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Ash
28-May-2007, 15:47
I've decided that if I sell my Calumet 45N monorail that will raise some funds, and if the payment for the Contax-II comes through, then I have some cash there too. I may find myself halfway towards affording a Razzle camera.

Dean has mentioned that it would be cheaper for me to source a 150mm lens for it, and so here's my question.


What is the cheapest, but fairly "best value" type lens that won't cost a huge amount?


I saw a Schneider 150/5,6 symmar for about 110.. is that too much to spend? is it any good? Can I get a cheaper lens, or a better lens, for less?

David A. Goldfarb
28-May-2007, 16:38
The 150 Symmar or Sironar-N are both good values and modern lenses. You could get an earlier Symmar convertible for even less, but if you can get a multicoated version, that's a plus. There are also decent Nikkor and Fujinon lenses in this range. If the camera doesn't have any movements, you don't even need a plasmat type lens, like the Symmar or Sironar-N. Something like a Schneider 150/4.5 Xenar (Tessar type) would be fine.

David A. Goldfarb
28-May-2007, 16:44
Also--Caltar II-S lenses are Symmars and Caltar II-N lenses are Rodenstock Sironar-N's, and they usually sell for a little less than the Schneider and Rodenstock branded versions on the used market.

Gene McCluney
28-May-2007, 17:03
The razzle 4x5 adaptation of a older Polaroid camera does not offer movements, or shifts, so a Tessar formula lens, such as a Schneider Xenar would be ideal, and cheaper than a Symmar-S.

Gene McCluney
28-May-2007, 17:06
Not to put down the Razzle or other Polaroid conversions, if it were me, I would consider a Crown Graphic or Super Graphic press camera. Not quite as small, but offers all the same features of the Razzle (hand-holdable, rangefinder focusing, etc), and has additional positive features such as front movements and interchangeable lensboards so you can have multiple focal lengths on it.

Oh, and a good used Crown Graphic or Super Graphic are a fraction the cost of a Razzle conversion.

Eric Leppanen
28-May-2007, 17:10
This list contains a number of candidate 150mm lenses:

http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/kit.html

A Symmar-S just sold for $239 on the U.S. Ebay site, and a Symmar 150/265 convertible just sold for $200, so offhand 110 for a Symmar doesn't sound too unreasonable if it is coated. See this thread for some discussion regarding the various Symmar lens lines:

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=16818&highlight=symmar+versus+symmar-s

Assuming you'd like some room for camera movements, I'd suggest getting a lens with at least single coating and 200mm of image circle. Aside from that, look for the best deal, and if you can get multi-coating for little added expense then great.

eric black
28-May-2007, 17:43
The Nikkor W's also sell for the $200-$300 range- I havent tried the 150, but the 210 W is one of my favorite lenses in my case

Colin Graham
28-May-2007, 18:11
Another vote for a xenar. Bright (or fast if it's for a rangefinder) and sharp and decent bokeh.

Vaughn
28-May-2007, 18:58
I'll suggest a late Caltar II-N lens for performance/price.

Wayne R. Scott
28-May-2007, 19:30
Ash,

How about an Optar 162mm f4.5 in a Graphex shutter? It is a Tessar design and will allow some movements on 4x5. I got mine mounted on a lens board which was attached to a Crown Graphic. I got the whole kit for less than your target budget for a 150mm lens.

Here is the very first 4x5 negative I ever exposed and it was with the Crown Graphic and the 162mm optar:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c191/Wscott601/Taylor.gif

Wayne

sparq
28-May-2007, 19:40
Another vote for the Caltar II-N. I won an almost mint copy with a pouch, set of filters and a cable release for $250 on fleabay.

Brian Ellis
28-May-2007, 20:15
For small size, tack sharp, and low price the Schneider G Claron would probably be my choice - I owned one for years and it was a great little lens. I don't recall the coverage but like all G Clarons the specs will be way low because the usable image circle continues to increase as you stop down. They're f9 but that isn't a problem (for me at least) with a lens as long as 150mm. No G Clarons were multi-coated, they're usually single coated. That too wasn't a problem, the difference between double and single coating is non-existant most of the time.

Ash
29-May-2007, 03:25
Not to put down the Razzle or other Polaroid conversions, if it were me, I would consider a Crown Graphic or Super Graphic press camera. Not quite as small, but offers all the same features of the Razzle (hand-holdable, rangefinder focusing, etc), and has additional positive features such as front movements and interchangeable lensboards so you can have multiple focal lengths on it.

Oh, and a good used Crown Graphic or Super Graphic are a fraction the cost of a Razzle conversion.

Gene, I already have a Speed Graphic. I purchased it the other week. :)


I guess that I forgot the main issue is how compact the setup can be, considering the lens needs to fold INTO the Polaroid camera. I really should have factored that in too!!

S/H lens choices in the UK are quite limited (like my budget!!), and the Optar appears to be more expensive than that Symmar! I'm watching a couple of auctions but I doubt I will get what I'm after any time soon. I'm REALLY tempted to find a way of putting my rough Dogmar 150mm lens (it has scratches on rear element) into a shutter - the shutter/adapting may cost more than the Symmar, however.

Matus Kalisky
29-May-2007, 05:03
Wel, I would just add that small, cheap and lighweight are also:

- Fujinon W 150/6.3 (tiny, but singlecoated in Seiko shutter)
- Geronar 150/6.8 (Caltar II-E) in copal#0 - both MC and single coated versions exist.

I use MC Caltar II-E 210/6.8 and it performs nicely

matus

Ash
29-May-2007, 05:13
Thanks for the HU on Geronars Matus. The nuisance being that it will cost as much as that Symmar after postage and customs :(

Ole Tjugen
29-May-2007, 05:37
Cheap 150mm lenses in the UK?

150/4.5 Zeiss Jena Tessar
6"/4.5 Dallmeyer Serrac
150/5.6 Schneider Symmar
150/4.5 Schneider Xenar

Or maybe a 135mm f:4.7 Optar (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/135-mm-f4-7-Optar-lens-in-Graphex-shutter_W0QQitemZ200113979049QQihZ010QQcategoryZ30076QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)?

All of these show up every once in a while at reasonable prices. I'm down to my last Serrac now - I bought five of them in one lot for £35 a few years ago...

Ash
29-May-2007, 05:40
Sshhhh! Ole don't show that auction off! I been watching that item! :D

Ole Tjugen
29-May-2007, 05:55
I've noticed that prices on German ebay tend to be better than UK, and USA is all over the place. You can find real bargains in US and UK, but for a good BIN I'd go to DE.

There are a few little goodies on ebay.de at the moment...

Paul Fitzgerald
29-May-2007, 06:48
Ash,

look for an Ilex Accu-Tessar f/6.3 also badged Ilex-Calumet Caltar, size #0 shutter, very sharp and usually cheap as dirt. Might be multi-coated, all the reflections are different colors. Damn nice lens, seriously under-rated.

Computar Symmetrigon f/6.3 are also fine but too large for a Polaroid.

Have fun with the hunt.