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Thread: I'm new to LF photography. Which of my 7 LF lenses are worth keeping/worth selling?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2019
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    Los Angeles
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    I'm new to LF photography. Which of my 7 LF lenses are worth keeping/worth selling?

    Hi there,

    I'm a photography MFA student who is relatively new to large format photography. I bought an enormous box of large format gear including a Toyo 45g and 8 lenses. (My professor sold me his entire large format set for next to nothing.) I sold the clunky, yet beautiful in its own way, Toyo 45g and purchased a Linhof Technikardan 45. Anyway, instead of going through all these lenses and burning money and learning the hard way (and I stupidly spent nearly all the money I had thanks to my gear acquisition syndrome), I appeal to you experts to ask which of these lenses you think are worth keeping, and which of these lenses are worth selling. I'm primarily a landscape and architectural shooter. Any help would be very much appreciated.

    Here's my list, from wide angle to telephoto:

    -65mm Nikon Nikkor-SW f/4
    -90mm Sinar (Rodenstock) Sinaron W f/8 (Multicoated)
    -135mm Schneider-Kreuznach Xenotar f/3.5
    -150mm Schneider Symmar-S f/5.6 (Multicoated)
    -180mm Fujifilm Fujinon-W f/5.6 (really NW, New Wide)
    -210mm Schneider Symmar-S f/5.6 (Multicoated)
    -270mm Rodenstock Rotelar f/5.6
    -360mm Rodenstock Sironar-N f/6.8 (multicoated)

    Many thanks!
    Last edited by manfrominternet; 28-Apr-2019 at 01:59.

  2. #2
    Les
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    1,039

    Re: I'm new to LF photography. Which of my 7 LF lenses are worth keeping/worth sellin

    If that was me, I'd give all of them a try and see what you wish to keep. From my narrow knowledge of optics, Rotelar seem to have a smaller circle, tho you can still shoot (@F22). The Xenotar could have thorium in it, but I'd presume negligible....it also has a tight circle, but I've see them "cultish" expensive ($500+). Good luck.

    Les

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    64

    Re: I'm new to LF photography. Which of my 7 LF lenses are worth keeping/worth sellin

    Quote Originally Posted by manfrominternet View Post
    Hi there,
    Linhof Technikardan 45.
    -360mm Rodenstock Sironar-N f/6.8 (multicoated)

    Many thanks!
    Be careful trying to mount the 360!
    A friend tested my 360mm Nikkor without success, so I doubt you can. As you always can crop later, it's not a big loss.

    Big Wehman, Toyo 5x7" and a small Chamonix

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    4,211

    Re: I'm new to LF photography. Which of my 7 LF lenses are worth keeping/worth sellin

    Quote Originally Posted by manfrominternet View Post
    Hi there,

    I'm a photography MFA student who is relatively new to large format photography. I bought an enormous box of large format gear including a Toyo 45g and 8 lenses. (My professor sold me his entire large format set for next to nothing.) I sold the clunky, yet beautiful in its own way, Toyo 45g and purchased a Linhof Technikardan 45. Anyway, instead of going through all these lenses and burning money and learning the hard way (and I stupidly spent nearly all the money I had thanks to my gear acquisition syndrome), I appeal to you experts to ask which of these lenses you think are worth keeping, and which of these lenses are worth selling. I'm primarily a landscape and architectural shooter. Any help would be very much appreciated.

    Here's my list, from wide angle to telephoto:

    -65mm Nikon Nikkor-SW f/4
    -90mm Sinar (Rodenstock) Sinaron W f/8 (Multicoated)
    -135mm Schneider-Kreuznach Xenotar f/3.5
    -150mm Schneider Symmar-S f/5.6 (Multicoated)
    -180mm Fujifilm Fujinon-W f/5.6 (really NW, New Wide)
    -210mm Schneider Symmar-S f/5.6 (Multicoated)
    -270mm Rodenstock Rotelar f/5.6
    -360mm Rodenstock Sironar-N f/6.8 (multicoated)

    Many thanks!
    New to LF and sporting that amazing kit ??? You are privileged !!

    This is a very equilibrated kit, the man that gathered such a glass stack had a very refined criterion, full of wisdom. Selling glass without having tried it is lost opportunity. For example (say) the Xenotar may not be suitable for your kind of photography as you may want (or not) multicoated lenses for landscape Velvia, but selling the xenotar without having learned what a xenotar is... The xenotar has a bokeh in the hard side, but it allows you experienting with such wide aperture to force things in the OOF !

    Specialized architecture glass is expensive, and it's easy to make painful mistakes when selecting an expensive glass. I'm a newcommer to LF and I can assure you I've recently made such mistakes... You may spend some at least $2000 in film before you have the right criterion to know what large circle glass you want for architecture, or if you don't wnat such a large circle because the involved drawbacks from that large circle.

    My recomendation is that you shot with this fantastic glass until you learn the character of each unit, later you may find the need for a certain specialized lens, you also may find that you may make cash with a lens you don't use...


    Me, I would not change anything in this kit for the moment, as it was gathered by somebody sporting a lot of wisdom. And think that Ansel Adams made his entire career with technically worse glass than what you have.

    Here you have some links about glass specs, the first link is about portraiture, but it's interesting to see what kind of nuances a LF photographer may find a glass has:

    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...rtrait-lenses/

    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...s/LF4x5in.html

    http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/testing.html

    http://www.arnecroell.com/lenstests.pdf

    https://onedrive.live.com/?id=8D71BC...71BC33C77D1008

    Regarding the Technikardan 45, this is a refined thing ! It won't make better or worse photographs than an old wooden camera, but it's a really serious piece of gear.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    St. Simons Island, Georgia
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    564

    Re: I'm new to LF photography. Which of my 7 LF lenses are worth keeping/worth sellin

    Unless you’re desperate for money, I wouldn’t sell any of them now. I’d suggest picking one of the lenses in the 135 to 210 range (all near “normal” focal length) and shoot with it for at least six months. Then you will have a much better idea as to which lenses you will need.

  6. #6
    multi format
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    local
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    Re: I'm new to LF photography. Which of my 7 LF lenses are worth keeping/worth sellin

    Hello
    If it was me? I'd keep the 150 and ditch the rest. Too many lenses and too much gear is more of a curse than anything else.

    Have fun with the new toys !
    John
    enjoy your coffee

  7. #7

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    Sep 2008
    Location
    Oxfordshire UK
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    Re: I'm new to LF photography. Which of my 7 LF lenses are worth keeping/worth sellin

    "..............Too many lenses and too much gear is more of a curse than anything else............"

    Well said and entirely 'spot on' from my experience(s)

    Andrew

  8. #8
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    12,307

    Re: I'm new to LF photography. Which of my 7 LF lenses are worth keeping/worth sellin

    If you are in for the long run, keep any lens with a well working shutter and exercise it. The glass is worth less for the distance.

    Watch for shims when dismantling anything.
    sin eater

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Guelph, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    292

    Re: I'm new to LF photography. Which of my 7 LF lenses are worth keeping/worth sellin

    Don't sell any of them yet. I agree with others who suggest you have more than you need. But at this stage you don't really know what you need... Are you coming to LF from other kinds of photography? If so, do you have a favourite focal length (or tendency)? You could start with the lens that fits in that range and pack the rest away for now. For example, my widest lens on 4x5 is 90mm because I don't favour wide angles. I seem to prefer just a bit wider than normal, and just a bit longer than normal.

    Anyway, you own some great glass. You're not going to get a lot of money from selling it, and if you're still shooting LF in a year you may find yourself re-buying things you sold.

  10. #10

    Join Date
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    1,439

    Re: I'm new to LF photography. Which of my 7 LF lenses are worth keeping/worth sellin

    IMO, why sell any of them now?

    Use them all to see what you like and what you do not like then decide. This is a very balanced set of LF lenses that can server virtually any image making need focal length wise for 4x5.


    Bernice

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