View Full Version : Coverage from Schneider Xenar 4.7 135mm

Jean Nightingale
30-Nov-2006, 06:40
I purchased a Schneider Xenar 4.7 135mm just recently and will probably be returning it since shutter sticks at 1/15sec or less. However, I did try it out on my Sinar F2 and although I only lifted front by 1/2inch. the negs had vinyetted. Is this lens no use for 5x4 work? I'm new to large format so any info. greatly received.

Ole Tjugen
30-Nov-2006, 06:47
Any 135mm Tessar-type lens will only barely cover 4x5" without any movements at all. Tessar-type lenses include (but are not limited to) Tessar, Xenar, Skopar, some Ektars, Raptar, ...

Louie Powell
30-Nov-2006, 06:50
The Schenider Xenar 135mm f4.7 was intended for use on 4x5 press cameras and has very limited coverage. These cameras have very restricted movement capabilities, and couldn't take advantage of lenses with significant coverage.

Its not unusual to find a Xenar on a top-rangefinder Crown Graphic - that combination produces reasonable results when stopped down to f11 or better as long as no movements are involved. But it does vignette badly if the lens is raised or shifted.

Ernest Purdum
30-Nov-2006, 09:53
You can get more coverage in one of two ways. You can go to a longer focal length or to a lens that works at a wider angle, not necessarily a "wide angle" lens.

The "normal" focal length for 4" X 5" is about 150mm. Tessar tyoe lenses such as those Ole mentioned will give adequate coverage if about this length, or good coverage if significantly longer.

Amongst older lenses that work at wider angles are the famous Dagor (even old ones are apt to sell at rather high prices today), Kodak's Wide Field Ektar, the "Extreme Wide Angle" Wollensaks and very many others. Most recent LF lenses work at wider angles than the Tessars. Amongst the popular names are Symmar, Sironar, and Sinaron. Fuji and Nikkor also make several varieties. Information on all of these is readily available on the internet, from books and on this forum by scrolling down on the home page to the articles.

If price and/or small size is a factor, you might consider the 203mm Kodak Ektar. Most come in Supermatic shutters, some are marked "370 mount". These are in a shutter with the same mounting specifications as a Copal. I think these have an outstanding cost/benefit ratio. On 4" X 5", their coverage is sufficient for most purposes other than the most demanding architectural work.

If you care to send me your mailing address, I will send you (without charge) a booklet on the selection of lenses for view camera work.

Joseph O'Neil
30-Nov-2006, 15:15
I had one of those lenses, but found the same as you - very little movement, even if you stopped down to say F22.

It was a very sharp lens, but unless you get one at a really good price, there are a lot of good, used 135mm out there that do a much better job.

One bit of trivia - if I remember correctly, it took the same filter size as a 90mm angulon (40.5mm)


Jean Nightingale
1-Dec-2006, 01:26
Thank you all for your replies. I'll bear it in mind when I buy next time. This one is going back Jean

Richard Kelham
1-Dec-2006, 05:39
Are you wedded to that focal length? If so then one of the modern plasmats Nikkor-W, Symmar, Sironar etc will give you more wriggle room. A 150mm will give you even more.

I used to have a 135mm Xenar which I used on an Arca monrail and I was very happy with it, but it was used almost exclusively in the studio for pack-shot and similar, fairly close up, work where it gave plenty of covering power. At infinity it would have been tight. For field work I now use a 150mm Sironar.

Happy hunting.


Emmanuel BIGLER
1-Dec-2006, 07:10
A simple rule for tessars/xenars and lenses of similar design : maximum coverage is about 60° @f/22, this corresponds to an image circle which diameter is = focal length +15%.

Modern (and less modern of same angle of coverage ;) ) 6-element view camera lenses cover from 70° to 75° i.e. in diameter their focal length plus 40 to 50%.

Glenn Thoreson
2-Dec-2006, 19:25
That lens was, among other things, original equipment on the Graflex Crown Graphic Special. It was an "economy" grade lens. The Crown Graphic only has about 1/2 inch or so of front rise, so coverage wasn't much of an issue. The 135 - 4.7 Xenar is the only thing that made the Crown Graphic Special, "special".