Scared to get a 110 SS XL
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.
told you not to get that 90xl in one of your "I need new huge lens threads".
I know what I want but I just don't know how to go about gettin' it.-Hendrix
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.
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.
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.
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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!!!
Wildbill - thanks 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.
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
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.
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).