View Full Version : f4.5 vs f5.6 - LENS HELP!??

5-Mar-2009, 04:53

I am after a small amount advice if possible...

I am currently stuck with a 90mm lens situation. What do people think would be the best option?

I am looking at a schneider 90mm f5.6 and a rodenstock or nikkor 90mm f4.5. Is there much difference between these lenses other than the obvious stop difference? Will I benefit from having that extra stop? The f4.5 is more expensive which is why I am thinking of going for the schneider. I just wanted to know things like how much brighter the f4.5 would be for focusing compared to the f5.6 or whether they were as good as each other??

Any help or opinions would be great.


5-Mar-2009, 05:25
I have a Schneider f5.6 90mm SA it's a touch bigger & heavier than my f6.8 Grandagon, but it's hard to see a difference when it comes to focussing etc.

Personally I've been more than happy with these slower lenses for over 20+ years, I'm not sure the extra stop is worth carrying the extra weight. hey are all first rate lenses.

If the f5.6 SA's a good price I'd go for it.


Mark Sampson
5-Mar-2009, 05:33
It's only 1/2 stop difference... I have no problem focusing a 90mm f/8 lens, so I can't comment on focusing differences. Optically all the lenses you mention are absolutely first class. Espaecially below f/11 where you'll be shooting with these lenses.

Walter Calahan
5-Mar-2009, 05:38
As Mark said, only a 1/2 stop difference, which won't make any difference in the long run.

Each will perform extremely well at traditional shooting apertures.

I say get the cheaper of the too, and spend you money on film so you can shoot.

5-Mar-2009, 06:01
Thanks for the advice guys. That's great!

Have you any ideas on some good transparency film? I have always shot colour neg and want to start trani. I love colours.


Gene McCluney
5-Mar-2009, 08:02
I have used Kodak EPP for 25-30 years and it has never let me down.

5-Mar-2009, 10:00
bigger max aperture is always better (even stopped down), at least in photography ;)

Steve M Hostetter
5-Mar-2009, 11:51
they will perform the same stopped down and hopefully you'll have the image in focus.

in low light situations thats easier said then done ...wide angles are dark on GG

just don't cheap out and regret it like many will and do.. I can honestly say that I could get by with a f8 but I have 20+ yrs with LF equipment, which is something to consider

I just wanted to know things like how much brighter the f4.5 would be for focusing compared to the f5.6 or whether they were as good as each other??

Ole Tjugen
5-Mar-2009, 11:57
With such wide-angled lenses, the corners are dark anyway - unless you use a Fresnel calibrated to that focal lenght.

Mine is a 90mm f:8 Super Angulon. I have found it relatively easy to use, even on 5x7".

Aender Brepsom
6-Mar-2009, 02:57
I used to have a Super Angulon 5.6/90mm and now have a Grandagon N 4.5/90mm. I can't see any (significant) difference between them.

As for slide film, Velvia 50 is still my best choice.

6-Mar-2009, 05:00
Hey Guys,

Thanks very much for all the help, I think I am going to try out some velvia 50 as I have heard lots of good things about it.

Also would a RODENSTOCK GRANDAGON F=90 MM 1:6,8 fit on to a toyo lens board? I already think it does but I just wanted some conformation. I think this is the lens I am going to go for. 90mm f6.8 good price all sounds reasonable.


6-Mar-2009, 05:06
Yes, it will.

The f6.8 Grandagon is a good choice, they are very nice lenses and outstanding performers.


Aender Brepsom
6-Mar-2009, 05:18
The Grandagon 6.8/90mm is probably the best compromise for size, weight and price, and it is still very usable in terms of brightness on the ground glass. It will give you the same excellent image quality as the f/4.5 or f/5.6 90mm lenses. The smaller filter size might be another advantage.

Eric Brody
6-Mar-2009, 11:51
No offense to Andress 007 but in large format photography, "wider is better"is not always true. Most people use large format lenses at f/22 give or take a stop or two. The wider aperture lenses are useful for easier focusing, especially in dark places, but, after that, the quality of the image is more related to the intrinsic quality of the lens. Wider lenses are more expensive, heavier, and physically larger (eg lens board issues).

The simple fact is that except to obsessive lens testers, akin to pixel peepers in digital photography, most all modern lenses made by major manufacturers will give excellent results, eg Schneider, Rodenstock, Fuji, Nikon. I agree that the 6.8 Grandagon should be excellent. Do ask lots of questions, but fuss less, photograph more.

Good luck.