Time to upgrade, or time to be content with what I have...

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Mark Carstens, Jul 5, 2005.

  1. Mark Carstens

    Mark Carstens Member

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    I'd like to "upgrade," or so my ego tells me, from a 150mm Symmar-S MC to a (second hand) 150mm APO Sironar-S, but I have a hunch that I'm chasing a marginal quality improvement that I'll never really see in the printed image. I shoot landscapes type subjects and transparency film now, but will soon begin shooting with color negative as well.

    So, my question to those who care to comment in support or shake me out of my ego driven "must upgrade now" mindset; Is an upgrade warranted or is my money directed elsewhere (like toward the purchase of a large format printer)?

    Your feedback would be appreciated, especially if you walked a similar path. Please be direct, but don't beat me over the head (...maybe I've spent too much time reading another LF Forum recently...).

    Anyway, let the fun begin, and thanks in advance for your insights!

    Mark
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I wouldn't call that an upgrade, really, but a switch from one excellent lens to a different one. If you can compare both lenses head to head in a few different situations, you might decide that you prefer one flavor or another, or if you have a predominance of lenses of one brand, you might decide to stick with that brand for better color consistency, but there is no obvious reason to make that switch.
     
  3. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    I find that I fall into the "must upgrade something now" trap myself. Only when there is a clear reason to do so does it seem to be the right move for me. For example, I have yet to figure out how to take decent 4X5 photos (you can see my dust problem thread if you wish) but I am just itching in a sick sort of a way to get into 8X10. At the very least, I should figure out how to effectively use LF equipment with what I have before dumping more money that way.

    I haven't used the lenses you are discussing, but I kind of wonder, based on the fact that they are both fine lenses, if you would see any difference other than the "flavor" that David is referring to. My advice to you would be to hold off. Of course, that's like an intoxicated person telling someone else to get to AA. :smile:

    Good luck either way, I am sure you will do fine with either lens!

    Paul.
     
  4. paul owen

    paul owen Member

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    Doe s the Schneider do what you want it to? If it does then why change?
     
  5. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    I say stick with what you have. You wont see the difference and it makes no sense to me to switch or "upgrade" on the same focal lens. Save your money and buy another focal lenght that you really, really want.
     
  6. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    For landscape work that typically is shot at small apertures 22-45 The lenses are esentially equal. If you were working at 5.6 thru 11 perhaps one lens would out perform the other if your camera and film holders are in sufficient register to be able to use the difference.
     
  7. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    I'd stick with what you have and spend the money on film/paper
     
  8. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Some years ago I met another photographer, and we got to talking about equipment and upgrades.

    He: "I love the gearheds - all that great gear they buy, and next year I can buy it off them at half price".

    Me: "I love the digital revolution, all this great LF and MF equipment is going for a song because the studios are busy 'upgrading' to digital".

    That's when I discovered he ran a studio, had invested heavily in digital, and sold all his MF and LF equipment...

    In other words: That's not an upgrade. Going from a 1904 12cm Wide-angle Aplanat to a 1980's 120mm Super Angulon is an upgrade (even if the SA weighs five times as much). :wink:
     
  9. Frank Petronio

    Frank Petronio Inactive

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    The Sironar-S has larger, more even coverage, and it is a really nice lens. True that you might not see a difference in moderate sized prints, but if you make large images and are critical, I bet you will see an improvement.
     
  10. Mark Carstens

    Mark Carstens Member

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    Thanks to all. This is just what I needed to hear.

    Well that didn't take long! Thank you all for your insight. I do believe we have a consensus opinion here, and it's pretty much what my gut was telling me, but what my head was choosing to ignore ~ I have a good lens in this focal length which is producing results I'm pleased with. In short, this "upgrade" isn't a wise use of funds.

    It's always good to hear from other (more experienced and, presumably, wiser ) people like yourselves. I appreciate your insight, and will save your posts as a reminder that sometimes my ego can get the better of me.

    Regards,

    Mark