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Thread: Lens for 4x5

  1. #1

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    Lens for 4x5

    Hello! I have an intrepid 4x5. And I found as a lens the Linhof Schneider-Kreuznach Linhof symmar-S 150mm f/5.6

    Maybe someone in the forum has already used this lens and has some feedback about it?

    Thanks a lot!

  2. #2

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    Re: Lens for 4x5

    If you use the forum search function, you'll find quite a lot of discussion and information about the lens and versions of it.

  3. #3
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    Re: Lens for 4x5

    Quote Originally Posted by Mumi View Post
    Hello! I have an intrepid 4x5. And I found as a lens the Linhof Schneider-Kreuznach Linhof symmar-S 150mm f/5.6

    Maybe someone in the forum has already used this lens and has some feedback about it?

    Thanks a lot!
    The Symmar is a standard “normal” plasmat-type lens for 4x5 of excellent quality. The Linhof versions were those that passed Linhof’s extra test step, and I consider them reliably good examples of what is already a reliably good lens.

    These are older examples, however, so shutter condition is the question, and the lens won’t be multicoated. If the 1-second speed is accurate, probably all of them will be. It will have a Compur shutter if it says Linhof on it.

    Because it is older and may need shutter service, price is important. Don’t overpay because of the Linhof marking. Personally, I’d rather had a newer multicoated example, depending on price.

    Rick “whose 180mm Symmar, however, is likely just as old” Denney

  4. #4

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    Re: Lens for 4x5

    Good on the Schneider Symmar S, question is ... condition of the shutter. Typical Linhof "select" lenses come in a Compur shutter. Compur shutters work, but given their decades of aging and likely plenty of shutter cycles, it will demand service in some way. There was a time when Linhof did mass lens selection (60's to 70's then less in later years) for good reason, lens manufactures had enough production variations to where selecting can result in a better-more consistent lens for their customers. Roll the view camera time clock forward to the 1980's and later, the big four (Fujinon, Rodenstock, Nikkor, Schneider) view camera lens manufactures followed the rest of the optical production industry resulting in very consistent lenses produced. This is also why view camera lenses from the big four became much the same.

    Suggestion-recommendation would be to get a modern 150mm f5.6 Plasmat lens (typically all black or chrome rim on the Copal or similar shutter) from any of the big four with a proven and known good accurate shutter. Secondary is condition of the glass. Do test the lens before accepting ownership as there are a long list of events that can happen to any lens due to the passage of time and making film exposures.


    Bernice



    Quote Originally Posted by Mumi View Post
    Hello! I have an intrepid 4x5. And I found as a lens the Linhof Schneider-Kreuznach Linhof symmar-S 150mm f/5.6

    Maybe someone in the forum has already used this lens and has some feedback about it?

    Thanks a lot!

  5. #5

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    Re: Lens for 4x5

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    Good on the Schneider Symmar S, question is ... condition of the shutter. Typical Linhof "select" lenses come in a Compur shutter. Compur shutters work, but given their decades of aging and likely plenty of shutter cycles, it will demand service in some way. There was a time when Linhof did mass lens selection (60's to 70's then less in later years) for good reason, lens manufactures had enough production variations to where selecting can result in a better-more consistent lens for their customers. Roll the view camera time clock forward to the 1980's and later, the big four (Fujinon, Rodenstock, Nikkor, Schneider) view camera lens manufactures followed the rest of the optical production industry resulting in very consistent lenses produced. This is also why view camera lenses from the big four became much the same.

    Suggestion-recommendation would be to get a modern 150mm f5.6 Plasmat lens (typically all black or chrome rim on the Copal or similar shutter) from any of the big four with a proven and known good accurate shutter. Secondary is condition of the glass. Do test the lens before accepting ownership as there are a long list of events that can happen to any lens due to the passage of time and making film exposures.


    Bernice
    LInhof continued “mass”lens tests well,beyond the 70s and continued testing them with Copal shutters into the present day. And continued picking the best performing ones.
    Some lenses were put aside for their performance with speciality cameras like the Technorama 612 and 617 cameras. Some were earmarked for their performance on their aerial and photogrammetric cameras. The rest that passed were earmarked for their technical and studio cameras from 69cm to 810.

  6. #6
    (Shrek)
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    Re: Lens for 4x5

    I've been using mine on 4x5 for 10 or 15 years, it is a superb general-purpose lens. There may be some more recent lenses that have slightly better performance on some metric, but the differences will be minute and not visible to any but the most demanding perfectionists.

  7. #7

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    Re: Lens for 4x5

    Quote Originally Posted by rdenney View Post
    The Symmar is a standard “normal” plasmat-type lens for 4x5 of excellent quality. The Linhof versions were those that passed Linhof’s extra test step, and I consider them reliably good examples of what is already a reliably good lens.

    These are older examples, however, so shutter condition is the question, and the lens won’t be multicoated. If the 1-second speed is accurate, probably all of them will be. It will have a Compur shutter if it says Linhof on it.

    Because it is older and may need shutter service, price is important. Don’t overpay because of the Linhof marking. Personally, I’d rather had a newer multicoated example, depending on price.

    Rick “whose 180mm Symmar, however, is likely just as old” Denney
    I have a 180 mm Symmar-S ("Linhof Select") that is multicoated, says "MULTICOATING" on the periphery of the front cell. I have some recollection that Schneider started multi-coating during the production run of the Symmar-S so earlier ones were singlecoated. Maybe the OP's example is multicoated.

    Agree that barring unseen damage, this would be an excellent lens. Bought my 180 used and had Bob Watkins at Precision Camera Works do a CLA on its Compur which works fine. In fact per my shutter speed tester it didn't seem to have any problems before.

    And welcome to the forum Mumi.

    David
    Last edited by David Lindquist; 29-Jul-2021 at 11:09. Reason: added a bit

  8. #8
    Arca-Swiss
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    Re: Lens for 4x5

    The 150mm Symmar S has a 210mm image circle so lots of room for movements. By the way most later LF shutters Copal or Compur or Prontor,have 2 governors. 1- 1/30 and 1/60 and above. So saying if 1 second is accurate, they all are may be misleading.

    The 180mm is also quite good though all the manufacturers lenses were improved. The Symmar S is quite good on black and white, but for color you might look to a newer iteration.
    Rod Klukas
    US Representative
    Arca-Swiss International
    480-755-3364


    Digital Camera Solutions including R-series Technical Cameras, Large Format View Cameras and Ballheads. 480-755-3364

  9. #9
    Small town, South Carolina, US
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    Re: Lens for 4x5

    In the discussion some are naming the lens Symmar and others, including the original poster, are talking about the Symmar S. The Symmar S is Schneider's recomputed pasmat-type lens. It is not a symmetrical design where its predecessor the Symmar (which was also marketed as a convertible is.)

    Schneider used to have the information and drawings of these lenses on the web - but no more.

  10. #10
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    Re: Lens for 4x5

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Klukas View Post
    The 150mm Symmar S has a 210mm image circle so lots of room for movements. By the way most later LF shutters Copal or Compur or Prontor,have 2 governors. 1- 1/30 and 1/60 and above. So saying if 1 second is accurate, they all are may be misleading.

    The 180mm is also quite good though all the manufacturers lenses were improved. The Symmar S is quite good on black and white, but for color you might look to a newer iteration.
    The slow speed is usually the regulator that is sticky because it uses an escapement. I’ve never had a shutter with a high-speed governor that didn’t work passably that had a slow shutter that didn’t struggle with its slowest speed.

    Rick “a bellwether, nothing more” Denney

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