Are the 135mm Xenar's any good?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Eric Rose, Jul 13, 2006.

  1. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    To be used on a 4x5. Want to do as much color as B&W. How are the movements etc?
     
  2. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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  3. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    As the reference in the previous posting shows, the 135 Xenar (I presume you mean the f4.7 version) does exactly what it was designed to do, cover 4x5" with no movements at infinity. The lens is specifically intended for press work, which is why the aperture is f4.7 instead of the normal Xenar aperture of f4.5 so that it fits into a smaller cheaper lighter #0 shutter. I have a Xenar of this type, it is excellent within its limitations, but if you want more covering power, you can probably find a first generation Symmar (the convertible model) for not too much more money. Symmar has an image circle of 190 mm (infinity f16) versus 161 mm, which is a useful gain.

    Regards,

    David
     
  4. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    The one I had was amazing in terms of sharpness, color rendition and bokeh but as David has already pointed out, it only just barely covered 4x5 - which is fine when shooting with a press camera.


    Interestingly, Schneider seems to have done something to limit the circle of illumination to closely coincide with the circle of acceptable definition. With the Xenar, when you loose the light in the corners, that's it. This is in stark contrast to the Ektar for example. The 127mm Ektar will illuminate a circle much larger than the circle of good definition.
     
  5. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    Ditto. Sharp as a tack, covers 4x5 at infinity, sharp cutoff at edge of the image circle. If you're going to use it on a Crown Graphic or other press camera, get a rollfilm back and you'll get more room for movements.

    Sold mine with my old Crown 20 years ago and have regretted it ever since.

    Peter Gomena
     
  6. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    eric, i had a beautiful (ABSOLULTELY BEAUTIFUL) 135mm f/3.5 that I ended up selling because it just didn't give me enough movements on the 4x5 and the shutter made it too large to mount on my graflex slr. I ended up buying a 165mm f/3.5 Tessar to mount on my graflex slr and love it. Now I just need to reload my bag mag and get the other one fixed!
     
  7. photobum

    photobum Member

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    I must concur with Brad and Peter. Don't confuse it with the 127mm. It will cover 4x5 and allow some small movement. The Speed & Crown Graphic they were made for are not view or field cameras. It's unreasonable to expect to tie them into a bellows knot with a monorail view.

    It's an fine lens for street or landscape. Go elsewhere for architecture.
     
  8. Bill Mitchell

    Bill Mitchell Member

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    It's not that it doesn't give ANY coverage. On Crown/Speed Graphics there is about 1/2" rise and shift on the front standard, and the 135/4.7 Xenar will cover it just fine, and maybe 5 degrees of tilt, which is all you'll ever really need for landscape work.
    But if you don't already have one, I'm with David that you'd probably be better off buying a 135 Symmar to start with.
     
  9. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    thanks everyone. I will look for Symmar's as well.
     
  10. pandino

    pandino Member

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    I have one also and it is extremely sharp. I even use it handheld on a Crown wide open and still get very nice results.

    I've never tried movements, but it never disappointed with the straight-on shots I have taken.

    They're so cheap. If it has a good shutter, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it.
     
  11. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    Now looking at a Nikkor 135mm f5.6 W lens. Should be good I think.
     
  12. Craig

    Craig Subscriber

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    I've got the 150 Nikkor and I quite like it
     
  13. Bill Mitchell

    Bill Mitchell Member

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    An excellent choice, Sir (as the waiter says).
     
  14. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    I have one of these, too. Image circle is 156 mm (just big enough for 4x5") at FULL APERTURE, 200 mm at F22. I really like the semi-wide angle of this lens but without the coverage penalty of other 135 lenses.

    Regards,

    David
     
  15. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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  16. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    Nice shot Donald. The Nikkor has been purchased from KEH. Thank you everyone for your help!
     
  17. pandino

    pandino Member

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    Great choice!

    I just got one last week, but haven't done anything but look at the GG image. It seems roughly equivalent in sharpness to the Xenar 135/4.7, but has better coverage and the lens coating is much more effective.

    I think I saw somewhere that the image circle was 200mm, not 156.:confused:
     
  18. pandino

    pandino Member

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    Oh...and one more nice thing about this lens is that it's fairly light and takes 52mm filters. The filter size was a bonus for me since I have several of that diameter. The Xenar takes 40.5mm filters.
     
  19. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    Just to be clear - the image circle is 156 mm AT FULL APERTURE (f5.6), 200 mm at f22.

    Regards,

    David
     
  20. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I have one of these too ( I really like the 135mm length on 4x5). Great lens. Incredibly sharp and contrasty...and it'll have the modern shutter speed sequence.
     
  21. OldBikerPete

    OldBikerPete Member

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    Agree with others re: coverage - it only just covers 5x4. I sold my first one and bought a Symmar S which has the coverage but is nowhere near as sharp. I bought another 135/4.7 Xenar after having the Symmar S for a while - so now I've got both but I'm looking to replace the Symmar S with something as sharp as the Xenar - but with coverage.