View Full Version : Newbie with questions

Bill, 70's military B&W
27-Oct-2012, 18:29
I'm a Newbie and have been collecting gear and setting up a darkroom. Sent several lenses to Carol Flutot for CLA and they came back today. They look and sound great. I bought a Fuji W 300 on a Copal #3 and had the seller drop it off at Carols for a CLA. I had never seen a 300 or a Copal 3.

I can not believe how big/huge the Fuji W 300 on a Copal #3 is. Heavy too! Great coverage on an 8x10 I'm sure but man what a beautiful beast.

I got everything mounted on Linhof Tech boards and tomorrow I'll be playing around with them. I mounted and did get a chance to look thru that Voigtlander Collinear Series II No.6 12 1/4" on the Sinar for a couple of minutes. Looked similar to the Fuji 300. I only had a couple of minutes... I'll get a better look tomorrow, also I'll be playing with the 8x10 too. I'll bet looking on the lens board will not be significantly different but it will show in the print. It'll take me a while but I really want to compare those 2 lenses, the new and the old.

Here is my question:

I've got some duplicates, I've acquired (4) 135mm lenses. That is because I picked up a Speed Graphic and a Crown Graphic both with 135mm. Then 2 more came with camera purchases. I know the proper answer is shoot all 4 and keep the best one...
But if you were to guess which would be the best, by reputation/brand name/etc of these 4:

Nikkor W 135mm f/5.6 on Copal 0
Schneider Kreuznach Xenar 135mm f/4.7 Synchro-Compur 0
Graflex Optar 135mm f/4.7 on Graflex shutter
Rodenstock Sironar N MC 135mm f/5.6

Same question between:
Fuji W 150mm f/5.6 on Copal 0
Rodenstock Geronar MC 150mm f/6.3 on Copal 0


27-Oct-2012, 19:11
Nikkor and the fuji.

Teodor Oprean
27-Oct-2012, 19:42
I would keep all the lenses and take pictures with them all. Over time, you will form a subjective preference of which lens to use for which types of subjects.

The Nikkor and Fuji have the largest image circles. If you need extensive movements, use those lenses.

Of the 135mm focal lengths, the Sironar N allows for a little bit of movement. The Xenar and Optar have to be used straight on. Apart from the limited image circle, they are good lenses.

Frank Petronio
27-Oct-2012, 20:01
135 Sironar N is the likely keeper. Or the Fuji 150.

Eric Rose
27-Oct-2012, 21:05
What Frank said.

Alan Gales
27-Oct-2012, 21:23
If I am understanding you right, you are planning on keeping a 135mm and a 150mm lens. These two focal lengths are awful close to each other.

I would just keep one lens.

Bill, 70's military B&W
28-Oct-2012, 06:28
Thanks everyone,
I will be keeping a 135 and a 150, you are right they are very close, so I think of each being a back up for the other.
I will shoot some shots with each lens, to see for myself, what I anticipate is there will be no real difference (that I can appreciate) between them.

That is why I posted this thread. Which to keep if I can't tell the difference, that will be based on others more experienced, photographers who have taken the prints up to very large enlargements, know the difference between which lens as far as contrast, distortion...etc, factors that I will not appreciate with contact prints or modest enlargements. Also the reliability of the shutters are a factor too.

Some day I may want to print something really big... I do not want to test each lens by printing something really big.
So any help will be appreciated.


Bill, 70's military B&W
28-Oct-2012, 06:38
2 things I forgot,

The Rodenstock 135mm f/5.6 Sironar-N MC is on a Copal 0

Carol Flutot told me that the Graflex shutter on the Graflex 135 was better than the Synchro-Compur-P shutter on the 135mm Schneider Xenar. I do not know if that was just my 2 shutters in particular, or if she meant it as a general rule.

Thanks for your help.

28-Oct-2012, 06:44
Some day I may want to print something really big... I do not want to test each lens by printing something really big.
So any help will be appreciated.


You can always enlarge a small portion of the neg if you can raise the enlarger high enough - used to do that at college 20x24+ enlargement but only print a 10x8 section

Bill, 70's military B&W
28-Oct-2012, 09:51
DKirk, that is a good idea, the way I shoot, cropping like that is always necessary anyway!

Quote:"In Photoshop you CAN make a silk purse out of a sow's ear."

Alan Gales
28-Oct-2012, 11:55
Quote:"In Photoshop you CAN make a silk purse out of a sow's ear."

But you can't make a good photograph out of a bad one! :)