View Full Version : Schneider 120mm f/5.6 APO-Symmar L

Renato Tonelli
4-Oct-2007, 07:16
I am considering buying this lens for my Wisner 4x5 and wondering what your thoughts are as to its performance (sharpness, coverage). It is one of the more affordable lenses in this focal length. My swings/tilts adjustments are never extreme. The most common is raising the front element. Your opinions are always appreciated.

Gene McCluney
4-Oct-2007, 08:24
This lens may not cover 4x5 at infinity focus, however being a newish design, it may stopped down.

Steve Hamley
4-Oct-2007, 08:40

I use the earlier, 72-degree version on 4x5 as a lightweight alternative to the 110 mm SS XL when hiking. It covers fine, so the 75-degree "L" series should also.

But why go by opinion when Schneider tells you exactly what it covers? According to Schneider, it clips the corners of 5x7. It might actually cover 5x7 if you aren't picky about corner sharpness.


Also, basic trigonometry would allow a 120 mm 75-degree lens to have an image circle of 184 mm. It takes about 210 mm to cover 5x7 so it looks like Schneider's chart agrees well with the math.

So just get it and go shoot!



Matus Kalisky
4-Oct-2007, 09:43
I wanted to get this lens a year ago but could not afford it. Then I found newrly noew Fujinon CMW/5.6 and went for it. It is larger (270g versus 210g) and takes 67mm filters, but ti also covers a bit more (214 versus 189). Now I am not so sure whether I would swap back as the picture quality is perfect and the coverage is nice. On the other hand I have heard that the stated coverage of the Symmar is rather conservative.
I can still fold it with my Tachihara although I have to inverse the lens first.

David Karp
4-Oct-2007, 10:25
The older 125mm f/5.6 Fujinon NW has their EBC multicoating, and has an image circle of 198mm I believe. It takes 52mm filters, and is a very very nice lens, one of my two favorites for 4x5. They are available for reasonable prices used. I got mine from MPEX.

Sheldon N
4-Oct-2007, 13:14
I have this lens, and it is a wonderful performer. It is very sharp, and a nice compact lens with 52mm front filters. There is plenty of coverage for ordinary 4x5 shooting, I've never ran out for any of my purposes. I also really like the 120mm focal length on 4x5.

Schneider is known to be conservative in their coverage figures, so their rating of a 189mm image circle at f22 and infinity is probably just the area where the lens will produce critical sharpness. The area of illumination appears to be much larger in use, so coverage may just depend on your personal standards for what is acceptably sharp. The APO Symmar-L version will have an advantage due to the extra few degrees of coverage. I'd look for the L version if at all possible.

I was fortunate enough to find one (L version) used for a reasonable price. However, I haven't seen any others on the used market recently, so you may have a bit of a search to find one. You can find the non-L version used, if you can live with a little less coverage. Jack's Camera (www.jackscamera.com) has a couple of the non-L 120mm used lenses in stock for a fair price.

If I were forced to spend the $960 that a new one (L version) would cost, I'd hesitate a bit. I'd say a used copy of the non-L version or Fuji 125mm NW would be good lower cost alternative. Otherwise I'd pony up an extra $200 or so and get a used 110mm Super Symmar XL.