View Full Version : Schneider SS 150 XL on 4x5?

Henry Ambrose
26-Apr-2006, 16:18
Of course there is no reason to choose this lens if I was going to use it only on 4x5 and I have two fine 150mm lenses for that format already. But I am lusting for a wide angle for my 8x10 and the Schneider 150 XL looks like the one. What I'm thinking is that I'll sell one of my current 150s to help finance the XL. They are expensive, even used.

Other than the obvious reasons (weight, size, big sucking sound from wallet) will I miss anything going from a 150mm Rodenstock Sironar W (great lens) to the Schenider? I can cope with the filter situation, the physical size and weight as I'll still have a nice little APO Symmar for when the XL is too extreme overkill.

Might bellows flare become a problem from all that extra image circle? Is the Schneider less sharp since its a WA design for a larger format? Is there anything I'm missing?

I like and use a 150 a lot on 4x5 and I don't want to go backwards from where I am now. Any comments (especially from users) about the Schneider 150 Super Symmar XL on 4x5?

Scott Rosenberg
26-Apr-2006, 18:24
henry, i have the 150-XL and use it often on 4x5. if you can bear the weight, it's a fantastic lens.


Andre Noble
26-Apr-2006, 21:51
Didn't someone ask something similar on photonet a few months ago about getting a third 150 LF lens. As I recall his idea was shot down. Also many of us have to work on curbing the Lens Aqusition Syndrome, but when one uses words like, 'lust" it's a pretty dead give away you don't need that particular lens.

Lust after some nicely developed negatives, or making a nice print of previously unprinted negative.

PS, Agreed the 150xl looks beautiful, and if you didn't already have (2) 150's I'd say go for it.

Henry Ambrose
27-Apr-2006, 06:48

The 150 XL won't be a third 150, I'm thinking of replacing one I have now. 4x5 gear makes me money, a wide angle for my 8x10 may not as 8x10 is not my main work tool, hence the "lust" comment. I don't "need" one to continue my existence on this planet.

If this was a simple business decision -- if I needed a particular lens for paying work I wouldn't be asking this, I'd have already bought it if I needed it. But I still like shooting 8x10 and if the 150XL has no disadvantages on 4x5 other than the obvious ones I listed I'm thinking I'll buy one and sell my 150 Sironar W to help pay for it. The XL will drop right into the slot in my case where the Sironar sits now.

I'm just trying to be sure that the big lens will be -great- on 4x5. I don't want to disadvantage myself by substituting the new lens for an old one that I know works great.

Does that clear up what I'm asking?
Maybe I blatthered too much in the original question and maybe again here.

I'm really looking for --technical-- answers.

Ed Richards
27-Apr-2006, 10:07
What camera are you using? Bellows flare might be an issue. OTHO, I doubt you could tell much real world difference between the apo symmar and the 150xl or the sironar, so you could just buy the 150xl and use it only on the 8x10. Hard on the rationale, but it would making handling the 4x5 a lot easier.:-)

27-Apr-2006, 11:50
The bellows flare is often a false problem. If you want to avoid it you can make a short collar on the back part of the lens and eliminate it completely. Make a geometry drawing first to see how long a collar you need.

Scott Rosenberg
27-Apr-2006, 18:02
i've never experienced any bellows flare when using the lens on 4x5...

this shot (http://www.srosenberg.com/Website7/slot-canyon-bw2.html) was taken with my 150-XL on 4x5... and here's (http://www.srosenberg.com/images/150-XL-Detail.jpg) a detail of the sandstone in the lower left-corner - it's a wonderfully sharp lens with great resolving power for fine-detail.

Henry Ambrose
27-Apr-2006, 20:31
OK, if no one comes up with a good reason -not to- pretty soon...

Ralph Barker
27-Apr-2006, 22:30
psssst. <small>Go ahead, Henry, do it. ;-) </small>

Oren Grad
27-Apr-2006, 22:37
Ah, but anyone can buy a 150 SS-XL off the shelf. That 150 W, on the other hand, is a rare prize...

evan clarke
28-Apr-2006, 05:10
Hi Henry,
I have the 150 SS XL and use it on my 8x10 as a wonderful wide angle. I use it on my 2 Arca 4x5s and it is wonderful there also. You can make all the rise and shift movements you desire and never exceed the image circle. I have experienced a little flaring when shooting into the sun but would have gotten it with almost any other 150. The big hitch is filtration. You have to use something like a Lee setup because the lens has a BIG front element..Evan Clarke

28-Apr-2006, 06:10
It's because of the BIG front element that the lens is much more prone to the lens flare. There is the weakest point of its use in comparison with other 150s.

Henry Ambrose
28-Apr-2006, 06:17
Oren, thats part of the story too, I should keep the Sironar W - its mighty nice. So maybe now its a matter of how bad do I need a wide 8x10 lens. Anyone want to buy a kidney?
; >)

Thanks guys!

28-Apr-2006, 06:37
It's clear you need it badly. The sooner you get over with it the better for your kidneys.

Ted Harris
28-Apr-2006, 07:23
Scott, nice image but the picture caption says 110 XL.

Oren, interesting point on the 150 W but IIRC it doesn't come close to covering 8x10. It is one of my most used lenses because, while a bit larger than other 150's it is still not nearly as big as the 150 XL and it covers both 4x5 and 5x7 with plent of room for movements. I will admit that when I got it I was surprised at its superb performance; surprised that it was, if anything, better than the S lenses but that is all subjective, I have never done any testing of the lens, just happily use it and consider myself licky that Jim foundme one in less than six months when I decided I needed it.

Scott Rosenberg
28-Apr-2006, 08:05
hi ted, yes, the caption is wrong. sometimes little details like that get overlooked during mass website updates - one of a few i've noticed lately.

Oren Grad
28-Apr-2006, 08:35
Oren, interesting point on the 150 W but IIRC it doesn't come close to covering 8x10.

Ted, that's exactly right - rated coverage is 252mm. But if I were in Henry's situation, unless I was truly desperate to have the big lens for 8x10, I would try to muster my patience, keep the W and save my pennies for a while longer until I could add the SS-XL without having to sell the W.

As for performance of the W relative to the S, I'm still getting used to mine, so I'm not really sure yet. Quite a while back, someone - I think it was Arne Croell - posted a link to comparative MTFs for the 300 N, S and W, and at least in that focal length, there was a clear, if modest, tradeoff of contrast to get the extra coverage. Also remains to be seen how the subtleties of the bokeh compare. Regardless, the 150 W is a super lens, not to be given up lightly.

Henry Ambrose
28-Apr-2006, 11:46
Oren has convinced me to hold on to the W. In the meantime I guess I'll keep looking for a used 150XL while piling up the dough.

28-Apr-2006, 11:59
The kidneys, Henry, the kidneys..! You live dangerously.