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Thread: explain like I'm 5......... 90mm lenses

  1. #1

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    explain like I'm 5......... 90mm lenses

    Hey there,

    I'm new to the LF game and I have a few questions about 90mm lenses.
    As far as I can tell there are lenses like the Fujinon f/8 which are huge, and lenses like the Schneider f/6.8 which is tiny.......and faster........and cheaper.
    Are the small Schneider-type lenses really muddy? Presumably there's a reason people pay more for a bigger and slower lens......are they way sharper?

    Looking into buying a 90mm but I want to know what I'm doing.

    Benno

  2. #2

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    Re: explain like I'm 5......... 90mm lenses

    Your wish is my command!

    Go potty, take a nap, eat a snack, and then get Mommy to read you some stories from the lens section of https://www.largeformatphotography.info/

  3. #3

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    Re: explain like I'm 5......... 90mm lenses

    Jes' plain Angulons have less coverage than modern wasp-waisted w/a lenses of the same focal length. By the way, there's also a 90/6.8 Raptar, different design than the jes' plain Angulon, same performance.

    If you don't need movements the 90/6.8ers will do. If you need movements, they won't.

  4. #4

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    Re: explain like I'm 5......... 90mm lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    Jes' plain Angulons have less coverage than modern wasp-waisted w/a lenses of the same focal length. By the way, there's also a 90/6.8 Raptar, different design than the jes' plain Angulon, same performance.

    If you don't need movements the 90/6.8ers will do. If you need movements, they won't.
    And the 90mm WA Geragon.

  5. #5

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    Re: explain like I'm 5......... 90mm lenses

    In this instance, two things make lenses bigger: Speed (maximum aperture) and coverage (size of image circle). This latter is a result of lens design: more and bigger elements are needed to do the job.

    So in this focal length group, you've got 90mm f/6.8 lenses (a couple different designs, as Dan mentions, but similar performance) that just barely make an image circle large enough to cover all of a 4x5-inch piece of film. Some names in this category: Angulon (not Super Angulon) and Raptar (and a Wide Field Ektar f/6.3: not a 90mm, but rather a 100mm lens, which is in the same general category.)

    Then you've got the bigger lenses in the 90mm category, which have substantially larger image circles and will allow generous movements (think lots of front rise when photographing architecture, etc.). These get divided into two sub-groups depending on speed.

    For example, you have the large Super Angulon 90mm F/8 and the even larger Super Angulon 90mm f/5.6. The latter is faster by a stop plus has more coverage.

    Continuing in this same vein, you have: Fujinon and Nikkor SW series lenses in f/8 and f/5.6. Again the faster lens is bigger and has more coverage. Rodenstock calls their wide lenses Grandagons and they come in f/6.8 and f/4.5. Same thing as above, just both lenses are a bit faster.

    Note that a lens design series can have many focal lengths. E.g., the Schneider Super Angulons came not only in 90mm focal lengths, but also 65mm, 75mm, 120mm etc. (There's also the more modern and slightly-better performing Super Angulon XL series with a different set of focal lengths: 38mm, 47mm, 72mm and two versions of our old standby, 90mm). Other brands are similar.

    Find a pdf of a large-format lens brochure or two online and peruse them. That'll clear up any confusion.

    Hope this helps,

    Doremus

  6. #6

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    Re: explain like I'm 5......... 90mm lenses

    Ok, thanks! Looks like I need one of the hourglass lenses, hmm.............

    Thanks to all for you input!

  7. #7

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    Re: explain like I'm 5......... 90mm lenses

    My wide angle lens is a Super Angulon with a center filter. I use it on 4 x 5 (Technika) and 5 x 7 (with not much in the way of movements - pretty much on center only - but it's really wide!)

    On the longer end the Nikon sets are great - I have the 360 - 500 - 720 set with the 720 being too long for the Technika and at f/16 a bit dim, but the set is lighter than carrying three separate lenses and the image quality is excellent.

  8. #8

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    Re: explain like I'm 5......... 90mm lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
    Your wish is my command!

    Go potty, take a nap, eat a snack, and then get Mommy to read you some stories from the lens section of https://www.largeformatphotography.info/
    I just spit tea out my nose!

  9. #9

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    Re: explain like I'm 5......... 90mm lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by BennoLF View Post
    ....Are the small Schneider-type lenses really muddy?
    ....
    No. absolutely not. In fact when stopped down to f/8 or f/11, the 90mm f/6.8 Angulon is very sharp indeed. It is a very compact and light weight lens - a favorite of backpackers and Photo Journalists. They do not allow much, if any movement on 4x5 and they might be a little soft in the corners...oh, and most are now a least 40~50 years old (?) which means that shutters will also be old and in need of service.

  10. #10

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    Re: explain like I'm 5......... 90mm lenses

    Ok, coolio. Thanks!

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