View Full Version : Schneider Xenar 135mm f/4.7, A Good Lens?

Tarn Tantikij
12-Mar-2002, 12:20

In connection with my purchase of the Bushman Model D described in an earlier me ssage concerning the Voigtlander Heliar, I have the 127mm f/4.7 Kodak Ektar that comes with it.

Unfortunately, it looks like somebody messed around with the back element of the front group. The coating looks like somebody took a steel wool to it!!! I think it's pretty much ruined!

My very excellent dealer, Scott of National Camera Exchange in Minnesota, is so kind as to send me a Schneider Xenar 135mm f/4.7 as replacement.

Would anybody know this lens well, is it better or worse than the 127mm Kodak Ek tar? Would it do the trick of resolving leaves at miles away to the edge of the frame? :) In short, is it good enough as a standard lens rather than for special quaint occasions?

Thank you.



PS - I have been told that this message list is the golden depository of LF know ledge. It seems so!

J. P. Mose
12-Mar-2002, 13:23

The Xenar would certainly have better coverage for 4 X 5 (assuming the subject camera is a 4 X 5) than the 127mm Ektar. I had a 135mm Xenar years ago on a Crown Graphic and had good performance. I think it would compare with the Ektar as far a sharpness, contrast, resolution..plus better coverage. Other lenses such as 135mm Sironar-S and -N, Symmar, Symmar-S, Planar, etc. would outperform the Xenar. The Xenar is a Tessar-type design so I would stack it against a Ektar, Tessar, Optar or similar.

Doug Paramore
12-Mar-2002, 20:35
J.P. is right, you will gain a slight bit of coverage at the edges, but not much. Both lenses, the Xenar and the Ektar are four element tessar designes and as such barely cover the 4x5 format. They will cover, but not with room for front rise and tilt. The Xenar is a good lens, but even in the 150mm size, there is little room for movements. For straight shooting without movements, the 135 should make a good lens. It may do all you want to do on the ol' Bushman. Why not shoot a couple of negs, develop them and see if it works for you. You don't even have to make a print to see if it is o.k. One last thought...if you intend to get serious with LF, and eventually go to a field or view camera, you will be better off with a modern plasmat formula lens.


Tarn Tantikij
12-Mar-2002, 21:53
Thank you, JP and Doug!

What I've gathered is:

1. The Xenar is comparable to the Ektar in that they're all the same design.

2. The Xenar may provide just a touch more coverage, but not really enough for any movements.

3. These older lenses don't compare to the more modern design.

I was reading the bits here and there on the Net and had the wrong impression that the Xenar would be oh so desirable over the Ektar.

You are saying that they're pretty much the same thing.

Thank you for the prespective.