Finest lenses for 6x9 and 6x7 view cameras? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread


I'm about to take the large format plunge by way of a medium format (6x9, 6x7) camera system that comes with a Schneider Symmar 105mm f/5.6 lens (convertible to a 185mm f/12) and a Schneider 47mm f/8 Super Angulon lens as part of the deal.

There is plenty of information on this forum regarding classic and modern lenses for the 4x5 format, but precious little for 2x3. Would any of you experienced folks out there be kind enough to recommend three must-have, price-no-object (OK, OK, not too much more than $500 per lens) medium format (2x3) lenses, broken down as follows: wide angle (for landscapes and architectural); normal (for all-around shooting and macro); and medium telephoto (for portraiture).

Also, since the camera that I am buying is modular, I would like to eventually move up to 4x5, so if any of the lenses recommended could serve double duty in both 2x3 and 4x5 (i.e., instead of keeping the 105mm Symmar I could trade it in for a 90mm wide angle which could then be my normal lens for 2x3 and my wide angle when I eventually move up to 4x5), then the more the merrier. (Is this asking for too much?) In any case, the emphasis should be on quality for the 2x3 format, even if it means having to buy more lenses that are more suitable for 4x5.

So the bottom line, I guess, is: what are the finest lenses that I can obtain for 2x3 in the above three categories? The lenses may be classic or modern designs, quality should take precedence over weight (except in the happy circumstance where light weight and high quality coincide).

Please take into account that intend to shoot both black and white, and color slide.

Thanks immensely for any feedback.

Frank Diaz

-- Francisco Diaz (, June 10, 1999


If you are in the U.S we would be happy to send you the MTF, clor and distortion curves of the Rodenstock lenses so you have a basis of comparison. Dollar for dollar you won't find anything to equal the Apo Sironar S in performance.

But a 105 does not cover 45. And a 90mm is far more expensive than a 105 and may need a center filter to even the hot spot if you are not happy with it.

T get a low priced 90 would usually mean the old Angulon 6.8 which even Schneider never rated as covering more than 9x12cm so it doesn't perform nearly as well as a modern 90 which can be expensive.

However taking an unseen writers word as to which " to recommend three must-have lenses" is an excellent way to end up with 3 lenses that you can't live with. Your needs can be totally different as might your quality expectations. It is far better to find a well stocked rental dealer and try your choices first under the conditions you plan to use them for. Next best would be to tell us what lenses on what format you currently use and which you would like to emulate on the lerger formats. Then it is a choice based on your needs and likes. Not someone els

-- bob salomon (, June 13, 1999.

For your tele, you'd be using a 4x5 normal lens of plasmat design. The top choices are the apo-sironar-s and apo-symmar, although the differences with the other modern plasmats are probably very subtle. For your wide-angle, you'd be using one of the recent super-angulon xl or apo-grandagon.

These would work fine on 4x5. Now for your normal lens, you've to decide whether to get a 4x5 wide-angle lens or a lens of plasmat type which covers only 2x3. Generally speaking plasmats ("normal lenses") are sharper than wide-angle lenses. Schneider claims that their 110XL is as good as a normal lens, but i wouldn't even consider using it on a 2x3.

-- Quang-Tuan Luong (, June 14, 1999.

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