View Full Version : how do these two 90mm lenses compare?

1-Nov-2009, 07:57
I am new to LF and haven't yet found all of the info which compares lenses
a google search didn't help me in trying to find the answer to this question

I am not yet ready to purchase an expensive 90mm lens for landscape
work with my Nagaoka 4x5 field camera

so am considering two lower cost options
how do they compare?

one is the schneider angulon 90mm f6.8
and the other is the Wollensak EX-WA Series IIIA 3 1/2inch f12.5

I realize that the angulon will be easier to focus because it is an f6.8 but have read that the coverage allowing movements is extremely limited on my camera with that lens, would the Wollensak be better for movements, and how hard will it be to focus. I believe it comes off of a "press style" camera and conceivably focusing is not an issue with those since many use rangefinder focusing

Mark Sawyer
1-Nov-2009, 10:57
The quality of both of these lenses varies quite a bit from example to example. The later versions are the best, and you would probably prefer the coated version of the Wollensak over the uncoated. Both should barely cover 5x7, so they will allow some movements though I suspect they'll lose definition at the corners outside the centered 4x5 coverage.

The Wollensak might open to somewhere in the neighborhood of f/6.8 for focusing. On the 159mm (for 8x10) version, the aperture was restrained from fully opening, but removal of a set screw allows it to open all the way, and every example of that lens I've ever seen has had the set screw removed. It's very possible this is the case with the shorter version, and someone who owns one might chime in...

2-Nov-2009, 05:27
Have to echo Mark's comments on the Angulon, my first was quite a poor performer, I quickly replaced it with a a 90mm f6.8 Grandagon. However my second Angulon is a good performer stopped down to f16 & preferably f22.

It's a bit of a gamble buying these older lenses, so good luck, and don't pay too much, they should be quite cheap.


2-Nov-2009, 05:51
just lash out and buy a super angulon (or the other versions ) 90mm f8. skip over the others. one just sold here for $100! you can get them for $200 in a copal 0 shutter (be sure it is a copal 0 and NOT The 00!) keh.com have several in the 200-235 range with a seiko shutter. and one for 165.

the 90mm f8 are awesome lenses. get one of them. you will not be disappointed.

2-Nov-2009, 06:36
I agree with Eddie, find a super angulon, or a Caltar 90mm in a good shutter. The Angulon is a crapshoot and the wollensak is subject to a lot of flaring.

Ole Tjugen
2-Nov-2009, 07:02
A 90/6.8 Angulon is much easier to focus than a 90/8 Super Angulon. The max aperture isn't that different, yet I find the "plain" Angulon much easier to use.

I tend to use the Angulon on 4x5", and the Super Angulon on 5x7".

There is some variation in performance with age in Angulons, but the main differences seen to be changes in design criteria. BUT: Any Angulon which has been stored improperly is to be suspected of misalignment of the lens elements. Only the outer elements are fastened to the barrel; the inner two in each cell are only held by the balsam!


Mark Sawyer
2-Nov-2009, 09:50
Regarding the Super Angulons and similar lenses, be aware that they are significantly heavier and bulkier. (Note that the OP has a lightweight field camera, so this may be a significant factor. It was very important to me that my 90mm Angulon folded neatly inside my 4x5 Calumet XM field camera at the time I was using it.)

Don Dudenbostel
2-Nov-2009, 16:38
Neither of these lenses will allow more than about a half inch rise or fall but both can produce good results. I just added a lens to my kit that I use for my students and purchased a nice 90 Caltar / Ilex (super angulon) f8 from the forum for $100. They're fine lenses and a copy of a super angulon and frequently overlooked because of the Ilex name. Ilex made very good lenses and were good enough for Calumet to put their name on them. The commercial studio I apprenticed in in the early 70's had Ilex lenses for the 4x5 and 8x10's.