View Full Version : Lens spec resources

21-Feb-2008, 00:06
I'm still relatively new to the technical aspects of LF. I was recently introduced to Thalmann's page with the lens tests. There are a few lenses (specifically a SA 90mm XL and a plain Sironar 150 5.6) I'd like to see sharpness specs on. Is there any other resource that would have more information? I've done some digging, but can't seem to find much. I'd definitely like to be able to see that detailed information on a lens before I make the plunge and buy it, especially if I'm not in a situation to test it first.

Chuck Pere
21-Feb-2008, 07:36
Paul Butzi has some Rodenstock info on his great website:

Ralph Barker
21-Feb-2008, 09:10
If you go to the "LF HOme Page" (see link in the blue navigation bar) and scroll down, you'll see several links with lens information. Additionally, you may find these helpful:

Fujinon lens info - http://www.members.aol.com/subgallery/

Lens tests - http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/testing.html


Dan Fromm
21-Feb-2008, 10:41
Um, Ralph, thanks for posting the allenrumme link. Have you looked at the data on that site?

I just did. As far as I can tell it is a catalog with no evaluations at all. Like all such it is incomplete and badly wrong about the few lenses I know well that I looked for in it.

The Fuji link is, like the allenrumme one, a catalog with no reports of performance.

These things are lots of fun to look at but not much help to people like the OP, who seems to think that which lens he buys is critically important.

jwarren116, I'm sorry but there are few sources around that evaluate many LF lenses' performance. The Perez/Thallmann site Ralph mentioned is the most comprehensive I'm aware of. And you've visited it already.

What I learned from it and from wails of pain emitted by early purchasers of 110 SS-XLs is that there's no way to know how well a lens, new or used, will shoot without testing it. Variation from example to example, especially with used lenses, can be pretty substantial.

The other thing I learned from Chris' and Kerry's hard work is that just about any lens one might buy will be better than good enough. There are, though, enough exceptions that every lens should be subjected to acceptance testing on arrival "just in case."

That said, good examples of the two lenses you specifically asked about are so good that buying one won't be a bad mistake. If, that is, the lens bought passes acceptance testing. Used lenses can be very variable.

If you want braggin' rights, buy the latest most expensive. Otherwise, go for used and good enough.



Gordon Moat
21-Feb-2008, 13:30
I know you asked about more modern lens information, but there are also classic lens information sources:


This French site covers quite a few older lenses, including some interesting calculated data based upon lens designs. Lots of images showing performance potential too.


On a much smaller scale, I have started to put together a listing of Holmes, Booth & Haydens lenses. This was a company that made lenses in the very early years of photography. So far I don't have enough information to draw much in the way of conclusions, though I can state that the construction accuracy, finish, and performance of these early lenses is quite surprising. Anyway, just thought I would share these.


Gordon Moat Photography (http://www.gordonmoat.com)

Ted Harris
21-Feb-2008, 15:31
What I learned ... from wails of pain emitted by early purchasers of 110 SS-XLs is that there's no way to know how well a lens, new or used, will shoot without testing it.

Dan I totally agree with the thrust of your post but, IIRC, wasn't it the early runs of the 89 SS-XL's that had the problems. I remember uniform praise (including mine) for the 110 SS-XL from day one.

Dan Fromm
21-Feb-2008, 15:46
Ted, I could well have misremembered. If a baseball star can, so can I.

Ted Harris
21-Feb-2008, 17:13
Dan, at my age so can I :).