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View Full Version : Schneider Super-Symmar XL 110mm f5.6 & Nikkor SW 120mm f/8



r.e.
25-Dec-2011, 19:52
Can anyone comment on the relative merits of these two lenses?

Leigh
25-Dec-2011, 19:57
I've never used the Schneider, so I can't offer a comparison. However...

I do have the Nikkor 120/8 and shoot it frequently. It's an excellent lens with a huge image circle of 312mm, which permits extreme movements on 4x5.

- Leigh

John Brady
25-Dec-2011, 20:04
I can speak for the Nikor sw 120 as it is my most used lens on 8x10 for color and black and white landscape. It is an exceptional lens and value. I think they are discontinued and have been for a couple of years but B&H still has them and sell them for around $750. It just covers 8x10 stopped down and doesn't overly vignette in my opinion. Very sharp and crazy wide. I may buy another as a back up.

I believe the super symar 110 has a wider angle of coverage but the price is almost triple the price. That doesn't mean I wouldn't love to have one.

www.timeandlight.com

r.e.
25-Dec-2011, 20:20
That doesn't mean I wouldn't love to have one.

www.timeandlight.com

John, if you could expand, why is that?

Leigh
25-Dec-2011, 20:25
I believe the super symar 110 has a wider angle of coverage...
Actually, no. The IC on the 110/5.6 XL is 288mm (which certainly won't handle 8x10), vs. 312mm for the Nikkor 120/8.

- Leigh

John Brady
25-Dec-2011, 20:27
Because it's a smidge wider, and for me the wider the better when it comes to itntamite landscape images. It is regarded by many as one of those great lenses.

There are many here that can give you the correct angle of view, I think it's 110 for the nikor and 115 for the super symar.

I love the super angulon 47xl for 4x5 and I think the super symar would be the closest comparison for 8x10. Just my opinion though.

www.timeandlight.com

r.e.
25-Dec-2011, 20:33
Actually, no. The IC on the 110/5.6 XL is 288mm, which certainly won't handle 8x10.

- Leigh

There are people here who have said that Schneider is conservative on coverage and that the lens will in fact cover 8x10 at f/22 without movements.

Leigh
25-Dec-2011, 20:34
There are many here that can give you the correct angle of view, I think it's 110 for the nikor and 115 for the super symar.
Both lenses are rated 105 on their respective data sheets.

- Leigh

Leigh
25-Dec-2011, 20:37
There are people here who have said that Schneider is conservative on coverage and that the lens will in fact cover 8x10 at f/22 without movements.
All data sheet ratings are conservative. Each manufacturer has its own standards for what constitutes 'acceptable' coverage when defining IC. It generally does not mean the actual diameter of the illuminated circle thrown by the lens, but is some lesser value.

As with many specs, it depends a lot on what type of photography you do as to whether the published values accurately reflect your usage.

- Leigh

r.e.
25-Dec-2011, 21:02
Thanks all. I asked the question because the Schneider has been for sale in the classifieds for the last few weeks. In the last half hour or so, the vendor has withdrawn the offer. Still, if others have views on the relative merits of these lenses, it would be useful.

Nathan Potter
25-Dec-2011, 21:35
I use the 110 SSXL quite frequently on 4X5. Without doing critical tests but just using it in the field, this is the sharpest lens I've ever used and probably the highest contrast. The cost has to be reflected in the use of aspheric element in the construction. Remarkable performance over the 4X5 format. If you can snag one at $1200 or less you have a good deal that you'll not regret if sharpness and contrast is your objective.

I did put this lens on a borrowed 8X10 for a couple of test shots at f/32 and coverage was complete at seemingly high resolution per the negatives under a Wild M3 binocular microscope. Maybe even at f/22 as some suggest. Corner coverage is always a matter of degree anyhow.

Nate Potter, Austin TX.

Henry Ambrose
25-Dec-2011, 21:43
The 110 is every bit as good as you've ever heard or read about. It will barely cover 8x10 stopped way down and straight on. Really barely covers so if you're shooting 8X10 its not so useful. It is absolutely wonderful on 4X5 or 5X7.

Oren Grad
25-Dec-2011, 22:37
The other thing to watch out for in shopping for a used SS-XL is that some early-production lenses developed some sort of fog or haze. You can probably find a couple of threads about it if you search here. By all accounts, Schneider figured out what the problem was and fixed it and has been exemplary in replacing defective lenses, but it's something to ask about with respect to early used samples.

Ed Richards
26-Dec-2011, 10:21
I have both. I started with the Nikon, and for a while it was my only lens. (The rest of my gear was stolen, but they ignore the Rubbermaid cooler with the Sinar and the 120 in it.) It is a wonderful lens, with only one drawback - it is big and heavy. I picked up a 110 and an 80 when bargains came my way, and they replaced my Nikon 90 4.5 and 120 based only on size and weight, not image quality. They are better corrected for close work, but I do not do that much, so it was not a reason for me to prefer them to the Nikons.

The Nikons are in my really big lenses for architecture bag, the one I do not carry around in the field. For that, the 72xl, 90, and 120 are the perfect wide set, with a 47 for shooting in bathrooms.:-)

Renato Tonelli
27-Dec-2011, 08:33
The 110 has become the wide angle that gets the most use and my only complaints are its bulkiness and the fact that it needs the expensive center filter (at least for color).

Ari
27-Dec-2011, 11:31
I've heard good things about each of these lenses, but...
If you plan on shooting 8x10, or already do so, try the Nikon; it will give you more wiggle room on 8x10 than you might think.
The 110 is a smaller, lighter lens, so if you're sticking with only 4x5, the 110 would be my choice.
Both are very useful focal lengths, so your budget and taste are the final arbiters.

John NYC
27-Dec-2011, 11:54
I was down at Clyde Butcher's a few weeks ago, and he shoots very wide on 8x10 most of the time, with either the 150mm or 110mm SS XLs. And he doesn't use a center filter. He said he fixes mechanical vingnetting in the darkroom. Most of his prints do show a significant amount of vingnetting, and when I asked him about it, he said he prefers it aesthetically. So the 110mm definitely works, if you are cognizant of the caveats.

I had a 150mm SS XL and was not happy with the vingnetting on 8x10 except for certain dramatic effects, so I bought a centre filter.

Ari
27-Dec-2011, 12:03
Like I said, taste will be a factor.
I used a 121 SA on 8x10, and very much liked the slight vignetting.
That, too, is a lens that shouldn't cover 8x10, but it does, and quite adequately.

John NYC
27-Dec-2011, 12:23
Like I said, taste will be a factor.
I used a 121 SA on 8x10, and very much liked the slight vignetting.
That, too, is a lens that shouldn't cover 8x10, but it does, and quite adequately.

Yes, actually, if I were to go wide again on 8x10 I might get the Nikon 120. To me the 150 SS XL was wide enough to look wide, but not wide enough to look super ridiculously dramatic wide. I have decided for most things I shoot, I don't prefer wide, but every once in a while I happen upon something where I might want a really, really wide effect. And in that case I would just incorporate the vingnetting into the overall aesthetic of the picture.