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Thread: Calumet 90mm: f8 vs f4.5

  1. #1

    Calumet 90mm: f8 vs f4.5

    Good morning,
    I have a line on two similar lenses. CALUMET CALTAR-W II 90MM F8 and CALUMET 90MM F4.5 CALTAR II-N MC.
    I intend to use the lens for mountain scenery on a Linhof IV ( I haven't purchased the camera yet, either.)
    First of all, is 90mm too wide? (I do plan to go out this week with my 35mm zoom lens to evaluate this, but would appreciate others' opinions.)
    Otherwise, what are the pros and cons of these two lenses for landscapes?
    Thanks,
    Bob
    Last edited by Robert Dunn; 21-Jan-2018 at 08:02. Reason: Added additional info.

  2. #2

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    Re: Calumet 90mm: f8 vs f4.5

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Dunn View Post
    First of all, is 90mm too wide? (I do plan to go out this week with my 35mm zoom lens to evaluate this, but would appreciate others' opinions.)
    Thanks,
    Bob
    Do yourself a favour and make a view frame for your 90mm lens. You will have no doubt about what your future lens will see on your camera film format. As simple as that.

  3. #3

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    Re: Calumet 90mm: f8 vs f4.5

    They are similar only in focal length.
    One is a Schneider and the other a Rodenstock. The Rodenstock covers a larger circle and is newer then the Schneider.

  4. #4
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Calumet 90mm: f8 vs f4.5

    I suspect one is much larger than the other. I know that 4.5 won't even fit on my 4x5 field camera. If you can haul it around, the f4.5 will have a brighter image which may make it easier to use. On 4x5, 90mm is at the point were you really need to have your front swing detent set correctly. It is very difficult to see the edges well enough to align the front standard in the field by looking at the horizon on the ground glass. If you are just starting out, try a 150mm.
    I have my coat on and am just finishing my coffee, about to go out with my 4x5. I have a large assortment of lenses, and I have been doing this a long time and and I have the 150 on the camera.

  5. #5
    Dave Karp
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    Re: Calumet 90mm: f8 vs f4.5

    I had the Rodenstock labeled version of the 90mm f/4.5. It is an outstanding lens. It has a much larger image circle than the 90mm f/8 you are looking at. It is also a much larger lens. It takes 82mm filters. I sold mine even though I really liked it. The reason was it was too big to carry around everywhere. I replaced it with a 90mm f/8 Nikon. It has approximately the same image circle as the f/4.5 Caltar II-N but it is much smaller in size. If you want a 90mm with ample movements and smaller size, the Nikon is the one to use.

    However, you have to decide if a 90mm is right for you. It is supposed to be roughly equivalent to a 28mm in full frame 35mm terms but I found that I use it less than a 28mm equivalent on a small camera. A viewing frame is a good idea. [http://www.johnsexton.com/newsletter...html#anchor07] I have one that John Sexton gave us at a workshop. I use it sometimes. Looking through the camera is much better for me. If you know someone with a view camera and an assortment of lenses that would be the best.

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    Re: Calumet 90mm: f8 vs f4.5

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Dunn View Post
    Otherwise, what are the pros and cons of these two lenses for landscapes?
    Thanks,
    Bob
    The angle of view of any 90mm lens will be the same. Whether or not that is the best angle for you is a personal preference. I consider a 90mm closer to a 24mm than a 28mm (in 35mm format). That may or may not be what you want.

    The main differences between an f4.5 vs f8 are frequently:
    f8 -- smaller, lighter, less expensive, dimmer image on ground glass, smaller front filter diameter, smaller shutter (faster top speed).

    The image circles of both might be something to consider as well. If you don't need much movement, there is no need to pay for a wider image circle.

  7. #7

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    Re: Calumet 90mm: f8 vs f4.5

    Quote Originally Posted by xkaes View Post
    The angle of view of any 90mm lens will be the same. Whether or not that is the best angle for you is a personal preference. I consider a 90mm closer to a 24mm than a 28mm (in 35mm format). That may or may not be what you want.

    The main differences between an f4.5 vs f8 are frequently:
    f8 -- smaller, lighter, less expensive, dimmer image on ground glass, smaller front filter diameter, smaller shutter (faster top speed).

    The image circles of both might be something to consider as well. If you don't need much movement, there is no need to pay for a wider image circle.
    In pure performance, other then image circle, the 4.5 will simply outperform the slower lens in resolution, contrast, lack of distortion, etc.

  8. #8

    Re: Calumet 90mm: f8 vs f4.5

    Thanks for all your help. I recently found out that the Technika IV I was considering, as a match for this lens, doesn't have a cam, so I decided to not buy the lens or the camera.
    Thanks again,
    Bob

  9. #9
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Calumet 90mm: f8 vs f4.5

    I intend to use the lens for mountain scenery
    doesn't have a cam, so I decided to not buy the lens or the camera.
    You will probably be OK using the ground glass back to focus.

  10. #10

    Re: Calumet 90mm: f8 vs f4.5

    Yes, never considered the ground glass. Is a cam made specifically to an individual camera or any Technika IV.

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