View Full Version : Tele Xenar 360/5.5 vs Tele Arton 360/5.5

Pete Skerys
23-Mar-2004, 20:59
I'm looking for tele lenses for my linhof 4 at reasonable price. Apo T Xenar 400/5.6 seems to be the best, but it's out of my budget. So used T Xenar 360 or T Arton 360 seems to be a good option. Anyone can tell me the difference, especially image quality between these two lenses (I heard that the design were different)? As both of them are out-listed, your experience would be highly welcome. I gonna chose the better one... Thanks.

Colin Carron
24-Mar-2004, 08:46

For a reasonable price you should be able to get an older second hand version of either the Tele Xenar or Tele Arton. The more recent versions tend to be much more expensive. I have the old 270/5.5 Tele Xenar which is OK for most purposes but not the sharpest lens in my bag. The Tele Xenar is the earlier of the two types (as far a as I remember 1950's-1960's) and was a 4 element design. The Tele Arton came after it and was a 5 element design and supposedly a little better. I think it had a larger rear element than the Tele Xenar. It also seems to be a bit scarcer and not so readily available in the longer sizes. I think the older 360/5.5 Tele Xenar should fit your Linhof but note these are quite decent size lenses and longer versions bigger still. It will be worth your while checking on the Schneider website whether your Linhof has a big enough front standard, and enough extension, and that the fairly meagre image circle will do what you want.

Jerry Greer
24-Mar-2004, 15:54

I have been using a Schneider/Linhof Technika Tele-Xenar f/5.5 360mm SS# 6884715 for about three years now. The guy I bought it from was the original purchaser back in the early 70’s. This lens is SHARP! I have a poster that I produced for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that was taken with this lens, it’s of a sunset with a full sun and no flare. The reason for me bringing this up is I am going to sell the lens. I have decided to lighten up my system and this lens is in a number 3 shutter. If you are interested let me know before I put it on E-bay. This lens was one of the last lenses that Steve Grimes worked on before he past last year! It is in perfect working order. jerry@jerrygreerphotography.com

Frank Petronio
24-Mar-2004, 19:01
I had a 1970s Tele-Arton 270/5.5 that was sharp and contrasty, but a bit too bulky for me. Great to use such a short bellows though. Took a 77mm filter/hood/cap. About $200.

Ole Tjugen
25-Mar-2004, 00:10
The Tele-Xenar 360/5.5 is certainly sharp enough for all practical purposes. I use mina on both a Linhof Color 4x5" (technika lensboards) and a Technika III 5x7" (special lensboards, or technika with adapter). My lens is in a Compound #3 shutter, which is about the limit for technika lensboards.

Scott Walton
25-Mar-2004, 14:23
I love my Xenar 360mm. I too have a compound shutter for mine. They are easy to work on (CLA) and the lens is certainly very sharp. I do recommend a lens shade all the time though... very bright lens albeit a bit heavy.

Pete Skerys
26-Mar-2004, 01:05
Thanks guys. So I think T X 360/5.5 is good enough for me, while T A 360/5.5 would be better.

Emmanuel BIGLER
26-Mar-2004, 12:20
Pete. I own a 360/5.5 Tele-Arton. This is huge lens. Its weight is about 1 kg / 2.2 lbs including a #3 shutter. I did not test it thoroughly so I do not want to comment and compare the optics with others since I do not have other lenses in a similar range of focal lengths. I do not know what is the maximum bellows extension on the Technika, but before making a final decision on
a long focal length for 4"x5" lens you could, at least on paper, make a short review of what would be the benefits of a quasi-symmetrical non-tele lens
like an Apo-Ronar or Fuji-C designs. The great advantage (no surprise for a tele design ;-) I find to the 360 tele-Arton is that I can use it easily with only 300mm of rail. The minimum extension is something like 250 mm in infinity-focus position. I think that the Technika® can go a little longer than 300 mm, so a 300 Apo-Ronar or G-claron might be an alternative choice, useable for infinity-focus, with a slightly smaller focal length but a much, much, much smaller weight and size. The 360 tele-arton is not well balanced, most of the weigth is in front of the lens board unlike most view camera lenses. This does apply some torque to the front standard and is also to be considered with respect to a f/9 apo-process lens which is very compact and symmetrically mounted.
I do not say that I regret the purchase, not at all, because the lens and shutter (a Linhof-engraved model), was like new. To me the lens was probably designed for portraits or studio work in 5"x7" for the bigger 13x18cm Technika® or 13x18 monorails..