View Full Version : Super Symmar XL 80

Gene M
30-Oct-2003, 16:07
I'm torn between the 110 and the 80. I shoot 95% B&W landscapes. Can any users of the 80 tell me about light fall off at the edges with the lens ?

Brian Ellis
30-Oct-2003, 18:04
I've owned my 80 for a couple months now but haven't used it extensively. I did some fall off tests photographing the sky in an effort to see whether I'd need a center filter and I didn't have any noticeable fall off. On the several real photographs I've made with it, also including some sky, I aslo didn't notice any fall off. So for now I don't plan to buy a center filter but I don't think I've done enough with the lens to really give you a conclusive answer.

I was a little concerned about some of the comments made here a while back concerning difficulty of focusing with the 80mm wide open but that hasn't been a problem at all, it's really nice to have F4 on a lens that wide and focusing has been a breeze. Jim at MidWest told me it was a problem only with the very first batch of 80mms Schneider made and that it was corrected quite a while ago.

Andy Martelon
1-Nov-2003, 11:14
I have both lenses. I haven't used the 80mm as much as the 110, but have noticed no problem with either light fall-off or focusing. The 110 is a must have as the movement in the 4x5 format is incredible. My use of the 80 has been more architectural than landscape. I have the schneider center filter (3b), because I also own the 58mm Schneider, and a 43mm Mamiya 7II lense and this center filter works with everything I own, but have not seen the need for this filter on anything but the 58mm Schneider or the 43mm Mamiya.

Unless you really like, or need, wide angles, I'd say the 110 might be your 1st purchase.

Thomas W Earle
1-Nov-2003, 12:48
They are both excellent lenses. I use the 110 probably eight times more often than the 80 in my landscape adventures. As Andy elluded too, you may benefit more in purchasing the 110 first and then the 80 at a latter date. As for light fall-off, I haven't tried shooting the 80 without a CF so I can't comment on its behavior in that respect; however, I'm going to do a little experimenting latter this Autumn to see if I can live without a CF on my 80. Besides, it boils down to personal taste so you must run your own tests to ascertain rather or not a CF is necessary.

Henry Ambrose
1-Nov-2003, 18:42
Is this going to be your only wide lens either now or for the near future? If so, buy the 110.

Go to my site, http://www.henryambrose.com. The photo on the index page was made with the 80 and no filter on transparency film. (its a desaturated version of the first color shot on the archtecture page) I also shot this on B&W with a 25 red and no CF. It made a wonderful wet darkroom print. Fall off is just right for the particular scene IMO. The first two photos on the architecture page are with the 80, first no center filter, second with center filter. Third photo 110 no center filter (I have never screwed in the CF on the 110, I see no need). Fourth is the 80 with center filter. The three church interiors are 110, 80 with CF, 110. (hope I remember that right) More here: http://www.henryambrose.com/smyrna/ (quick comps to discuss cropping for prints - not finished work) From top down: 80 CF, 80CF, 110, 110, 80CF.

I use the 80 a lot when I need the wider angle of view but the 110 more often gets the nod outdoors. I suggest the 110 if its the only lens you have as you are doing landscape work. The 80 and 110 make a GREAT pair.

Julio Fernandez
3-Nov-2003, 10:01
Henry: Appreciate your excellent and most helpful contribution. Your excellennt photographs are worth a thousand words illustrating what the two lenses can do, ...in good hands. The slight fall-off in the first picture show that fall-off can be desirable on some subjects. Incidentally, I was hoping that the 80 XL would give me that extra 5 mm of confort on the Linhof Master Technika as the 75mm SA is a little on the tight side for the bellows. Then I found out that the flange distance of the 80 is actually slighly smaller than that of the SA 75mm. Guess Schneider was painting itself into a corner with several lenses coming very close together in focal lengths. Question: Do you use full f/4.5 aperture on the 80XL for focusing? Initial comments were that even for focusing this lens was too unsharp at full aperture.

Henry Ambrose
3-Nov-2003, 13:32
Sometimes I stop it down to check focus because it is slightly unsharp wide open. If there is nothing with good contrast where I want to focus it might be a slight bother, otherwise not a problem for me. But 9 out of 10 times for the way I use the 80 its almost always at f22 (or maybe f32) so the desired plane of focus can be easily achieved even if it seems a bit fuzzy on the GG at wide open. Depth of field is my friend! I usually focus without a loupe and only check the focus once I've eyeballed it. Sometimes I will fine tune focus with the loupe, though surprisingly I'm usually right where I want to be. Its kind of funny that longer lenses snap into focus but I can almost always better my bare eyeball focusing with a loupe. Short lengths are harder to eyeball and often need less loupe fine tuning. Go figure.

Julio Fernandez
4-Nov-2003, 07:37
Henry: Thanks for your repy. David Muench once told me he focuses without a loupe so I tried it and found, again, that not everything David can do I can do. Back to the loupe.