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Thread: help in choosing 135mm lens

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2001
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    21

    help in choosing 135mm lens

    I am at a crossroad in deciding what brand of 135mm f5.6 lens to purchase (contemplating between Fujinon, Nikon and Rodenstock). Would appreciate if anybody can share their personal experiences. I have a 90mm f9.0, but I find it very difficult to use hence I want to replace it with the 135mm. If this has been discussed in a previous archive, I apologise, can anybody point me to this. Thanks

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    Blue Jay, CA
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    2,330

    help in choosing 135mm lens

    Mo: If you buy the current offerings from any of the major manufacturers you will end up with a fine lens. (Don't know why you are not interested in the Schneider line.) What is it you find difficult to use about your current lens? (And what is it?) Too dim to focus? You don't like working with a lens that wide?

  3. #3

    help in choosing 135mm lens

    Based on the manufacturer's specs, the current offerings of 135 mm lenses fall into two groups. The Nikkor-W, Apo-Sironar-N and the recent Apo-Symmar have about 72 degrees / 200 mm diameter of coverage. The Fuji-CMW and Apo-Sironar-S have about 75 degrees / 210 mm of coverage. (I have rounded figures slightly to group the lenses). For some photographers the extra increment of coverage will be worth the extra cost.

    Probably Mo didn't list Schneider as a current maker of a 135 mm lens because Schneider's current Apo-Symmar-L line doesn't include this focal length.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    8,434

    help in choosing 135mm lens

    Given that the lenses you mention are all of superb quality, you might want to give some attention to secondary factors: weight, size, filter size, and price.



    These articles may be of interest to you:
    Future Classics
    Large Format Lens Field Kits
    Lightweight Lenses

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    153

    help in choosing 135mm lens

    I have & use the Sironar-S 135. It is very small and lightweight, with a generous image circle for this focal length. It is the sharpest lens I have. Filter size is 49mm, which means cheap filters. I'm moving to 8x10 & it doesn't cover so I'm selling it. I will miss this fine lens.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Location
    Baraboo, Wisconsin
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    7,695

    help in choosing 135mm lens

    There's quite a difference between 90mm and 135mm. The implication of your message is that you don't like the 90mm because of the difficulty of focusing an F9 lens. The F5.6 maximum aperture of the 135s you mention and the longer focal length will certainly help with that but the photographs you'll make will be very different than the ones you're making with your 90mm lens.

    Apart from that, I've owned both the 135mm Nikon W and the 135mm Sironar S. I didn't see any obvious difference in the photographs (black and white, 16x20 largest print size but more often 11x14) I produced with either. Unless you really need the slightly larger image circle of the Sironar S, I'd suggest that you save some money and look for a good used Nikon W. If money is no concern then get the Sironar S, there might be some difference between it and the Nikon that just hasn't shown up in my photographs. I've never used the Fuji so I can't comment on it.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    9,472

    help in choosing 135mm lens

    Another consideration is filter size of the lens, so that you can standardize on one set of filters that will fit your lens collection.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Posts
    195

    help in choosing 135mm lens

    I have used the 135 Nikkor for several years and found it very sharp. My enlargements run mostly in the 11x14-16x20 size, b/w,color, chemical and digital darkroom. I think the image circle published by Nikon is a bit conservative. The lens covers 5x7 with some movement, and 4x5 with decent mpvement. It is small, uses 52mm filters, and as others have suggested is presently a bit of a bargain. Bob Moulton

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