75mm lens, any suggestions on whose is the sharpest?

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I want to buy a new 75mm lens for my 4x5. Does anyone have any experience knowing which is the sharpest? I hear the Grandagon is the sharpest of the wide angles? Is a center filter necessary for all wide angle lenses?

-- Bill Glickman (Bglick@pclv.com), March 24, 1999


Bob S. will probably say yes, all w/a lenses need a center filter. I say it depends on mow much shifting you are are going to be doing and your subject matter. The Rodenstock are great lenses; so are the Schneiders (of which I would specifically recommend the 72mm Super Angulon XL); so are the Nikons and probably the Fuji lenses. You should probably try to get a hold of at least a sample of each, test it and buy the one, the specific one you test, that you find is best.

-- Ellis (evphoto@insync.net), March 25, 1999.

>> Is a center filter necessary for all wide angle lenses?

As Ellis says, it all depends. I don't use one even for the 47mm, but I shoot B&W, often hand-held, so I don't want to lose any light from the filter, and I'm happy to do any corrections under the enlarger. If I did architectural work on transparencies, I would want the centre filter.

I like the Schneider 72mm, but I can't compare it with the other similar lenses available.

-- Alan Gibson (Alan.Gibson@technologist.com), March 25, 1999.

I highly reccomend either the Fujinon 75 or Nikkor SW. The Fujinons are apparently no longer imported (or they are at least very hard for dealers to get)..but I do recall seeing a location in the Midwest in one of these threads which apparently does sell Fujinon lenses. I personally use a Nikkor SW..as all of my LF lenses are Nikkors The use of center filters is very much a personal choice. I have often suspected that if they were really absolutely necessary..they would be either built into the lenses, or included in the price (they are very expensive). They do even out the image..but as to how much that is necessary will depend largely on the subject matter and client/personal taste. When I shoot corporate interiors, for example, the slight fall-off helps reduce the contrast problem posed by a bright flourescent ceiling..and any other fall-off can be lit. My clients often like the 'painterly' look produced by the slight fall-off....And it seems to vary with the shooting aperture.

-- C MATTER (cmatter@riag.com), March 25, 1999.

Oh, yes..regarding 'sharpness'..dont worry about it. Any modern first classs lens will resolve much more than any film is capable of capturing. In terms of pure "sharpness"..i.e. resolving lines per mm..you'll never see the difference (if any). Look instead at contrast, size of image circle (very important if you will be using camera movements) and relative warmth of the glass (as we say)

-- C MATTER (cmatter@riag.com), March 25, 1999.

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