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  1. #1
    fingel's Avatar
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    I have a question about mixing different lenses. I have a pretty good selection of 67mm filters and am looking to add a couple of lenses to my large format kit. I have a 180mm Nikkor with a 67mm filter thread now, and am considering purchasing a 135mm lens, and a wide angle down the road. The 135 I am looking at is a Fujinon 135mm CMW with a 67mm filter thread, but am also thinking about a Nikkor 135 with a 52mm filter thread. After that long explination, what works for all of you? Do you prefer using all one brand of lens, or do you mix them up? What are the benifits of useing all one brand if any?

    FYI: in addition to the Fujinon having the 67mm filter size, it also has a bigger image circle than the Nikkor 135mm. So it is not only the filter size that I like about the Fujinon.
    Thanks for your input.
    Best regards,
    Scott
    Scott Stadler

  2. #2

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    Scott,

    don't worry much about your filters as long as your new lens does not have a bigger diameter. You can always use a step-down ring.

    All manufacturers have unique lenses with respect to different features. IMO, it absolutely makes sense to select lenses from different product lines according to your needs. No manufacturer offers all options from one hand. Coverage is one option, size and weight is another and usually contrary option.

    I can comment neither on the 135mm Fujinon nor on the Nikkor. But the Rodenstock Apo-Sironar 5.6/135 is one of the best LF-Lenses I have ever seen. It is tack sharp even at f8 and therefore is able to deliver exceptional resolution. It has a nice bokeh and is of small size and weight. The Sironar-N is even smaller and lighter (but has less coverage). This might be an important aspect for field workers. The Rodenstock 135mm has got a 49mm filter thread. It might look a little odd to step down a filter from 67mm to 49mm, but you won’t see anything from that in your picture.

  3. #3
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I mix different brands of lenses, but I shoot mostly B&W (though John Sexton shoots all Nikkors).

    If you shoot mostly color transparency film, like Jack Dykinga, you might make a case for shooting mostly one brand of lens for reasons of color consistency. His lenses are all Schneiders.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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  4. #4
    lee
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    I have a Rodenstock Sironar a Fujinon and 3 Schneiders. I don't see any problems that are caused from this mix of lenses. Again like David I shoot mostly B/W

    lee\c

  5. #5

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    I think that, in my experience, as long as the lenses are all modern and coated, the differences noted will be minimal.

    I shoot all Schneiders on my 4X5 system. On my 8X10 system, I shoot a mixed bag of Caltar, Dagor, and soon Nikor. I do notice a definite difference in contrast between my 4X5 negs and my 8X10 negs. The difference is so great that I would normally develop Bergger BPF for approx. 8 1/4 minutes (in a N contrast situation) in ABC Pyro 4X5. My 8X10 negatives are developed under the same conditions for approx. 12-13 minutes.

    The difference, I believe, is due to a combination of lens coatings differences and also shutter differences (all copal in the Schneiders) and a mixed bag of Ilex, Rapax, and Packard in the 8X10 lenses. Additionally, I might add, I enlarge the 4X5 negs and I contact print the 8X10 onto Azo.

    I think that once the inherent characteristics of the differences, if any, are noted that one can learn to work within that system.
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

    Visit my website at http://www.donaldmillerphotography.com

  6. #6

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    I shoot mostly B&W and have Ektars, newer Schneiders and a Dagor. there is differences between contrast, but quite a bit of this can be controlled with proper lens shading and filtering. With color there is a noticeble difference in contrast and color saturation between say the Ektars and Dagor compared to the new Schneiders. So if you want consistency in color one mfg or maybe stick to very current lenses.

    I suppose if I had the money I would upgrade to all Nikors or Schneiders, but every time I think about buying a new Symmar L lens I think about how I can buy a couple of older lenses for the same amount.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
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  7. #7

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    I have never been able to tell the difference between lenses. I use Schneider, Calumet (Rodenstock), Rodenstock, and Nikkor.

    The difference in shutters is probably the bigger deal, as each vintage of Copal has its own personality, and they are slightly different from the Compurs, etc.

    dgh
    David G Hall

  8. #8
    fingel's Avatar
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    Thanks for your input everyone. I am glad to see that others mix there lenses and that i am not an oddball for considering doing the same. Thanks again.
    Scott
    Scott Stadler

  9. #9

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    Actually,

    This brings up a question I have always wondered about.

    Can any of us tell the difference between brands of lenses from the same genre? I mean I imagine the differences between coated and non coated lenses are clear, etc. But if I photographed the same scene with a Schneider and a Congo or a Fuji, let's say, and made prints to whatever size you felt you needed, could you tell the difference?

    Admittedly I have always been a little brand conscious about lenses, just to be sure. But I never really knew for sure.

    dgh

    David G Hall

  10. #10
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I bet you could see a difference if you looked at images side by side. They're all good lenses, but every lens has its own character.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

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