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thomastrnka
5-Nov-2014, 21:32
I'm hoping someone here can help me out!

I'm looking into lenses to start shooting 4x5, however ill be shooting a lot of colour (negative) film. I've been looking into older Schneider lenses and im wondering if this will be an issue and possibly cause weird colour casts or flares from incoming light.
its hard to tell if which lenses are even single coated. apprt from the newer lenses which are clearly labelled MC.

I've been looking into xenars (135 4.7 and 150mm 4.5), the ones that are branded under linhof, as well as the tele xenar, possibly 240 or 270mm 5.5. if anyone knows how these lenses perform with colour negative film or can tell me what kind of lens coating they have, it would clear things up for me.
I've also looked into the newer xenar 150mm 5.6 and the 210 6.1 which look newer but is still not labeled MC.

any thoughts, info or suggestions are helpful

thanks

Thomas

ImSoNegative
5-Nov-2014, 22:12
I have used a petzval with color negative film, ektar 100 to be exact and I never had any issues at all. I would use a lens shade if I were you just to be on the safe side.

IanG
6-Nov-2014, 01:35
The Linhof branded Xenar is coated and I think all the rest of the Schneider lenses you are talking about are as well.

I use a number of older Schneider lenses and the coatings are very good, that includes the 135mm f4.7 Xenar. I've never had a flare problem with any of my post WWII coated LF lenses and the only one that would cause a problem with colour film is a 1954 (approx) CZJ T (coated) f4.5 150mm Tessar because the coatings give a distinct blue bias, the Schneider coatings cause no colour shift.

The 150mm f5.6 Xenar is the best Schneider made, a great little lens and they were very inexpensive new, I used mine when in Turkey and often in conditions shooting into the sun it's never flared, same goes for the 150mm CZJ Tessar, while the MC lens on my Canon has flred badly.

For years I would only use MC lenses after bad experiences with a couple of WA lenses for my 35mm cameras and they were MC lenses but one or two here and on APUG made me rethink and experience has proved them right that post WWII coated LF lenses are good.

Ian

Emmanuel BIGLER
6-Nov-2014, 06:13
Hello from France!
We might add that Tessar lens types are quite resistent to parasitic light since there are only 4 elements in 3 groups in such a lens.

All German lenses manufactured since the second World War are coated.
Modern anti-reflection coatings do make sense for complex lens designs like wide-angle large format lenses, but for 4-element lenses, "single-coated" lenses perform extremely well with colour film, and if you use colour negative film, you'll have more risks of colour shifts in the whole subsequent process of obtaining a colour print from the negative exposed with an old lens ;)

And regarding colour casts with old lenses, a pre-WW-II non-coated lens has no reason to create a colour cast, it only generates stray light when shooting with brilliant light sources in the field of view.
The reason for that is that the reflection coefficient of an un-coated glass is only weakly dependent on the wavelength of incident light and is remarkably constant (about 4% for a single dioptre, air-glass interface with a refactive index of 1.5) for all angles of incidence up to plus or minus 40 w/respect to the optical axis. A tessar lens covers only plus or minus 30.

BrianShaw
6-Nov-2014, 07:25
I have used a petzval with color negative film, ektar 100 to be exact and I never had any issues at all. I would use a lens shade if I were you just to be on the safe side.

For me not a petzval but other types of old uncoated lenses - rapid rectilinears and anastigmats from the 1920's or so... and for me the same advise about a lens shade. I'd have no concern about a Xenar. Have fun shooting!

Dan Fromm
6-Nov-2014, 07:33
A propos of IanG's comment, very often observed differences between lenses' color rendition on color reversal film are due to differences between the speeds of the shutters the lenses are mounted in. In particular, E6 films' color renditions are quite sensitive to small exposure errors. In addition, when shooting with uncontrolled lighting -- sunlight, for example -- the light's color temperature can vary dramatically by time of day and between brightly lit areas and areas in shadow.

Which brings us to uncoated lenses. Some years ago I did a shootout among several uncoated Tessars. One rendered the subject much bluer than the others. On retest it shot the same as the others. Why? In the first series I'd taken a shot with the blue lens while the sun was behind a cloud; all of the others were shot with the sun in the open. I've had similar experiences (same lens, nearly all shots as expected, a few very blue) with Nikkors for 35 mm. I have somewhere a lovely shot of a bright blue alligator taken in the Big Cypress. Blue 'gator was in deep shadow.

The only way to be sure that a lens has a color cast is to measure its transmission by wavelength. Photographic tests (shoot it and see how the image turns out) are too hard to control to be useful for this.

Steve Goldstein
6-Nov-2014, 07:58
I've also looked into the newer xenar 150mm 5.6 and the 210 6.1 which look newer but is still not labeled MC.


I don't think those lenses were ever multi-coated. Mine are/were definitely single-coated.

IanG
6-Nov-2014, 09:05
I don't think those lenses were ever multi-coated. Mine are/were definitely single-coated.

Schneider made a point of stating they were coated but not multi-coated, I have one from the last production run.

Dan, some of the early German coatings used to cause a distinct blue cast die to the colour of the coatings, most companies quickly improved their coatings to prevent this colour shift, I've only seen this with early Zeiss coatings, but then my CZJ T coated Tessar is East German and they improved their coatings by the time they introduction of the Pancolor lenses. Warm up filters were brought out to counter the blue shift.

Ian

Drew Wiley
6-Nov-2014, 09:48
Older Tele-Xenars were not corrected for color. That's an issue of lens design and glass types rather than coatings per se. But otherwise, a decently shaded single coated lens might perform just like a more modern multi-coated lens of similar design (which will also need shading under applicable circumstances). There can be subtle differences in resultant contrast in the exposed neg. In fact, I might choose a single coated lens for chrome films and more contrast negs like Ektar under contrasty lighting, but a multicoated equivalent with something like Porta 160. But this is getting nitpicky, just to make printing a bit easier, and requires a fair amt of experience to judge correctly. Warming/cooling filters are supplementary to all of this, and there are various reasons to have a basic set, including certain biases of older lenses (as noted on previous posts) as well as idiosyncrasies of specific color neg films themselves under certain kinds of lighting.

thomastrnka
6-Nov-2014, 17:46
so is there any advantage in getting newer symmar mc for example? will the older xenars give me the same colour rendition? I'm also not sure what aesthetic I'm looking for. the xenars seam to all have around 10 blade diaphragms as opposed to 5 from pretty much every new lens I've seen. finding image samples and comparisons are really hard to find which is why I'm so torn on what lenses to get. do tessar design xenar lenses have a specific aesthetic that will be really noticeable compared to a newer symmar or a sironar mc lens?

Dan Fromm
6-Nov-2014, 18:14
Rule of thumb, not always true: tessars have less coverage than plasmats of the same focal length. They are therefore more prone to producing images that aren't as sharp towards the edges and especially in the corners unless the lens is stopped well down.

I'm an ignorant barbarian, find discussions of lenses' rendition and "aesthetic" silly. I have played the name the lens game with shots of the same subject, same lighting, same emulsion, same exposure (aperture and shutter speed) with a variety of lenses of the same focal length but different designs with people who held themselves out as connoisseurs of lenses and their "signatures." The experts failed miserably at matching lens to image.

If you want to know how you'll characterize a lens' signature, get it and use it. No one else sees the way you do, and you're probably inconsistent. Asking others what you'll see makes no sense.

Plasmats' big advantage over tessars is coverage. Focal length for focal length they allow larger movements for the same loss of image quality at the edges.

Will Frostmill
6-Nov-2014, 18:28
I'm an ignorant barbarian, find discussions of lenses' rendition and "aesthetic" silly. I have played the name the lens game with shots of the same subject, same lighting, same emulsion, same exposure (aperture and shutter speed) with a variety of lenses of the same focal length but different designs with people who held themselves out as connoisseurs of lenses and their "signatures." The experts failed miserably at matching lens to image.

I'd love to hear more about this. That sounds like a fun experiment.

Personally, I believe I can tell that there is a difference between Petzvals, Tessars, meniscus lenses, some soft-focus lenses, and occasionally Planars, but only when used in "extreme" ways. E.g., wide open, and on a format that's larger than it is designed for. But only Petzvals, and only in extreme cases, have I seen differences in color rendition at the edges. The differences I'm sensitive to have to do with resolution and contrast falloff, or really weird bokeh. (There's a Leica lens that renders telephone wires as triplicates, for some reason.) I don't think I could ever perceive a difference at normal taking apertures on LF.

I do think the OP would be well served by getting a nice compendium shade, avoiding filters, checking the rear element for damage, and buying a postwar lens, preferably something inexpensive that Calumet re-branded.

BrianShaw
6-Nov-2014, 19:20
'd like to hear more about the "ignorant barbarian". Most of my friends fit that characterization. Maybe you'll be my BFF, Dan?

IanG
7-Nov-2014, 02:04
Dan has summed up the differences betwen Tessar (& type) and Plasmats well. I couldn't tell you just by looking at them which prints/negatives were shot with my CZJ 150mm Tessar, 150mm f5,6 Xenar or 135mm f5.5 MC Symmar. I could tell which were made with a 1930's 135mm f4.5 Tessar, and I'd know some images were made with the Tessar or Xenar because that was all I was using for a while in Turkey.

I no longer shoot colour LF work and when I did used mostly 2 Rodenstock MC lenses, MC Schneiders are equally as good. At some point Schneider improved their coatings significantly and the single coated 75mm f8 SA, 90mm f5.6 SA and 165mm f8 SA's I own are all excellent for colour work, my earlier 65mm f8 SA doesn't match as well.

Whatever lenses you use it's about knowing how to get the best from them, if you need a lot of movements then Tessar & Xenar lenses are not a good choice, particularly the 135mm's, and if you want sharpness that matches a plasmat then shoot at f22.

Ian

Dan Fromm
7-Nov-2014, 05:08
Brian, the classical definition of barbarian is a person who's not a native speaker of Greek. I'm a birthright barbarian and proud of it.

As for ignorance, well, when I was much younger one of my ambitions was to know everything. When I got stack privileges in my hometown's library I looked at the miles of shelves and measured. After making allowance for fiction, duplicates and near duplicates and old books whose wisdom was subsumed into newer ones, I calculated that I couldn't read and absorb fast enough to get through them all before I died of old age. I also measured the periodicals, especially scientific journals, and the rate at which new issues arrived and new journals popped up. Same story. Not only couldn't I learn all that was known, I couldn't keep up with additions to knowledge. And then it hit me that I didn't know enough to decide what was truly important and learn only that.

We're born ignorant, learn a little as we live, and will never know enough.

Thanks for y'r kind offer to be my BFF. I'm sorry, your comments in a discussion of who should have handicapped parking privileges makes me think that if we tried to be friends we'll fall out in a big way almost instantly. Wary and distant respect is the best you and I can aspire to.

BrianShaw
7-Nov-2014, 07:38
... Thanks for y'r kind offer to be my BFF. I'm sorry, your comments in a discussion of who should have handicapped parking privileges makes me think that if we tried to be friends we'll fall out in a big way almost instantly. Wary and distant respect is the best you and I can aspire to.

Gosh... and I thought I was being quite rational. Oh well, wary and distant respect it will be. :)

You wouldn't happen to be using a 3-letter handle over at the other forum, would you? Or do you think I was being to kind by not telling someone that he is a moron? :o P.S. Rhetorical questions meant to be read in jest. Don't bother thinking too much about them or answering if you don't want.

Dan Fromm
7-Nov-2014, 09:29
Brian, I post under my own name, don't hide behind a screen name. There seem to be many curmudgeons around who, um, snipe from cover.

About calling people morons. Bad practice and often frowned on by forums' moderators. I try not to do it in spite of repeated provocations from several regulars on that other forum. Besides, I'm not smart enough for thinking "I'm smarter than that there person" to be safe. I worked with a couple of economics PhDs who were dumber than the average fence post -- I've measured, I'm not quite that stupid -- but couldn't see that telling them what they were would accomplish anything useful. One was a Berkeley product. I can't imagine how he got his degree.

Will, I did it seven or eight years ago when Emmanuel Bigler and I were preparing my lens diary for publication of the French LF site. The expert I stumped was the late Charlie Barringer. Lenses involved were tessar, dialyte, heliar, dagor and plasmat types. I used an ISO 100 E6 film and Charlie looked hard at the 2x3 trannies on a light table. No scanning involved. The shots I took for the lens diary weren't published. I found differences in sharpness between lenses; that's what I was looking in the shootouts reported on in the lens diary. Now that I know what they do I can separate shots taken with my 4.75"/7.7 Uno from ones taken with my 127/4.7 Tominon but I couldn't have done that until I knew how both lenses shoot. The Uno is, as reported in the VM, contrasty (uncoated but only 4 air-glass interfaces) but just isn't as sharp as a modern tessar type. On a one lens versus another trial the Uno is always the softer lens. It is very possible that if I'd practiced lens abuse -- shot my trials on a format larger than my lenses cover -- predictable and easily recognized differences might have turned up.