View Full Version : What's a Nice 65mm Lens?

20-Dec-2011, 20:08

So I'm looking for a 65mm lens for my Arca Swiss Field 4x5. I was just wondering if anybody has any specific lens suggestions for that focal length. I typically like Schneider lenses, but I am also willing to use something else if it's high quality.

I wouldn't want anything over a f/5.6. Thank you all in advance for your suggestions!


20-Dec-2011, 20:34
I have nikkor f4 is easy to focus and compose with. I had a schneider f8 for a short while and it was very difficult to compose and focus. you're going to get every brand recommended to you when asking a question like this. I suggest searching old threads.

20-Dec-2011, 20:38
Very cool, thank you! And ya I kind of figured I'd get a lot of responses. I should specify that I would like either a Schneider, rodenstock or nikkor. With that being said, hopefully the responses will be narrowed. Thanks again for the response.

20-Dec-2011, 20:52
Nikkor for sure..

Have you considered wider by chance? I was considering getting a 65mm as my 2nd lens however I think I will go straight down to a 53mm or 47mm

If I was going for a 65mm I would buy Nikkor SW, only because I shoot Nikon/Nikkor for 35mm and digital and thus far I have never ever been unimpressed with Nikkor glass.. I have not used a Nikkor SW personally.. But going from the 35 Nikkor lenses I do own, I know their optical quality is right up there...

20-Dec-2011, 21:17
Interesting, I will definitely continue looking into Nikkor. I have considered getting a 55mm. The only issue I am worried about is focusing and movements. Also, I have read that if you shoot a 65mm around f/16 and higher you don't need a center filter. I would be worried that with a lens wider than 65mm, a center filter would be a necessity.

20-Dec-2011, 21:23
Large aperture is better for focusing with a wide angle.

Fujinon, Rodenstock, Nikkor, Schneider are all good. I don't have a 65, but I have a 75 Caltar (Rodenstock) which is excellent on my AS F-Line with bag bellows. The image circles of these lenses are not huge so take notice of that if you need movements.

Mark Stahlke
20-Dec-2011, 21:44
I think the 65/5.6 Super Angulon is a very nice lens. You'll probably want a center filter for it.

20-Dec-2011, 22:25
I will definitely take the image circle aspect into account regarding movements. Great point.

And I have actually been looking at the 65/5.6 Super Angulon. Would you suggest that I still need a center filter even when shooting stopped down?

20-Dec-2011, 22:31
You dont need to go any wider than 65mm on 4x5. 65mm is really wide, like 17mm on a 35mm camera. Any of the usual suspects make excellent lenses (schneider, rodenstock, nikon, fuji). I would definitely spend the extra money and get a brighter lens. f5.6 or f4.

Width = 24 mm, Length = 36 mm, Diagonal = 43.2666 mm

f Hor Vert Diag H/V
17.0 93.2732 70.4352 103.6777 1.3242

Width = 101.6 mm, Length = 127 mm, Diagonal = 162.639 mm

f Hor Vert Diag H/V
65.0 88.6624 76.0180 102.7283 1.1663

David Karp
20-Dec-2011, 23:39
I would look for a 65mm f/4.5 Caltar made by Rodenstock. I believe they offered one. Or a Fujinon 65mm f/5.6. Those will be very nice lenses and likely be less expensive than a Schneider or Rodenstock brand.

21-Dec-2011, 00:19
I too have the Nikkor SW 65/4 and have been pleased with it. Nice bright image for focusing, and excellent optics.

- Leigh

Per Madsen
21-Dec-2011, 03:43
I can also recommend the Nikkor 65mm 4.0.

Bright image on the groundglass and very sharp.

21-Dec-2011, 07:07
Wow, that Nikkor is pretty popular. What does that typically sell for used? Thanks again for all responses, I'm taking everyones opinion into consideration.

21-Dec-2011, 09:29
I have the nikkor also. Great lens. Used prices are most often in the $500-700 range on Ebay.

21-Dec-2011, 13:43
Okay, so I'm debating between the the Nikkor 65mm f4 and the Sinaron-W MC 65mm f4.5.

Between the two, which one do you guys recommend?

Thanks again for all your help!

John Conway
21-Dec-2011, 14:25
I have an older 65/8 super angulon and I just picked up a Nikon 65 f/4 SW. The Schneider is a fine classic lens, but I have found it difficult to use in low light. The Nikon is fantastic in terms of image quality and the large 4.0 is a pleasure on the ground glass. And if you become a wide angle junky like me, the 65 is only the beginning. I had 47 that I sold and have missed it ever since. Soon I will get another 47 SA as well as a 38 XL. The 58 SA is a consideration as well. But yeah, the Nikon 65 is a real gem.

21-Dec-2011, 15:00
I've used two 65mm lenses:

Super Angulon 65mm f/8 with a crap shen-hao ground glass = nigh on impossible to use in anything but bright conditions. Bearing in mind I live in the UK, and bright conditions just don't happen. Center filters for this are quite rare.

Nikkor 65mm f/4 with ebony GG + ebony Wide-angle fresnel = an absolute pleasure to use, dig out your sunglasses for using under the darkcloth. Center filters - the common Schneider IIIb or heliopan/rodenstock equivalent is all you need.

I would say given even the fast 65mm lenses, unlike fast 90mm lenses, aren't physically that big, its worth going for a fast lens. But having said that, a good ground glass setup for WA lenses makes a world of difference and should be factored into the overall equation. I suspect a 65/8 with a good wideangle fresnel could be easier to use than a fast 65 on a crap glass.

21-Dec-2011, 17:32
Okay, so I'm debating between the the Nikkor 65mm f4 and the Sinaron-W MC 65mm f4.5.

Between the two, which one do you guys recommend?

Thanks again for all your help!

The Sinaron W is a rebadged Rodenstock Grandagon. Which label has no effect on the quality, which is excellent. All the biogon-derived lenses at this focal length are excellent.

I have a Super Angulon 65/5.6 for which I paid much less than the price I have seen for any f/4.5 Grandagon or Nikkor-SW. The reason is that these have been on the market longer. Mine is a 70's-era single-coated version, and it is excellent. It needs a center filter is you use it for 4x5--all lenses of this focal length will.

Rick "who accepts a touch of Schneideritis and gets great deals therefore" Denney

22-Dec-2011, 08:01

I have a Super Angulon 65/5.6 f.... It needs a center filter is you use it for 4x5--all lenses of this focal length will.

Rick "who accepts a touch of Schneideritis and gets great deals therefore" Denney

I too have a 65/5.6 SA but it might be my ignorance but I have never had the need for a center filter, I shoot only B&W only though..



22-Dec-2011, 09:34
I too have a 65/5.6 SA but it might be my ignorance but I have never had the need for a center filter, I shoot only B&W only though..

Black and white is the least demanding in terms of fall-off, because its dynamic range is wide and can be made to be extremely wide. Also, many photos, particularly in black and white, look better when darkened in the corners and edges.

For transparency film, however, the opposite is true. If the corners fall off a couple of stops, they might fall right into the unrecoverable shadows. I can usually correct the falloff of the 65 when using it with the 6x12 format, but it requires a lot of effort in Photoshop. And it affects the contrast when I make the correction, too, if I keep the blacks black in the corners. For 4x5, it's critical with transparency film, in my view, if the scene needs anything resembling even illumination and contrast across the frame.

So, it's worth giving it a try. You can always get the center filter later. I bought a Schneider Center Filter 3 a couple of years after buying the lens. Used, of course. But I still paid nearly as much for it as I had paid for the lens.

I found a center filter for the original 65/8 Super Angulon at one of the online stores for a hundred bucks. I snapped that one up--I still have a 65/8 intended for a project camera. It also works on the old 47/5.6, though it reduces coverage slightly.

Rick "noting that very short lenses in large format are not like pressing the Easy Button" Denney

23-Dec-2011, 06:02
I have tried Nikkor 65/4 Rodenstock 65/4.5 and Schneider 65/5,6. All of them perform great. I have the Rodenstock because it was the cheapest with the centerfilter included, and came factory mounted in a Sinar board. Mine is Sinaron branded.
I my case, I need centerfilter. If you shot landscapes, you maybe do not need a centerfilter, and in that case I suggest you to buy the cheapest you find.

23-Dec-2011, 06:58
I realize the topic is regarding 65mm lenses. But for consideration I will suggest looking at the Schneider 58mm SA XL. I use this lens on a Toyo 45AII field camera and am really starting to enjoy it. I have done a few nature/outdoor photos and an indoor environmental-type portrait, and I like what I see. Focusing is not a problem with a loupe on the ground glass. I have used rise and tilt movements successfully.

If the Arca offers a bag bellows, this would be a great setup IMHO. The Toyo doesn't have a bag bellows option, so I use a standard pleated bellows.

There are a few of these lenses for sale on the auction site. They also come up now and then on this site and APUG.

26-Dec-2011, 11:36
I was in Copenhagen shooting last summer and bought a used Rodi 65mm f4.5 for about $650. Only inexpensive thing in Denmark. It's a killer lens.

Ramiro Elena
17-Mar-2012, 15:47
Old thread I know :)

I was just given a Sinaron 65mm f4.5 and went ahead and mounted it on my Toyo 45A. I was certain I would not have the bellows to focus infinity but it barely does with the front standard backed all the way.
It leaves me with almost no rise, is this the case for you Chassis?

18-Mar-2012, 22:47
The rodenstock/caltar 65 4.5 is an extremely impressive lens. The images just have something special IMHO. The Nikkor 65 f4 would be great if it is anything like my 90 f8 SW.

19-Mar-2012, 05:51

Yes, I have very little movement capability with the 58mm lens, with a 12mm recessed lensboard on a Toyo 45AII. I work with it, and compose the image knowing this is how I need to use the lens. If you use a recessed lensboard with the 65mm Sinaron, you may have a bit more movement available to you.