View Full Version : Super Angulon MC 120/8 vs?

mark e mark
18-Jul-2009, 06:51
I have just purchased a Schneider 120mm f8 multi coated lens from the bay, at what I feel was a fair price. I plan to use it on my 5x7 (when it arrives). The serial number is in the 13.9 million range. OK, it is slow and a bit of a lump. However, how would current owners and past owners rate it performance wise against more modern lens, resolution, light fall off, coverage (for lens in the 110-135mm range)? What about older 121 and 120mm. I take it the MC gives it better resistance to flare and is would have a little more contrast.

Don Dudenbostel
18-Jul-2009, 07:53
I purchased a new 121SA in the early 70's and used it regularly until I dropped it on concrete a few years ago. I broke a couple of elements and bent the shutter. I figured it was trashed so I bought a new Nikkor 120SW. Last year I had Schneider fix the 121 and sold it but never did any real side by side comparisons. Generally speaking the 121 was fairly resistant to flare. I shot many interiors with exposed light bulbs in or near the edge of the frame with little problems from flare. I would say it is very resistant to flare. Color was excellent and on 5x7 light fall off wasn't an issue. I did use it a few times on 8x10 but it barely covered and fall off was more of an issue. The Nikkor has proven to be a superb lens but I wouldn't say it produces any better image than the 121 SA. The Nikkor is very flare resistant but not much if any better than the 121 SA. Flare is more of an issue due to light scattering in the bellows than the optical properties of the lens in my opinion. Proper control of stray light with either a hood or in my case using black foam core to shield the lens is much more effective in flare control vs multicoating.

I have no experience with the 120 SA but remember the Schneider rep telling me that the glass had to be reformulated slightly in the Super Angulons when they started multicoating.

I have both a 90 SA 5.6 from the mid 70's and think it's a MC and have a newer MC Nikkor 90 4.5. I have done some side by side tests and have been unable to tell one from the other. My guess is the same is true of the 121, 120 SA's and the Nikkor 120.

I'm curious why you say compared to more modern lenses when you speak of the 120mm SA. It's about as modern as any of the wides including the 115 Grandagon and the Nikkor 120. They're all about the same age as far as design.

Paul O
18-Jul-2009, 07:56
Hi Mark. The 120 f8 is a very fine lens - so no worries here! It has ample coverage 288mm (the same as the current 110XL) for 5x7 film with movements and if its anything like the 110 then it will probably just cover 10x8 (advertised at 18x24cms) the Schneider specs are very conservative! From the serial number it is probably from circa 1982. It compares favourably with the current 110 apart from its size, weight and 82mm filter thread! Waht film are you planning on using with your 5x7 - colour or black and white?

18-Jul-2009, 09:17
I also have an older 121/8 Super Angulon, and it is simply outstanding. I never notice the lack of multicoating. I bought it in the mid-80's as a used lens, and it fully measures up to my much-newer multicoated 90/5.6 Super Angulon. The 120/8 should be at least as good, if not fractionally (and perhaps unnoticably) better.

Rick "use it with joy" Denney

mark e mark
18-Jul-2009, 11:38
Thanks for the comments folks. I have just purchased the lens for a fair price, about a third of the price which I have seem a 110mm XL going for. As you know the 110mm is newer, quite a bit smaller and a stop faster. However, if the 120mm has a similar performance I should be happy. I Mainly plan to use it with B+W. I n other posts I have ben looking for Delta 100. Otherwise it will have to be Ilford HP5+ or FP4+ (more likely FP4+). At the back of my mind I purchased it because I could use it in the future is ever I moved up to 8x10. Paul O were abouts in sunny Wales are you? I'm in Bridgend.

Paul O
18-Jul-2009, 16:33
Hi Mark
I'm in sunny Barry! We're almost neighbours :)

Drew Wiley
18-Jul-2009, 18:21
I used a 120SA with a center filter for architecture and some canyon work in the
Southwest. A heavy lens but excellent performer for both color and b&w work. I've since gone to lighter lenses, like the 125 Fuji W for 4x5 (not enough coverage for 5x7), and the 90/4.5 Nikkor for general architectural use (which I don't do very often now). Part of my rationale was that I seldom shoot the Sinar anymore, and
lighter lenses are more practical on my folding Ebony. (I'm also getting older and
don't typically carry 90 lb packs anymore; I'm down to 75!)

Daniel Unkefer
23-Jul-2009, 12:53
I have a fully automatic Sinar Norma Schneider 121mm F8, and has already been said, it is as good as it gets. I used to own a 115mm F6.8 Rodenstock Grandagon, it was MC, but it was no better than my 121. You can't go wrong with the 121 F8.

23-Jul-2009, 16:54
I talked to, and bought one from Fred Picker in 1984. He was right in that I never ran out of coverage on my 4x5 and could enlarge a small part of the negative to 11x14. It was my only lens for much of my LF photography. It is a great lens. PM me if you need some filters for it.