View Full Version : lenses for 6x17 (180 & 300 mm ), please help

23-Aug-2009, 10:24

I just ordered 6x17 cm camera, I hope I will have it next week. As a first lens I consider 180/5.6. I narrowed down my choice:

1. fujinon 180/5.6 CM W

2. APO SYMMAR MC 180/5.6 ( those 2 lenses are similar in price and my 1st choice )

3. Rodenstock 180mm f5.6 APO Sironar N ( I found this lens more expensive than 1.& 2. lens - so probably it is better ? )

Im looking to buy it from KEH, MPEX, and similar sites.

300 mm - main use will be landscape, Nikkor M 300/9 is one choice but I found appealing G-claron 305/9 - it is best for close -up work, how it is for infinity focus ?

My camera will be Shen Hao PTB 617 with bellows from 65 to 300 mm

Many thanks

23-Aug-2009, 12:14
As an owner of a couple of Rodenstock APO Sironar lenses, the only down side is the cost, but they are worth every penny. The contrast and sharpness of this lens is superior to any other lens I have used.

I own a couple of fujinon lenses and they are good lenses but I find myself reaching for the Rodenstock 90% of the time.

Lachlan 717
23-Aug-2009, 15:05
I have the non-folding version of this camera. My lens split and the percentage that I use each are:

72mm / 15%
90mm / 80%
150mm / 2.5%
240mm / 2.5%

Maybe run a poll on what other 6x17 Users have and how often they use them?

I have never wished for anything greater than the Fuji 240mm lens. I cannot see when I would want one in the future. Prior to getting the 72mm, I did wish for wider coverage.

It is my opinion that the vast majority of 6x17 cameras' primary lenses range from 75mm to 105mm.

So, be sure of the 180mm as your primary lens.

As for which one of the listed lenses, it (again) is my opinion that any differences in performance with these will be so negligible as to be rendered moot. I have Schneider and Fuji lenses and have never felt the need to look at other brands.

And don't assume price is a gauge on quality...


23-Aug-2009, 23:36
Thank you guys,

I was guided primarily with lenses used on Fuji GX 617 system with 90, 180 and 300 mm lenses. 90 mm is the most expensive because needs center filter, as far as I know.(?) So my next choice is 180 mm. I agree with brands and their similar quality.

thanks, Mario

Lachlan 717
24-Aug-2009, 00:05
You're only limited by the coverage of a given lens. As long as it covers 5x7, it should be fine to use with 6x17cm.

Here (http://www.ebonycamera.com/articles/lenses.html)is a good starting point for researching what lenses will do this.

There are several 120mm and 135mm lenses that will work. There are heaps of 150mm options as well.

You're right about the center filter with the 90mm lens; however, if you're not shooting tranny film you can get away with it for the time being.


David Hedley
24-Aug-2009, 01:10
I found 300mm to work really well on 6x17, especially for mountain landscapes.

24-Aug-2009, 09:08
This link is also useful: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/lenses/LF6x17cm.html

Im certain I need 300mm for tele-landscape work but it will come lately. Also I need 90mm lens (or maybe 75 mm) but Im confused with 135-180 mm range. I don know which lenses are similar to 50 mm and let say 80-90 mm in 35mm-format ( Leica-format).

Above mentioned link suggests that 6x17 135mm is eqiv. to 65mm in Leica-format ( angle of cov. is 72-76 degree ), and 6x17 180mm is eqiv. to 87 mm ( angle of cov. is 70-72 degree )....
btw. are those numbers so important ?

sorry for distracting you from photography, thanks, Mario

Lachlan 717
24-Aug-2009, 15:01

35mm format equivalency is a difficult thing in panoramic as the width versus height issue messes everything up! I found that a 150mm lens is suitable as a "standard" for me.

When I initially started to put a lens kit together, I followed the same path (although I started with a 90mm lens).

After much debate (and, I think, a thread here somewhere), I came to the conclusion that the spacing between each lens is far more important. Given an Epson V700 will scan a 6x17cm image well over 500meg at medium resolution, and the quality of modern lenses is so good, cropping of images is a highly viable option.

Thus, I can crop a 90mm image down to a 135mm lens equivalent and still be able to print massive images.

So, to cut a long story short, I would spend more mental power working out your lens steps at this point.

And, if you can afford it, I would highly recommend going with the 72mm Schneider over a 75mm lens for two reasons. First, you can always crop to 75mm coverage (as above). Second, the 72mm has significantly more coverage than any 75mm I am aware of. Given you have a camera with full movements, you will probably end up shifting and rising (especially if you are shooting urban/city images). For the same reason, I would also highly recommend getting an f5.6 version of the 90mm (can't go past a Schneider 90mm XL).


28-Aug-2009, 13:43

I decided to buy apo-symmar 180/5,6; I hope it will be good enough; thank you all for great help;