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View Full Version : 480mm f9.4 Schneider SYMMAR S or Nikkor 450M?



SAShruby
2-Mar-2007, 12:33
Well,

I did some search for threads about this lens, there is not too much info.

I am looking into 8x20 lens as everybody knows (see WTB Nikkor 450M) thread.
I see popping up on *bay 480mm f9.4 Schneider SYMMAR S quite a lot.

Similar lens I consider are:

Fuji Fujinon CM W 450
Nikon Nikkor M 450

Rodenstock APO Sironar N 480
Schneider APO Artar 480
Schneider APO Symmar 480
Schneider Symmar S 480

There is lot of info for Nikkor.
But,can you tell me difference between Symmar and APO Symmar?
What is the difference between Nikkor and those two?
Why everybody is singing about Nikkor and nobody about those two?
Is there any bigger limitation to movements vs Nikkor because they are more robust?

Off topic:
if anybody has an old (lettering inside) Fuji Fujinon CM W 450, I might consider buying it as well.

Cheers,

Ted Harris
2-Mar-2007, 12:43
Peter,

I don't have the stats handy but IIRC the Nikkor 450M has the largest image circle of the lenses you are looking at. I have owned the 480 Apo Artar and traded it for the 450M because my Apo Artar was unacceptably soft ... could have just been my particular lens but it was a very late Schneider serial number whe their QC was well under control. I find the 450M a much better performer.

Oren Grad
2-Mar-2007, 12:44
The 480 Symmar-S is HUGE compared to the 450 Nikkor-M. If you're considering it seriously, make sure that both you and your camera's front standard are up to carrying it. I'm also not sure whether it will cover 8x20. By specification it should fall a bit short, and I don't know whether the limit specified by Schneider is purely a matter of image quality or whether the mount mechanically vignettes beyond that point.

SAShruby
2-Mar-2007, 12:53
You see,

Nikkor has defined image circle 440mm at f22. I know it is compact therefore if you stop it more down you would get bigger image circle. The construction of the lens (front and rear glass is closer than Scheiders ones allow you to obtain bigger image circle).

Dorf easily handles heavy glass like Schneider 210SA in my case, which is I believe the most heaviest modern lens.

Oren, that is exactly the question, Does someone uses Schneider 480's for 8x20 with movements?

Thanks.

naturephoto1
2-Mar-2007, 12:58
Hi Peter,

The Nikon M450 mm lens is a Tessar Design- 4 elements in 3 groups.

The Schneider 480mm Apo Artar, Rodenstock 480mm Apo Ronar, and Fuji 450mm C lenses are all Dialyte Design- 4 elements in 4 Groups. The Schneider is single coated at best as far as I know; the Rodenstocks are available as I recall earlier as single coated and later as multicoated; the Fuji 450mm C is multicoated. The Fuji 450C is in a Copal 1 shutter while the Schneider Apo Artar 480mm and the Rodenstock 480mm lenses are in Copal 3 shutters.

The Rodenstock Sironar N and Sironar S 480mm lenses and the Schneider Symmar S, Apo Symmar, and Apo Symmar L 480mm lenses are Plasmats- 6 elements in 4 groups. These lenses are all quite large and fit into a Copal 3 shutter. The Sironar S is the more advanced of the 2 Rodenstock lenses with ED glass. The Schneider Apo Symmar lenses are newer than the Symmar S lenses, and the Apo Symmar L lenses are the most current with improved designs and more environmental friendly glasses.

The Fuji f8 450mm CMW has 6 elements in 6 groups, is multicoated, fits into a Copal 3 shutter and is also quite large.

Rich

SAShruby
2-Mar-2007, 13:05
Thanks NP1,

that explains why Scheiders are more robust. More glass = More space = More far from the center of the shutter = smaller image circle if you stop down.

Now the question is, is it worthed to buy them or not?

Ole Tjugen
2-Mar-2007, 13:05
For some strange reason Schneider didn't state image circles larger than 500mm. Sinthe the Symmar-S is a Plasmat, it should cover 70 degrees, making the image circle (quick mental calculation here) at least 640mm. That's plenty for 8x20.

If there's a shutter that can take it, I would believe it's a Compound #5 or possibly a Compur Electric #5...

Oren Grad
2-Mar-2007, 13:08
There is no 480 Apo-Sironar-S.

Peter, yes, if you/the camera can handle a 210 SA, the 480 Symmar-S will be easy by comparison. So coverage is indeed the issue.

naturephoto1
2-Mar-2007, 13:12
There is no 480 Apo-Sironar-S.

Peter, yes, if you/the camera can handle a 210 SA, the 480 Symmar-S will be easy by comparison. So coverage is indeed the issue.

Thanks Oren,

I wasn't sure regarding an 489mm Apo Sironar S. I guess they only go up to the 360mm. But, the lenses in the Apo Sironar S series do use ED glass while the Apo Sironar N lenses use flint glass.

Rich

John Powers
2-Mar-2007, 13:14
Peter,

On the LF Forum, go back to Articles, Equipment Reviews, Lens Comparisons, the 11x14 lenses. The Symmar S and APO Symmar are F 8.4 rather than f9.4. At f22 the Nikon 450 M covers 440mm. The APO Symmar 500mm. However I stop my Nikon 450M down and have wonderful coverage on 7x17 (diagonal 466mm). Canít speak to 8x20. The Nikon uses a 67mm filter, the Symmar a 105mm. They both use a Copal 3 shutter. The Nikon weighs 1.41 pounds. Are you ready for it? The Symmar weighs 3.7 pounds. Another choice is the Rodenstock 480mm Sironar N at 5.07 pounds.

For the next step up I like the Fuji f11.5 600mm C for many of the same reasons.
View Camera on their web site offers a lot of back issue articles in PDF form in their Tech Series CDs. LF Lenses is Tech Series I:

John

SAShruby
2-Mar-2007, 13:16
BTW, Schneiders goes cheaper than Nikkors as well, and beacuse weight is not an issue for me, I am considering them as well. But quality, sharpness towards the edge and contrast is important to me.

Can anybody express its own opinion with respect personal prefference between Tessar Design and Plasmat design with respect contrast, sharpness, falloff or else?

I know some people preffers compactness, I do preffer quality, even I must carry more weight anyway.

Thanks.

naturephoto1
2-Mar-2007, 13:17
John,

According to the Schneider Optic Archives, the Schneider 480mm Symmar S lens was available both in an f8.4 and a 9.4 version:

http://www.schneideroptics.com/info/vintage_lens_data/large_format_lenses/symmar-s/data/1,8,4-480mm.html

http://www.schneideroptics.com/info/vintage_lens_data/large_format_lenses/symmar-s/data/1,9,4-480mm.html

Rich

Ted Harris
2-Mar-2007, 13:18
Two more pointon the Schneider Apo Artar's ... to get the maximum aperture for viewingyou need to mount the lens in a #5 shutter, you will lose about a stop in a modern #3. As for coating, while not confirmed by Schneider AFAIK, there were a few, very few very late samples that were multicoatrd ... I know I have seen one.

SAShruby
2-Mar-2007, 13:19
John,

I was typing my response and when I posted it your thread showed up before mine. I hope you're not offended.

Cheers,

Ole Tjugen
2-Mar-2007, 13:44
Can anybody express its own opinion with respect personal prefference between Tessar Design and Plasmat design with respect contrast, sharpness, falloff or else?

Tessars are sharper in the centre, and hold sharpness better at larger apertures. But Plasmats have a comparatively huge image circle, and achieve adequate sharpness over a much larger angle from f:22 or so.

So if you want ultimate sharpness over a very limited angle at full opening I would choose a Tessar (unless I decide on a Petzval or an Aplanat). For everything else I would prefer a Plasmat (or possibly a Dagor or equivalent).

naturephoto1
2-Mar-2007, 13:56
I can not really confirm this, but in addition to what Ole indicates about Tessars, they generally are known for more contrast for B&W than many of the other designs. The Dialytes are known frequently for excellent sharpness, holding up more to the edges than Tessars, with very good color, but may not have as much contrast as the Tessars or the Plasmats. The Plasmats are known for the most correction, large, and heavy size as the focal length increases and with excellent sharpness, color, and contrast.

Rich

SAShruby
2-Mar-2007, 14:14
Well then, so fat it's my understanding that only weight is the issue here? This is only difference between Nikkor and Schneiders?

Oh yeah, there is a difference, Nikkor have better sharpness in the center and Scheiders are better corrected for wider angle of view. So, since 8x20 is very dificult to enlarge and contact printing is the only option, and I preffer overal sharpness, I don't see any significant disadvantage not to buy cheaper Scneider then.

Personally, I don't shoot pictures with bokeh, yet. If I would, I probably would use a close up technique to get the bokeh, or buy some Petzval what Ole suggested.

Please, correct me If I am wrong. I just do no want to make a bad decission.

Eric Leppanen
2-Mar-2007, 14:28
I own a Schneider 480mm APO Symmar L, which I use as a "near the car" lens for 8x10. In situations where size/weight isn't an issue, I prefer it to the Nikon 450M since IMO it has better tonality and does a slightly better job retaining shadow detail (the Nikon is a bit on the contrasty side for my taste). It is also extremely sharp for such a high coverage lens, and is wonderfully well corrected for both near and distant subjects; chromes shot at f/22 look excellent when viewed with a 10x loupe, which is all I can ask for from any LF lens.

Bruce of Bruce's Field Camera Store has told me that the 480mm APO Symmar L covers 16x20. The 480mm APO Symmar L, APO Symmar, and Symmar-S all have rated image circles of 500mm at f/22, so one would presume that the Symmar-S most likely covers 8x20 with room to spare.

John Powers
2-Mar-2007, 16:09
John,

I was typing my response and when I posted it your thread showed up before mine. I hope you're not offended.

Cheers,

Not a problem. Just trying to help and gathering information myself. Forgive me for correcting you when it turns out I was wrong. I was not aware there was also a f9.4.

As you can see there are a lot of conflicting opinions. As is often the case, no wrong way to go here, only a matter of what features or benefits fit your needs.

John

SAShruby
2-Mar-2007, 16:11
Eric,

How much did you pay for it?

Cheers,

naturephoto1
2-Mar-2007, 16:23
Hi Peter,

I suspect that you may want something else due to price. But the Schneider f8.4 APO-Symmar-L 480mm Gray Market price through Badger Graphic is $3,199.95 while the US Warranty B&H Photo price for the lens is $ 3,939.95.

But, if you are unaware, you may want to watch these on eBay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Schneider-Kreunach-Symmar-S-480mm-f-8-4_W0QQitemZ280087757450QQihZ018QQcategoryZ30076QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

http://cgi.ebay.com/480mm-f9-4-Schneider-SYMMAR-S-8x10-lens-Copal-3-226684_W0QQitemZ260092435094QQihZ016QQcategoryZ30076QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

http://cgi.ebay.com/Nikon-Nikkor-M-450mm-1-9-Lens-with-Copal-3-4X5-TOYO_W0QQitemZ230097844938QQihZ013QQcategoryZ30076QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Rich

Oren Grad
2-Mar-2007, 16:39
Personally, I don't shoot pictures with bokeh, yet.

If you use a 480 and photograph anything at much less than infinity you will. ;)

Seriously, I don't think you're crazy to consider the big lens. I picked up a 480 Sironar-N myself, with 11x14 and 7x17 in mind.

Re Ole's observation, the limitation of stated coverage to 500mm (Rodenstock specifies the same limit, BTW) would make sense if the problem is mechanical vignetting. I don't know for sure that that's the issue, but it's the one thing I'd especially want to be sure of before putting down the money if the intended use is 8x20.

PS - Bruce Cahn's observation duly noted. I'm still a skeptic until more specific info is at hand to confirm that it's OK - afraid I've heard it said that the Symmar-S series, at least, does have a hard limit in the longer focal lengths (360, 480). Also, depending on your intended use, make sure you understand whether any claim of coverage is based on infinity focus or depends on having a bit of extension.

Don Hutton
2-Mar-2007, 16:45
I had an Apo-Symmar 480mm for a while - non "L" version - it had mechanical vignetting which limited the image circle to 500mm - definitely did not cover 12x20. So I would be careful about buying an older Symmar S or Apo Symmar, unless you know specifically that the lens will cover more than 500mm stopped down. BTW, the f8.4 and f9.4 versions of the Symmar S have to do with the shutter they are mounted in - the Copal 3 version is f8.4; the Prontor and Compur versions are f9.4 - just mechanical limitations.

I had a 480mm Apo Artar like the one Ted describes - mine was very sharp and contrasty, but I sold it because my 450mm Fujinon does the job just fine. I'd suggest that if you're shooting 8x20 you are never enlarging, so lens resolution is meaningless beyond a very basic level and and a lighter more compact lens is almost always preferable. I sold other lenses when I downsized to an 8x20 as my largest camera - the Fujinon has plenty of coverage and is tiny and plenty sharp - I use it on 4x5 too.... If you are contact printing, you are really not looking for a great deal of performance out of a lens so it makes no sense lugging a jumbo chunk of fancy glass into the unknown when a much smaller, lighter and cheaper piece will produce the same end product. I'd almost guarantee that you will be diffraction limited on just about every shot you ever make with you 8x20.

SAShruby
2-Mar-2007, 17:13
Don,

Thank you for your input.

Besides 8x20, I have 8x10 Dorf as well and 10x10 Durst enlarger with color head, so therefore there will be some enlarging in the future up to 30x40 (that is the limit of my enlarger, it's horizontal, not vertical). So, maxinum enlargements would be 4 times, so I'm trying to consider this option as well. 480mm Apo Artar is out of my choice, Nikkor 450M would be ideal, I've got an offer for Fujinon 450C today.

NP1,

I am watching all those lens, Actually I made an offer for the first one, but I got declined. Price he wants for "Sold as is" is crazy.

Second One - I'm watching that one, but if the proportions are right, this one is has highly likely mechanicanical restrictions (look on the shape), and it is a reason why I started this thread.

Third one - I already made my comment in another thread.


Fujinon 450C. I've red a lot about this one. Almost all my lenses are Fujinons 210WS,300WS,360WS old types - single coated types (360WS covers 8x20), but some folks don't like 450C contrast in comparicon with Nikkor 450M. This is one time investment, maximum bellow draw on my camera is 30 inches. 450/480 and 600 (no close-ups whatsoever unless I buid some extension) is my choice for 8x20.

Also I like Schneiders but I'm afraid of mechanical limitations.

Eric Leppanen
2-Mar-2007, 17:46
Peter,

I got a special close-out deal from Calumet for my 480mm APO Symmar L (I think I paid around $2K for it). New grey market price is around $3K as Rich mentioned. I make 4x color enlargements as well as contact prints, and for such enlargements I've found the 480L to be the best lens available when weight and bulk is not an issue. I also own a Fuji 450C which I use as my hiking lens.

Don's point that his 480 APO Symmar did not cover 12x20 is well taken and I may have found out why: when Schneider redesigned the 480 APO Symmar L, they enlarged the rear barrel diameter from 92 to 110mm. Perhaps this is why the "L" projects a circle of illumination larger than 500mm, whereas earlier lens versions did not. If you otherwise like Schneider and can tolerate the price and bulk then I'd suggest contacting them directly and getting clarification on this point. Otherwise the Fuji and Nikon are certainly very good choices.

Eric

alec4444
2-Mar-2007, 19:26
I'm also in the market for a lens with absurd coverage (11x14, but I want to do some ridiculous movements.). Peter, one consideration I didn't see you mention is filter size. Contrast, sharpness, etc are all likely more important, but pending your application of the camera, filter size may help further shape your requirements. Smaller filters = cheaper filters that are more readily available.

It's definitely one of my considerations in shopping for a new lens.

--A

Don Hutton
2-Mar-2007, 19:34
I'm also in the market for a lens with absurd coverage (11x14, but I want to do some ridiculous movements.). Peter, one consideration I didn't see you mention is filter size. Contrast, sharpness, etc are all likely more important, but pending your application of the camera, filter size may help further shape your requirements. Smaller filters = cheaper filters that are more readily available.

It's definitely one of my considerations in shopping for a new lens.

--A
Bang for the Buck in terms of coverage: the best is undoubtedly the Nikkor 450M - I saw a beautiful 20x24 contact made with one of these a couple of weeks ago...

SAShruby
3-Mar-2007, 00:12
Alec,

Filter size is not a proble for me, I use 6.6x6.6 inch filters.
450M at tte end is probably the only solution I would seek. I don't have 2K for lens today.