View Full Version : 105mm Xenar vs 105mm Tessar for Linhof 6x9? And tele lens - is telomar any good?

Yuri Saniko
25-Jan-2004, 11:58
I'm getting Linhof super technika IV , and can choose from 2 lenses:
schneider xenar 105/3.5
ot zeiss tessar 105/3.5
Both lenses are same age and in same condition.
Which lens will be better choice?
AFAIK both lenses have same 4-element design...

2nd question: this camera also comes with 180mm Telomar lens. Is it good lens? Will it give me some movements with 6x9? How about sharpness and contrast?
Thank you!

David A. Goldfarb
25-Jan-2004, 12:15
If the Xenar and Tessar are both the same age and condition, and the shutters are the same, then it's a tossup. If one is cammed (serial numbers on the cam should match the lens and the body), take that one.

Yuri Saniko
25-Jan-2004, 14:28
Thanks David
So there is absolutely no difference between image quality of those 2 lenses? I don't care about cams, i'm going to use ground glass focusing only...

Dan Fromm
25-Jan-2004, 19:01
It depends on the lenses' age and how badly they've been abused since new. In general, before WWII Schneider's quality control was poor. After the war, much better. But the only way to know for sure is try both and buy the one that gives you better results. Only an idiot would spend money based on advice from people who aren't in a position to evaluate the item(s) in question. With used gear, you pays your money and you takes your chances, regardless of the equipment's reputation.

As for the Telomar, the Lens Collector's Vade Mecum praises it highly but says little about coverage. Based on experience with other short tele lenses for 2x3, it will probably not allow much movement. But this is an opinion from a person who has no experience with any Telomars, let alone the very one you're considering, so it is worth nothing.

Go make your own mistakes. Thinking of which, why are you contemplating a Xenar and a Tessar when you could, after some looking, have a 105 Nikkor-M or a non-convertible Symmar?



Arne Croell
26-Jan-2004, 05:24
Telomars (180mm, 240mm, 360mm) were highly regarded in their time. The Telomar was a postwar design by A. Tronnier, who also designed the Apo-Lanthar and the Voigtländer Ultragon for them (before the war he worked for Schneider and designed the Angulon and the Xenon). The Telomar was introduced in 1954. Voigtländer wrote in an advertisement: "Its novel optical design has resulted in an extensive reduction of aberrations, a remarkable increase of resolving power and in improved detail contrast over the entire picture area."

They do have narrow coverage, though, limited by the mount, it is about 33 degrees. For 180mm, that translates into an image circle of 100mm, so it covers 6x9cm pretty much _without_ movement.

David A. Goldfarb
26-Jan-2004, 07:27
If the lenses are modern and coated, they should be about the same. I have a 150/4.5 Xenar of 1970s vintage, and I'm often surprised by the results I get with it.

You may not be worried about the rangefinder now, but if you have the option, you will probably use it, and having matched cams increases the resale value of the camera, all things being equal, if you should ever decide to sell it. The rangefinder is very handy for shooting portraits or anything involving a moving subject, since you can check the focus without removing the film back from the camera. It can also be handy for low light conditions, where groundglass focusing isn't always so easy. Having matched cams also gives you the option of going handheld, if you want, and using the camera as a traditional press camera.