View Full Version : schneider 150 XL vs. nikkor 150 SW

steve barry
13-Apr-2009, 20:38
I was wondering if anyone could point me to some literature, websites, anything - or had any experience with these two lenses? Or even speculate the differences.

My question is mainly regarding the resolution. I am ultimately looking to make very large prints from 8x10 negatives, so all I really care about (between the differences of these two lenses) is the resolution. Which could I expect to be sharper? I was able to find the physical differences, size, weight, coverage, filter sizes, etc. but I do not care all that much about those differences. i would expect the nikkor be more contrasty, but i am shooting b/w so not a problem.

The price of the nikkor is roughly half the price of the schneider, and the nikkor has more coverage. what gives?

thanks in advance. Steve

Jan Pedersen
13-Apr-2009, 21:19
I can comment a little on the 150XL but not on the 150SW.
The 150XL is a wonderful lens but based on my experience with the 120SW i am sure the 150SW would be equally good. If it is true what i have read, the Nikon is more contrasty than the Schneider, one reason i chose to look for the Schneider.
If size and weight does not matter the Nikon would be the way to go, it is much larger than the Schneider which has a small rear element and therefore is much shorter and easier to pack in a backpak. Filter size on the XL is 95mm.
Schneiders Web site should have specs on the 150XL. Coverage is on paper slightly less than the 150SW but Schneiders numbers have on many other lenses been quite conservative.
Good luck hunting.

Gem Singer
13-Apr-2009, 21:51
Before he moved to Portland, my friend Scott and I shot scene side by side with our 8X10 cameras. He was using his Schneider 150XL and I was using my Nikkor 150SW. We could not discern any difference in the quality of the images made with these two lenses. Scott's image appears on his website, www.srosenberg.com. It's the image of the expressway overpass.

Schneider uses an aspherical lens element that enables the 150XL to be smaller (especially the rear element) and lighter weight. The Nikkor 150SW is a huge lens (95mm rear element). Both lenses are mounted in a Copal 1 shutters.

A few weeks ago, my friend Bob and I re-scanned and printed my negative of that scene. We both agreed that it was the sharpest image we had ever worked with.

The Nikkor f8 150SW is my favorite lens for 8X10, equivalent to a 75 on 4X5.

steve barry
13-Apr-2009, 22:30
cool, thanks. so the big difference between the two would be the size and weight. gotcha. i guess smaller and lighter comes at a premium.

would you expect both to have similar DOF?

i have no trouble finding the specs for the 150XL as schneider's website is excellent. But for the nikkor, i find nothing. maybe i am looking in the wrong place, i will keep looking. why would they not publish this information, or make it readily findable, does not make sense to me.

Gem, good to know about it being very sharp, and to hear you like it. i am struggling with focal lengths as well as specific lenses. i think i have settled on the 150 focal length though. from your friends photo, it looks distortion free.

thanks again.

Eric Leppanen
13-Apr-2009, 23:00
I have owned both lenses and agree that the optical performance of both is superb. From my perspective, the main differences are as follows:

+ f5.6 maximum aperture (slightly brighter focusing)
+ Smaller/lighter
- May need center filter if you use extreme movements, particularly with chrome film
- Expensive

+ Less expensive
+ Optical design has slightly less light falloff at the edges of the image circle, generally does not require a center filter
- Bulky/heavy
- Need to make sure rear element (which is quite large) will fit through the lensboard mounting frame of your camera

DOF will be the same for both lenses, since they are of the same focal length.

Specs for the Nikon lens can be found here: http://members.iinet.net.au/~cbird/nikkor/sw.html#SW150

14-Apr-2009, 08:13

You are aware that Nikon is now out of the large format lens business?