58mm Super Angulon XL

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I am interested in getting a wider lens for my 4x5 kit, specifically the Schneider 58mm f/5.6 Super Angulon XL This may or may not replace my 65mm f/4.5 Grandagon. Before I unlock the bank vault I have some questions for users of this lens. Is the coverage circle really large enough, (not just what the numbers in the brochure say)? For even exposures, especially with movements, how critical is the need for a center weighted filter? Has anyone tried the Heliopan CWF as opposed to the Schneider CWF? What do you think of this lens as opposed to the Grandagon 55mm?

Thanks in Advance,


-- Ellis Vener (evphoto@insync.net), July 23, 1998



Are you still looking for thoughts on the 58 mm Super Angulon XL? If so, let me know and I will give you some feedback from my six months of experience with this lens.

Sorry I didn't catch your question sooner.


-- John Greenler (zephyrfarm@compuserve.com), November 10, 1998.

Ellis and others,

Sorry I have taken a bit to get back to my message on the Schneider 58 mm f/5.6 Super Angulon XL (58 mm SA XL). I have been traveling the past several days.

First, let me fill you in on my background in using this lens. I have owned mine for about six months now, and am quite pleased. I use it with my KB Canham DLC 4 X 5 camera to take 6cm X 12cm (partial?) panoramic photos. I use 4 X 5 sheet film, and preview my images on the ground glass, which is covered with a 6 X 12 mask. Many of the images I work on have a large depth of field, from infinity to foreground objects only 3 feet away. I usually close the lens down to around f22.

Within these confines I have found the 58 mm SA XL to be a great, but demanding master. I have been able to achieve numerous sharp negatives, but I really have to have the camera set just right. For a bit, I was getting variable results with blurring on the edges of the image. Then, I really started paying close attention to making sure that the standards were precisely parallel, and I have been achieving much more consistent results since.

The Canham DLC is a unique camera in several ways. One is that it has a standard pleated bellows that is VERY flexible. Thus, there is no bag bellows available. This means that I can use the 58 with the standard bellows. My ability for camera movements with this lens is, however, limited but adequate for my needs. I usually use some front rise or fall. I have never reached the edge of the image circle, even when viewing the whole 4 X 5 image.

For my purposes, I have not felt the need for a center-weighted filter. When I look at the whole 4 X 5 negative, I can sometimes see fall-off towards the very edges of the negative, but not in my 6 X 12 image area. There can also be significant distortion at the edges of the 4 X 5 negative.

Well, I hope this has been of help to you. For those that are considering using this lens for formats 6 X 9 or smaller, I would suspect that this would be a great wide angle lens with much room for movement, and few problems with distortion or edge drop off. Let me know if you have more questions or thoughts, and best of luck!


-- John Greenler (zephyrfarm@compuserve.com), November 16, 1998.

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