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Thread: 75mm lens choice?

  1. #1

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    75mm lens choice?

    I am looking at buying a used 75mm lens for backpacking work. I am considering an older Schneider 75mm SA F/8 and one of the newer designs by Rodenstock or Nikkor like a 75mm MC F/4.5. Will I be able to get markedly different results with these lenses, as the Schneider is single-coated? Or can I expect the extra price and convenience of the extra stop+ of light for focusing to be the main difference? I produce 32x40 prints and am interested in the best possible sharpness primarily, then good saturation and contrast.

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    75mm lens choice?

    I tried this route with 90mm, and while the older, single coated Angulons are capable of good results, especially with B&W, you will see a difference when you shoot old versus new side by side. The current 75/6.8 Grandagon isn't very large (58mm filter) nor is it too expensive ($400-$450 on eBay) and should outperform the old 75/8SA enough for you to see it on your chromes.

  3. #3

    75mm lens choice?

    As a possible compromise, you might look at the Rodenstock 75mm f6.8 Grandagon-N or Caltar II-N. About the same size as the 75mm f8 Super Angulon, but lighter (aluminum barrels instead of chrome-plated brass). It's also multicoated, in a modern Copal No. 0 shutter, has a tiny bit more coverage, and is a 1/2 stop faster. It's also the least expensive new 75. It will cost you more than a 30 - 40 year old f8 Super Angulon, but less than any of the current f4.5 or f5.6 75s. This is a good ultrawide for backpacking for those concerned with both weight and cost.

    Of course, if money is no object, consider the 80mm f4.5 Super Symmar XL. It's the lightest modern lens shorter than 105mm capable of covering 4x5. It also has a generous 212mm image circle. Some very early samples were quite soft wide open, but more recent samples I've tested seem fine - and are very sharp at normal working apertures.

    Kerry

  4. #4
    Ted Harris's Avatar
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    75mm lens choice?

    Just tomix up the stew a bit.....don't ignore the Schneider SA 75mm 5.6 which is multicoated and the Fujinon 75mm SWD. I use the SA and have for several years, it replaced an older single coated Fuji f8. Here's a sample (bad scan and all that):


  5. #5

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    75mm lens choice?

    Perhaps it's only me and old age gaining on me but 9 years ago I bought a 90mm f6.8 Grandagon and it has been the only lens I've ever struggled with the lack of brilliance for focus. I've got larger f9 G-Claron's and f 11.5 Artar's that are no trouble at all. So my vote is for the nicer f4.5. Spend the money now instead of getting a lens that rarely gets used for 9 years and then up-grading like I did a few months back. Also, AVOID the Compur shuttered version of the older SA. It's an 00 size, there's no parts, they're temperamental, and you can't just buy a Copal and have it re-set easily to fix it.

  6. #6

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    75mm lens choice?

    If you are contemplating anything but the most minimal movements you will be disappointed with the SA 75 f8.

  7. #7

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    75mm lens choice?

    Hi

    In thad case I would wote for the fastest lenses the Nikons or Rodenstocks f 4.5. I have also an older Superangulon f8 90 single coated wich has no chance in sharpness especially in the corners regarding my f4.5 75mm Nikon or my 90mm f 4.5 Nikon. I do not see so much improvement on longer lenses but on the shorter ones it is easy to see!!

  8. #8
    Jean-Louis Llech
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    75mm lens choice?

    Elias,
    if you take first into account sharpness, saturation and contrast, you must consider also the Schneider SA 5,6 72 XL.

    But I agree that for backpacking, if you think about light weight and light price, the 8/75 is undoubtedly better.

    As I sometimes use the rangefinder of the Linhof, without groundglass focusing, the maximum aperture at 8 would not be a problem.
    Nevertheless, as I couldn't buy a 5,6/72 and a 8/75, my first criterion of choice was quality (but heavy, bulky and expensive..)

  9. #9

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    75mm lens choice?

    I'll second Kerry's recommendation of the Schneider 80mm Super Symmar XL. I got tired of lugging my 90mm F5.6 Super Angulon with its 82mm filters and replaced it with the 80mm SS XL. I've had no problems focusing wide open, I'm told that was a problem only with the very first run back when the lens was introduced. It's tack sharp, quite a bit of room for movements, and best of all it's very small and light, great for backpacking. It is definitely expensive but for my purposes it's close enough to both a 90 and a 75 that I rationalized the cost by telling myself that I actually saved money because I now need only the one lens rather than two.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  10. #10

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    75mm lens choice?

    Thanks for the opinions, hardly any votes for the SA F8 lens has me leaning towards either the SS 80mm or a F4.5 Nikkor or Grandagon. I have a SA 90mm F5.6 and am pleased with it but of course it is huge and is a pain to backpack with, especially in Grand Canyon which is where I spend much of my time.

    I'd appreciate any links to used large format lens pages, ebay is good but I always like to get an idea of the market prices beforehand.

    Thanks to everyone again. If interested, you can see my work at www.eliasbutler.com.

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