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Thread: New Lens Fever - HELP!

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2000
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    56

    New Lens Fever - HELP!

    I need some advice. I have a few bucks from my tax refund and I have lens fever. I read some really glowing reports on the Apo Sironar-S 150mm. Problem is, I already have 2 150mm lenses, an Apo Symmar and a Caltar II S. Now, I also have 2 90mm, an Angulon and a Super Angulon (the medium sized one - F6.8 ?).

    So, I am thinking about buying the 135mm Apo Sironar-S. 120mm would be a better fit with my kit but they don't make a 120mm Sironar-S. There is a 120mm Macro, the APO Macro-S but I generally use MF for macro projects. Would the 120mm macro be suitable for general subjects? (specs say it's optimized for 1:1 - 1:5 - 2:1.)

    I could go the other way and get the 180mm Apo Sironar-S, which is a better fit in my kit, it falls right between my 150mm and my 210mm.

    So; should I buy:

    The 150mm

    The 135mm

    The 180mm or

    The 120mm macro???

    HELP!

    -- --Wm. "Bill" Brady, Harwood MD 3851'30"N 7641'00"W

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    2,952

    New Lens Fever - HELP!

    Bill, you favor a closer focal length spacing than I do. I have a 75mm, 110, 180 and 300. I can use all of these with both 4x5 and 5x7 (no movement on the 75). On 4x5 the 180 is my most used, followed by the 110. I have just gotten the 5x7 so I can only speculate that the 180 and the 300 will be my most used there, since I have found both the 110 and the 180 to be just a little too wide on 4x5. I think my ideal kit for 4x5 (not considering coverage) would be: 90, 135, 200, 300. But I always thought of 5x7 coverage when I bought a 4x5 lens, because I wanted to have that option.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    Knoxville, Tennessee
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    New Lens Fever - HELP!

    Bill,

    The 150mm Caltar-II S and Apo Symmar are probably the same lens, so I'd keep the one with the latest/best shutter everything else equal. The Apo Symmar will probably have a little more value having the Schneider name.

    The lenses I have in this range work very well for me. They are the 110mm Schneider SS XL, the 135mm Apo Sironar-S, and the 180mm Apo Sironar-S. If I want light weight, it's a 120 Apo Symmar, a 150mm Germinar-W I got from Kerry Thalmann, and a 200mm Nikkor M - but I rarely carry a 150mm - only when I know I'll need it or I'm really scrimping on weight.

    The Apo Sironar-S series works well for close ups as do process lenses like the Germinar-W, so no need for the 120 Macro which reportedly won't cover at infinity - unless you specialize in true macro. The only complaint I have about the Apo Sironar-S series is that at least the 135mm produces a fairly bad iris ghost pointed into the sun; otherwise they are superb in every aspect.

    Steve

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Blue Jay, CA
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    2,340

    New Lens Fever - HELP!

    Bill: Probably unwise of me to say anything since I have no idea what you photograph, but a few comments which may or may not be helpful. (1) You have lenses that are only slightly different than ones you have and in some cases, lenses which do exactly the same thing as ones you have. Either of your two current 150's would be fine, they are excellent, get rid of one. I'd keep the APO version, assuming both are in good shape and the shutters run well. (2) Get rid of the Angulon unless you really need the reduced weight for packing long distances. (3) A 135 is really close to a 150, enough so that I'd go with a 120 instead. The 120 Symar is a very small lens, quite reasonably priced, with more coverage than you'd expect looking at the charts. (4) A 180 isn't much longer than a 150, I would get a 210 or a 240, then a 300 with the money you made off selling the duplicate 90 and the extra 150. In general, I try to avoid lenses which will really do what I can do with my feet (i.e., get a little closer or back up) but, again, I don't know what you take pictures of. As with all lens questions, you will get many different answers.

  5. #5
    Ted Harris's Avatar
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    Aug 2000
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    New Hampshire
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    3,474

    New Lens Fever - HELP!

    Bill, as the others have already said you are talking some very close spacing there. You might want to think about reaching farther in either direction. Either a 75 or a 240. BTW as far as your 150's go the Caltar II-S is the same lens as a Symmar S, the Apo Symmar is a slightly later design. I have owned both the Apo symmar 150 and the 135 Sironar-S, also a 180 Sironar N. I prefer the images from the Sironar S and that is the lens I kept out of the 150/135 batch. My spacking goes 135-180-240. For years I used a 210 and jus tnever liked. Muchhappier with 180 but that is personal.

    If you do decide to go with a macro it will work fine at infinity but the image circle may not be as large as that of a normal design lens of the same focal length.

  6. #6
    Terence
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    391

    New Lens Fever - HELP!

    I agree with the above. Drop one of the 150mm's, and the 90mm Angulon (unless you do a lot of backpacking, etc), and get a 240mm. G Claron's are a great deal and have HUGE coverage for a 4x5. If you're positive you don't want to "go long", go shorter with a 75mm. I was a 110mm and 150mm guy until I tried a longer length and now it is my most used lens. I think you'll find that almost anything between a 90 and 150mm to be too similar to what you already have. 135mm feel barely wider than 150mm and have less coverage. Similarly the 180mm feels only slightly longer.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    San Joaquin Valley, California
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    New Lens Fever - HELP!

    Bill,

    Take two aspirin and have your wife handcuff you to the bed post until you get over this.

    Unless you're a collector, simply having the $$ isn't a good enough reason to buy new glass----that your 'list' is all over the place in terms of focal lengths says that you don't know what you want and that is something you'll need to know before parting wth your tax refund.
    Have you ecer been out shooting and found an actual need for a lens in a focal length you don't have? <aybe that is the lens you should be looking to add.
    Good luck!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    4,588

    New Lens Fever - HELP!

    If you're just "filling out your kit" then you're wasting your money. If, on the other hand, you shoot mostly with the 150mm and often find that you need just a little wider or longer lens, then the 135 or 180 would be a great idea.
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  9. #9

    New Lens Fever - HELP!

    Sounds like throwing $500 at a favorite charity is a good solution.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    56

    New Lens Fever - HELP!

    You guys have given me much to think about.

    My inclination is to get rid of both 150s and get a 135 or 120 and a 180mm.

    I should have mentioned that I do mostly field work. Not what I would consider to be landscapes so much but old buildings, forts (especially when the re-enacters are there), machinery, and boats (I live near the Chesapeake Bay).

    I should have mentioned that my last aquisition was a Fujinon 300mm compact. So I now have: 90-90-150-150-210-300.

    I like the 150mm Caltar II S better than the Apo Symmar 150, so I'd have no problem selling the Symmar. I do find, however, that the 150s give me problems with some of my close work when inside a building and the 90mm is just too wide. Especially when a person (re-enacter) is in the scene.

    Back in the '80s I had a Toyo 45G which was too heavy and bulky for the work I found wanting myself to do. I recall that my most used lens was a 135mm Schneider, I had a junker 210mm and a 90mm Angulon. I sold everything but the Angulon.

    I think I'll get a 120 or 125 (I like Fujinons now a days) and put both 150s on eBay.

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