Budget LF lenses?
I'm the owner of a Sinar F with a 135/5.6. I'm looking to expand my lens collection into a 90 and 210. However, I'm on a very tight budget being a college student. From what I've seen, 210's are generally cheaper than 90's, so I figured I'd start there.
I've been looking at these for potential options:
I'm gnoring the filter ring damage... I can figure something out to save $60.
Any opinions, suggestions, etc? I'd like to stay under $200, preferably well under.
A 210 is definitely a good starting point for 4x5, and probably a better choice than a 90, depending on what you want to do with the camera.
I would pick the Symar, but optically, they are likely all good choices, assuming the shutters function, and the glass is ok otherwise.
There is a Caltar (AKA Symar) in the classifieds here with a malfunctining shutter which is even cheaper.
You can certainly get by without the ability to use screw-in filters, but damaged filter rings can be a PITA.
Since all lenses have a filter ring damage I'd personaly choose the Fuji, all Fuji lenses I've ever used be they enlarging or LF-lenses were better than their Schneider counterpart. The new Hasselblad lenses are also made by Fuji. The Fuji lens seems to be the newer version thus all three lenses have multicoating. If your 135mm lens is a Schneider/Rodenstock I'd choose the Schneider/Rodenstock because they produce the same look. The Schneider and the Rodenstock should be about equal in quality and performance. Fuji lenses are extremely under appreciated imho.
I supposed it may be worth the extra $50 or $60 to go for a lens w/o filter ring damage. Hmm. That's a tough call.
maybe, the option i've chosen is to rear mount my filters, which are all wratten gels. i sprayed flat black on the 90% side of an old gray card and use that as a french flag (gobo). although my filter rings are good i've never used them. these options may work for you as well.
edit: but i do have a nikon pola i sometimes tape to the front.
Last edited by Dan Quan; 12-21-2011 at 02:45 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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On the other hand, the filter ring damage may or may not be indicative of other problems or damage. Regardless, its always prudent to inspect and test ALL equipment before using on an important project. For example, try using the legal section of the newspaper to check for focus and make sure everything is square and have the shutter speeds verified.
I recently purchased a copal 1 in ex+ condition and all the top speeds are off somewhat but the 400 speed is actually 250. Don't just rely on a company's reputation, cover your own arse.
Have a look for a late model (label on the outside of the barrel) Fuji 210mm. You can get these for under $200 if you keep an eye out (I got a mint one for $180 on eBay). The older ones (inside the barrel lettering) are much more expensive, as they cover 8x10.
Another possible option in a 180mm (although it's possibly a bit close to the 135mm). These seem to be a red-haired stepchild in the lens world (i.e. nobody really want them at the moment). Fuji models (excluding the "A" model) are also dirt cheap.
Finally, you can get Fuji 250mm lenses for a reasonable price if you want a longer lens. The f6.3 is the cheaper model; the f6.7 more expensive (as it covers some ULF).
Wait for a while and look around,
Filter ring damage to me implies that the relatively weak screw mounting either side of the shutter may have been put out of square - There are lots of good lenses out there that are undamaged - I have a 210mm Symmar S I could sell - I much prefer my 1950s/1960s lens set for 5x4" as multicoated lenses are too "bitey" for Australian hammer light
Also, before you spend money, consider what you want the lens for, ask what your main subjects are and the light in your area, these things can affect your lens set choice
Thanks for the input everyone.
The more I think about it, the more I am straying away from filter damage. Dropping a lens is never a good thing, even if there is no visible damage.
The lens will be mostly for portraits, with landscapes thrown in. Sharpness is important. I'm not part of the soft lenses for portraits crowd. If I could get a sharp, clean lens I'd be happy. If it's sharp near-wide open (F/8 or so) that would be ideal. Yes, I shoot my LF lenses wide open in portraits. Don't all yell at me at once.
since you are interested in ( clinically ) sharp get the newest coated lens you can afford
and get it cla's ... bent filter rings sometimes mean the lens was DROPPED .. so keep that in mind
keh doesn't calibrate the lenses before they sell them, so what looks like 125 or 250 --- won't be ..
their grading system is more about what the lens looks like ...
no matter what lens you buy, figure in getting it cla's by whoever works on your lenses ( so add in extra $$ )