View Full Version : Buying a lens = headache.. the lessons learned

6-Sep-2006, 16:49
Recently I bought an used Toyo 45Aii camera, and bought a Nikon 150W lens to start off. That was the easy part. Got my first Provia chrome back and was very happy that it turned out well. Still a ton to learn though.

After renting a 75mm lens for the weekend, I determined that it was the right lens for me. I shoot landscapes and my 24mm lens (35mm) and my 50mm (6x7) are my favorite. So the search began....ouch...I wasn't quite prepared to learn about the deep details of the cosine to the 4th, light fall-off, or about lens fogging but I kept reading. So many choices, and everything costing a pretty penny.

For all of the previous posts and the many detailed answers, thank you. I was able to confidently buy a used 75 f4.5 Caltar II-N lens from the Midwest Photo Exchange. The price was right, and I am sure that it will work for me. Great service too...if it doesn't work for me I can return it.

Without the help from this forum I would have probably bought the Schneider SS 80XL. I am glad that I found out about Mpex and saving a ton of money for equal enough results. It' not that the Rodenstock is so much better than anything else, but it's a lens that is just as good as anything else. Just have to get out there and shoot....the lesson that I learned.


Ralph Barker
6-Sep-2006, 17:19
Glad the archives here worked for you, Loren. Have fun with the 75.

6-Sep-2006, 17:29
Hi Loren,

I think we've all been there... done that with respects to the learning curve. But, it's still fun!

And, dealing with Jim at Midwest Photo was a brilliant move... he's as honest and straight-forward as the day is long. Likewise for Jeff at Badger Graphics. Good people they are!

And, congratulations on the 75 Caltar... nice piece of glass at a pretty reasonable price these days. :)


Ron Marshall
6-Sep-2006, 18:27
I have the same lens and am very satisfied with it.

6-Sep-2006, 19:31
One of the fun things about LF photography is the chance to use many different types of lenses and never stop wondering if a better one is around the corner. Unlike 35mm, in LF, the camera maker and the lens maker are almost never the same folks. The used market is such that one can usually turn lenses around and never get hurt too badly. Most of us use lenses that are far better than we are with the lens never being the limiting thing in our photography. That being true, the search for the perfect lens never stops. It is like the search for the Holy Grail.
For learning, I recommend the CD that View Camera magazine sells as a wonderful summary of the collected wisdom on LF lenses. The features were written by many of the folks who post here and it is a great place to start.
Dave B.

Stephen Willard
7-Sep-2006, 03:45
I have had my Nikkor SW 75mm for years now. When I shot primarily 4x5 it was my main lens. I have taken some great photographs with the lens over the years. It sits in my bag unused now because its image circle is too small for the larger formats I now shoot. Even though my 75mm lens is an idle lens, I will never sell it. I just bagged too many wonderful photographs with it to put it on the auction block and sell it to the highest bidder.

David Karp
7-Sep-2006, 13:13
I have the Rodenstock branded version of your lens. I think you will be very happy with it.