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Thread: Lens. Good Bad Or ?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Lens. Good Bad Or ?

    Hello
    Another newbie question.
    Searching for a lens for my lovely wooden Wista 5x4 field camera,I have been offered [a] Rodenstock Apo- Ronar 150mm 1:9 lens for $160.
    [b] Schneider Kreuznach Symar 135mm 1:4.7 lens for $100.
    Both look very clean and working
    This is the range I have been advised to look at for landscape photography.
    Anyone had the use of either any advise would be most welcome.
    Thank you
    Albi.

  2. #2
    IanG's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
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    Aegean (Turkey & UK)
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    4,122

    Re: Lens. Good Bad Or ?

    Neither's ideal, but both are useable.

    The f4.7 should be a Xenar ? which is fine at f22 and that's a very good price, but it has little coverage as it's a Tessar design and so edge/corner sharpness is poor only getting reasonable at f16 and it's best at f22.

    If it's an f5.6 Symmar take it at that price.

    The Apo Ronar is optimised for close focus work, like a G Claron it's OK at Infinity at f22, but for $160 you'd be better with a 150mm Symmar, Sironar, or even a coated Ektar.

    Ian

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    NJ
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    Re: Lens. Good Bad Or ?

    I don't agree fully with Ian.

    He's right about the Apo Ronar, but for the wrong reasons. Apo Ronars shoot very well at all distances. Rodenstock's propaganda used to assert that a long Apo Ronar gave better image quality than a telephoto lens of the same focal length.

    You don't want a 150/9 Apo Ronar because it won't cover 4x5. I have one that gives very good results, my technique willing, on 2x3. But it just isn't a lens for 4x5.

    Ian's right about the 135/4.7 Xenar. Marginal coverage on 4x5.

    But if you made a typo and were in fact offered a 135/5.6 Symmar in shutter for only $100 you should jump on it.

    Ian suggested an Ektar. Fine, but not the 127/4.7. Like the 135/4.7 Xenar, it doesn't really cover 4x5. The 152/4.5 Ektar is another matter, one would do well for you.

    I think Ian's an optimist on pricing. You might luck into a 150/5.6 Symmar in shutter for $150 if you wait long enough, but a 150/5.6 Sironar is unlikely. If you find an affordable Sironar, check that the cement holding the doublets together isn't failing. In the '60s and early '70s Rodenstock used a synthetic cement that wasn't right for the job. I've seen Sironars and Grandagons with separations, my 58/5.6 has spectacular ones.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    13

    Re: Lens. Good Bad Or ?

    Ian and Dan
    Thank you for reply I have been told I can borrow both for a weeks test no strings attached so just hope we have half decent weather for a few days.
    Al.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Seattle area, WA
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    923

    Re: Lens. Good Bad Or ?

    Keep a close eye on KEH.. they have been selling 135mm and 150mm Fujinon-Ws in BGN condition for $99 lately. I know because I bought the 135mm, and I saw a 150mm come up and sell very quickly.

  6. #6

    Join Date
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    Re: Lens. Good Bad Or ?

    Intimate landscapes or grand view landscapes? Roman Loranc does both types beautifully and uses a 210 Nikon for most of his work.
    CFWIW check out the 135 WA Ektar or 203 Ektar if you should come across either one. Both have plenty of wiggle room on 4x5.
    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.

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