schneider xenotar vs. modern symmar and also zeiss unar soft focus

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by bicycletricycle, May 30, 2006.

  1. bicycletricycle

    bicycletricycle Subscriber

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    i am lokking for a new lens for 6x9 and would like something fast like an old schneider xenotar or zeiss (f2.8) and i am trying to get an idea of how much sharper a modern lrns like a symmar would be, I am looking for something in the 100-135mm range. Contrast issues are not as important because i mostly shoot at night and the subject matter tends to be pretty contrasty anyways. I also posted something about the newer gigital lenses and possibly using one of those, I guess they are higher resoluton than the regular film lenses, however they are not faster. Also if i do go for the modern lens is there much difference between a nikon, schneider and rodenstock, if they all modern versions. Also what does APO mean, i think it has something to do with color film (which i dont use) would these also be sharper or better in some other way for my purposes? I noticed that on my old lenses with compur shutters that the iris is more round because they have more blades than modern copals, does that help the out of focus areas? why dont new shutters have more blades for the iris? does it not matter? anyody know much about a zeiss unar soft focus lens, cant find much and i saw one for sale listed as an f/1.5, sound pretty cool.
     
  2. JG Motamedi

    JG Motamedi Member

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    The Unar is not a standard aperture scale, it is probably a German Stolze scale, which would translate to about f3.5.

    I have compared a 1950s 100/2.8 Linhof Xenotar to a 1990s 100/5.6 Sironar-N MC on a 6x9 Linhof Technika. Both were really very sharp lenses, and at f5.6-f8 would perform about the same. Past f11 the Sironar was significantly sharper. I kept both, since the Xenotar had no space for movement, but was perfect for hand-holding.
     
  3. bicycletricycle

    bicycletricycle Subscriber

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    dp you know what kind of soft focus the unar is?

    does it have one of those levers to adjust the softness?
     
  4. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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    Watch the Unar--there are two types:

    1) a "portrait" unar that has variable soft-focus
    and
    2) a regular Unar

    (1) lenses sell for a lot. (2) not so much.

    From what I read, the Unar was a first pass at a "fast" lens. It predates the Tessar by a couple of years. I think that the Tessar pused the standard Unar out of the market.

    I have a 5x8 Unar in great shape. I never really got a chance to use it and see how well it works. It is on my list of lenses I will likely sell...whenever I get around to selling lenses.

    Matt
     
  5. bicycletricycle

    bicycletricycle Subscriber

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    is yours a #1 expensive or #2 not so much?

    which unar do ya got?
     
  6. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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    Hello,

    I have the standard Unar.

    Matt
     
  7. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    An f1.5 Unar is from long ago when a different f stop system was in use. Someone with less dead brain cells than me will remember the name (US System?) and chime in. But f1.5 in that system equates to f5 in our current system which makes it a whole lot less sexy.

    An extremely nice lens to consider is the 100mm f2.8 Mamiya Universal lens that was designed for 6X9. Like the Xenotar it is a planar type. It's incredibly sharp getting into the 90 lppm world at it's optimum aperture IIRC, and it's cells will come out of the diminutive Seikosha shutter and into a Copal 0. Might be worth a look.
     
  8. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    I bought a 100mm f2.8 Mamiya about 2 months ago on eBay. Sounds like I better hang it on my Century Graphic and try it out.
     
  9. bicycletricycle

    bicycletricycle Subscriber

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    sounds good

    a quick look shows ni 100mm f2,8 mamiya universal lenses for sale on the oldebay. only 100mm f3.5. i guess ill keep looking. sounds like a good lens for probably not too much? how much do those babies go for? A lot less than a xenotar probably
     
  10. bicycletricycle

    bicycletricycle Subscriber

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    what about the zeiss lenses from graflex xl's?

    any good lenses to scavenge from those mounts? I think zeiss and rodenstock provided lenses for those cameras didn't they? is that 100mm f2.8 planar any good?
     
  11. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Google, boy, Google!
     
  12. bicycletricycle

    bicycletricycle Subscriber

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    i google all the time, but i think you guys know more than google!

    sorry about all the questions
     
  13. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    I didn't mean to discourage you too too much from asking, but part of the LF ethos is "do it yourself" and that includes seeking information. There's a lot out there, in fact there's a lot right here on APUG, that's not too hard to find. There are, though, some questions, mainly having to do with less common gear, that haven't been answered yet. Search first, then ask.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Dan
     
  14. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Ignore him, Take full advantage of the resources at hand & continue to post.
    Dan's not the postinig police.
     
  15. bicycletricycle

    bicycletricycle Subscriber

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    thanks

    its just that zeiss has made a lot of planars and i still dont know how and why each one is different. For instance are the planars made for graflex xls lower quality than ones in linhof shutters? I know that linhof supposedly throes out half the lenses they get but aren't zeiss lenses supposed to be really good before linhof throws half of them away? I think that linhof used some zeiss lenses, atleast i have found some technika kits equipped with a biogon and a planar and a tele-arton.
     
  16. bicycletricycle

    bicycletricycle Subscriber

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    zeiss sonar not tele arton

    the zeiss telephoto is a sonnar
     
  17. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    Planars are excellent lenses, as are Xenotars. If your primary concern is speed for handheld and low light photography with a 6x9 Technika, and movements aren't a priority, these are the lenses to look for.

    If you want a sharp lens with more coverage to use movements, you sacrifice speed, and look for a modern plasmat like a Symmar or Sironar.

    It's not a bad idea to have a mix of lenses so you can do both things.
     
  18. bicycletricycle

    bicycletricycle Subscriber

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    thanks alot for the info!

    I have a 100mm f/2.8 xenotar coming and a apo symmar 135. I think that should do it for a while. I am still curious about the shape of the iris in realtion to the "look" of out of focus areas.
     
  19. bicycletricycle

    bicycletricycle Subscriber

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    nevermind, found a bunch of info on bokeh

    seems that the iris shape has something to do with it but not the whole enchilada,as we say here in so cal