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

  1. #11
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: explain like I'm 5......... 90mm lenses

    I really like the Rodenstock 6,8 lenses, as a good compromise between the dim f/8 lenses and the big f/5.6 lenses. Of the f/8 lenses, the Nikon SW has the most coverage.

    Wide angle lenses can be hard to use as they get dim near the edges of the ground glass. That can be a particular problem when photographing inside.
    May tomorrow be a better day.

  2. #12

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

    Quote Originally Posted by BradS View Post
    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.
    Schneider designed it for 9x12 cm, not 4x5 so for many it is not a good performer edge to edge.

  3. #13

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    Schneider designed it for 9x12 cm, not 4x5” so for many it is not a good performer edge to edge.
    Just part of the beauty of this little optic.

  4. #14

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

    The Nikkor 90mm f/8 is *the* 90mm 4x5 lens. All else are not as good.

  5. #15
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: explain like I'm 5......... 90mm lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by EdSawyer View Post
    The Nikkor 90mm f/8 is *the* 90mm 4x5 lens. All else are not as good.
    Why?

    As an aside, I'm just getting into 4x5 and have a 150mm now. I shoot mainly landscapes. So what would be a good selection for a 90mm?

  6. #16

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

    The possible rational for the SW Nikkor 90mm f8 being tops.... small size with a LARGE image circle.. that is about it.

    Tops completely depends on the image making needs. IMO, majority of modern 90mm wide angle lenses with a full aperture of f4.5 to f5.6 are FAR more similar than different. Exception being the Schneider Super Angulon XL with the largest image circle of this group... it is also physically the largest lens of the group.

    IMO, there is no "best" there is only what works best for a given need. Frankly, the image circle obsession ... an obsession. Fact is, how much image circle is needed completely depends on the image to be made with any given lens (camera movements). Some images require zero camera movement while other cannot not be made without pushing camera & lens to it's very limits. Larger image circle is not always a good thing as the un-used light from the image circle projected inside the bellows will reflect off the bellows which reduces contrast to varying degrees. As with most stuff, it's a trade off.

    Taking aperture figures into this. Most modern wide angle lenses work GOOD at f11 and smaller (there are exceptions like the 75mm f4.5 Biogon, 35mm-45mm-55mm f4.5 green stripe Grandagon). Image circle size increases as the lens aperture deceases, BUT the possible optical resolution decreases due to diffraction.. Again, this is another trade off.


    Bernice


    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    Why?

    As an aside, I'm just getting into 4x5 and have a 150mm now. I shoot mainly landscapes. So what would be a good selection for a 90mm?

  7. #17
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: explain like I'm 5......... 90mm lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by EdSawyer View Post
    The Nikkor 90mm f/8 is *the* 90mm 4x5 lens. All else are not as good.
    +1

    But any cheap modern 90mm lens will be more than good enough for most. I've used most all of them and seen little to no difference.

    90mm Angulon and similar have soft corners and no extra IC.
    90mm f/8 lenses from the Big 4 are all mostly the same, Nikkor is a standout though with slightly more IC. All have 67mm filters IIRC.
    90mm f/4.5 or f/5.6 are bigger and take larger filters at 82mm (Rodenstock f/6.8 model is an interesting in-between with 67mm filters, as mentioned by Peter).
    90mm XL is massive but the no-compromise option (95mm filters).
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  8. #18

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

    Modest magnification loupe (4x to 7x) tilted at an angle towards the center of the lens while viewing the edge of the ground glass image. Fresnel lens will not help you here, it can make assessing the image FAR more difficult.

    This is the routine when using a 72mm Super Angulon XL with 5x7_13x18cm interior images. More challenging if this is done a night with the indoor space illuminated with dim light bulbs.


    Bernice

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    Wide angle lenses can be hard to use as they get dim near the edges of the ground glass. That can be a particular problem when photographing inside.

  9. #19

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

    I have to throw another one in the ring: the 90mm Ilex-Calumet Wide Field Caltar f/8 (AKA 90mm Ilex Acugon). It lives in the 5x7 kit as it beat out the 90mm f/8 Super Angulon which is in the 4x5 kit. The 90mm Angulon is on the Travelwide.

  10. #20

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

    Lots of good suggestions in this thread. I'll through in my own qualitative comments, FWIW, based upon my actual testing of the following 90mm UWA lenses that I have for different sets of 4x5 and 5x7 gear, along with 75mm and 105mm Fujinon UWA lenses.


    90mm/5.6 Fujinon SWD - very sharp, multi-coated, but really big (82mm filter size), heavy and suitable only for fairly static photography. It's an 8 element UWA with 105 degree coverage that works well with 5x7. However, the 90mm/f8 Nikkor does just as well up to 5x7 and in a significantly smaller package.

    90mm/8 Nikkor - sharpest lens of the lot by a small margin and with a 67mm filter size. The 235mm/105 degree image circle/coverage is large enough for some movement on 5x7, and it's sufficiently small/light for backpacking My personal preference.

    90mm wide angle Dagor - very, very small yet does a very nice job on 4x5. Downside - it's currently as expensive or more expensive than the Nikkor 90/8 on the used market and the shutter will probably require a CLA. Still, as a tiny 4x5 backpack lens, it's great. You can sort of eke out usable 5x7 coverage at very small apertures, but that's marginal.

    90mm/6.8 Angulon I apparently have a good factory-coated later copy and it's decent at small apertures, but still seems softer and less contrasty than the similar 90mm Wide Angle Dagor. My least favorite.


    Additional comparisons in nearby focal lengths:

    75mm/8 Fujinon This is the first version of the SW series, with the inside lettering and single-coated. It's surprisingly sharp and small (58mm filters, I seem to recall). Some movement on 4x5 is possible as the image circle is about 180mm. It's Fujinon's equivalent to the original Super Angulon in terms of 6/4 design. This might be a good alternative to a 90mm UWA - you can always crop a bit or move in closer if you want a tighter composition.

    105mm/8 Fujinon NSW This is a later UWA design using 6 air-spaced elements in six groups, multicoating, and lettering on lens barrel outside. It's extremely sharp and my preferred 5x7 UWA, but is overkill on 4x5 as it is a 77mm filter size lens.

    The good performance of the later 105mm NSW Fujinon 6/6 design and the earlier 75mm/f8 6/4 design suggests that later NSW models of the Fujinon 90/8 would have similarly good 4x5 performance in a smaller, less expensive package. I did not get one because the 90/8 Fujinon does not cover 5x7.

    Fujinon had a known commitment to good quality control for their LF lenses. Of the 11 Fujinon lenses that I purchased on the usedmarket, I have not had a single bad one. Qualitatively, I would generalize that one or two were average to somewhat above average while the rest were excellent or better.

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