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Thread: Trying to decide on a 90mm Lens for 4x5

  1. #1

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    Trying to decide on a 90mm Lens for 4x5

    Hello everyone,

    much has been said (and read by myself) about the many different 90mm lenses. However, since I'm about to buy my first 90mm lens I was wondering which of the following ones you would choose ...

    - Rodenstock Grandagon 90mm f/4.5 MC
    - Rodenstock Grandagon-N 90mm f/4.5 MC (might be too expensive though)
    - Rodenstock Grandagon-N 90mm f/6.8
    - Rodenstock Grandagon 90mm f/6.8
    - Caltar II-N 90mm f/4.5 MC

    They're all within my budget (300-400$).

    Any help/thoughts/recommendations are highly appreciated.

  2. #2
    DG 3313's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to decide on a 90mm Lens for 4x5

    I have the Grandagon N 6.8. I got it new from B&H and it has been one of my favorite lenses. A bigger IC would be nice from time to time but, not often enough to buy another lens.

  3. #3
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to decide on a 90mm Lens for 4x5

    I'd look for a later shutter (all black), clear optics without haze, scratches or separation and no evidence of prior tampering to the lens or shutter. For a field camera setup, depending on how you carry your equipment, only you can determine if the extra weight and size of the 4.5 lenses is an advantage. In a studio, depending on how bright your modeling lights are, I'd go with the fastest lens.

  4. #4
    Dave Karp
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    Re: Trying to decide on a 90mm Lens for 4x5

    The Caltar II-N lenses are rebranded Rodenstock lenses and the one you list is equivalent to the f/4.5 Grandagon-N. Caltars are usually less expensive for the same thing. There was also a Caltar version of the f/6.8 Rodenstock. The f/6.8 lens is smaller than the f/4.5, but has a smaller image circle.

    The choice would depend on multiple factors. How large an image circle do you need? Will you be carrying it on long hikes? Will you be working in dimly lit interiors?

  5. #5

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    Re: Trying to decide on a 90mm Lens for 4x5

    Hello from France !

    Another vote for the Grandagon-N 90 mm f/6.8, I'm really happy with it (plus its smaller brother, the 75 mm f/6.8)

    However taking into account that the Caltar II-N 4.5 is most probably the Grandagon-N 90 mm f/4.5, you might go for the Caltar which has a slightgly wider image circle.

    The 90 6.8 model is smaller and requires smaller filters than the 4.5

    Regarding actual differences bteween a "true" Grandagon and a Caltar II-N, as far as I understood from reading some authoritative forum members here, the difference was only on the commercial aspect and customer service. Repairs for a Grandagon had to go to the official Rodenstock distributor, whereas Calumet was in charge of the service for Caltar lenses.

    Non-N grandagons are slighly older. Same glass, but there might be some improvement in the anti-reflection coating in later versions. Not sure.
    Anyhow you can't go wrong with either lenses provided that the shutter works fine and that the lens elements are fungus-free, which is not always easy to see.

  6. #6

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    Re: Trying to decide on a 90mm Lens for 4x5

    Thanks for the quick feedback everyone!

    @ David: I'll shoot 4x5 only. Won't carry it on long hikes. Dimly lit-interiors: yes.

  7. #7

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    Re: Trying to decide on a 90mm Lens for 4x5

    Quote Originally Posted by celtic9 View Post
    Hello everyone,

    much has been said (and read by myself) about the many different 90mm lenses. However, since I'm about to buy my first 90mm lens I was wondering which of the following ones you would choose ...

    - Rodenstock Grandagon 90mm f/4.5 MC
    - Rodenstock Grandagon-N 90mm f/4.5 MC (might be too expensive though)
    - Rodenstock Grandagon-N 90mm f/6.8
    - Rodenstock Grandagon 90mm f/6.8
    - Caltar II-N 90mm f/4.5 MC

    They're all within my budget (300-400$).

    Any help/thoughts/recommendations are highly appreciated.
    None of them but then again I'm mainly working in the landscape. I use a Schneider f6.8 90mm Angulon. Very low cost. Weighs very little. Great coverage (5x7 with no movements).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    RR

  8. #8

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    Re: Trying to decide on a 90mm Lens for 4x5

    The first choice you have to make is between the large 90mm lenses, with bigger image circles, and the smaller, lighter (and a bit slower) 90mm lenses with smaller image circles.

    If you shoot architecture and use a monorail, a larger lens (f/ 4.5-5-6) would be in order. If, like me, you need portability and smaller size, then one of the f/8 or f/6.8 lenses would be better.

    I have a more modern 90mm Super Angulon f/8 that fits in a recessed lensboard and works well on my field cameras. However, if I had to start from scratch, I'd look for the Nikkor SW 90mm f/8. Its 235mm image circle is the biggest in its class.

    Hope this helps,

    Doremus

  9. #9
    IanG's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to decide on a 90mm Lens for 4x5

    I've used a 90mm f6.8 Grandagon-N lens for over 25 years, it's a newer and better lens than the plain Grandagon, I agree with Doremus about the f4.5 version.

    As for the 90mm f6.8 Anglon I do use one but it can be hard finding a good one, mine is for hand-held work with a light weight 5x4 kit I keep in Turkey where I use very minimal movements.

    Ian

  10. #10

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    Re: Trying to decide on a 90mm Lens for 4x5

    Whichever you choose make sure it is a MC version

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