View Full Version : covertable lens

e. a. smith
10-Aug-2009, 11:55
I am just starting to put together a 4x5 system. I'm trying to get started on a budget.
I have a Linhof 45S and am looking for lenses.
I want to do landscapes and some studio portraits.
I'm looking for opinions about the functionality and image quality of a Technika Symar Covertable 150/265 f5.6/12.
I understand that the elements are seperated to create the telephoto lens but I'm not sure how this affects using filters or lenshoods.
How good is it as a "standard" lens?
I have 2400 WS of light in 10 heads so I don't think the f12 will be a problem in the studio. However, I want to be able to produce 16x20 B&W and CIBAChrome. Will this lens be good enough at 265?

E. A. Smith

10-Aug-2009, 12:07
converted the lenses loose a bit if there "sharpness" maybe it is just what you want for a contact print portrait but i am not sure how much enlarging you can do and still consider it acceptable.

a yellow filter will help but again you loose some light. will f12 give you the shallow DOF you would be looking for in a portrait?

maybe the 150 will do just what you need.

or maybe you should consider a slightly longer lens for portraits and pick up a wider lens later....or visa-versa.

Vick Vickery
10-Aug-2009, 12:48
I'll take a stab at your questions since I seem to be one of the few around here who really likes convertible lenses! :) First, the Schneidar Symmar 150/265 is a good, versitle lens which in effect provides you with a normal lens and a long lens in one package; the 150mm length is a good one to start with for general shooting, and the 265mm is in the range that most of us prefer for portrait shoots.

You will probably find that the lens gives very good performance used with both lens groups and at least acceptable performance with just the rear group, especially for portrait shots where a little less sharpness is acceptable. Many folks pay large premiums for "soft focus" lenses. That said, I find that my convertible lenses, a Wollensak triple convertible, an Ilex double convertible, and a Turner-Reich triple convertible all give good performance as long as I take care in how I use them. The best tip I can give in using any convertible lens is to refocus after you stop the lens down when using only one lens group; these lenses commonly have mild to severe focus shift after stopping down when using only one lens group. I have always thought that this is why they have a reputation for severe loss in performance when converted.

Filters can be used behind the lens when converted or you can use a filter holder which doesn't attach to the lens such as one built into a compendium shade. Either works fine, but I find one used behind the lens to be alot of trouble.

I don't know alot about the Linhof 45S, so I don't know if a compendium shade can be easily adapted to that camera. I think it has enough bellows draw for the 265mm length when converted, but that is something you probably need to check out before buying the lens.

Hope these comments help clarify your questions.

Bob Salomon
10-Aug-2009, 13:04
The 45e came standard without an accessory shoe on the front standard. Linhof compendiums mount to the accessory shoe on the other Kardan cameras. If you look at the top right hand side of your front standard you should see an outline in the casting for the Linhof accessory shoe (if one has not already been added). Linhof service does have these shoes and can drill and tap the standard so that you can use a compendium with your camera should you want to.

Your camera was supplied with an 18" long monorail. Unlike similar and later Kardan models you can not extend the rial by adding extra extensions nor can you get a longer monorail. That means that you have a 457.2mm long rail. So the longest lenses have to be able to focus to infinity (or to the magnification ratio you want) within the length of the rail.

Finally, should you decide to place filters behind the lens you will create a focus shift of 1/3rd the thickness of the filter. In addition, and fingerprint, smudge, dust, dirt, grease, etc. on the filter will degrade the image. There are ways to get filter adapters in front of the lens when you have converted it. One way is to put a Linhof filter holder on the Linhof compendium. Then one size filter fits all lenses.