View Full Version : 135mm or 150mm macro?

7-Jun-2007, 08:35
i am new here.
i am getting the shen hao camera soon and someone offered me a 135mm nikkor f5.6 W and a 150mm macro. i am not so sure about the brand of this macro lens nor the aperture size of it. i remember he told me something about it being darker... most probably smaller than f5.6

anyway, i am thinking of the nikkor lens but i remember reading it somewhere that we should avoid this lens at all cost... and this leave me with this unknown 150mm macro lens.

should i go for the nikkor?

will try to supply you guys with more information once i got it.

thanks alot for your help.
appreciate it alot.

Jack Flesher
7-Jun-2007, 09:03
I'm not sure why you'd need to avoid the 135 Nikkor as it is probably a fine lens to start with -- assuming it is priced reasonably. It will have a somewhat smaller image circle than a comparable 150mm plasmat so you won't have as much movement capability. The 150 macro is *possibly* a 150mm G-Claron, a relatively tiny lens. Those are optimised for 1:1 and only single-coated, but still cover 4x5 when stopped down to normal working apertures. It is a popular choice as a normal lens in a lightweight 4x5 kit, just beware of increased potential for flare.

You can readily find good 150, 180 and 210 plasmats of one previous generation from Schneider and Rodenstock in working shutters for around $300, and comparable offerings from Fuji and Nikkor are often slightly less. Any of them would make a great starter lens if you are on a budget.

7-Jun-2007, 09:18
oh thanks for the swift reply.
i guess the small image circle somehow makes me see the 135mm lens in a different light. by the way, i don't think i will be using a lot of movement anyway, seeing that i am using a field camera. come to think of it, the limited movement might be alright to me.

and the nikkor 135mm is a multicoated lens right? i would rather go for the multicoated than the single coated i guess as i photograph exclusively in colour.

Ernest Purdum
7-Jun-2007, 09:18
For actual macro work, a 150mm lens needs way more bellows extension than your Shen Hao will provide. If, as Jack Flesher has guessed, the "macro" lens is a G-Claron, his remarks are very appropriate.

I can't imagine why any one would consider the Nikkor something to be avoided at all cost. Nikon made fine lenses. This one should be a good starter lens for 4" X 5". After using it for awhile you might decide some other focal length might be your preference, but if so you could probably resell it at or near your purchase price, assuming you didn't pay an auction fever rice to begin with.

7-Jun-2007, 09:23
Definitely avoid the Nikkor; send it to me!

7-Jun-2007, 09:28
thanks for the replies guys.

will give it a look. i am not sure how much is this nikkor lens going for.
if it's like $250 to $300, then i guess i will get it.

Ernest Purdum
7-Jun-2007, 09:30
The Nikkor image circle isn't all that dinky. Kerry Thalmann's article in the March/April "View Camera" shows it as 200mm, so offering reasonable movement usage on 4" X 5".

Yes, the Nikkor is multicoated. By the way, multicoating is always an advantage, but isn't particularly needed for color work.

Mike Davis
7-Jun-2007, 09:57
The Nikkor 135mm/5.6 is my normal lens for 4x5 with the Shen Hao. I also use a Fuji 90mm and a Schneider 210mm.


John Berry
7-Jun-2007, 14:36
Don't be so fast to discount a single coated lens. You will pull more range with a single coated lens.

7-Jun-2007, 20:46
the 150mm macro is indeed a g-claron

7-Jun-2007, 22:32
the nikkor 135mm is very sharp and allows ample movements on 4x5. It's very small and light and will allow the shen hao to fold up if you flip it around. It's also my normal lens on the 4x5 format.

8-Jun-2007, 05:10
the 135mm nikkor is dirty. i dont think it's worth getting it only to send it for cleaning. the 150mm is, well... not so interested in f9 lenses... prefer something brighter.

thanks guys for all your advices. appreciate it alot.

Mike Davis
8-Jun-2007, 05:21
the 135mm nikkor is dirty. i dont think it's worth getting it only to send it for cleaning. the 150mm is, well... not so interested in f9 lenses... prefer something brighter.

I used to think this too. In the past three years I've shot exactly 1 photo more open than f16 in 4x5. Normally, I prefer to work at f32 or smaller. That's not to say that you might not want or even need to shoot something more open. But, I haven't.

The 150 G-Claron is very light and a nice lens. On the Shen Hoa it may not be the best choice for Macro because of the limited movements (but there are some work arounds).

As I said earlier, my normal 4x5 lens is the Nikon 135mm. But I would definitely take a G-Claron if the price was right.


Carsten Wolff
8-Jun-2007, 17:47
I've got a few 135 and 165 mm lenses, but no 150mm (not that this has been a problem). Anyway, whilst playing with options, I recently remounted (read: unscrewed the cells, cleaned them and screwed them directly into the shutter) a 150mm Componon in a spare Prontor-Press #1 shutter off an old MP-4 camera. Total cost: next to nix; I didn't expect that much, but the resulting negatives and slides (taken at near infinity to a few feet away) are very good! So perhaps one doesn't need to stretch one's budget too far, or look too hard to make headway in LF..... brightness can be an issue (sic: G-Claron), all the more: I'm happy with the 5.6 Componon (read: Symmar?).