View Full Version : Newby Needs Some Help

Jim Burk
12-Dec-2009, 00:40
I just bought a Wista 4x5. I need to buy at least one lens, obviously!

Some that are now on eB^^ are a Schnieder Symmar 135 f/5.6 MC and a Sinar Sinaron-S 210 f/5.6 MC.

I like to shoot landscapes, especially in vineyards and seascapes.

What are the relative merits, and prices, that are reasonable, for these two. Or should I wait for something else?

I have been shooting a Hasselblad and a Toyo knockoff 4x5, but want to shoot a lot more LF. I am very open to suggestions!

12-Dec-2009, 04:57
If you shoot landscapes, think also about the focal length - 210 is long-ish. I have always really liked something in the 120-ish range for 4x5 landscapes. And this is just my personal opinion.

Gem Singer
12-Dec-2009, 07:03
The Schneider Symmar 135 is a good choice to use on the Wista for your purpose.

If the lens is in good condition, it should sell for $200-$300.

Nowadays, no need to spend more for a previously owned 135.

falth j
12-Dec-2009, 07:15

Don't confine your lens search to ebay.

Prices for many things photographic, lenses included, are un-necessarily run up by the bidding process and don't reflect real value.

Once in a while, you'll catch a 'deal', but mostly without any sort of return privilege for defective junk.

Steven Barall
12-Dec-2009, 09:58
I vote for the 135 also. It's a good all around focal length. The Hasselblad equivalent of the 210 on 4x5 is about a 110. Good luck.

Brian Ellis
12-Dec-2009, 11:02
Symmars are now four generations old, having been followed by the Symmar S, the Apo Symmars, and now the Apo Symmar "L." I'd buy a more current version. You should be able to find a 135mm Apo Symmar or Symmar S for not much more than $300. I'd also buy my first lens from a reputable dealer such as Midwest Photo Exchange, Lens and Repro (though their prices are high), KEH, et al rather than on ebay. Ebay is fine if you know the questions to ask but it isn't where I'd go for my first LF lens.

Jim Burk
13-Dec-2009, 20:03
Thanks for the help everyone. I ended up getting the Schnieder Symmar 135 f/5.6 MC. I have a 210 on a Toyo monorail, so I got a new lensboard that I can use on the Wista. I can then switch to whatever camera I am using.

I am really looking forward to using these in Wine Country right after Christmas.

13-Dec-2009, 20:21
I would have suggested the 210mm and to look for a 150mm as a second lens. But that is just another opinion. Now you will have the opportunity to make images with both the long and short of it.

Of course, you will run into one of Ted Orland's Photographic Truths -- "If you have more than one lens, you will always have the wrong one on the camera at any given time".

Have fun in the vineyards!


13-Dec-2009, 20:27
Schnieder Symmar 135 f/5.6 MC

I have a lens marked such, but it is also branded as 'Calumet.' Is this just a rebranding of the above, or an entirely different lens?

Gem Singer
13-Dec-2009, 21:37
Calumet lenses are branded "Caltar" no matter what company manufactured them.

The first lens I purchased from Calumet, early 1980, was a 150 Caltar Pro made by Schneider.

13-Dec-2009, 23:40
At least that's what I have been told numerous times. Lenses sold by Calumet are contracted rebranded lenses. I have had Calumet Caltar lenses that have been Schneider AND Rodenstock.

I'd opt for 135 or 150 as a landscape lens for my first lens. Second lens would be a 90 and third lens 210 or 240 based on the choice of the first lens.