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Thread: Schneider Symmar 360mm f/6.8 vs Nikon Nikkor-W 360mm f/6.5 vs Fujinon CM-W f/6.5

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    Lightbulb Schneider Symmar 360mm f/6.8 vs Nikon Nikkor-W 360mm f/6.5 vs Fujinon CM-W f/6.5

    Good afternoon Large Format connoisseurs,


    I have been shooting 4x5 for the better part of 3 years on a Linhof Kardan - M with a Schneider-Kreuznach APO Symmar 210mm f/5.6. I love the setup, however I have grown tired of lugging around a monorail and I frequently create 16x20 inch enlargement prints in the darkroom in addition to 20x24 inch digital inkjet prints via scanned in negatives, so I decided to switch over to an 8x10 field camera in favor of greater "resolution" and lighter weight. I recently acquired a near mint Deardorff 8x10 View Camera from Japan, serial #7123, which was constructed sometime between 1992 and 1996 when L.F. Deardorff retired and closed off the Chicago line of production and his son moved the company to Athens, Tennessee. Since purchasing the camera, I've done tons of research on lenses, which led me to the list of comprehensive specifications for new large format lenses created by Michael K. Davis. Utilizing the descriptive details in the aforementioned list, I narrowed down my decision to three lenses. The Schneider Symmar 360mm f/6.8, Nikon Nikkor-W 360mm f/6.5 or Fujinon CM-W f/6.5.


    I have a couple quick questions regarding these lenses. First, has any one of you been fortunate enough to test all three lenses, if so, which one produces overall superior image quality? My definition of image quality might be a little different than some, so let me explain. I am looking for the lens with the greatest reduction in ghosting/flaring in addition to the one that produces the sharpest negatives. Based off Michael's list I already know that the Nikon Nikkor-W allows for the greatest range of movements (rises/tilts). Non-factors in my decision are price and weight. I am solely asking for guidance based on performance only and would greatly appreciate any and all input.


    I will attach Michael K. Davis' list below for reference. All three of these lenses border each other in three consecutive rows on this list:


    https://www.largeformatphotography.i.../LF8x10in.html




    Thank you all for your time, attention, and consideration to this matter :)


    Have a blessed day,


    Zach
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Deardorffv8-2.jpg   Deardorffv8.jpg  

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    Re: Schneider Symmar 360mm f/6.8 vs Nikon Nikkor-W 360mm f/6.5 vs Fujinon CM-W f/6.5

    Finding someone who has experience shooting with the three lenses you listed, I dare say, should be challenging. Here is my experience with the Nikkor and two similar lenses on my 11x14:
    350mm (14 inch) f/7.7 Goertz Double-Anastigmat
    355mm f/9 G-Claron
    360mm f/6.5 Nikkor-W
    The Goertz has the most coverage. Since it is not multi-coated by any degree, I tend not to use it in direct sunlight. To me the G-Glaron covers more than 444mm at f/22. Nikkor is the best overall performer in my opinion. To me the difference between f/9 and f/6.5 is more than you would think, especially when focusing near the edges of the negative. Nikkor has more overall uniform sharpness across the format than the G-Claron. Now, since I contact print or make digital negatives to contact print from, in practice all three lenses produce excellent negatives for me.

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    Re: Schneider Symmar 360mm f/6.8 vs Nikon Nikkor-W 360mm f/6.5 vs Fujinon CM-W f/6.5

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg View Post
    Finding someone who has experience shooting with the three lenses you listed, I dare say, should be challenging. Here is my experience with the Nikkor and two similar lenses on my 11x14:
    350mm (14 inch) f/7.7 Goertz Double-Anastigmat
    355mm f/9 G-Claron
    360mm f/6.5 Nikkor-W
    The Goertz has the most coverage. Since it is not multi-coated by any degree, I tend not to use it in direct sunlight. To me the G-Glaron covers more than 444mm at f/22. Nikkor is the best overall performer in my opinion. To me the difference between f/9 and f/6.5 is more than you would think, especially when focusing near the edges of the negative. Nikkor has more overall uniform sharpness across the format.

    Hi Greg,

    Thank you for your swift reply. I appreciate your insight. One more quick question, I always read about people referring to 360mm lenses being on a bigger format (11x14 or 12x20) than what I would be using the lens on, so does that mean that the 360mm focal length is not considered a "normal" focal length for the 8x10 format? Based on Michael K. Davis' list, the 360mm focal length on an 8x10 view camera equates to a 50mm focal length on a 35mm camera. That being said, do you know which focal length is considered a more "normal, true to the eye" focal length for the 8x10 format, 360mm or 300mm? I've read conflicting reports regarding the 300mm, some say it equates to a 42mm on a 35mm camera, while others say 45mm. I mainly shoot portraits outside of the studio in addition to landscape photography. I do occasionally dabble in tabletop/studio photography, so I am looking for a lens that has the most coverage on an 8x10 camera and is the most versatile in its use.


    All the best,


    Zach

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    Re: Schneider Symmar 360mm f/6.8 vs Nikon Nikkor-W 360mm f/6.5 vs Fujinon CM-W f/6.5

    Zach,
    You bring up an interesting topic as to what lenses are considered to be a "normal" focal lengths for different formats. My definition of a "normal" lens is the one I take with me when I am carrying only a one lens with my camera. This very much differs from how most people define a "normal" lens. My "normal" lens for 8x10 is 300mm. My "normal" lens for 11x14 is a 508mm f/7 Caltar. It's just the way I learned to see with each of these formats.
    Greg

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    Smile Re: Schneider Symmar 360mm f/6.8 vs Nikon Nikkor-W 360mm f/6.5 vs Fujinon CM-W f/6.5

    Human Eye Angle of View:

    Studies have measured the cone of visual attention and found it to be about 55 degrees wide. On a 35mm full frame camera, a 43mm lens provides an angle of view of 55 degrees, so that focal length provides exactly the same angle of view that we humans have. I don't think they make lenses with a 55 degree angle, except one by Pentax 43mm f1.9, both for Pentax and for Leica.

    If a lens with the angle of view of 55 degrees covers the 163mm (diagonal of the 4x5 film) with a focal length of 150mm, a lens with the same 55 degrees of angle of view will need to have 312mm of focal length to cover the 325mm (diagonal of the 8x10 film). That is without movements. Since you want to have some movement, that is the diagonal, which is the diameter of the image circle of the lens, must be larger. Then, the focal length can be shorter. That is why they say anything between 135mm and 180mm is "normal" (remember, each lens has a different angle of view). Same with the 8x10, the normal would be anything from 300mm to 350mm. That would depend on every lens angle of view (for a better term), only Pentax made a lens with the 55 degrees. Most are narrower or wider. That is, using my pencil and my old trigonometry.
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    Re: Schneider Symmar 360mm f/6.8 vs Nikon Nikkor-W 360mm f/6.5 vs Fujinon CM-W f/6.5

    Read this previous discussion about "sharpness":
    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...highlight=8x10

    As for flare/ghosting, a GOOD lens shade can make a BIG difference in flare reduction. What works against flare reduction is an over sized image circle as the stray light produced by a over sized image circle will bounce off the bellows interior resulting in stay light and... flare recorded on film.

    As for 360mm Nikkor W, Symmar S to APO, Fujinon CM, they are more similar than different due to their design and modern production process.

    One of the highest contrast lenses of this focal length made in production would be the Schneider 14" (355mm) f8 multi-coated Dagor. High contrast is not the same a sharpness. High sharpness is not the same as high contrast. There is a symbiotic balance between these two factors and much more that makes a desirable lens.


    Bernice




    Quote Originally Posted by zbvision View Post
    I am looking for the lens with the greatest reduction in ghosting/flaring in addition to the one that produces the sharpest negatives.

    Zach

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    Re: Schneider Symmar 360mm f/6.8 vs Nikon Nikkor-W 360mm f/6.5 vs Fujinon CM-W f/6.5

    Quote Originally Posted by zbvision View Post
    ...so does that mean that the 360mm focal length is not considered a "normal" focal length for the 8x10 format? Based on Michael K. Davis' list, the 360mm focal length on an 8x10 view camera equates to a 50mm focal length on a 35mm camera. That being said, do you know which focal length is considered a more "normal, true to the eye" focal length for the 8x10 format, 360mm or 300mm? I've read conflicting reports regarding the 300mm, some say it equates to a 42mm on a 35mm camera, while others say 45mm.
    In a technical sense, strictly speaking, "normal" means equivalent to the format diagonal. For 8x10 that's about 310mm for the actual exposed area, with minor variation across film holders. 300 or 305 is the closest you'll find. 360 could be considered a "long normal".

    Generations of photographers have been confused by the fact that 35mm cameras were long sold with a 50mm as the standard lens. The diagonal for the 35mm format is 43.3mm, so 50 is actually well on the long side of normal.

    On the other hand, from a user's perspective, "normal" can be whatever most closely matches the way *you* see and with which you are most comfortable for regular use. In this sense, my own normal for 8x10 is 270mm. But yours could easily be different. Ask around here and you'll find many different preferences for a standard or "normal" focal length.

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    Re: Schneider Symmar 360mm f/6.8 vs Nikon Nikkor-W 360mm f/6.5 vs Fujinon CM-W f/6.5

    The problem for me comes from trying to do "equivalent" when the aspect ration is so different. How can you compare a 3:2 and a 5:4 or a panoramic 6x17?

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    Re: Schneider Symmar 360mm f/6.8 vs Nikon Nikkor-W 360mm f/6.5 vs Fujinon CM-W f/6.5

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    .... "normal" can be whatever most closely matches the way *you* see and with which you are most comfortable for regular use.
    \
    I think this is the most important part of deciding. In 35mm, I shot almost all the time in 35mm focal length, and in 4x5, I usually use the 135mm. I am not sure about 8x10 because my camera has not arrived yet, but I am going to start with the G-Claron 305/9.
    "I have never in my life made music for money or fame. God walks out of the room when you are thinking about money." -- Quincy Jones

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    Re: Schneider Symmar 360mm f/6.8 vs Nikon Nikkor-W 360mm f/6.5 vs Fujinon CM-W f/6.5

    I have a couple quick questions regarding these lenses. First, has any one of you been fortunate enough to test all three lenses, if so, which one produces overall superior image quality? My definition of image quality might be a little different than some, so let me explain. I am looking for the lens with the greatest reduction in ghosting/flaring in addition to the one that produces the sharpest negatives.

    Then you should have a good look at the Apo Sironar S as well!

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