In Need of a Sharp 4x5 90mm
So, other that perhaps Linhof/zeiss lenses (which are a way out of my price range) What's a SHARP 90mm for 4x5 with enough covering power for good movement? I know the Schneider 90mm XL is great, but I really don't want to pay $600+ for a center filter... Also looking for a 150mm of similar qualities.
How about a 90mm Super Angulon and a 150mm Symmar? Both are easy to find in good condition and not very expensive.
I have a Fujinon-SW 90 f/8.0 which is very sharp. They are not very expensive either. Similar lenses are/were made by Nikon, Schneider, Rodenstock, etc. and probably perform on a similar level.
i have a 90mm f6.8 Grandagon and also a 90mm f5.6 Siper angulon, bot are extremely sharp lenses, and you don't need a centre filter for 5x4 with a 90mm. I paid about £150 ($230) for teh Super Angulon which is in excellent condition.
I own a Schneider 90 XL, but I'd bet any 90 made my Nikon, Rodenstock or Fuji would be just as sharp. Some personal perspective after having gone through this recently:
With wide angles I personally have trouble seeing at f/8, so I prefer faster lenses. The downsides to faster lenses of course are bulk and price.
How much movement are you are likely to really need? Unless you need massive amounts of movement (which might even exceed the limits of your camera), you can save a lot of $ and some headaches by going with a smaller lens than the 90 XL - which by the way also has a unique "issue" if your camera uses Linhof-type boards: the diameter of the rear cell on the lens is a few mm too large to get into the front standard without unscrewing the protecting ring on the rear element. If you read Schneider's literature on this lens you'll see a reference to that.
Accessories such as filters and lens hoods/shades can be problematic (at best) with lenses as large as the XL. Even without the center filter, the front thread is huge (95mm). A proper lens hood or compendium shade becomes a near impossibility. And filters can be difficult to find and very expensive. The Rodenstock 4.5/90 is slightly smaller (82mm front thread), but with center filters attached, the front threads on both the Schneider XL and the Rodenstock are a whopping 112mm.
Center filters: keep in mind the "requirement" for a center filter is not a property of the XL per se. The falloff is an optical property you can't get around. Any other 90mm lens will have the same amount of falloff (or worse). So just because Fuji and Nikon don't/didn't offer dedicated center filters for their wide angle lenses doesn't mean they had less falloff. Turning this around, it means you don't necessarily need the center filter on the XL either. 90mm is not an excessively wide focal length and many people find they get by just fine without a center filter. It's something you'd have to judge for yourself and you might only run into noticeable falloff with large movements.
For the 150mm, much easier. They are all awesome. For the longest time I used a Nikkor W 150mm. Fantastic lens. I'm now using a Schneider 150mm Apo Symmar only because I gave up large format for a while and had sold the Nikkor. People also rave about the Rodenstock 150mm Apo Sironar. I don't think you can go wrong with any of them in terms of image quality. Some have slightly larger or smaller image circles but the differences are not huge.
Last edited by Michael R 1974; 09-13-2012 at 07:45 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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The Nikon 90/8 is THE 90mm to beat. Check the tests by Perez, et al, and the lens optical diagram. Simply the best 90 out there, IMNSHO. For 150s, the Apo-sironar S is considered about as good as it gets, though the Apo Symmar 150 and Fuji NW-S 150 are also top shelf.
I would say that any modern 90 is sharp. It is more about the stability of your tripod and camera setup.
I dont understand why you think some lenses are sharp and others not.
Schneider super angulon
nikon nikkor sw
All these lenses are top-notch and super sharp. I dare you try to tell the difference.
It is probably more important to find one in mint condition.
Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no.
And use a sturdy tripod, and focus with a good loupe, and make sure your GG is properly located, filmholders within spec.......
Originally Posted by darinwc
The lens is just a link in a chain.
Thanks guys, really appreciate the input. I know falloff happens to all 90s, but I'd rather pay ~$200 for a center filter that $$$$$$$ for the 10000000mm filter for the XL. I haven't seen any tests, I'm still getting my feet wet in the intriguing LF waters. Good to know they're all sharp. I have the Nikon 65mm, and it's great, but the movements are so limited. I'll keep poking around and see what I find.
Thanks all! Other perspectives still welcome.