Scared to get a 110 SS XL

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Michael R 1974, May 22, 2012.

  1. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    I'm getting back into 4x5 after a 35mm break (several years). I do mostly urban landscape-type stuff but with quite a lot of interiors (tunnels, hallways etc) so I end up often needing lots of front rise with wide angle lenses, and need the center filters even though I shoot B&W negatives. The 72 and 90 XLs are excellent, and in my earler LF days my next longest lens was a 120mm (I don't have it anymore), which was one of my favourite focal lengths for everything from architectural to lansdscape.

    I think I'd like a 110 Super Symmar XL, but I'm wondering if I'd end up simply using that instead of the 90 most of the time. The 90 is nice but is also a pain in the ass (big, gigantic center filter, have to unscrew the damn protecting ring on the rear cell to get it through a Linhof-type board which is very annoying). So I'm thinking 110 might be just close enough to 90 in focal length so that I'll often end up using the 110 instead of the 90, and this very expensive 90 XL will sit around mostly idle.

    Has this happened to other people out there?

    There are some less-than-ideal things about the 110 XL (no pupil distortion trick, overly massive image circle = more camera flare).

    Another option would be to forget about that gentle wide focal length altogether, and maybe try to swap my 90XL for another 90 that is less of a pain. Perhaps the Rodenstock Grandagon-N 4.5. It has a smaller image circle, but you can't have everything. The downside in this scenario is I'd be missing one of my favourite focal lengths (gentle wide between 90 and 150). Regarding max apertures, I really do need the bigger ones since I'm often in dark spaces or working at night, and focusing is pretty difficult. That reminds me, for those of you who use center filters, do you prefer to focus with center filters in-place? Just curious.

    Tough decisions. In rebuilding some of my 4x5 kit I'd like to limit myself to 3 or 4 lenses total if possible. Already have a 72XL, 90XL and 150.
     
  2. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    told you not to get that 90xl in one of your "I need new huge lens threads".
     
  3. LJH

    LJH Member

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    I've swapped a (non-XL) 90mm SA for a 120mm SA.

    Good spacing from my 72mm. 90mm was just too close.

    No doubt I'll sell the 120mm some day when a good 110SSXL comes around, but the 120mm will do for now.

    I'll soon be swapping a 150mm for a 180mm. Again, 150mm is too close to the 110/120mm FL.
     
  4. Guillaume Zuili

    Guillaume Zuili Subscriber

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    What I liked about the 110 XL was his compactness. Coverage was terrific and never had flare issue. I was able to shoot 4x10 with that lens.
    If you already have the 90 XL, it's really close. Tuff call.
     
  5. timparkin

    timparkin Member

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    Personally I'd swap the 90 for the 110 - a lot lighter, as bright as you need and you don't need a centre filter.

    However, then you'd had a spacing issue between 110 and 150 which would probably mean swapping the 150 for a 180..

    I have the 110XL and have ended up with the following kits.

    lightweight long hike kit

    110XL, 200 Nikkor M, 300 Nikkor M

    short hike kit

    75 Rod Gran g/6.8, 110XL, 150 Sironar S, 240 Fuji A, 360/500 Nikkor T-ED

    bells and whistles

    58XL, 75 Rod Gran g/6.8, 110XL, 150 Sironar S, 200M, 240 Fuji A, 300 Nikkor M, 360/500 Nikkor T-ED


    The 110 is such a nice lens that I woudln't ever want to get rid of it.

    Tim
     
  6. mrsmiggins

    mrsmiggins Member

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    I confess to being a bit of a w/angle junkie and find it odd that Schneider push the 90XL and 110XL as 4x5 lenses when they seem much better suited to 5x7 & 4x10 (possibly 8x10 with a bit of cutoff). At those formats you can get a lot more of that delicious 110/105 degree view into the frame. I recently picked up a 2nd hand 90 XL, and sent the front standard off for re-work simply because the 110XL was too close to the 150XL.

    Damned if I'm getting rid of that 150XL!!!

    Frank...
     
  7. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    Wildbill - thanks :smile: I know. But I couldn't resist. Don't get me wrong it's a wonderful, useful lens, just that it's as much of a pain as everyone warned me.

    Thanks for the responses everyone. Regarding spacing, for me at least, there is a significant difference between 72 and 90 so I've never felt like those were too close. But it could be if I had a 110 I'd find it wide enough and not use the 90 much. Not sure. Perhaps I'll try to find a rental 110 and see. Regarding the spacing between 110 and 150, that's not too close for me either (used to have a 120 and I found much use for both the 120 and 150). In landscapes I used 120, 150, 300. Interestingly I've never needed anything between 150 and 300.

    The kit as it currently stands is 72, 90, 150, 300 (in the old days as I mentioned I also had a 120 in there). If I got a 110XL I guess I'd either add it to this kit or replace the 90 with it. Or I can leave it as-is and try to get a slightly less bulky 90, like the Rodenstock perhaps.

    mrsmiggins: The 90 XL can be quite useful on 4x5 for architectural work, although I agree the 110 image circle is definitely overkill for that format.

    Michael
     
  8. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Subscriber

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    I'm way out of practice plus I'll be shooting formats other than 4x5 but...

    I built my kits with lens spacing from 1.33x to 1.5x. For me, I can't see the need for focal lengths closer than 1.33x but don't want them spaced too far apart either. I suspect if I was shooting a lot of architecture in tight spaces my lens needs would probably change.

    FWIW, and for what I intend to shoot, and if I was shooting 4x5, my kit would consist of the following...

    47 SA XL
    72 SA XL
    110 SS XL
    150 Apo Symmar
    203 Ektar
    300 Fujinon-C
     
  9. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Subscriber

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    If money were no object I would have the 80mm f4.5 XL and the 110 f5.6 XL as my wides... small, lightweight, bright, and spaced so as to replace 3 lenses (72mm, 90mm & 120mm).... the only question would be the 211mm image circle on the 80mm.

    I'm using a 90mm f4.5 Nikkor, 150mm f5.6 Fuji, 210mm Nikkor & 300 f8.5 Fuji with plans to add the 75mm f4.5 Nikkor down the road.
     
  10. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    I know that for your purposes, it's too dim a lens, but I love my 111mm W.A. Dagor. At f8 as a maximum, it won't be good for shooting in extremely low light situations. On the upside, it covers 5x7 with significant movement, and probably even covers whole plate with minimal movement when fully stopped down. Another plus - the thing is TINY, and can even be stored on the camera with the lens board reversed (not that I do such a thing - just an observation on the compactness of the lens).
     
  11. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    Shawn - yeah I thought a lot about the 80 XL initially but it doesn't allow for enough movement (for me). I love the 72 XL though (except filters, ouch). 80 would be a perfect focal length for much of my work (pretty much exactly a 24mm lens in 35mm format). If Schneider had made a "true" wide angle design 80 XL, I probably wouldn't need the 72 or the 90. I'd go for the 80, 110 (or a 120), 150, 300 kit and be done with it.

    I have a 300 Fuji C I'm excited to start using (waiting for the Walker SF to get here).

    FlyingCamera - I wish I could use slower wide angle lenses, but I just find f8 too difficult in low light. I had a chance to try a 120 f8 Nikkor recently. That would have been a great lens to have, but it was just too dim off axis - and 120 isn't even that wide. Not that f5.6 is so much better, but it does help significantly in my case.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2012
  12. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

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    I used to own a 90XL and got rid of it. It was a pain to use as you mentioned. A friend of mine has the 110XL and I borrow it a lot. Great lens. Even for 8x10.
     
  13. Joe the runner

    Joe the runner Member

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    Fog issue with 80 XL and 110 xl

    Unfortunately I got 2 bad samples (SS 80 XL and SS 110 XL) from Schneider with the fog problem.

    Bought in 2004 (early batches) they were ok until 2010.

    I did not do LF photo for 2 years and when I decided to do some shots last year I noticed that both XL had this fog issue.

    I have other Schneider lenses with not issue at all (72 XL, 90 XL,...)

    They were sent to Schneider in Germany, they can repair (is it relly a repair when we're talking about issues clearly related to a production failure supported by numerous feedbacks ?) them for 1800$ each.

    Of course I refused (that's more the price I paid) but they do not want to do anything. "Customers first" is not their motto.

    I can accept some risk on a cheap product from China, not from such a germany based firm.

    So very good lenses if you get a good sample, a nightmare if you don't (mine are unusable and unsellable burt repairable for ... 3600$, thank you Schneider guys !).

    I talked to some friends who already cancelled their orders for these lenses.

    My 2 cents.
     
  14. Jim Rice

    Jim Rice Member

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    When I was shooting 8x10 I discovered the wonders of a 240 F.L. So when I get back to 4x5 the first lens I will look for is a 120-ish. It is a lovely focal length. I always found 90mm just a tad wide.