View Full Version : Digital lenses for film

J Maxwell
19-Aug-2008, 14:31
I'm a novice to LF and hence my question: Is it possible to use digital lenses (e.g. Schneider/Rodenstock digitar) with film? If yes, are there any drawbacks?
J Maxwell:) :)

19-Aug-2008, 14:33
Usually the coverage of digital-tuned lenses are much smaller than film-designed lenses. Normally they do not cover 4x5 film.

J Maxwell
21-Aug-2008, 22:16
Thanks a million!

Gene McCluney
22-Aug-2008, 08:53
Other than coverage, the "digital-tuned" lenses should be just as sharp exposing film as exposing a digital imager chip.

Atul Mohidekar
22-Aug-2008, 17:04
I have a Schneider 120mm Digitar that I used to use on a 6x9 LF View camera (now I use a 4x5 LF View camera). It is the sharpest lens I have ever owned for an LF camera. Although it is optimized for apertures around f/11 and has smallish IC, it produced stunning results at f/22. I bought the lens after looking the IC diameters of the Schneider and Rodentstock digital lenses.

// Atul

23-Aug-2008, 12:49
I checked out Schneider's "Digital Lens" PDF and could find nothing in the optics to distinguish these lenses from "non-Digital" lenses. Perhaps they have produced some type of misnomer from translation to english because these lenses have electronic shutters, but "digital lens" is just an impossibility.

The image circles and resolution of these "digital lenses" can be compared apples-to-apples with any other lens out there.

In terms of the actual focal lengths and image circles of these lenses (designed to match popular digital sensors) I suspect these lenses will be shown to be evolutionary dead-ends. I don't see any contemporary image sensor size as resilient through time as the popular film format sizes ie 4x5, 8x10, 6x6cm etc. (just my opinion :p )

Peter De Smidt
23-Aug-2008, 15:11
Some "digital" lenses are nothing more than re-labeled regular lenses with higher prices. Others, thought, are new designs. As has been mentioned, as long as they cover the intended format, they should be excellent on film.

23-Aug-2008, 15:53
I think conventional, i.e. "non-digital", lenses simply refract light whereas "digital" lenses operate on the principle of re-allocation of photons. At least, I think I heard that somewhere...