Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
E., we're partially in small format land. There Apo-Lanthar is a trade name, as is Heliar, and both names (neither 5/3 lenses) include wide angles.

About the old types, agree about the need to stop ancient types down to get full coverage, but modern types also gain coverage on stopping down.

Disagree strongly about the old types' limited coverage. Consider, if you will, f/18 Protars, Ross' f/16 versions, f/14 Perigraphes and f/8 and f/9 Wide Angle Dagors. I have a tiny 45/9 CZJ Goerz Dagor that covers 2x3. It isn't cataloged, I have no idea what its intended format is.

Disagree too that some of the modern types have lots of coverage. My little 38/4.5 Biogon covers a hair more than its intended format; has to cover 80 mm, puts good image in an 84 mm circle (huge difference there, eh?) and the illumination vanishes at 86 mm.

IMO -- not everyone agrees -- the significant differences are that modern w/a types in general are faster than the ancients, therefore easier to focus; that the ones that take advantage of Roosinov's tilting pupil trick have more even illumination than the ancients; and that the modern ones don't have to be stopped as far down as the ancients for good results. On this last point, for example, Rodenstock says that Apo Grandagons are best used between f/8 and f/11.


True, but the OP is asking about lenses for 4x5. And for me, an Apo Lanthar is and will forever be a large format lens, regardless of the dictates of current "branding" practices.

As for limited coverage, as a general thing an 80 year old WA for say 8x10, such as the Wollensak series III, doesn't allow for movements of any degree. I did say "usually" as a qualifier when I used the Angulon (which in the 90mm flavor doesn't give much if any wiggle room on 4x5) as an example.

Most modern WA lenses do give better coverage than their vintage counterparts of the same focal length.
I didn't want to go into any real detail in an answer until the OP is up to speed on the very basics.