View Full Version : 150mm 5.6 T Navitar Or Linhof Symmar-S MC 5.6?

Stanley Kubrick
9-Jun-2014, 05:26
Hi, just wondering if anyone has any advice on these lenses. I want a 'standard' lens for 5x4, iv been shooting with a wide angle (Nikkor SW 90mm 4.5) but im fed up of the distortion, so I want another lens to go with it. The Navitar and Linhof are whats on ebay at the moment, the Navitar at 100 and the Linhof at 170. They are both quite cheap, I dont want to spend too much money at the moment with them. Does anyone know how they compare to the lovely Nikkor 90mm which cost me 400? Im not going to print anything over 11x14/12x16 or whatever those are when sized for a 5x4 frame.

The Linhof Schneider Symmar 210/370mm 5.6 is also on ebay, its a little longer but around the same price (150). Does anybody know anything about this one?

All lenses are in acceptable condition and have been serviced prior to sale.

Thank You!

9-Jun-2014, 07:44
The Navitar seems like it would be overly sharp, more of a lens for digital scanning backs. And there's no indication of coverage (does it cover 4x5?).
You can't go wrong with a Symmar lens; just make sure the shutter works well and is not in need of a CLA, and that the glass has no haze or fungus; Schneider-itis (look it up) is ok.

Stanley Kubrick
10-Jun-2014, 16:34
Right, thanks for the info, il go with the Symmar!

Dan Fromm
10-Jun-2014, 18:41
Ari, if you'd used Google you'd have learned that the lens in question was mentioned in the 12/83 issue of Popular Photography. Not a lens for anything digital.

You'd also been handed an assertion by the late H. Lynn Jones to the effect that it is a tessar type like the Fujinon LS. What Google won't tell you is that Prof. Jones wasn't always a reliable source of information.

Stanley, here http://sdrv.ms/1i4czGa is a link to a list of links to lens catalogs and such. Use it, you might learn a little. If you Google Kubrick and "Barry Lyndon lens" you'll understand why you should consider changing your screen name.

10-Jun-2014, 19:21
I'm more than happy to be corrected, Dan; my Google results told me very scant information, certainly nothing on coverage, while the Symmars are a known quantity.
Was the Navitar the "Barry Lyndon Lens"? I thought that lens was made for S. Kubrick by the aerospace division of Zeiss, or something equally preposterous.

Stanley Kubrick
11-Jun-2014, 04:36
Thanks, il check those out too. Photography allows for a little more time on each exposure than shooting moving images, so I dont think il have as much difficulty shooting scenes under candlelit as the genuine Mr Kubrick!

Dan Fromm
11-Jun-2014, 06:18
Ari, the Barry Lyndon lens started life as a fast Zeiss lens. The Navitar beastie isn't a close relative. However, the late Prof. Jones seems (I may have misread his post) to have asserted that it is the same design as a Fujinon LS. These are better known and Fuji published coverage claims for them.

Bob Salomon
11-Jun-2014, 06:31
Navitar was a house brand for D.O. Industries who was the importer of the Fujinon lenses through the early 80s. Navitar is most commonly found as a name on OEM lenses for surveillance cameras, machine vision cameras, etc. Next time you make a deposit at the drive up window at the bank look at the name on the video camera. There is a pretty good chance that it is a Navistar.

The Navitar 150mm is not a lens formulated for digital applications.

Mark Sampson
11-Jun-2014, 18:45
You should note that the 240 (convertible) Symmar that you mention is a 1950s design that was replaced c.1972 by the Symmar-S- which was multi-cated by the late 70s and in production until 1991 or so. I have extensive experience with both types and would prefer the Symmar-S, all else being equal. It's a little sharper and has more contrast than the older lens- but not enough to make me reject a convertible example in good shape.