View Full Version : Going Wider tha 110

Scott Rosenberg
13-Jan-2005, 17:40
good day...

the widest lens i currently carry in my field kit is a SS 110-XL. whilst it is indeed a wonderful lens, i have at times wished i could go a little shorter, and backing up a little bit was simply not possible. therefore, i am now considering adding a wider lens to my kit. as i do mainly landscape & backpacking, size and weight is important to me. i'd like to keep the lens in a copal 0 or copal 1, and the front filter 76mm or smaller.

the companion lens to my 110XL is the 80XL, and this was the first lens i thought about when i decided i'd be going wider. my question is simply:

how much wider is the 80 than the 110?

i'm trying to keep my field kit as streamlined as possible; i'm actually culling lenses from the mid range right now, as i have a few that are too close together, and i don't really want to carry around another lens if it's not going to give me an appreciably wider view. the difference between the 80 and 110 is nearly 1.5X, so i'm assuming there's going to be a fair amount of difference, but was hoping to hear from any of you guys that have both.


steve simmons
13-Jan-2005, 18:23
There is a 72m XL as well. This would be noticeably wider than the 110.

steve simmons

Donald Hutton
13-Jan-2005, 18:29

The 80mm XL is a LOT wider - I'm not sure of the AOV on 4X5, but in use it has a very different feel. Where the 110 never seems to push that "deep" wide angle look into a composition, the 80 does. I own both the 72XL and the 90XL; I nevertheless bought the 80mmXL to "streamline" my field kit (the other two are really strictly architectural use only). I previously had the 75mm SA and the 90 - I am very happy with the choice to go with just the 80 as a replacement. It has loads of coverage for all landscape use and modest coverage for most architectural applications too. It is very light and very sharp. There were some issues with earlier samples of this lens, so if you are buying second hand, be careful. Also, I have read some stories regarding haze within the front elements on some samples.

It is not an easy lens to focus wide open - I tend to stop mine down to 5.6 or more for focussing and it's still plenty bright enough. My basic field kit is the 80, 110, a 150, 210 (sometimes I carry a 180 instead of both the 150 and 210), and a 300. If I am really feeling keen, I lug the 360/500T combo as well as a 58XL too. I shoot a lot with the 110 and 300; the 80 and 180 are probably the next most common. The fact that the 80 takes the same CF as the 110 is a big selling point - if you shoot chromes, you will want the CF for the 80 (and I use it with the 110 too). Can't go wrong with it - great lens - no equal for focal lengh/size/speed/weight equation; and if you decide it's not for you, they always sell fast second hand at high prices...

Scott Rosenberg
13-Jan-2005, 19:02

i thought about the 72-XL, but eliminated it due to it's size. while it does come in a copal 0 shutter, it's better than twice the weight of the 80 (271 grams vs 557 grams) and takes HUGE 95mm front filters.

Scott Rosenberg
13-Jan-2005, 19:09
hey don... it's always great to hear from you - thanks for the detailed response.

i expecially appreciate your feedback, as you seem to have personal experience with all of these lenses! in fact, i am now trying to figure out how to best configure my field kit. i currently carry 110-150-240-300 but am thinking of going to 80-110-180-300, which is precisely what you carry when you don't want to carry both your 150 and 210.

it sounds from your experience that the 80-XL is just what i'm looking for when the 110 isn't quite wide enough... thanks again!


Donald Hutton
13-Jan-2005, 19:13
The 72 has no place in a "field" kit - it's a beast - big, heavy, it needs (not an option in my opinion) that $400 center filter, and there are not a lot of field cameras which are equipped to fully utilize it's image circle either. To be honest, I only ever use mine for shooting interiors and tall buildings. For inner city architectural shooting, it's a gem.

The earlier 75mm f5.6 model is an option too - I had one before I bought the 80 - it's very sharp, I used the same IIIb center filter (worked just fine, although Schneider recommend the plain III for the lens) and it's also reasonably small and light. If you can find one second hand for a good deal (maybe$700 or so) it may work just as well. The image circle is 198mm, so it's a little smaller than the 80, but as this lens is intended for a field kit, I'm assuming that is more than ample...

Eric Leppanen
13-Jan-2005, 19:21
80 and 110mm in 4x5 are roughly equivalent to the 24 and 35mm focal lengths on a 35mm camera. I too opted for the SS80XL and SS110XL combo due to their high performance, light weight and common center filter, and have thoroughly enjoyed working with both lenses. The 80 is significantly wider than the 110, so much so, in fact, that I almost never use my SA58XL (a surprise to me, since my 20mm lens was a frequent contributor to my 35mm camera kit). For my style of landscape shooting, the 4x5 aspect ratio (compared to the more rectangular 35mm aspect ratio) typically allows me to successfully frame my subject without resorting to extremely wide lenses. The SS80XL has proven plenty wide, even in the wide open spaces of the southwestern U.S. where I live.

I agree that you'll definitely want the center filter with the 80 if you shoot chromes, but this will likely be the case with any 4x5 lens wider than 90mm.

Scott Rosenberg
13-Jan-2005, 19:25

thanks for the inputs. researching an upcoming trip to your corner of the planet is what really put me over the top for a wider lens. great to hear you find it adequate for shooting in the southwest!

Ted Harris
13-Jan-2005, 20:25
I have abd frequently use the earlier 75 SA f5.6. I have used it on a Horseman, Ebony RW and now a Walker Titan. It gives that definite wide angle feel. It is all the wis]der I have ever felt the need to go. It is not heavy but it is not small either. The 80 XL is much more compact.

I like this focal length. I often find it necessary and I seldom leave home without it.

And yes, it is very sharp and I don't have any trouble focusing it.

Scott Fleming
13-Jan-2005, 21:26
Nobody (!?) likes the 75mm Grandagon-N? Too big and heavy, ey?

Frank Petronio
13-Jan-2005, 21:48
I like Grandagons Scott (s). Why not be frugal and just get the compact little 75/6.8 for landscapes? Or the /4.5 isn't that big either.

I've been afraid of Schneideritis for years - Who knows when your expensive XL lenses will start flaking black paint off their internals?

Scott Bacon
14-Jan-2005, 09:12
Hey Scott, I think you'll like the angle of view difference between the 110 and 80. I have the Rodenstock Grandagon N 75mm f/6.8 that Frank refers to and like it VERY much. That wide angle is very useful in the steep mountain canyons that I often frequent. My next lens up is a 135mm and I think I'd like to replace it with something just a tad wider, possibly a 125. The 110 is out of my budget range. BTW, you will NEED something wider than 110 for the Crater Lake trip. ;-)

Ernest Purdum
14-Jan-2005, 09:17
You might want to consider going up on format size, when you wasnt a wider view, instead of down on focal length, lthus getting more out of your existing lenses.

Patrick Raymore
14-Jan-2005, 10:52
Don. I am curious. Why are you having difficulty focusing the 80 XL?

Donald Hutton
14-Jan-2005, 12:30
It's not really difficult, but the lens is pretty soft wide open (at least mine is)- down half a stop and it's sharp. Focussing is certainly possible at 4.5, but easier at 5.6.

14-Jan-2005, 14:21
I have both and find the 80 too wide for much use in the field. YMMV.

Brian Ellis
16-Jan-2005, 00:00
I have the 80 SS XL, I always focus wide open and haven't had a problem with it being too soft. Seems a shame to focus at 5.6 and give up that wide maximum aperture on a focal length that needs all the light it can get when focusing. I haven't yet found a need for a center filter shooting black and white film. I was kind of in your situation in that I had a 90mm and wanted something wider. My first thought was a 75 but that would have meant adding another lens to my big and heavy 90mm F5.6 SA. So I bought the 80. I gave up 5mm as compared with a 75 but that allowed me to get rid of the 90 so instead of carrying a big and heavy 90 plus a 75 I'm now able to carry only the small, light 80. I've been very pleased with the 80, images are tack sharp, nice contrast, enough room for movements for the landscape and exterior archtitecture things I mostly do.