View Full Version : Best 90mm lens for a Pacemaker crown graphic

Gerry Roberts
8-Apr-2006, 10:48
I have just purchase a Pacemaker Crown Graphic (4x5) and I am now in the process looking for the best 90mm lens for this camera. I was wondering if anyone has any favorites they would like to share?



steve simmons
8-Apr-2006, 11:26
I would suggest the 90mm f8 Fuji, Rodenstock or the Schneider Super Angulon f8. I would not recommend the Angulon. I have never been a fan of this older lens. These f8 models will be smaller and lighter than the f6.8 or 5.6 lenses. I would also suggest getting one of the screen brighteners to brighten the image on the groundglass.

steve simmons

Rod Stewart
8-Apr-2006, 12:16
Hi Steve Simmons,

Which screen brighter(s) would you recommend for a Toyo 45AII?

Thank You,
Rod Stewart

Ralph Barker
8-Apr-2006, 12:47
Gerry - if you are focusing on the ground glass, as opposed to using the rangefinder, you may find the f8 lenses a bit dark in all but the brightest of scenes. I switched to a 90/5.6 Super Angulon and focusing was much easier. The drawback to the 5.6 lenses of this design, howeve, is the size of the rear element. I'd suggest measuring the throat of your bellows, and checking that against the lens specs (there are diagrams with measurements on the Schneider site (http://www.schneideroptics.com/photography/).

Another alternative in that approximate focal length would the the 80mm/f4.5 Super Symmar XL. It's considerably more compact than the Super Angulons.

8-Apr-2006, 13:00
It depends on the use you will put it to. For ordinary photography, especially landscape, then a 90mm Angulon or Wide-Angle Raptar is quite good enough, when stopped down to f:16 or more. They're smaller and a heck of a lot less expensive than the Other Ones mentioned above. You'll find lots of them already mounted on the appropiate Graphic lensboard.

William Mortensen
8-Apr-2006, 13:07
While I don't have first-hand knowledge, I seriously doubt you could fold up any press camera with a Super-Angulon or similarly sized lens inside. This may or may not be a factor for you.

Ted Harris
8-Apr-2006, 13:10
Rod, If your 45 AII is original from the factory then it should already have the Toyo Superscreen, their fresnel, installed. I find this to be a bright screen, even in relatively dim dusk light and use it all the time with an f9 300mm lens.

If this is is your setup then the gg or screen may be dirty. If it is not what you have it is a good place to start.

To a certain exten screen brightness is subjective ... what is very bright for me may be dim for you.

Ted Harris
8-Apr-2006, 13:19
Sorry got my screen terminology confused ... superscreen is a different one. The Toyo factory installed fresnel screen is called a 'Super Brite' and these words are actully written on one of the lower corners of the screen.

tim atherton
8-Apr-2006, 13:30
or a nikkor sw 90mm f8 - superb lens if you can find one.

I've used this with the Toyo 45A and Toyo's brightscreen. It's not the bightest of the lot (for that I'd pick a Maxwell) - but does pretty well.

I've shot lots of interiors with this. It's got a bit dark in dim rooms and corners, but I've never not been able to use it.

As much as I really like most Fuji lenses, I've found I preferred the nikkor 90mm f8 to the fuji (though the latter is often cheaper)

Kevin Crisp
8-Apr-2006, 14:19
Gerry: Are you planning on hand holding the camera? If so, the 90mm angulon is the way to go and it will fold up into the camera. I have found the later ones (serial nos. with a 7 or higher) to be quite decent. The modern lenses are vastly bigger and heavier. If you are using the camera as a field camera with the ground glass for focussing, the major manufacturers all make nice ones.

Joseph O'Neil
8-Apr-2006, 14:52
I have a 90mm Angulon, Linhof verion, that i use for backpacking with either my Crown or Speed graphics. It is a sharp lens, extremely compact, and very light for backpacking.

However the drawbacks are small area of coverage, so not a lot of movements, even stopped all the way down, and secondly, the focus is so tight / pulled back in towards the screen that you have almost no room for even basic movements like front rise or front sideways shift. It is very tight.

Avoid some of the F5.6 - 90mm lenses, various brands, not because they are not good, but depending on the lens, you might find that the rear element is so large that you have difficulty using it. With the lens board removed for example, my larger 90mm lens, the rear element is almost too large to fit through the that opening. The suggestion of an F8, 90mm lens is a a good one.

If on a budget, the Wollensak 90mm Raptar is a suprizingly decent lens. When you see them, they tend to be inexpensive. Drawbacks are include no movements - the image circle just covers the 4x5 film. Also, to get a sharp image, I always had to stop waaaay down to like F22 or more when I had one.

Despite the drawbacks of the 90mm Angulon, and having another 90mm and 105mm lenses, I keep using my 90mm Angulon for it sharpness and extreme compackness - it takes up almost no room in my backpack. I fyou do get one, the filter size for that lens is 40.5mm

good luck


Gerry Roberts
8-Apr-2006, 14:56
I already have a Wisner 4x5 that I just love. I have all the lens that I need for the camera, what I want with my Pacemaker is some hand holding shots and portability. I'm looking for a small 90mm lens thats sharp. I already have a Kodak ektar 203mm 7.7 and a Schneider 135mm f4.7 lens. I've heard that you have to be careful that the Scheider 90mm angulon before WWII may not be worth getting, but if you pick up an older model, you might have a better chance getting a nice lens.

Frank Petronio
8-Apr-2006, 15:45
Look for a late model Schneider 90/6.8 Angulon (>7 million serial number) in a late model Compur or Copal. The big advantage is it will fold up in the camera and be as sharp as anything else. I wouldn't trust the older ones, Schneider quietly improved its lenses over time, but I would consider a Linhof engraved one if possible.

The larger 90s are great but like you said, you're using a Crown so you won't be doing many movements anyway.

Frank Petronio
8-Apr-2006, 17:00
BTW, a modern 75/6.8 Rodenstock Grandagon will close in a Crown Graphic (barely).

Wayne R. Scott
8-Apr-2006, 20:10
How about the Bausch & Lomb 88mm? It will fold up into the camera body.


9-Apr-2006, 13:31
While otherwise a superb lens, I will have to disagree with Ralph -- I feel the difference between the SSXL 80mm and 90mm lenses is consequential. In fact, I recently sold mine, replacing it with a Nikkor W 90, which I prefer. At some point, the view crosses the line between nice-and-wide, and mighty-dang-too-super-wide; for me, for 4x5, it happens between 80mm and 90mm.

I'm sure that the quality of all reasonably modern 90's is just fine, so you can make a selection based on other factors, like cost, weight, brightness.

9-Apr-2006, 20:04
i had a 90mm wollensak raptar and never had any problems with image circle or sharpness ...
i used it to document a quarry, and had to use as much tilt as i could get out of my camera and the lens worked just fine (stopped down to 16). the problem i had with it was not the coverage or shapness, but the rapax shutter never stayed "tuned up" ... ... my lens had a purple dot (i think it was purple) maybe that was the difference?