View Full Version : Actual Coverage of 120 APO-Symmar L and 125 CM-W

Scott Rosenberg
8-Jul-2006, 15:33
looking to find a more back pack friendly stand-in for my favorite lens, my 110-XL. the 2 obvious choices are the 120 APO Symmar L and the 125 CM-W. i know the listed image circle specs for each (189 vs. 204), but have been told that Schneider is very conservative whilst Fuji is quite optimistic in their reported IC's. just wondering if anyone can comment on the actual IC of these two lenses... are they comparable? i know either is going to be tight on 4x5, so was hoping to go with whichever gave me the most wiggle room.


Matus Kalisky
10-Jul-2006, 03:04
Hello Scott,

I bought a fujinon 125 CMW a couple of weeks ago (used). Originaly I wanted to get the Apo Symmar 120, but then I realised that there is 10mm in coverage difference between Apo Symmar and Apo Symmar L (179mm versus 189mm). I also could not afford this lens.

I may try somehow to measure the image circle at ininfinity (something like focusing on evenly lit wall - remowing the ground glass after focusing and putting a plain paper there or using some movements).

I did only 3 pictures with this lens yet (two of them are to be found in the "On photography" part of this forum) so very little experience here, but I did not feel limited in movements on my Tachihara when playing with it.

But please be aware that I am an absolute greenhorn here and hope for more experienced users replies.


Walter Foscari
10-Jul-2006, 11:27
I used to own a Fuji 125 NW (previous series multicoated). Claimed coverage 198mm but I often pushed movement to over 200 mm of image circle without vignetting or noticeable soft edges. Whether the new series behaves the same way I can't tell, but was very happy with that specimen. Also keep in mind that the new fujis are not that compact (67mm filter mount). Ultimately sold my 125 for a Schneider 120 SA (too big) and finally settled for a Schneider 120 SS HM; couldn't be happier.

Colin Graham
11-Jul-2006, 14:25
This looks to be an NW if'n you're interested. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=018&item=280005260884&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&rd=1
They claim it to have a 210 circle, which seems close, but havent measured mine. Great lens.

Scott Rosenberg
11-Jul-2006, 14:31
hi collin, i saw that lens, too. you are correct, it is an NW. they came in 2 flavors, first with a 55mm filter thread, and more recently with a 52mm thread. this is one of the earlier 55mm varieties.


Walter Foscari
12-Jul-2006, 13:44
"They claim it to have a 210 circle..."
That is probably wrong. 210 was the ic for the previous single coated series. AFAIK the NWs all had an ic of 198. See http://members.aol.com/subgallery/byfl.htm and of course Kerry's site.

David Rees
12-Jul-2006, 13:59
120 APO L is my most used lens on 5x4; plenty of coverage for landscape work on my Wista DX wooden field camera. Can't recall ever running out of image circle, so I reckon the 189mm quoted is definitely conservative. It is also small, light, and very sharp. I picked mine up cheap 2nd-hand, and consider I got a bargain.

Jack Flesher
12-Jul-2006, 14:27
Not a definitive answer but...

I had the Fuji 125 several years ago -- an older single-coated one -- it had about as much usable IC as my nikkor 135 at the time and was not as sharp.

I recently sold my 120 APO Symmar (non-L) when I bought a 110 SSXL. That lens seemed to have about the same usable IC as the 125 Fuji/135 Nikkor of years past.

Finding the 110 way overkill in weight and IC and a bit shorter than I really prefer for my field work, I was missing my 120 APO a lot. SO I bought another -- but this time an APO L. I can say the APO L is even sharper than the non-L and I have not yet run out of adjustments with it.

Hope this helps,

Scott Rosenberg
12-Jul-2006, 15:13
thanks, all. jack, your experiences are similar to my own. sounds like the 120 AS-L will make a fine stand-in when i don't feel like lugging around my 110-XL.