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Large Format Film RF Forum for Large Format Rangefinders (generally 4x5 or larger format) iIncluding Linhof 4x5, Graflex 4x5, and other Large Format Rangefinders.

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Old 04-22-2013   #41
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Yeah, I guess we were all answering from our perspectives, because the OP didn't give a lot of details. It'd be easier if he'd asked, "what are the best portrait lenses for classic B&W photos?" or "what modern LF lenses are optimized for digital backs and architectural photography?" or "what is the lightest, smallest wide angle that will cover 8x10 for backpacking?"

But what are top notch bicycles? Shoes? Furniture?!
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Old 04-22-2013   #42
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Schneider Xenar 135 4.7 is a peach. Sharp but has unmistakable character.
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Old 04-23-2013   #43
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Schneider Xenar 135 4.7 is a peach. Sharp but has unmistakable character.
Interesting you say that. I've had several that came with various cameras and I'd say it was not particularly sharp and had an inconveniently small circle of coverage. Certes, in the 70s it was regarded as one of the least desirable reasonably modern lenses among my friends: a as a common but unloved leftover from the press era. It must depend on what you use it for.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 04-23-2013   #44
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Quote:
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Interesting you say that. I've had several that came with various cameras and I'd say it was not particularly sharp and had an inconveniently small circle of coverage. Certes, in the 70s it was regarded as one of the least desirable reasonably modern lenses among my friends: a as a common but unloved leftover from the press era. It must depend on what you use it for.

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R.
And this is probably why you write books about lenses and I don't!
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Here Are A Few Of My Sinar Norma Lenses.
Old 04-27-2013   #45
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Here Are A Few Of My Sinar Norma Lenses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Good grief? How many are there? Do you use them all?

Cheers,

R.
Here are a few from my extensive collection of original lenses, offered by Sinar for their Norma series of cameras.

From Top Left:

240mm F5.6 Schneider Symmar in barrel, 210mm F5.6 Schneider Symmar in Compur, 760mm F11 Rodenstock Apo-Ronar in barrel, and 105mm F4.5 Schneider Xenar in barrel (not an original Norma lens, but I just acquired it, and it's a good lens for 6x9cm).

From bottom left:

240mm F9 Rodenstock Apo-Ronar in barrel, 75mm F8 Schneider Super Angulon in barrel, 135mm Schneider Symmar in Compur, and 47mm F8 Schneider Super Angulon, mounted on an original Sinar Norma recessed lensboard.

All great lenses, and yes, I do use them all, at times.


In the righthand photo, is my 8x10" Sinar Norma camera, with Sinar Shutter, Bag Bellows, and SINAR Schneider 165mm F8 Super Angulon, in a Compur Special shutter.
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Old 04-27-2013   #46
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[list][*]Here are a few from my extensive collection of original lenses, offered by Sinar for their Norma series of cameras. . . . All great lenses, and yes, I do use them all, at times. . . .
Wow! Then again, if I think about it, I have an unreasonable number too: 65/8 Super Angulon, 110 Super Symmar, 120 Angulon, 135/8 process lens in 00 shutter, 150 Apo Lanthar, 210 Apo Ronar, 210 Symmar, 300/3.5 (!) Tessar, 300 Nikkor, 360/9 process lens, 21 inch f/7.7 Ross, and a few others. And you're right: they all get used, one time or another. But I don't really feel the need for any more!

Cheers,

R.
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Old 04-27-2013   #47
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Quote:
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Wow! Then again, if I think about it, I have an unreasonable number too. And you're right: they all get used, one time or another. But I don't really feel the need for any more!

Cheers,

R.
Agree with that. I guess I have 30-40 large format Schneider, Rodenstock, and a few others.

I have all the old vintage catalogs. There aren't any more to buy

I consider myself to be a large format collector and user.
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Old 04-27-2013   #48
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Agree with that. I guess I have 30-40 large format Schneider, Rodenstock, and a few others. . . . .
It's a bit like those 'problems' you were set in maths class at school, isn't it? If I have too many LF lenses, and you have two or three times as many as I, how many do you have? Far too many?

Cheers,

R,
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Old 04-27-2013   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
It's a bit like those 'problems' you were set in maths class at school, isn't it? If I have too many LF lenses, and you have two or three times as many as I, how many do you have? Far too many?

Cheers,

R,
Hah Hah Hah. Yes, agreed. Far far too many. But paid for long ago, and I will enjoy using them in future years to come. My deepfreeze is fully stocked with sheet film of all sizes. Take Care.
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Old 04-27-2013   #50
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Hah Hah Hah. Yes, agreed. Far far too many. But paid for long ago, and I will enjoy using them in future years to come. My deepfreeze is fully stocked with sheet film of all sizes. Take Care.
That's it, isn't it? The fun you get from them is worth a lot more than the money you'd get for them, especially after allowing for the hassle of selling them.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 04-27-2013   #51
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Quote:
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That's it, isn't it? The fun you get from them is worth a lot more than the money you'd get for them, especially after allowing for the hassle of selling them.

Cheers,

R.
Yep That's exactly it. Very well said.
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Old 04-27-2013   #52
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Whether or not it's one of the top notch lenses I know not, but I have to say, I really like the Fujinon 135mm f5.6 CMW

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Old 07-01-2013   #53
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Kind of an open-ended question. For landscapes with my 4x5, I've always used my Schneider 135/180/240 Symmar-S lenses, though lately I've been using a Xenotar 135/3.5 outdoors:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/amcdona...57629441817258

For portraits, I've been experimenting with a 180mm Heliar. Mounted in a current Copal #3 shutter max aperture is f/5.6, but I like the color rendition and transition from foreground to background.
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Old 09-29-2013   #54
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I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Red Dot Apo Artars. In longer focal lengths where their limited coverage is not an issue, they are scarey sharp with lovely almost understated color rendering.
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Old 11-08-2015   #55
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I have a RTH 12.75 INCH f/4.5 XEROX lens. Could someone enlighten me what it is for?
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Old 11-08-2015   #56
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It's from the insides of a copying machine. So it is good for document copying.
Most do not have an iris, which can be kind of limiting.
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Old 11-08-2015   #57
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Originally Posted by Nokton48 View Post
It's from the insides of a copying machine. So it is good for document copying.
Most do not have an iris, which can be kind of limiting.
Probably a Fuji, Schneider or Rodenstock. In theory these lenses are seriously good at magnifications around 1:1. Twenty years ago people spent real money to remount some of them for tabletop studio use. But at the current going rate of their equivalent in a proper mount, remounting them in a barrel with aperture or a shutter is not worth while any more.
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Old 01-26-2016   #58
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It's from the insides of a copying machine. So it is good for document copying.
Most do not have an iris, which can be kind of limiting.
Here is an image of the lens. It has an iris with 16 blades. I guessed it was a copying lens. Thanks.

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Old 01-27-2016   #59
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Here is an image of the lens. It has an iris with 16 blades. I guessed it was a copying lens. Thanks.
Since the trim ring states "Lens Made in England" I would guess it's not from one of the usual suspects. Maybe "RTH" stands for Rank Taylor Hobson?
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Old 01-27-2016   #60
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Since the trim ring states "Lens Made in England" I would guess it's not from one of the usual suspects. Maybe "RTH" stands for Rank Taylor Hobson?
I should added a wink emoticon, but I'm on a mobile device.
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Fine grain is a bourgeois concept

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A bunch o cameras. Does it really matter?
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Old 07-21-2016   #61
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So, what are the top notch LF lenses?
Fujinon 90mm f/5.6 SWD in #0 shutter (82mm filter)


90mm f/5.6 Fuji Large Format Lens by Narsuitus, on Flickr
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Old 10-06-2016   #62
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Zeiss 75/135/250
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Old 10-06-2016   #63
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There are so many excellent view lenses it's almost impossible to name them. In real world use, depending on how you'll use them, schneider, Nikkor, Fujinon and Rodenstock are hard to beat. Throw in Goerz Dagors, Trigors and Red Dot Artars to name a few. Within a brand there are some lenses with more image circle and some with less. You'll justvhave to research which works best for your needs.

My dad gave my my first 4x5 in 1964 which had a Schneider xenar 135mm on it. Still have it to this day and have shot many thousands of sheets through it.

Much of my career before digital was advertising and catalog photography. Much of it on 4x5, 8x10 and 11x14. I shot with new state of the art Schneider glass and vintage Goerz. My 12" Dagor was an uncoated series III that the glass was forming it's own bloom ( coating). The 8x10 chromes were beautiful and plenty good to satisfy my clients like Philips Electronics. I foolishly traded my old Dagor for a new Symmar S and couldn't see any difference. Wish I had my Dagor back.

I also used a 14", 16-1/2" and 19" Red Dot Artars and a 24" Apo Ronar on 8x10. Also used a Ross Express extra wide angle (seem to remember) 8-1/4 and 6-1/2" wide angle Dagor.

I used mainly Symmar S and Super Angulon F5.6 series on 4x5.

I even used a triple convertible B&L Protar on my 8x10 that was one of my all time favorite lenses. It wasn't because it was convertible, but because it had great coverage and made beautiful images.

I've owned many lenses, too many to count from all makers including Zeiss Planars. I'm back into shooting LF again and have a really great mix of glass. I have several Fujinons which are superb, Rodenstock, Nikkor and Schneider. They're all great by any standard.

Best to research based on your needs and look for the best price. A the major brands are pretty much equal plus there are some great classics like the Commercial Ektars. Unfortunately Dagors can command a higher price than they're worth. It's the myth around the lens and enthusiasts that have driven the price up. In reality they're good but no better than the major names if as good. There's just so much myth and magic around them.
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Old 10-06-2016   #64
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My personal favorite lenses for 8x10...

Cooke IIE 15-inch knuckler
Voigtländer 42cm Universal-Heliar
Voigtländer 16" Petzval Portrait
Dallmeyer 4D
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