Originally Posted by Jorge
I am pretty sure those Red Dot Artars cost the same as the XXL or more when new (with adjustment for inflation). I don't have numbers for them, but if I recall correctly (i can look it up next week) the Docter Apo-Germinar 1000mm was in the $6000 range when sold new 10 years ago, and the Apo-Ronar 800 or 1000mm was similar. I think the present situation is unusual because the last 10-8 years the demise of the process camera flooded the market with process lenses, and their present used market price does reflect supply and demand, not the manufacturing costs. Great for us as users, but bad for the lens manfacturers, since they not only lost the process lens market, but now have to compete with their old process lenses on the LF market. In addition, the fact that barrel lenses are usually much cheaper on the used market than their shuttered counterparts is due to the fact that the price for a shutter _plus custom machining_ is priced in. I think the "just a barrel lens" way of looking at it is a psychological effect due to that market pricing since for new manufacturing the difference is really just the shutter price, not much more. Now why they chose to bring out the 1100mm given that situation is a valid question...maybe they felt they had at least to offer a "set" of focal lengths and not just point customers of the 550mm to ebay for a longer lens?
I thought the list prices of the XXL where definitely over the top, but the Badger prices look definitely more reasonable in the context of recent prices for new process lenses in a similar range. Its more than I can afford and I have no need for them (8x10 is my largest format for now) but I am sure there are people considering them at that price
PS: I am not related to Schneider etc. etc..... :-)
Schneider introduces exotic and expensive new glass, and Arne Croell, Kerry Thalmann, Michael Mutmansky, Jorge Gasteazoro, and Sandy King are contributing their expert opinions on the optical merits, possible applications, and historical context of the lenses….life is good, indeed.
Could one of you optical mavens explain why it was necessary for the dagor-type 550mm lens to have a front filter diameter of 122mm? The front element of the multicoated 14 inch Schneider Dagors seems proportionally much smaller….
acroell, you are absolutely right, the same as Kerry, but lets think about the present economic and manufacture circumstances. Surely, lens production has advanced since 10 years ago, a lens that required a price tag $6000 back then most likely does not require one now. Dont misunderstand me, I am glad thet schneider put out "analog" lenses. What I find funny and somewhat ironic is that their ad campaign for these lenses stated many people where getting into ULF and thus they wanted to produce lenses to supply this demand. Well, I dont know if they made a marketing study or not, but apparently they think all ULF photgraphers are rich, when in fact I say there are far fewer of us who buy the equipment new than those who buy it used at e bay at the cheapest possible prices.
I would love to have a new Wisner, Canham or Lotus camera, but I cannot afford $5000 for each of these cameras, certainly having a camera set up that is going to cost $13000 once I have the lenses to me is far beyond my check book, coupled with the fact that as you say the market is flodded with process lenses I see no reason to spend $3500 in one lens. Look at this same thread, so far Robert Hall is the only willing and able to afford these lenses.
IMO I see no sense on producing a lens that only 1 in 10 of us can afford. I would love to have the 1000 mm lens, but I am going to have to settle for a process lens in a copal shutter for less than $1000 and even then I am not sure these new lenses will be 3x better, specially when we consider we are talking about contact prints.
Hum, good question... The 14" Dagor (which has an unusual 60mm filter thread) is a "normal" Dagor, not a WA version. I think the official coverage was somewhere around 60-65 degrees, not 78 as the XXL, so that might explain that. The XXL is certainly a WA version, note the enlarged front and back elements in the lens diagram. A better comparison would probably an old Angulon, which has a similar coverage (85°). Off the top of my head, a 210mm Angulon has a 67mmfilter thread, I think (not 100% sure). Since these measures scale linearly with focal length a hypothetical 550mm Angulon would have a 175mm thread. The 14" Dagor would have 92mm thread size at 550mm focal length. So with the XXL between these in coverage 122mm seems reasonable. Of course 122mm makes a set of 2-3 filters pretty expensive... :-(
Originally Posted by Jay Packer
Don't you dare include me in the same sentence with those other guys. I'm no expert!
I do think I understand what Schnieder is doing with this, after thinking about it for a little while. They looked at the market, and basically recongnized that there was a need for a WA lens in the 500mm focal length, AND THERE ARE FEW OR NO HISTORICAL LENSES TO COMPETE WITH.
There just aren't too many WA lenses in that focal length that I'm aware of, (but my knowledge of historical lenses is not terribly good). This makes the market ripe for a new product.
It may be possible that Schneider will never consider getting into the market with a lens that will have to compete with an old process lens, or some of the old taking lenses that are out there. They may think they can't compete with that market, and the numbers wouldn't be favorable for them.
I am willing to pay a premium for a small lens in a modern shutter, with good coverage, and with at least single coating. Multicoating would be even better, but certainly not a necessity.
This is the reason the Computar/Kowa/Kyvytar lines of lenses sell for as much as they do on Ebay, because they meet these requirements for me (and obviously many others), and do a darn nice job performance wise, to boot. Many other process lens lines out there go wanting on Ebay because they don't meet the above criteria.
Finally, who is their market for these lenses? A few select photographers and the rest will go into the hands of doctors, lawyers, and others with the expendable cash to actually purchase a 20x24 camera and the film necessary to feed it. Those cameras cost as much as a year at an Ivy League school, so I don't see $3500 as an issue to them. These are not lenses intended for the small (gulp!) ULF cameras because they have excess coverage, and are too large and too long for practical use on most of these anyway.
It is great to see them introducing new lenses to the market, which is a lot more than can be said for Rodenstock, Nikon and Fujinon. I have it on good authority that Nikon has not made a lens in years, and there have been rumors that Fujinon was considering stopping production.
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Yes, remove my name from that list of experts as well. I know a little bit about lens design and practical use of lenses with ULF cameras but am no expert on optics.
Originally Posted by Michael Mutmansky
Ditto what Michael said about the Computar (and some Kowa and Kyvytars) line of lenses. Ounce for ounce these lenses are simply the best out there for ULF cameras in the 11X14, 7X17, 8X20 and 12X20 formats. Very compact but great coverage on the corners when stopped down, up to about 82º as I recall from some tests earlier this summer. These lenses, of plasmat (or split-Dagor design) perform a lot like traditional Dagors, but give better performance and are more compact because of the f/9 aperture. I now have Computar lenses, a 210mm that covers 11X14 and 7X17 (just), a 240mm that covers 11X14 and 7X17 with some movements, and a 300mm that covers 12X20 with movements. You must use them stopped down to at least f/45 for good performance on the corners but most of us shoot ULF stopped down to f/45 or f/64 anyway. A 450mm Computar, had one been made, would easily cover 20X24, with a wider taking aperture than the Schneider 550/11 Fine Art lens, and in a smaller package.
As for 20X24", I have a camera of this size that I built myself, and then had some S&S holders made for it so I don't have quite a much in it as Michael imagines. My favorite lens for the 20X24" is the 35" Red Dot Artar which covers the format nicely, though I have also used the 450mm Nikkor M and the 600mm Fujinon-C. The Nikkor and Fujinon cover, stopped down to f/64 or f/90, cover 20X24" but the image is a bit soft on the corners, and why shoot 20X24" for soft corners?
Last edited by sanking; 10-15-2004 at 11:40 PM. Click to view previous post history.
It is good that Schneider is making these lenses. I won't be able to afford one, but I can't afford a $76,000 Canon EOS 1200mm f/5.6 supertele for my wildlife photo work either. A flagship lens can & does illustrate the leadership of the company making it. A few will be sold & the company name will stay on top because the lenses are made. In the long run just having made them will pay the company back with more publicity(free) than they would have gotten by purchasing ad space in various publications.
Who knows? Maybe they will be such superb performers that many sitting on the fence will purchase them.
I should add one or two additional notes to Sandy's post about the Kowa/Kyvytar/Computar lenses.
First, they are not exactly the same. It appears that the Computar and Kyvytar lenses have a little more coverage than the Kowa lenses. So while a 210 Computar will cover 7x17 (barely, if you know how to use it) the 210 Kowa will not cover.
Second, I believe that all of the f9 maximum aperture lenses in these three lines are convertable, so you get two for the price of one, if you choose to use them that way. How good they are is an issue that I cannot answer, as I have not tested any of mine when converted.
Some of the lenses came in shutters and some came in barrel. The ones that came from the factory in shutters may show the f-stop and focal length of the converted lens (my 240 Kyvytar does), but some may not (I had a 270 Kowa that did not). Regardless, I think they are all essentially similar lens designs, and should all work nicely converted.
If you use a large camera with one of these, you should consider looking to see if there are any spacer rings on the rear element that can be removed. Apparently, the spacer was put in to improve the center performance, at the expence of the edge performance. I believe you may also notice that in a barrel the lens assembly is slightly longer than it is in a shutter. I think that they built the barrel to favor center performance, so there will probably be no spacers on the barrel lenses.
Very true. And the most perplexing part of the problem is that you just never really know what you have in terms of actual coverage until you put your Computar/Kowa/Kyvytar lens on the camea and test the coverage. I have examined several 210mm Kowas and none come close to the coverage of my 210mm computar. On the other hand, Andrew Glover sent me a 240mm Kowa to test and it was *identical* in both appearance and coverage to my 240mm Computar.
Originally Posted by Michael Mutmansky
But, a 300mm Computar covers 12X20 beautifully. Does anyone out there have a 300mm Kowa that does? Or for that matter, does anyone have a 355 Kowa graphic that will cover 12X20? I have tested several 355 Kowas and none of them came close to covering 12X20. Perhaps an entirely different design?
Sandy, Michael, Jorge and Kerry, in my opinion you are all experts and your contributions to this forum and others have made my transition into LF and ULF possible. You all possess valuable knowledge and information and share it freely. Thank You!
Why has Schneider removed from it's offering of ULF lenses the G-Clarons, ie the 305 and the 355, which the "average" person could afford new? Wouldn't it be logical to keep these "low-budget" big coverage performers in the line-up? I think a 355 that covers 12x20 would be a great little seller in the future.