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Thread: 90MM OPTAR, 90MM Angulon..WHICH?

  1. #1

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    90MM OPTAR, 90MM Angulon..WHICH?

    OK, I have been using a 90mm Optar on my Super Graphic, doesn't have much coverage, but is quite sharp. Just got a 90mm Angulon. If both lenses are in similar excellent optical condition, should I expect more coverage for movements from the Angulon?? (Old style Angulon, not Super). How about sharpness? I took a polaroid with the Angulon today, but its hard to tell from a color polaroid on a dark wet day. I like "old style" wide angles, because this is my personal location photography kit, and weight is a consideration. I have modern 90mm SuperAngulon, but it is too big and bulky for my personal kit. I use the newer one for "paying" photos with my Toyo and Sinar cameras.

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    Re: 90MM OPTAR, 90MM Angulon..WHICH?

    There's more to a lens than sharpness.

    Compare both lenses by shooting your favorite film, and then compare them side by side.

    Let us know which one you pick!
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Photography/index.html

  3. #3

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    Re: 90MM OPTAR, 90MM Angulon..WHICH?

    Oh, I will be doing my own testing, I was just wanting other peoples opinions also.

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    Re: 90MM OPTAR, 90MM Angulon..WHICH?

    I'm in the market for a lighter wide angle lens for backpacking. I'd like to know what your thoughts are and possibly any example images you have. Good luck!

  5. #5
    grumpy & miserable Joseph O'Neil's Avatar
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    Re: 90MM OPTAR, 90MM Angulon..WHICH?

    I had both at one time too, and I went with the Angulon. In no particular order;

    1) slightly larger coverage on the Angulon allowing for some movements. The other lens, in my case, had almost no movements at all. This was the biggest factor for my switch;

    2) the Angulon was threaded for filters, the other lens was not;

    3) the Angulon had a better shutter, more reliable. You milage may vary on this point;

    Image quality - hard to tell once both are stopped down to about F16 or F22. Wide open or nearly wide open the Angulon was, IMO, superior, so if you shoot at lot wide open, go Angulon for sure. But I was very happy with both lenses. I think, except for coverage in some cases, the optical qualities of some of the older Optar, Ilex, Wollensak and "plain" Ektar lenses is surprizingly good.

    Backpacking either lens is excellent, and i do the same as you - I have a big 90mm for my monorail, but I use a smaller lens for my field camera and backpacking.

    Now one other issue - I have used a Super Graphic too in the past for many years, but with either lens, you will have movement issues because the plane of focus is so darned close to the body of the camera, you barely have room to move. A recessed lens board for any Graphic is hard to find, expensive when you do find one, and any recessed lens board, IMO, is a complete PITA to use in the field. I no longer use either lens and have since bought a Fujinon 105mm, which is something you seldom see, but a wonderful lens that again is, IMO, highly underrated.

    good luck
    joe
    eta gosha maaba, aaniish gaa zhiwebiziyin ?

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    Re: 90MM OPTAR, 90MM Angulon..WHICH?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph O'Neil View Post
    I had both at one time too, Now one other issue - I have used a Super Graphic too in the past for many years, but with either lens, you will have movement issues because the plane of focus is so darned close to the body of the camera, you barely have room to move. A recessed lens board for any Graphic is hard to find, expensive when you do find one, and any recessed lens board, IMO, is a complete PITA to use in the field. I no longer use either lens and have since bought a Fujinon 105mm, which is something you seldom see, but a wonderful lens that again is, IMO, highly underrated.

    good luck
    joe
    I have both mounted on Graflex lensboards, and it does seem that the Angulon requires setting the front standard further back a wee bit, than the Optar, but it is still on the focusing part of the rail when focused at infinity, so I think I am OK on that point. However, since I own both, I can always switch to the Optar if needed, as both are mounted and ready to use. It is interesting to observe that different 90mm WA lenses require different "draws" on the camera for infinity..theoretically they sould be the same, unless they were "telephoto" style designs. There was a long post on APUG, I think about a guy that had a Wollensak 90mm Raptar that he had to make a "sunken" lensboard in order to get it to focus on the focusing part of the rail. Perhaps the Graflex 90mm Optar was specifically designed to focus further out on the rail specifically for Graflex style cameras?

    What was your opinion on vignetting, or even-ness of light coverage (fall off) between the 90mm Angulon and the 90mm Optar?

  7. #7
    grumpy & miserable Joseph O'Neil's Avatar
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    Re: 90MM OPTAR, 90MM Angulon..WHICH?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene McCluney View Post
    Perhaps the Graflex 90mm Optar was specifically designed to focus further out on the rail specifically for Graflex style cameras?

    What was your opinion on vignetting, or even-ness of light coverage (fall off) between the 90mm Angulon and the 90mm Optar?

    Interesting point - had not thought about that. Mind you too, I noticed that on my Crown Graphic I seemed to have a bit more space/room for focusing with my Angulon than I did on my Super Graphic, but it has been a while now.

    As for vignetting, I always thought, even stopped down, the Angulon was superior in that regards to the Optar, and a Wollensak I used too, in 90mm.

    good luck
    joe
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