View Full Version : 120 6.8 angulon question

7-Dec-2006, 19:05

Shooting with a 120 6.8 angulon (single coated) SN makes it from the 50s I believe.

Sometimes I get the feeling that the lens is softish (looking at a 32x40 print--its noticible at 24x30 too). It definately seems softer than when I shoot with a 90 on my RZ (enlarging to 24x30).

Is the lens slightly soft?
Am I crazy?
Is this a result of it being single coated?
Should I not be compairing it to a med. format lens?

And, if it is inherently softish what might you suggest I buy as a replacement? ($300 range... max $400)


Frank Petronio
7-Dec-2006, 19:12
You might try a test shooting it stopped down >f/32. When I had a 90 Angulon I wasn't very impressed until f/32, where it became (to my eye, not a test chart) as sharp as a modern 90mm lens. Also are you printing from the Angulon with a little more contrasty paper or process than the RZ? The Mamiya lenses are very sharp but sometimes at the expense of other qualites IMHO.

7-Dec-2006, 20:27

I'm scanning my film on an Imacon and printing 24x30 (both RZ and 4x5 film).

While I understand that the analog --> digital process "softens" the image, it still seems that the angulon is softer....... if i blow it up further the softness becomes unacceptable.

I've shot from 6.8-32 and they all seem soft to me.


7-Dec-2006, 20:41
Angulons were noted in their day for highly variable quality from lens to lens. You may indeed have a lemon.

Ole Tjugen
7-Dec-2006, 23:55
One unique "feature" of the Angulon design is that only the outer element in each cell is mounted in the barrel; the others are only held in place by the cement. That induces a risk of "creep", especially if the lens is stored on edge in a warm place. Decentered elements give a soft image.

Good Angulons should always be stored flat.

I've blown up an image from a 165mm f:6.8 Angulon (used on 5x7" EPP at f:32) to 100x140cm - 40x56"), and it's still sharp.

9-Dec-2006, 09:35
So, the question is, what should I replace this angulon with?

The angulon is supposed to be able to cover 5x7. I like the freedom that gives me.

It seems that most 120 lenses have smaller image circles. What should I be looking for?


Michael Graves
9-Dec-2006, 09:44
I've got a 120mm 6.8 that is sharp as a tack as long as it's stopped down to f11 or f16. It's a bit soft at wider apertures and diffraction is noticable at f32. f22 is good enough that I'll use it when I want more depth of field.

One thing I've noticed about Schneider lenses is that they seem to be incredibly inconsistent. I had two different 180mm Scneider lenses. One was so damned soft it was plain fuzzy and not amount of stopping it down helped. I sold it for $35.00 as a parts lens. The other was sharper than a gnat's ass, even wide open. It got stolen. (Couldn't steal the crappy one, could they?)

A studio I once worked for had a 120mm Nikkor. I totally loved that lens. It covered 8x10 with a bit of room to spare at table-top distances. I never used it in the field, so I'm not sure how it would do at infinity. If I didn't have a 120mm Angulon, I'd be in the market for a Nikkor. I have three different Fuji lenses, and I love them all. But I'm not sure if they ever made a 120 with that much coverage. If I find out they did, my Angulon is for sale after I locate a Fujinon.

Jim Galli
9-Dec-2006, 10:36
At least 3 120 Angulons have come and gone at my house. I have a 125 Fujinon-W f5.6 that is the early single coated version and it continues to stun me. It is my most used 4X5 lens.

Frank Petronio
9-Dec-2006, 10:51
There is always the predictable answer: get a 110XL. Groan....

Ted Harris
9-Dec-2006, 11:47
Frank, right, groan but once eyouo get it it will instantly become one of the lenses you cannot do without.

Oren Grad
9-Dec-2006, 12:04
If you can stretch as far as $500 and don't mind carrying a bit of extra weight, watch eBay for a 115mm Grandagon / Caltar II-N / Sinaron W. A few with clean glass have gone by in recent months around that price - I picked up a 115 Sinaron not too long ago.

I'd say look for a 120 Super Angulon too, except that the SA's that sell at that price or lower tend to be older ones, while the 115 Rodenstock isn't that old a design, so any one you find will be modern glass in a late model shutter.

9-Dec-2006, 13:30
The Nikkor SW 120 f8 is a fine lens. It is sharp with good contrast. I use it for landscape work mostly and find it performs well. I have been tempted to buy a Schneider 110XL but can't find enough to complain about with the Nikkor to motivate me to spend the considerable $$$ that the Schneider will cost. The Nikkor can be found used fairly easily and is modestly priced. I recommend it, especially if you think an 8x10 might be in your future.
Dave B.

David Karp
9-Dec-2006, 14:37
At least 3 120 Angulons have come and gone at my house. I have a 125 Fujinon-W f5.6 that is the early single coated version and it continues to stun me. It is my most used 4X5 lens.

I have the next version with EBC multicoating (52mm filters) and it is my favorite too.

Ole Tjugen
9-Dec-2006, 14:54
At the moment I haven't got a 120mm Angulon. I have a 90, a 165 and a 210mm; but no 120mm. So I make do with a 121mm f:6.3 Leitmeyr Weitwinkel-Anastigmat, which as far as I can tell is a copy of the 120/6.8 Angulon. It seems to have a little bit tighter coverage so that it doesn't quite cover 5x7", but it's a fine lens for 4x5".

Chuck Pere
10-Dec-2006, 07:45
If you want cheap and small maybe look for a 120 Osaka or Congo. Mine covers 5x7OK with no movements and seems sharp enough. MC in modern Copal shutter. No 110XL I'm sure. And I'd really prefer the 120 f8 Nikon but its just too big for me to carry with other lenses.

28-Dec-2006, 07:38

Thanks for all your help. I ended up sending my angulon back to MPEX (what a great return policy!!!) and trading up for a 9++ Fujinon 125 CM-W.

I haven't been able to dev. my new negs yet but I'm really digging what I see in the ground glass....it looks sharper. (This could be all in my head--a justification for spending $$ I don't have)

Anyways, Thanks!