PDA

View Full Version : Trying to decide on a 90mm Lens for 4x5



celtic9
13-Jun-2015, 07:51
Hello everyone,

much has been said (and read by myself) about the many different 90mm lenses. However, since I'm about to buy my first 90mm lens I was wondering which of the following ones you would choose ...

- Rodenstock Grandagon 90mm f/4.5 MC
- Rodenstock Grandagon-N 90mm f/4.5 MC (might be too expensive though)
- Rodenstock Grandagon-N 90mm f/6.8
- Rodenstock Grandagon 90mm f/6.8
- Caltar II-N 90mm f/4.5 MC

They're all within my budget (300-400$).

Any help/thoughts/recommendations are highly appreciated.

DG 3313
13-Jun-2015, 08:01
I have the Grandagon N 6.8. I got it new from B&H and it has been one of my favorite lenses. A bigger IC would be nice from time to time but, not often enough to buy another lens.

ic-racer
13-Jun-2015, 08:43
I'd look for a later shutter (all black), clear optics without haze, scratches or separation and no evidence of prior tampering to the lens or shutter. For a field camera setup, depending on how you carry your equipment, only you can determine if the extra weight and size of the 4.5 lenses is an advantage. In a studio, depending on how bright your modeling lights are, I'd go with the fastest lens.

David Karp
13-Jun-2015, 08:44
The Caltar II-N lenses are rebranded Rodenstock lenses and the one you list is equivalent to the f/4.5 Grandagon-N. Caltars are usually less expensive for the same thing. There was also a Caltar version of the f/6.8 Rodenstock. The f/6.8 lens is smaller than the f/4.5, but has a smaller image circle.

The choice would depend on multiple factors. How large an image circle do you need? Will you be carrying it on long hikes? Will you be working in dimly lit interiors?

Emmanuel BIGLER
13-Jun-2015, 08:53
Hello from France !

Another vote for the Grandagon-N 90 mm f/6.8, I'm really happy with it (plus its smaller brother, the 75 mm f/6.8)

However taking into account that the Caltar II-N 4.5 is most probably the Grandagon-N 90 mm f/4.5, you might go for the Caltar which has a slightgly wider image circle.

The 90 6.8 model is smaller and requires smaller filters than the 4.5

Regarding actual differences bteween a "true" Grandagon and a Caltar II-N, as far as I understood from reading some authoritative forum members here, the difference was only on the commercial aspect and customer service. Repairs for a Grandagon had to go to the official Rodenstock distributor, whereas Calumet was in charge of the service for Caltar lenses.

Non-N grandagons are slighly older. Same glass, but there might be some improvement in the anti-reflection coating in later versions. Not sure.
Anyhow you can't go wrong with either lenses provided that the shutter works fine and that the lens elements are fungus-free, which is not always easy to see.

celtic9
13-Jun-2015, 09:00
Thanks for the quick feedback everyone!

@ David: I'll shoot 4x5 only. Won't carry it on long hikes. Dimly lit-interiors: yes.

Regular Rod
13-Jun-2015, 09:24
Hello everyone,

much has been said (and read by myself) about the many different 90mm lenses. However, since I'm about to buy my first 90mm lens I was wondering which of the following ones you would choose ...

- Rodenstock Grandagon 90mm f/4.5 MC
- Rodenstock Grandagon-N 90mm f/4.5 MC (might be too expensive though)
- Rodenstock Grandagon-N 90mm f/6.8
- Rodenstock Grandagon 90mm f/6.8
- Caltar II-N 90mm f/4.5 MC

They're all within my budget (300-400$).

Any help/thoughts/recommendations are highly appreciated.

None of them but then again I'm mainly working in the landscape. I use a Schneider f6.8 90mm Angulon. Very low cost. Weighs very little. Great coverage (5x7 with no movements).

135421

RR

Doremus Scudder
13-Jun-2015, 09:30
The first choice you have to make is between the large 90mm lenses, with bigger image circles, and the smaller, lighter (and a bit slower) 90mm lenses with smaller image circles.

If you shoot architecture and use a monorail, a larger lens (f/ 4.5-5-6) would be in order. If, like me, you need portability and smaller size, then one of the f/8 or f/6.8 lenses would be better.

I have a more modern 90mm Super Angulon f/8 that fits in a recessed lensboard and works well on my field cameras. However, if I had to start from scratch, I'd look for the Nikkor SW 90mm f/8. Its 235mm image circle is the biggest in its class.

Hope this helps,

Doremus

IanG
13-Jun-2015, 09:44
I've used a 90mm f6.8 Grandagon-N lens for over 25 years, it's a newer and better lens than the plain Grandagon, I agree with Doremus about the f4.5 version.

As for the 90mm f6.8 Anglon I do use one but it can be hard finding a good one, mine is for hand-held work with a light weight 5x4 kit I keep in Turkey where I use very minimal movements.

Ian

Bob Salomon
13-Jun-2015, 10:02
Whichever you choose make sure it is a MC version

David Karp
13-Jun-2015, 10:16
From experience I can say that the f/4.5 Grandagon-N is a wonderful lens for interiors and everything else. It's only disadvantage is size. It takes 82mm filters. Eventually, like Doremus, I went to a smaller, lighter 90mm. I went with an f/8 Nikkor, which has the same image circle as the bigger Grandagon-N.

Wayne
13-Jun-2015, 10:44
Make sure you need one before you buy one. I had a beautiful Schneider 6.8 but I sold it in a moment of need years ago and haven't missed it once since. That's not to say I would have sold it if I hadn't needed money, I just don't miss it for 99% of what I like to do.

jnantz
13-Jun-2015, 11:03
if you run across a yellow or violet dot 90mm wollensak signal corps raptar buy it ..
it might be the last 90mm lens you ever buy .. small, big coverage on 4x5 and sharp as nails.
i had one for a long long time and sold it for a 90mm SA ( chrome barrel ) and i have wished
i still had the raptar for more than a decade ...

StoneNYC
13-Jun-2015, 14:04
Thanks for the quick feedback everyone!

@ David: I'll shoot 4x5 only. Won't carry it on long hikes. Dimly lit-interiors: yes.

Dimly lit, go with the Grandagon N Green Stripe f/4.5's

Hiking, Schneider SA or Nikkor SW f/8's

Carsten Wolff
13-Jun-2015, 14:09
Got an Ilex-Acugon Veriwide (in a Seiko 0, I think). Also very nice, huge image circle (240mm+) but can be dimm-ish on the groundglass (f/8). Mine takes 67m filters; some versions don't have front filter threads apparently (!). I had both the 6.8 Caltar and Grandagon-N. Only bought the Acugon as a cheap replacement. Can't fault it. Got an old Angulon for hiking, but like the Ilex a bit better.

koh303
13-Jun-2015, 14:21
None of them but then again I'm mainly working in the landscape. I use a Schneider f6.8 90mm Angulon. Very low cost. Weighs very little. Great coverage (5x7 with no movements).

135421

RR

The 120mm Anglon barely covers 5X7, the 90mm covers 4X5, but with no movements.

As for the OP - the Rodenstock/ caltar 90mm N 4.5 is by far the best. If you can get one for 400$, dont wait - buy it.

Regular Rod
13-Jun-2015, 14:27
The 120mm Anglon barely covers 5X7, the 90mm covers 4X5, but with no movements.

As for the OP - the Rodenstock/ caltar 90mm N 4.5 is by far the best. If you can get one for 400$, dont wait - buy it. Yes I was mistaken about the image circle for 5x7, thank you for the correction. The 90mm does allow movements with 4x5. I've used mine for some years now both with and without movements. However, mine are fitted with shutters that allow the aperture to be shut down to f45. You are absolutely right about the advice to simply go ahead and buy the Rodenstock if he can get it for $400...

RR

koh303
13-Jun-2015, 14:40
The 120mm Anglon barely covers 5X7, the 90mm covers 4X5, but with no movements.

As for the OP - the Rodenstock/ caltar 90mm N 4.5 is by far the best. If you can get one for 400$, dont wait - buy it.

Wanted to say it is the best lens by far, period. No matter what list it is on. Short of the Nikon 90mm F4.5 which are both the same in my eyes, having used both, you cannot go wrong with this lens, except for the price part.

Bob Salomon
13-Jun-2015, 14:43
Wanted to say it is the best lens by far, period. No matter what list it is on. Short of the Nikon 90mm F4.5 which are both the same in my eyes, having used both, you cannot go wrong with this lens, except for the price part.

Also, very important, if the OP finds he needs it, the Rodenstocks have center filters available for them while Nikon just ignored the need for them.

StoneNYC
13-Jun-2015, 14:55
Also, very important, if the OP finds he needs it, the Rodenstocks have center filters available for them while Nikon just ignored the need for them.

I personally found that the CF for the Grandagon - N Green stripe f/4.5 lens wasn't necessary, the Schneider SS XL's are a different story.

I'm told by many that Nikon's lens design is such that there isn't any lens falloff, but I'm not a lens designer so I wouldn't know for sure.

Bob Salomon
13-Jun-2015, 14:57
I personally found that the CF for the Grandagon - N Green stripe f/4.5 lens wasn't necessary, the Schneider SS XL's are a different story.

I'm told by many that Nikon's lens design is such that there isn't any lens falloff, but I'm not a lens designer so I wouldn't know for sure.
Nikon wide angles have similar fall off the difference is Nikon ignored it. As far as fall off goes lenses like Apo Sironar N, S, W and Schneider, Nikon and Fuji's similar designs also all have fall off. Just not enough to need center filters for correction. They fall off from edge to edge by about ⅓ rd stop.