View Full Version : Lenses to have now...

Steve Hamley
17-Jun-2011, 17:04

Assuming that there is an increasing unlikelihood of large future “runs” of large format lenses, what are the CURRENT lenses you’d want to have? Some of these lenses seem to be the apex of the lens maker’s art. No Nikkors since they're out, but the 120mm SW, 450mm M and 200mm M - among other Nikkor lenses - would be in here if they still made them. Here’s my starter list.

80mm – 110mm – 210mm Super Symmar XL – Flare resistant, sharp, but with extra falloff for the weight savings.

72mm Schneider Super Angulon XL.

125mm Funinon CM-W – 6 elements in 5 groups, a fairly unique lens in the CM-W line, 78 degrees, has the same image circle as a 75 degree 135 Apo Sironar-S.

350mm Schneider Apo Tele Xenar, small, sharp, and fills a niche.

Fujinon 450 C – The reason I picked this one over the others is the small size for the focal length, plus it’s as sharp a lens as ever existed.

Schneider “Fine Art” series – never owned one, but the 550mm Dagor-style lens seems uncommon enough with specifications to warrant inclusion.

Schneider Apo-Tele-Xenar series, the "real" telephotos, 400mm - 600mm - 800mm. I have a 400 and if the others are like this, wowza.

The Rodenstock Apo Sironar-S series

Any more?

Cheers, Steve

Greg Y
17-Jun-2011, 17:44
None....I'm happy with my Dagors, G Clarons & the occasional fuji...

17-Jun-2011, 17:45
I have too many already, and reflecting on that, I'm stunned.
Maybe I still pine for a Nikon 150 SW- huge image circle, Copal 1
I hope the Fujinon 180 i just bought will sate my GAS.
I do have a need in mind and maybe next week , or "real soon now" i'll go test the 180 and see if it's the last one, no really, I mean it

Mark Sawyer
17-Jun-2011, 17:49
Funny, but I immediately thought of the Cooke Triple Convertible and their PS945...

Even confining me to "CURRENT" lenses doesn't help! :D

Eric Woodbury
17-Jun-2011, 17:55
don't disregard used lenses if they aren't made. There are lots of good deals on used lenses.

You list depends on format. I do like the very wide lenses, the 47, 58, and 72 SA XL. The 72 I only use for 5x7. The 110 SS XL for 5x7 is wonderful, but I use some of the little cheap Fuji lenses near this focal length for 4x5. For 5x7, the 150mm Apo Sironar W, but it is no longer made either. The S version is made and almost as good. I like the Fuji 180, 240, and 360 A since they as so light weight. The 300 C is good too, but never a friendly length for me. And the Fuji 450 C is wonderful if your camera has the bellows. I have used the Nikkor 600/800 T, which as you mention are no longer made, but seem to be readily available. Nice lens and a real pig to carry. Stay close to the car with these. I pretty much like all the modern lenses from Nikon, Fuji, Rodenstock, and wides from Schneider. Used Fujis are especially attractive for weight and price.

Sirius Glass
17-Jun-2011, 18:09
When you have collected enough data, it would be nice to see the results in a spread sheet by format size, and by focal length and listing the coverage by f/stop.


Steve Hamley
17-Jun-2011, 18:12
Mark, Thanks, those are certainly good additions.

Eric, I excluded discontinued lenses only because the thread would become unmanageable!

Cheers, Steve

Dan Fromm
17-Jun-2011, 19:43
Fantasies can be nice. Send money.

Diane Maher
17-Jun-2011, 21:16
Why not include the 150 mm Schneider SS-XL?

Daniel Stone
17-Jun-2011, 21:35
my "want" list, and I guess I'm a sucker for Copal 3 shutters ;):

APO Sironar-S 240mm/300mm/360mm
Fujinon-C 600mm
APO Tele-Xenar 800mm(earlier, grey-barreled version preferred)

but I still have a lot of prints to sell before I can start adding more to the tool chest :).

but a 210 Graphic-Kowa, 300W Fujinon and 450/9 Nikkor-M isn't a bad start I figure.


Sal Santamaura
18-Jun-2011, 07:56
...No Nikkors since they're out, but the 120mm SW...would be in here if they still made them...Still available brand spanking new. Your choice of US or gray market to boot:



18-Jun-2011, 15:01
APO Sironar-S 240mm/300mm/360mm
I have all of the shorter APO-Sironar-S lenses, through 210mm, and they're absolutely superb.

I'm going to add the longer ones as finances permit.

- Leigh

18-Jun-2011, 18:36
probably just another junk lens harvested off a folder.
the new lenses are nice, but the junk ones have " character "

Armin Seeholzer
19-Jun-2011, 02:49
There are many nice lenses which I would like to have:
All APO-Sironar-S from 210 up to 360mm!
But there are many old ones with more character then the killing sharp new ones!

Cheers Armin

Steve Hamley
19-Jun-2011, 06:49

Thanks for the replies! I'm a vintage lens person too. The question really is, if you knew that another production "run" of new lenses would not happen or be a long time coming, what new lenses would you try to acquire because of that? Otherwise the thread risks being very similar to a "future classics" thread, and Kerry has covered this subject really well.

Cheers, Steve

19-Jun-2011, 09:36
For 8x10:

Super Symmar HM 210mm, still available new from B&H. I'd like to try that lens, but I'm not sure its better than other 210mm lenses for field camera use.

Other 8x10 lenses? The 240mm lenses and 300mm plasmats available new from B&H are likely not much different from those of 20 or 30 years ago. The advantage of a 'new' lens I see as getting a fresh shutter.