View Full Version : Opinions of the Super Symmar 110 XL?

Glenn Kroeger
7-Feb-2000, 14:26
There seem to be a variety of opinions of this lens. Now that Schneider has ramp ed up production, and prices have fallen, I was interested in comments from thos e using the lens.

I will use it exclusively for 4x5. Is it as sharp as claimed? What about light f alloff on 4x5. Several posters have questioned whether it is worse in this aspec t than say a 90mm f4.5.

I have looked at the graphs on Schneider's web site, and they seem to indicate t hat it has the same falloff with angle as about all of the other lenses, I presu me close to cos^4.

Thanks for sharing your experience since this will be my most used lens.

Paul Schilliger
7-Feb-2000, 15:57
Glenn, you frighten me ! I just bought one in exchange of my Super Angulon 120. What terrible disillusions lay ahead of poor me? No, I can't believe this lens is not exceptional, though I still have to test it. Schneider reports say it is very sharp to the edges at f22, it has very little l ight falloff and covers even more than a Super-Angulon 120. It also has a lens coating that allows shooting i n the sun. In fact they are not shamed to claim it is the best lens of it's class in the world. As Schneider has an honesty reputation, I can believe it. On their web site, there is a flattering report from Jack Dyki nga on this lens. What I can say so far is that this lens is half the size and weight of the Super-Angulon 12 0 despite being in Copal 1 ! It also has a useful rear filter thread (small!). I will look closely for report s from owners. Speaking of the price fall, if you contact me I will tell you how much I paid for it.

Ross Martin
8-Feb-2000, 00:34

Can you give the link to the Jack Dykinga report on the 110mm XL? I have searched the Schneider homepage but am unable to find the article.


Paul Schilliger
8-Feb-2000, 07:51
Ross, here are a few links to Schneideroptics.com pages http://www.schneideroptics.com/pdf/supersymmarxl.pdf http://www.schneideroptics.com/pressreleases/Super_Symmar_XL.html http://www.schneideroptics.com/pressreleases/pr02.htm

Paul Schilliger
8-Feb-2000, 07:54
Oups! Sorry, the forum software has compressed and deactivated the html links. You'll have to use the copy-paste function.

paul owen
8-Feb-2000, 16:57
Glen, take it from me this lens is everything and more that Schneider claim it to be!!! I am using it with "extreme" shift and rise/fall and have found no fall-off whatsoever. Jack Dykinga uses this lens to great effect (I believe it is the lens he uses most) and take a look at any of his work as proof of this lens' sharpness (Dykinga uses Velvia so it shows the lens'full potential). I have seen 5x7 shot with this lens and it more than adequately copes with most movements. Schneider are well known for underestimatimg image circle measurements in their literature so I wouldn't worry about it!! Here in the U.K. this lens can be bought from Robert White (www.robertwhite.co.uk) for about #860 (Stirling) and he offers a mail orderc service that is second to none, if prices are too high where you live. I only wish I could afford the 210mm XL when it arrives!!!! Regards Paul

Natha Congdon
9-Feb-2000, 18:06
To those considering buying this lens: I bought the 150 version for $1400 (about 1/2 the US price) from a Hong Kong dealer, New Sankyo:


They are extremely reliable in my experience, and very helpful. I can only assume that they will beat the US price on the 110 by a long shot. Obviously, you will not get the US warranty, and it depends on how you feel about grey market. But it's quite a price differential. Just my $0.02.


Michael S. Briggs
15-Feb-2000, 21:25
From the data of Schneider's web site, the light falloff seems to be cos^4 theta. I don't find this a problem for 4x5. Wide-angle designs like the Super-Angulon have somewhat better fall-off characteristics, which might be advantagous for 5x7.

As a test of this lens, I just photographed a 12 story brick building from about half a block away, using 50 mm of lens rise and 4x5 Delta 100. Each mortar joint between each brick is clearly resolved. The negatives look sharp with a 9X loupe and over most of the field the grainess of Delta may be the limiting factor. At the very top, at 9X magnification, there MAY be a slight softening. On the other hand, the angular size of the mortar joints are smaller because of the greater distance to the subject. It may also be the light falloff changing the contrast in the negative. In my opinion, the performance of the lens was impressive.

Michael S. Briggs
15-Feb-2000, 21:34
The photo described in my previous message was taken in portrait orientation on 4x5 Delta 100 with 50 mm of front rise at f16.

john costo
25-Feb-2000, 03:09
The short answer is: the 110/5.6 XL is incredible. I'd be shocked if it didn't become your favorite lens.

Paul Schilliger
29-Feb-2000, 15:36
Glenn, I was just getting hold of that lens when you asked for some feedback, so now, after taking a few shots with it, I can assure you this lens is outstanding! It's the first time I see the quality of my medium format wide angles not equaled but surpassed in a large format lens. A first set of shots was taken in the sunset on a frozen lake. There is not the slightest flare or light spot on a ny of them, even when the sun was not in the center of the image! On the bad side, I realize I could not a chieve full depth of field from 2.5m to infinity at f32.5. I did not use tilt not to blur some branches fal ling from a nearby tree. I think the Super-Angulon 90 mm would have handled more depth of field. The second set of shots, I made in an abbey from the 11th century. The nave was delicately painted and I used a fair bit of rise to have it up to the summit. I posed 4 mn on Provia II (twice the indicated time). I receiv ed the slides today and man, I will have to purchase a stronger magnifier to see the limits of resolutio n! The tyniest details and every mark of scissor left into the soft stone appear sharply right into the cor ners of the slide. There is no perceptible fall off despite the 40 mm rise in vertical format and the painti ngs are soft and colored where the Super-Angulon 120 would have produced darker corners (I used no center filter). Another field for this lens is close-ups. Table tops are definitely fine and I took an orchid about 1:1 with great depth of field. The image on the GG was looking great unfortunately I overexposed 1 stop, so I will have to try again. On the question asked to me if it would replace a 90mm, I would say yes a nd no. Despite being only 20 mm afar, this is enormous for a wide-angle. It covers 30 % less in angle, 50 % less in image surface . In the other end, for outdoor shots, this focal works great and it will advantag eously replace the Super-Angulons 90 and 120 when trying to hike "light". This is a 850 g economy! This was the main reason that pushed me to acquire this lens. But now that I have used it, I find many ot her reasons to be extremely pleased with it.

Andre Noble
17-Feb-2010, 09:35
Save $1200 U.S. and buy the lens (brand new, B&H for $800) that Kirk Gittings and others (myself included) are very fond of: The Nikon 120 f8 SW. It's the 5x7 equivalent of the vvenerable Nikon 90 SW f8. Sharp as a razor, covers 8x10, built like a Russian tank. Heck, buy two.

Mark Stahlke
17-Feb-2010, 10:21
I suspect the original poster made his choice about 10 years ago.