looking for sharpest lense (90-100mm) less than $800, new or used

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What is the sharpest (most number of lines per mm) lense for 4x5 in the 90-110mm range that doesn't cost more than say $800.00. I dont care if it is old.


-- jon miller (jmill@cybertime.net), March 27, 2000


Look for a Zeiss Planar 100mm f/2.8. These were made for the Graflex XL (you can unmount them from the barrel) and Linhofs. Typically about $250 - 300 for the Graflex ones, and one helluva lot more for the Linhof ones naturally, though you can imagine them to be identical lenses.

I doubt you'll be dissatisfied with the Ektar you had mentioned in a similar post on the matter.

-- Kah Heng (kahheng@pacific.net.sg), March 27, 2000.

From my (limited) experience, the sharpest lens would be the 100 Apo-Symmar. It is the most modern and is multicoated. I felt that it was equal to my Hassy 80 CF Planar. Price is less than $800 and much less from Robert White in the UK.

-- Bob Eskridge (besk@shtc.net), March 27, 2000.

As you probably realize neither a 100mm Planar or a 100mm Apo Symmar or a 105mm Apo Sironar N will cover 45 or come close to covering it.

Aren't you relly looking for a wide angle?

In that case you would be looking at lenses like a 6.8 Rodenstock grandagon N or the 90mm 8.0 Super Angulon.

If you are enrolled in a 4 year photo school or are an instructor there the 90mm 6.8 Grandagon N has a school price of $823.00. For others it is more.

-- Bob Salomon (bobsalomon@mindspring.com), March 27, 2000.

I have a used Grandagon 90mm f/4.5 that I purchased for $600. Extremely sharp and will cover 5x7 so I second Bob's recommendation of Rodenstock and add that you should also look at the 90mm f/8 Nikkor SW.

-- Ellis Vener (evphoto@insync.net), March 27, 2000.

Check lens test results here: http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/testing.html

My personal experience coincides with the test--I find the Nikkor 90mm f/8 to be an exceptional performer, and available used for less than $800.

-- Ross Martin (rossemartin@msn.com), March 27, 2000.

If you don't care about movements, the 105mm Fujinon CM-W covers 4x5 (barely) and is much lighter and smaller that the wide angel 90's. If you don't care about covering 4x5, then the 100 Apo-Symmar would be nice.

-- Glenn C. Kroeger (gkroeger@trinity.edu), March 27, 2000.


-- Bill Mitchell (bmitch@home.com), March 27, 2000.

At usual working apertures on-film resolution is limited by diffraction, film positioning and film flatness.

What usage do you have in mind?

-- John Hicks (jbh@magicnet.net), March 27, 2000.


Yes, the Zeiss Planar doesn't cover 4x5 certainly it doesn't. I figured you were still thinking of shooting 6x9 on a 4x5 camera.

Regards Tan

-- Kah Heng (kahheng@pacific.net.sg), March 28, 2000.

There is a certain security in knowing your lens has 'thebest' of whatever performance criteria you want. But are you going to see it in actual use? Lines per millimetre resolving power and the character of the image aren't the same thing.

-- Dan Smith (shooter@brigham.net), March 28, 2000.

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