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  1. #11
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Also look for a 135mm f5.6 Caltar II-S this is a rebadged Symmar and has far better coverage than a Tessar type lens, they can be found at very reasonable prices.

    Better still become a subscriber and post a wanted advert here, you should find a lens easily that way

    Ian

  2. #12
    MattCarey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Dodd View Post
    Hi all

    This is my first post.

    I am relatively new to LF (1 year of shooting to date)

    I'm looking for a 120-135mm lens, there seems to be quiet a lot going sub $300 on evilbay.

    What are the best low weight ones with adequate coverage on 4x5 and work well with color film?

    At the moment my kit consists of a 90mm f8 super Angulon (uncoated) and Fuji 150mm f6.3 (the tiny one)
    I take my rig hiking and shoot mainly landscapes. I'm finding the 90mm a bit to big and slow to use on my camera (Toyo 45cf) and 120-135mm looks like a good all round focal length.

    Tim.
    If you like the 90mm length, just not the weight of the super angulon, the 90mm angulon is tiny and cheap.

    The difference between 135mm and 150 is not that big. Like going from 50mm to 45mm on a 35mm camera.

  3. #13

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    135 Nikkor w has been on my short list, although a few people seem to disagree about its performance.

    Fujinon 125mm w could also be a winner, what is any body's experience with this one?

  4. #14
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Dodd View Post
    135 Nikkor w has been on my short list, although a few people seem to disagree about its performance.

    Fujinon 125mm w could also be a winner, what is any body's experience with this one?
    Symmar's and Sironar's are much more common and always excellent.

    Ian

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Dodd View Post
    135 Nikkor w has been on my short list, although a few people seem to disagree about its performance.

    Fujinon 125mm w could also be a winner, what is any body's experience with this one?
    Fujinon-Ws are great. I picked up a 150mm f/5.6 from a member here, no complaints at all. Pretty standard plasmat type, it's going to be roughly the same as a Symmar or any -N type of lens. The earlier (inside lettering) -Ws have slightly more coverage but are single coated, the later -NW lenses are labelled "FUJINON-W" (on the outside) but are multicoated and have slightly less coverage. Yes, Fuji did a terrible job marketing these, and there seems to be a lot of cosmetic changes through the production runs.

    You could also look at a Super Angulon 120mm or a Fujinon-SW for extra movements, but they'll be slow or pretty big and heavy. Old ads say a 5in Dagor would be 125mm and would cover 5x7 at f/45.

    Once you get past the weird options, the whole question is fairly quixotic, the biggest difference between modern (non-SW) plasmats are going to be realistic coverage when stopped down, coatings, and weight. KEH has a Symmar-S 135 f/5.6 MC for $225 right now (covers 190mm), if I was itching to buy a 135mm that would do nicely. For $286, they have the Fujinon-W 135 f/5.6 (no idea which version, either 206 or 228mm coverage)

  6. #16

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    I'd second the Fuji W (multi-coated version). I've seen a couple of these come up for sale very reasonably at a fraction of the price of an Apo Sironar S. Modern outstanding optics with enough coverage for the majority of 4x5 applications except extreme architectural rise. Way sharper than a
    Symmar S.

  7. #17

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    (Should have added) - The Fuji 125 is in somewhat more demand than the 135, so tends to fetch higher
    prices, but is also more common. I have the 52mm filter version, which is popular with landscape photographers due to its small size. Nearly the same coverage as the 135, and slightly more coverage than the equivalent Nikon lens. Very very sharp. The current version (CMW) requires a 67mm filter.
    Anything in this series in clean condition below $300 would be a steal.

  8. #18
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    You mentioned "best" and "low cost" which are usually contradictory criteria.

    I assume that best includes modern, multicoated, copal shutter.

    And, you said 135 mm.

    So for that, I suggest the latest Caltar 135 which meets all the criteria. It is a Sironon lens, tack sharp, tiny, very light, and inexpensive. I sold one for ~$215 but I usually see them for ~$250.

    The only downside of the 135's is modest coverage relative to 150's.
    Jerold Harter MD

  9. #19

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    Ok Iv'e bitten the bullet and picked up a Symmar-S 5.6/135mm for $156Au, its in really good condition and coming from an Australian seller, this saves me the $30-40 postage that would put any lens from Japan or the US into the $300 mark.

    I guess the consensus is nearly any coated 135mm lens will perform similar to its counterparts and in the end its up to the photographer to take good shot.

    Everybody's advice has been fantastic. Any tips from users of this lens that I should know?

    Through my research it appears that after f22 diffraction is the killer of sharpness not optics. I usually shoot f22 and occasionally f32 so i think I'm on the right track.

    Cheers,

  10. #20
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Only tip is watch the corners, it's an excellent lens but doesn't have huge coverage. I've been very pleased with my Caltar (Symmar S) bought of this forim and have used it quite extensively for hand held 5x4 work in Turkey/Greece. Very sharp lens and just as good as my Sironar's and other Symmar (210mm), you'll enjoy using it. I shoot at f22 most of the tme. Seems a good price as well.

    Ian

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