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Thread: Is there a lens comparison resource for LF lenses?

  1. #1

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    Is there a lens comparison resource for LF lenses?

    Hello,
    Is there a lens comparison resource / test website for LF lenses?
    A place where one can see scores in resolution, vignetting etc? I am new to LF photography and while choosing lenses to buy and looking around one can mostly hear phrases like 'I like my lens'-I don't think it enough. I can't get why a certain focal length of a particular brand and make is considered good while other length of the exactly same make considered not worth attention. Is $2000 lens that much better than a $500 one?
    In 35 mm terms http://photozone.de is a superb resource.

    thanks

  2. #2
    IanG's Avatar
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    Re: Is there a lens comparison resource for LF lenses?

    Kerry Thalman and Chris Perez have both tested lenses and posted their results on their websites. while the tests are mostly more than 10 years old there's been no new LF lenses since then.

    Ian

  3. #3

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    Re: Is there a lens comparison resource for LF lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by IanG View Post
    Kerry Thalman and Chris Perez have both tested lenses and posted their results on their websites. while the tests are mostly more than 10 years old there's been no new LF lenses since then.

    Ian
    And the test did not include all current lenses back then either. The short answer is no, there is no comprehensive test of all recent and older designs.

  4. #4
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    Re: Is there a lens comparison resource for LF lenses?

    Not entirely what you are asking for, but this resource is a good start: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/lenses/
    Keith Pitman

  5. #5

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    Re: Is there a lens comparison resource for LF lenses?

    The Perez list is as complete a test as I have seen. http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/testing.html

  6. #6

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    Re: Is there a lens comparison resource for LF lenses?

    buy and test:

    like: keep

    so so: keep (if you are rich)
    so so: sell (if you are poor)

    Hate: sell

    There is a problem although... i love my 240 g claron up to 3-5 meters in lowish contrast but i hate a sunny mid day landscape with it...

    There is another problem... personal preference... use what you like donīt go on mtf or lpm tests...

    cheers

    rui

  7. #7
    IanG's Avatar
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    Re: Is there a lens comparison resource for LF lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    And the test did not include all current lenses back then either. The short answer is no, there is no comprehensive test of all recent and older designs.
    Yes and there's some glaring omissions like the 165mm f8 Super angulon, and particularly the 90mm f5.6 Super Angulon which are two common Wide angle lenses, also the 75mm f5.6 SA, but to be fair at least they tested what lenses they could.

    It's difficult to go wrong with lenses from any of the major manufacturers lenses in the past 40 years, it's down to cost and featurers, aperture and coverage.

    Ian

  8. #8

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    Re: Is there a lens comparison resource for LF lenses?

    The lens comparison charts linked on the LF Homepage on the blue banner above (which IIRC include links to the Thalman and Perez charts as well as a few others) are extraordinarily useful.
    Any companies that still manufacture LF lenses will publish the specs of new lenses on their websites.
    FWIW I find that older lenses (Kodak, Goerz, Wollensak, B&L, Cook, Ilex, etc..) work just fine for my B&W endeavors.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  9. #9

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    Re: Is there a lens comparison resource for LF lenses?

    I only own 5 LF lenses for both 8x10 and 5x4 formats ,only 2 are on the Parez list so not that comprehensive , But a useful document none the less .

  10. #10

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    Re: Is there a lens comparison resource for LF lenses?

    Just to add to what has been said, you have to do your research. If you are interested in a certain lens then search it on here and also google it. Look at example photographs if possible but they don't tell you everything. A digital reproduction on the web will not be the same as looking at an actual print but may give you an idea if you want to try a lens. Sometimes like ruilourosa recommends you have to buy a lens to see for yourself. Sell if if you don't like it.

    The later lenses in modern Copal shutters like Schneider, Rodenstock, Nikon, Fujinon, and Caltar are all sharp and contrasty. There is only going to be a slight difference in their "look". Older lenses can be quite different from each other. An Artar is as sharp as a modern lens. A Dagor is less contrasty. A soft focus like a Verito lens is something else entirely.

    Supply and demand of course has something to do with lens prices. There is a glut of Schneider Symmar-S 210mm f/5.6 lenses out there so they are cheap. An SA 165mm is a little harder to find but not rare and covers 8x10 as a wide angle with room for movements. You can easily pay $1000 for a nice example. Then there are the rare cult lenses that cost a fortune.

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