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Thread: 135mm 4x5 Lens Recommendations - Moderate Budget

  1. #11
    torashi's Avatar
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    Re: 135mm 4x5 Lens Recommendations - Moderate Budget

    Perhaps a Symmar convertible? Really cheap. Not sure about its coating or lack thereof

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  2. #12

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    Re: 135mm 4x5 Lens Recommendations - Moderate Budget

    I'd vote for the 135/3.5 Xenotar. Sharp, even wide open. Fits a #1 shutter. Not overly large or heavy. Great stopped down too. Cheaper than a Sironar-S.

  3. #13

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    Re: 135mm 4x5 Lens Recommendations - Moderate Budget

    Another vote for the Caltar II-N. Reliably sharp/contrasty, good coverage for 4x5, compact, great price!

  4. #14

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    Re: 135mm 4x5 Lens Recommendations - Moderate Budget

    Quote Originally Posted by dodphotography View Post
    I know there are MTF charts but I’m interested in real world comparisons.
    In 135mm I use a Symmar-S that it's razor sharp. It's around 1980 vintage and I measured 70 lp/mm performance in the center...

    I'm not able to see practical differences between multicoated plasmats from Fuji, Nikon, Rodenstock or Schneider made since 1980s.

    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...s/LF4x5in.html

    You may find sample to sample variations in the same model that are larger than any average difference between the 4 major manufacturers. And those variations may be irrelevant in practice.

    I would focus in finding a seller with good reputation, general lens state, and ensuring shutter is free of problems, brand/model is the least concern of those plasmats of the 4 major makers, all are damn good.

    $1000? I would throw some $135 + shipping in a Sironar N from a japanesse ebay seller...

    The Caltar N-II 135 are Sironar N or APO Sironar N, the "APO" Sironar N versions are mostly the same than the non "APO".

    A Sironar S 135 is around $1000, and the N is under $200, personally I find no justification to spend the 1000, beyond the 8mm larger circle some say the image is slightly different, but we have some controversy about that. Of the N I have a 300, and I don't know how a glass can be better...

  5. #15

    Re: 135mm 4x5 Lens Recommendations - Moderate Budget

    I would prefer the chrome convertible Schneider Symmar, or even a 135 Xenar. Ken Ruth got me started on the 135 Schneider Componon (very underrated) and not expensive either. Now I have a complete set of all the Componons.

    Should not be too difficult to find something you like at a good price.
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  6. #16

    Re: 135mm 4x5 Lens Recommendations - Moderate Budget

    Many good pieces of valid advice on here already. But for what it's worth, I'd suggest a Schneider Apo-Symmar 135mm F5.6.

    The one that says Schneider in a weird almost cursive font and says multicoating. I'm not an expert on the different models/years but I think maybe this is from the 80s or 90s, and I'd look for it in a modern black copal or compur shutter, not a silver one.

    Should def be able to find one for under 400 on ebay or here. I bought one new in 1999 and regret selling it, maybe not as big a circle as a rodenstock S but I used a fair amount of front rise on 4x5 all the time and it served me well for all but the most extreme movements.

  7. #17

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    Re: 135mm 4x5 Lens Recommendations - Moderate Budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Chester McCheeserton View Post
    Many good pieces of valid advice on here already. But for what it's worth, I'd suggest a Schneider Apo-Symmar 135mm F5.6.

    The one that says Schneider in a weird almost cursive font and says multicoating. I'm not an expert on the different models/years but I think maybe this is from the 80s or 90s, and I'd look for it in a modern black copal or compur shutter, not a silver one.

    Should def be able to find one for under 400 on ebay or here. I bought one new in 1999 and regret selling it, maybe not as big a circle as a rodenstock S but I used a fair amount of front rise on 4x5 all the time and it served me well for all but the most extreme movements.
    Since you a are being specific with the Schneider Apo-Symmar 135mm 5.6 you should be equally precise about the Rodenstock Apo-Sironar S 135mm 5.6. There has never been a Rodenstock Sironar S!!!!

  8. #18

    Re: 135mm 4x5 Lens Recommendations - Moderate Budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    Since you a are being specific with the Schneider Apo-Symmar 135mm 5.6 you should be equally precise about the Rodenstock Apo-Sironar S 135mm 5.6. There has never been a Rodenstock Sironar S!!!!
    But of course, how apropos of you to note that Bob. The legions of lens aficionados will sleep better tonight not needlessly digging the internet for the unicorn Rodenstock Sironar S without that three letter prefix!

  9. #19

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    Re: 135mm 4x5 Lens Recommendations - Moderate Budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Chester McCheeserton View Post
    But of course, how apropos of you to note that Bob. The legions of lens aficionados will sleep better tonight not needlessly digging the internet for the unicorn Rodenstock Sironar S without that three letter prefix!
    Not all internet users are as discerning as you! But then you probably haven稚 had the correspondence that I have had from people looking for things that never existed because of internet comments.

  10. #20

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    Re: 135mm 4x5 Lens Recommendations - Moderate Budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Chester McCheeserton View Post
    the unicorn Rodenstock Sironar S without that three letter prefix!
    Chester, there is no doubt that the Sironar S is the finest lens that Rodenstock has ever manufactured for general LF photography in the focal range of the series, and one of the finest you can find from any manufacturer.

    It covered the top notch market segmentation offering the best Rodenstock could manufacture, for example incorporating ED glass that deals with secondary chromatic aberration off center, at the expense of higher cost and weight.

    Another thing is needing or wanting that, given the price.

    Of course one may prefer, for portraiture for example, a 70 years old Heliar because of defocus nature or skin flatering, or a true artist like Sally Mann may craft an amazing image with a lens that has a crack in the middle, but if speaking about brute technical performance an S is hard to beat.

    This web site has an amazing review about portrait lenses speaking about the personality of different glasses: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/portrait-lenses/

    The review is made (in part) from a subjective point of view, but it illustrates a bit the complexities of LF glasses.

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