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Robclarke
16-Oct-2015, 20:53
Hi all I am thinking of entering the world of lf photography having been much inspired by some of the images on here.

I would be doing cityscape/architecture, portrait and still life. I am currently using a Hasselblad mf system.

I am thinking of getting a linhof master Technika. I am looking at 150mm lenses to start with. I have zeroed in on Schneider symmar but have found a few at different prices but don't really know the differences. These are the three I have found.

http://www.rs-photographic.co.uk/product/2469/linhof_schneider_symmar_s_150mm_f5_6_lens_with_kardan_master_plate/ec8ad7d5a3d6ad4a44526d5cdd1e0408

http://www.teamworkphoto.com/used-schneider-linhof-symmar-150mm-lens-p-20071.html

http://www.ffordes.com/product/15081316354431

Can anyone advise on the differences and advise which to go for?

Thanks, Rob.

richardman
16-Oct-2015, 21:14
The shutter is one difference. I actually the the lowest price one. No one to pay more unless the lens is scratch or the shutter is not accurate. A shutter CLA would run $100-$150.

Alan Gales
16-Oct-2015, 21:34
The lowest priced one is the newest. Like Richardman, I prefer it over the other two.

Doremus Scudder
17-Oct-2015, 01:01
At the risk of opening a can of worms here...

Two things. "Normal" focal-length lenses (150mm, but also 135mm and up to 210mm) for 4x5 are available used on eBay and other places very inexpensively. I wouldn't even think of paying ~300 GBP for one. You might want to check out the auction sites, etc. before making a final decision.

For "cityscape/architecture," my lenses of choice are a bit wider than 150mm. Most used is a 135mm followed by my 90mm. This latter is especially useful working up close.

For portraits, on the other hand and especially if you want to do "head-and-shoulders" type shots, a 210mm or longer is generally preferable.

You could likely put together a three-lens kit from used lenses that costs less than the newer lenses you link to...

Modern lenses from any of the major manufacturers (Schneider, Rodenstock, Nikkor, Fujinon) are all superb performers and you won't go wrong with any of them. Yes, there are the superlative performers among them, but even the "next-on-the-list" 150s and 135s are great. As long as the shutter works and the glass is clear, you won't regret using any of them.

And, you can always ask here before purchasing :)

Best,

Doremus

Robclarke
17-Oct-2015, 01:13
Thanks all of you for the help.

Yes I was thinking of getting other lenses too and was thinking probably 90mm and 250mm.

I will have a look on eBay.

IanG
17-Oct-2015, 01:42
Of the 3 you've listed the first two are over-priced. You should be able to find a good 150mm Symmar S or Rodenstock Sironar-N for closer to the 150 mark here in the UK.

It's worth placing a wanted advert on this Forum in the For Sale/Wanted section (you've been a lurker long enough :D)

Ian

Robclarke
17-Oct-2015, 01:43
Still looking at 150mm. Ebay potential candidates:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/ulk/itm/131613859999

http://www.ebay.co.uk/ulk/itm/111798960863

richardman
17-Oct-2015, 04:27
If you are not tied to Symmar, then I'd highly recommend a 150mm Fujinon, as Fuji is usually 10%-30% less than other brands, for whatever the reasons. Performance wise, you will not see a difference in most cases. The color rendition may be different (cooler vs. warmer etc.). I have 4x5 FEET print made with a 150mm Fujinon/5.6 lens and it's as sharp as anything.

Liquid Artist
17-Oct-2015, 07:15
If it was me looking for my first camera I would find the camera first.
There is a good chance that it will already have a decent lens on it. Use that one for a while then go from there.
The 2 lenses I use most today came with cameras I bought. I have since added 6 or so that I rarely use.

ic-racer
17-Oct-2015, 08:38
You are going to buy an inexpensive used lens for your $10,000 camera (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/483973-REG/Linhof_000130_4x5_Master_Technika_3000.html)?

Robclarke
17-Oct-2015, 09:30
You are going to buy an inexpensive used lens for your $10,000 camera (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/483973-REG/Linhof_000130_4x5_Master_Technika_3000.html)?

It is going to be a used camera so will be significantly less than that. I could up the lens budget a bit though. Do you have any recommendations?

Bob Salomon
17-Oct-2015, 10:02
How sure are you that it is a Master Technika and not an earlier Technika? And if it really is a Master then you should be looking at a much more recent lens then the old Symmer.

djdister
17-Oct-2015, 10:03
You've got plenty of good recommendations - 150mm is a standard and common focal length, so there should be a lot to choose from, such as the Schneider Symmar-S, Rodenstock, and Fujinon. So look for the multicoated version and a recent modern shutter, probably a good clean Copal #0 shutter.

ic-racer
17-Oct-2015, 12:01
Seriously, though, used inexpensive lens is going to be the way to go. 150mm lenses are the most common for 4x5. They would be as common as 50mm lenses to 35mm cameras. Any late model lens from a major manufacturer will be good. Unlike enlarger lenses, poor quality "budget" 150mm lenses are were not a common marketing ploy. The two major things that will burn you are a poorly functioning shutter and foggy or separated lens elements. Always buy off the internet with a return policy.

Daniel Unkefer
17-Oct-2015, 12:12
Ummm

If you are wanting a Master Technika, do you want to be able to use the rangefinder coupling feature on the camera?
Linhof made lens kits specially matched to these cameras. I would research the Technikas extensively before making a decision.
Sure you can use any lens if you are just using the groundglass. But you are giving up a lot of the Master's feature set.

Robclarke
17-Oct-2015, 12:15
Ummm

If you are wanting a Master Technika, do you want to be able to use the rangefinder coupling feature on the camera?
Linhof made lenses specially matched to these cameras. I would research the Technikas extensively before making a decision.

Yes but I believe that you can send your lens and camera back to linhof to have this done. I would like to have bought a kit with rangefinder calibrated lenses but my search has been fruitless.

Daniel Unkefer
17-Oct-2015, 12:35
If I were investing in a Master Technika, the first thing I would do is get the original catalog, and see what lenses were offered by Linhof at the time. This is how I have built up a humungeous Sinar Norma system. Or you could talk to Linhof and see what they recommend maybe? Good Luck with your acquisitions.

Bob Salomon
17-Oct-2015, 12:45
Ummm

If you are wanting a Master Technika, do you want to be able to use the rangefinder coupling feature on the camera?
Linhof made lenses specially matched to these cameras. I would research the Technikas extensively before making a decision.
Sure you can use any lens if you are just using the groundglass. But you are giving up a lot of the Master's feature set.

Linhof does not make lenses. They made coupling packages that matched a lens to the rangefinder. This is called a coupling package and includes cutting a cam to the specific lens, by serial number, the pair of infinity stops and the correct focusing scale for the bed of the camera. Any Linhof service center can cut the cam and supply the scales and stops. Or you can send your lens and camera to either Linhof or the service center and have them install the infinity stops and the scale at the same price as just having the cam cut. If you have a Master Technika or a V then the service center only needs the lens to cut the cam and the camera's owner can install the stops and scale themselves. Instructions are supplied for proper positioning of the stops so that the camera does not become defaced by improper positioning and repositioning of the stops.
If you have a IV or older model Technika then the camera and all your lenses must go to the service center or the factory for camping as before the V the older models did not have a zeroed ground glass. The V and Master do. So lenses and cams for a V and Master are interchangeable for rangefinder use between bodies. They are not between a IV and the later models.

When the cam is cut for a lens it will have the serial number of that lens stamped on the top of the cam. If the cam was cut gif a IV it will also have the serial number of the camera it was cut for stamped on the bottom of the cam. So if you are buying a Master and then buy a crammed lens for it it will couple properly if that lens cam has the same serial number as the lens has. Once you install the stops correctly. If that cam also has a number stamped on the bottom, as well as the top, it will not couple properly to a V or Master.

Daniel Unkefer
17-Oct-2015, 13:09
http://www.ebay.de/itm/Linhof-Anleitung-zur-Linhof-Master-Technika-9x12-4x5-/400990948973?hash=item5d5cec4e6d:g:qb4AAOSw~gRV7HQI

Lachlan 717
17-Oct-2015, 13:49
One thing to get your head around with LF photography is that, unlike smaller formats, the camera does NOT maketh the image. More than any other small format, the camera is a glorified box that you hang a lens and a film holder on.

As such, it is my firm belief that you are a little crazy in the coconut to buy a Master Technika. There are great new cameras at significantly less cost, such as the Chamonix and the Shen Hao.

That being said, back to the 150mm lens question: I, too, think that a Fujinon is punching week above it's weight. cheap and glorious! For the top end/modern lens, I'd look at the APO Symmar.

Bob Salomon
17-Oct-2015, 14:01
One thing to get your head around with LF photography is that, unlike smaller formats, the camera does NOT maketh the image. More than any other small format, the camera is a glorified box that you hang a lens and a film holder on.

This is only true if your requirements are not that critical. Like shooting trees and mountains. However, if you are doing critical work like documenting or copying paintings, letters, etc then the parralism and the maintaining of the parralism and the ease of setting various camera functions make a camera more then a "box".

No matter how good a lens you use, if a camera's failure to maintain its settings will lose to your redoing the shot, sometimes more then once. It is all a chain, the weakest link will eventually let you down. And the camera, the lens, the back, the holder, the darkroom work are all equally important in the end.

Lachlan 717
17-Oct-2015, 14:13
This is only true if your requirements are not that critical. Like shooting trees and mountains. However, if you are doing critical work like documenting or copying paintings, letters, etc then the parralism and the maintaining of the parralism and the ease of setting various camera functions make a camera more then a "box".

No matter how good a lens you use, if a camera's failure to maintain its settings will lose to your redoing the shot, sometimes more then once. It is all a chain, the weakest link will eventually let you down. And the camera, the lens, the back, the holder, the darkroom work are all equally important in the end.

Seriously, Bob, what a crock.

The assumption that only a Linhof can deliver "critical work" quality is laughable, as is the assumption that any camera other than a Linhof will fail to maintain its settings.

And your claim that "..the camera, the lens, the back, the holder, the darkroom work are all equally important in the end..." is simply wrong. If they are equal, I should be able to put a crap lens on the "best" camera and a crap lens on the "best" camera and get identical results.

Ergo, the lens is significantly more important that the camera that it's mounted on.

Bob Salomon
17-Oct-2015, 15:02
Seriously, Bob, what a crock.

The assumption that only a Linhof can deliver "critical work" quality is laughable, as is the assumption that any camera other than a Linhof will fail to maintain its settings.

And your claim that "..the camera, the lens, the back, the holder, the darkroom work are all equally important in the end..." is simply wrong. If they are equal, I should be able to put a crap lens on the "best" camera and a crap lens on the "best" camera and get identical results.

Ergo, the lens is significantly more important that the camera that it's mounted on.

I didn't say only a Linhof, you can add Arca, Sinar and several others.

As for your other statement. No. You are simply wrong. But if your choice in a camera, lens, holder, film, etc. fits your needs then you are correct. But that does not mean it will be correct for everyone's needs.

Vaughn
17-Oct-2015, 15:24
I have greatly enjoyed my Caltar IIN 150mm/5.6. It is an APO-Sirionar-N that has been re-branded by the Calumet company. Mine is in a Copal 0 shutter -- a nice little package that performs big! If you come across a good one, it is worth it.

I have only the one lens (150mm) for my 4x5 and have been very pleased on how adaptable the focal length is to my needs, though it has been primarily landscapes (both forests and deserts -- near and far landscapes). In school I have used 135, 180 and 210mm with 4x5, but the 150 has seemed to be the most versatile for me. The Caltar IIN 180mm lens was a nice compromise...I do not hear much about folks using 180mm (7").

Daniel Unkefer
17-Oct-2015, 16:48
I guess I should have said Linhof has "lens kits" instead of lenses. I know that, Sinar, Arca, Cambo, or any other other camera maker I am aware of, (except maybe Wisner) never made any lenses. My bad.

I can also understand why one might want a Master Technika; back in the seventies (I was very young) I bought "International Photo Technique" magazine and read it cover to cover. If I remember correctly, Linhof marketed the Master Technika as "the camera than can do anything". As beautiful as it is precise to use. If I wanted a basic Master kit, I'd buy it with the 150mm Apo lens from Schneider or Rodenstock. Just because it is newer and because it is (or was) their "premium" lens line.

I've heard the "camera is a box" statement hundreds of times and I have never bought it at all. Some cameras are innovative and save the photographer time and and allow them to concentrate more on the subject, rather than the mechanics of view camera operation. Look at this old Sinar Norma ad; Sinar says the photographer can "almost" operate it blindfolded, from the rear of the camera. From nearly forty years of owning many Normas, I can attest to this. With practice it is nearly as fast to operate as a medium format reflex camera. Really. Is this an advantage? Well it was to Richard Avedon, when he was running his fashion studio back in the 1960's. And it was to me when I was shooting architecture for architects twenty-five years ago. So sure the choice of camera can make a big difference. And the camera is on permanent display in the Museum of Modern Art, for being a "industrial design object".

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sinar-Advertisement-Norma-Standard-1964-Original-Vintage-AD-/191585864424?hash=item2c9b684ae8:m:mFZBIuY_xgopm6vWqZHcPZg

IanG
17-Oct-2015, 17:22
I have greatly enjoyed my Caltar IIN 150mm/5.6. It is an APO-Sirionar-N that has been re-branded by the Calumet company. Mine is in a Copal 0 shutter -- a nice little package that performs big! If you come across a good one, it is worth it.

I have only the one lens (150mm) for my 4x5 and have been very pleased on how adaptable the focal length is to my needs, though it has been primarily landscapes (both forests and deserts -- near and far landscapes). In school I have used 135, 180 and 210mm with 4x5, but the 150 has seemed to be the most versatile for me. The Caltar IIN 180mm lens was a nice compromise...I do not hear much about folks using 180mm (7").

Calumet never sold their Caltars in the UK but you're right about their quality, I have a 135mm f5.6 Caltar-S II which is a re-badged Symmar S and it's as good as my 150mm f5.6 Sironar N.

I guess I've found a 135mm lens is a good alternative all round FL to a 150mm/ It's a few months since you left school now Vaughn :D

Ian

Alan Gales
17-Oct-2015, 17:51
The Caltar IIN 180mm lens was a nice compromise...I do not hear much about folks using 180mm (7").

It's kind of odd because 14" and 360mm are so popular for 8x10.

I liked my 14" focal length so well for 8x10 that I bought an old single coated Fujinon W 180mm f/5.6 lens for 4x5. It only cost me slightly over $150 shipped from Japan.

Lachlan 717
17-Oct-2015, 19:09
As for your other statement. No. You are simply wrong.

Care to back that up? Because I'd love to know how I can get as good a photo with a crappy lens as a good one.

djdister
17-Oct-2015, 19:13
It's kind of odd because 14" and 360mm are so popular for 8x10.

I liked my 14" focal length so well for 8x10 that I bought an old single coated Fujinon W 180mm f/5.6 lens for 4x5. It only cost me slightly over $150 shipped from Japan.

And I like my Fujinon-w 180mm on my 5x7.

Martin Aislabie
17-Oct-2015, 19:59
Ffordes are a good company to deal with - their descriptions are accurate and their prices fair and you can get a refund if its not any good when you get it.

Teamwork tend to be a bit on the expensive side but they are OK to deal with.

As I am sure you know - with E-Bay - who knows - but the Sinaron S looks nice - but its not much different in price to the Ffordes lens.

Martin

John Kasaian
17-Oct-2015, 20:01
Lots of notable photographers shoot with Linhofs. While I agree having a coupled range finder is really nice, for many subjects it isn't a necessity as Bob agreed. If I were investing in Mark V or Super I'd certainly want to have the option of a coupled rangefinder available but that wouldn't sway me from the fact that a Technika is a heck of a fine camera when using the GG and wonderful images have been made with older Technikas used in that way.
If the OP wants a Technika and can afford it, I think he ought to get one, range finder or not.
If having a coupled range finder is attractive then by all means get a suitable Linhof approved lens and worry about the cam later.
The issue I see is, will collecting all the bits and pieces keep the Linhof in the closet until it "comes together?" That isn't a good situation for a beginner.
If you want to learn about LF photography, go out and make photographs.
If you want to collect photographica, then collect photographica.

Robclarke
17-Oct-2015, 22:55
The issue I see is, will collecting all the bits and pieces keep the Linhof in the closet until it "comes together?" That isn't a good situation for a beginner.
If you want to learn about LF photography, go out and make photographs.
If you want to collect photographica, then collect photographica.

My plan is to get the camera and lenses and start using them. After that I would get the rangefinder coupling done if and when I can bear to send the kit away to have this done.

Robclarke
19-Oct-2015, 02:17
Thanks for all the advice so far. From the comments it sounds like the ffordes one is the best I am thinking of adding a couple of other lenses from them to complete my kit. I would appriciate any advice on my selections:

90mm
http://www.ffordes.com/product/15080709332881

150mm
http://www.ffordes.com/product/15081316354431

210mm:
http://www.ffordes.com/product/15032415090831

Martin Aislabie
19-Oct-2015, 04:46
Have you thought about this one - http://www.ffordes.com/product/15092317263931

Nikon lenses were as good as anyones'

Martin

IanG
19-Oct-2015, 06:56
I'd try and get a slightly faster 90mm if your budget will cover it, I have some f8 Super Angulons and they are slightly harder to focus particularly in lower light levels, the f5.6 90mm SA has better coverage as well as being a stop faster.

Ian

Robclarke
19-Oct-2015, 07:07
I'd try and get a slightly faster 90mm if your budget will cover it, I have some f8 Super Angulons and they are slightly harder to focus particularly in lower light levels, the f5.6 90mm SA has better coverage as well as being a stop faster.

Ian

Thanks Ian that was a slight concern of mine. I have made the order without the 90mm. I will do more research on the wide angle side.