x5 and Chamonix 45H-1?

    Grandagon f/6.8 is a good lens, brighter than f/8 lenses and smaller than f5.6 ones.
    "Why can't we all just get along?" President Dale, Mars Attacks

  9. #9

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    Re: What high-quality 90mm lens for Intrepid 4x5 and Chamonix 45H-1?

    Wow! Many thanks to all here for the quick and informative answers.

    I see the point that a more lightweight alternative might fit better to the Intrepid camera than a f4.5 or f5.6 lens. As I have not received the camera yet, I have to rely on available reviews which indicate for quite a dark ground glass. WouldŽnt you think that one of f6.8 or f8 lenses are to dark for reliable focusing? A f8 lens plus a bright ground glass from a third party supplier is potentially also more expensive than directly going for a brighter lens...

  10. #10

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    Re: What high-quality 90mm lens for Intrepid 4x5 and Chamonix 45H-1?

    The thing that I'm surprised about it that you didn't get suggestions (at least not yet) about alternative focal lengths, such as a 105mm, for example.

    As to screen brightness, this is another personal decision. I've used my Fujinon A 180mm f9 lens at 2X magnification in dark forest situations without brightness problems. Some people would find it too dark. But if you have "darker" lenses, getting "faster" ones is only one option. Getting a good loupe helps with focusing (I use a Wista 7X), and getting an extra-bright screen is another way (I use a Beattie Intenscreen). Others may have other ideas, but you might not find what you have/get to be a problem/obstacle.

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