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Arne Norris
15-Dec-2007, 09:17
I've been doing research into all of the various offerings from Nikon, Schneider and Rodenstock for a 90mm lens to use on a 4x5, and from what I can tell there isn't much difference in performance. I'll be using the lens for documentary-style photography, often indoors. I can see using it for some outside general use as well. I would like to find a relatively compact design that still offers decent ground glass brightness and good optical performance, even at more open apertures.

Obviously a 5.6 is easier to focus than a slower lens, but they look much larger in size and weight. I used a 8/90 SA for a bit back in the mid-eighties, and I remember it being workable inside, but don't remember much about the experience. I just put a deposit on a Chamonix 45, so this should be the camera the lens is used on.

I'm looking used, and I'm on a very tight budget. I don't need super high resolution obviously, nor a real wide coverage as I won't be using extensive movements. Focusing speed is more important.

Any suggestions or experiences?

Thanks!

lenser
15-Dec-2007, 09:52
Hi, Arne.

I happen to use a Calumet 90mm f4.5 Caltar II for architectural and landscape work. It's a big and somewhat heavy piece of glass that really delivers a fine image. I think it is made by Rodenstock.

I highly recommend it unless weight is a big issue.

Back in my high school and college yearbook days (60's and early 70's), I used a Crown Graphic that had a 90mm Wollensak (optar?) that weighed almost nothing and could slip into a shirt pocket, board and all. I think it was an f8. A little tough to focus in dim light, but I recall the images were as sharp as I wanted even for big enlargements. Anyway, you might check out the offerings on ebay. Some of those old lenses, even though they don't have the modern coatings, still do a fine job. If the shutter isn't perfect, take a look at a simple, clean lube and adjust. Flutot's camera repair does great work for a very reasonable price.

Aender Brepsom
15-Dec-2007, 09:56
An f/4.5 (or 5.6) version would be nice for your indoor work, but they are huge and not exactly cheap.

My experience with a 6.8/90mm Grandagon-N was very good. For me, this is the best compromise regarding weight, size and price. If you use a dark cloth for focusing, it should be fine.

As you said, in terms of performance, there are no real world differences between all those modern 90mm lenses.

Don't forget the Caltars as they are just rebranded Rodenstocks and are often sold for a bit less.

BrianShaw
15-Dec-2007, 10:02
Start thinking about (enquiring) how the lens will work on your camera and what additional equipment you may need to buy - recessed lens board, bag bellows, etc. I'm going through that process now (not with a Chamonix, but with another camera) and I'm still buying stuff to optimize for my type of usage.

Peter K
15-Dec-2007, 10:13
The f/5.6 lenses give not only a brighter image on the ground-glass, the angle of view is also larger. For the Super-Angulon it's 100 for the f/8 version and 105 for the f/5.6. This means 215mm compared with 235mm.

Peter K

Bill_1856
15-Dec-2007, 10:42
I'm looking used, and I'm on a very tight budget. I don't need super high resolution obviously, nor a real wide coverage as I won't be using extensive movements. Focusing speed is more important.

Any suggestions or experiences?

Thanks!

Sounds tailor-made application for a plain old Schneider f:6.8 Angulon. There's a lot of variation between individual lenses, so test it carefully before your "return to sender" period is over.

Ole Tjugen
15-Dec-2007, 11:00
Sounds tailor-made application for a plain old Schneider f:6.8 Angulon. There's a lot of variation between individual lenses, so test it carefully before your "return to sender" period is over.

Seconded. I use both a 90/6.8 Angulon and a 90/8 Super Angulon, depending on what I'm intending to shoot and how far I have to carry it. I also use the 90/8 on 5x7", where it gives more even exposure than the little old Angulon.

My 90mm Angulon test on 5x7" film, yet again. (http://www.bruraholo.no/Cameras/Angulon/)

David Millard
15-Dec-2007, 11:22
I use a 90/8 Nikkor SW on a 617 rollfilm camera, and the results continue to astound me (plus this lens has a 235mm image circle).

Luca Merlo
15-Dec-2007, 11:27
Another vote for the Nikon 90/8. Excellent lens and extremely portable.

Thomas Greutmann
15-Dec-2007, 12:09
I have used a (a) Schneider Super Angulon 8/90, a (b) Rodenstock Grandagon-N 8/90 as well as the older (c) Schneider Angulon 6.8/90. I have found little difference between (a) and (b), with respect to performance or weight. Both lenses deliver reallly good results and will give you some room for movements for 4x5. If you ask me which lens is better I couldn't tell.

The Schneider Angulon is different. Much lighter, excellent performance if you don't use movements on the camera (it is really amazing to see such an excellent performance with a lens that is 40 to 50 years old), but no room for movement on 4x5. A really good choice for backpacking but if you plan to use movements for indoor shooting it has its limitations.

All my experience is with black and white only, I don't know how the lenses perform with color films.

Thomas

Bob Salomon
15-Dec-2007, 12:23
Rodenstock Grandagon-N 8/90
Thomas

No such lens. There is a 6.8 and a 4.5 but not an 8.0.

Alan Davenport
15-Dec-2007, 14:47
I suggest getting another SA 90/8. A generation of pros made a living with them, so they must have something going for them. Right now that lens is in a sweet spot, with excellent performance, easy to focus if you have a decent darkcloth, and downright inexpensive; I got mine for $300 on fleabay.

Miguel Curbelo
15-Dec-2007, 16:53
Nikon 90/8. Small, sweetly sharp and with 235 mm of image circle. Focusing is no problem with a good darkcloth -or T-shirt.

Norm Buchanan
15-Dec-2007, 17:03
I happen to use a Calumet 90mm f4.5 Caltar II for architectural and landscape work. It's a big and somewhat heavy piece of glass that really delivers a fine image. I think it is made by Rodenstock.

I highly recommend it unless weight is a big issue.



I also have this lens and highly recommend it. It is a Caltar IIN lens and is made by Rodenstock. I have used it for landscapes and indoors for architecture. It is a bit heavy but the quality is worth it.

Ben Chase
15-Dec-2007, 19:31
It's probably overkill for what I do, but I'm a fan of the Grandagon-N 4.5/90

Thomas Greutmann
16-Dec-2007, 05:01
No such lens. There is a 6.8 and a 4.5 but not an 8.0.

Bob is correct , there is no Rodenstock 90mm/f8. I was referring to the Rodenstock 90mm/6.8 in comparison to the Schneider Super Angulon 90mm/f8. Anyway, the two are more or less identical performers to me (I am happy with both). I shoot mostly landscape and use apertures f22 and smaller, so I guess that is why I don't really care for the largest aperture.

Thomas

Ole Tjugen
16-Dec-2007, 06:27
Old plain Angulons perform quite well with colour. Admittedly my example was shot with a 165mm f:6.8 Angulon on 13x18cm film (a hair larger than 5x7"), but I think the colour rendition is quite good:

http://www.bruraholo.no/images/Lodalen.html

IanG
16-Dec-2007, 07:52
As a user of a f6.8 90mm Grandagon, f8 90mmSuper Angulon and f6.8 Angulon I have to agree with Thomas the first two lenses are superb, equally as good as my Sironars/Symmars.

However the Angulon is just an adequate performer and no more, it's OK as a small light-weight lens but really not good enough for most of my requirements. My Super Angulons on the other hand are very versatile I use 90mm/75m/65mm on 5x4.

Ian

JPlomley
16-Dec-2007, 09:04
I'm using the Rodenstock 90/4.5 Grandagon-N and cannot say enough about the f/4.5 aperture for focussing in dimly lit conditions. Resolution wise, I would find it difficult to believe there was anything sharper. This lens with Velvia 50 is ubersharp!

David Karp
16-Dec-2007, 09:12
I have a 90mm f/4.5 Grandagon-N and a 90mm f/8 Fujinon (old single coated version). Both are very nice lenses. The Grandagon-N in my opinion is exceptional. I saw many interior architectural photos made with this lens over the years. Then I purchased the lens. For architecture and interiors it is outstanding. The Schneider 90XL has a bigger image circle, and is also bigger itself, using huge filters. I find the Grandagon's f/4.5 max opening, and the combination of large image circle and smaller size than the XL very attractive.

I use the Fujinon when backpacking because it is smaller (67mm vs. 82mm filters) and in a No. 0 shutter. When in darker surroundings, the f/8 is noticeably harder to focus than the f/4.5 of the Grandagon. The image circle is also smaller, as is the case with all the f/6.8 or f/8 90s except the Nikon.

If I was concerned about size and weight and wanted something that used 67mm filters and wanted a big image circle, I would go with the 90mm f/8 Nikon. Same image circle as the f/4.5 Grandagon-N, f/5.6 Fujinon, and the old non-XL Schneider, but smaller and lighter (but dimmer).

Arne Norris
16-Dec-2007, 09:40
I am very appreciative for all of the replies so far.

I am curious about the 6.8/90 angulon. It might be fine for me as I'm not anticipating needing much if any movements with a 90mm lens for what I'm doing. Either that or try to find one of the Nikkor f/8 or other less expensive more modern f/8 or f/6.8 lenses.

Does anyone else have any images they can share which were taken with a 6.8/90 Angulon, either black and white or color?

IanG
16-Dec-2007, 10:56
Arne, 90mm Angulons typically sell for just under £100/$200 in good condition. I paid about £150/$300 for a mint 90mm f8 Super Angulon about 6 months ago.

Personally I don't recommend the Anglon, I find the results from the Grandagon & SA vastly superior. I don't have any images scanned from the Angulon so can't help there.

Ian

John O'Connell
16-Dec-2007, 11:06
Ole has posted some Angulon examples that remind me of my own experiences.

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=31145

Surprisingly sharp in the center, and then decreasing performance on the edges---sometimes precipitously decreasing performance.

If I was interested in a lens for backpacking only, or my camera allowed no movement on a 90mm, I'd consider the 90mm Angulon on 4x5. But you want to do interiors, and your camera will allow movements, so I'd say skip the Angulons.

There are some cheapo SA designs in 90mm, if cost is the issue. Caltar did a well-regarded 90mm f/8 that goes for about $200. Fujinons in Seiko shutters also tend to run cheap, though I've never actually seen a Fuji 90/8 in a Seiko.

Ole Tjugen
16-Dec-2007, 11:13
Some angulon 90mm f:6.8 examples HERE (http://www.bruraholo.no/Cameras/Angulon/). But note that these were shot on 5x7" film, far more than they are supposed to cover.

Older Angulons lose sharpness in the corners less rapidly than the later ones, but the later ones have more even sharpness over the nominal image circle.

Maretzo
18-Dec-2007, 06:45
About the old Angulon:

http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/test/AngSSXL.html