schneider super angulon 72 XL....can I do without one?? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have the opportunity to buy a virtually brand new schneider super angulon 72 XL for a great price (if you call $2800 AUSTRALIAN a good price!!) however I'm not sure whether I will really find benefit from it. To put you in the picture, I shoot architecture and currently run a 58 XL and a 90 XL, both of which I love, but I'm not sure whether I'll really notice the inbetween difference with a 72 XL. Any feedback from anyone with a 72 would be appreci

-- mark munro (, July 12, 2000


I shoot architecture too.

Put it this way, there DEFINITELY is a difference between a 72mm/75mm and a 90mm.

There are occasions when only a 72mm/75mm will do, and there are occasions that a 90mm is the more appropriate. There are also occasions where a 58mm might be too wide and a 65mm more appropriate....... for that matter, and sometimes the 65mm may not be wide enough.

Can you do without a 72mm? Of course. You'd work with what you have then. You'd deliberately frame your picture for the lenses that you have.

$2800 AUS is a helluva lot to pay dude.

-- K H Tan (, July 12, 2000.

Do you find yourself needing something in between the 58 and the 90 very often? If so, get it. If not, save the money. If you dont know if it would be useful, then I would guess the need isnt there.

-- Ron Shaw (, July 12, 2000.

You can pick up the camera, tripod, and gear and walk closer or farther away to reframe the picture. There, you've just saved $2800.

Keep careful records of how many times you do this. if you have to shift position 2800 times or more you might start considering the lens because it would start to get cost effective.

-- Wayne Campbell (, July 12, 2000.

I shoot architecture, and find myself using the 72XL quite a bit. I believe it has more coverage than Schneider advertises. It's needed for some exteriors, and comes in useful for interiors quite often. The jump from 58 to 90 is large.

A previous reply suggested picking up your tripod and reframing the shot either closer or farther away so the shot works with your existing lenses (58mm & 90mm). This can be done, but it will often times result in a different picture. In particular, the jump from 72mm to 58mm can result in a dramatic difference. The camera sees different things at different distances from a subject changes. Distortions will also come to play. The more articulated a structure, the more differences you will see. Also, shooting oblique to a structure rather than straight-on will make a difference. Within reason, I'd suggest finding the "shot" and setting up your tripod in that location. If you have to use a wider lens and crop the image, that may be preferred to moving to another location just so you can fill the frame.

-- Larry Huppert (, July 12, 2000.

How many photographs have you screwed up or missed because you didn't have a 72mm? If you get the 72, are you gonna need an 80mm or a 65mm? If you start buying lenses to fit every set of conditions you will be bankrupt long before you run out of lens focal lengths. What's wrong with moving the tripod a little? You will never have the precise focal length you need if you set the tripod up and then try and match an exact lens to it. Until someone makes a zoom lens for 4x5 stick with what you got. Wouldn't a 40-100 mm zoom with plenty of extra coverage for 4x5 be great? It would probably weigh about 60 pounds and cost about as much as a moon rocket.

-- Doug Paramore (, July 12, 2000.


I bought a 72mmXL because my 90mm superangulon would not allow me to get the images I wanted in too many cases. I shoot architecture and am working on a portfolio featuring disappearing agricultural sites-- grain elevators exteriors and interiors. The lens will cover a 5x7 fully with lots of movements possible. So on my 4x5 I have yet to have a coverage problem. I find the 72mm very handy.The only drawback is filtration. Any front mounted filter is very expensive, and thus far I cannot find a secrure way to attach filters to the rear of the lens. It is unthreaded at the rear, and the WA bellows for my Wisners tapers too much to allow the use of some of the more popular rear mount kits.

Moving the tripod may work at times, but in my experience there were occasions where such movement yielded an unacceptable image. hope this helps. Bob

-- Bob Moulton (, July 12, 2000.

I have 72 and 90 mm lenses and I find that there are frequent occasions when the 72 mm can do a building but the 90 mm can't. One can't always walk further away: there might be a building, fence, river or road in the way. Also, walking farther away might introduce wires, electric poles, bill boards, etc. into the image. I don't have a hardfast dislike of wires, etc., but sometimes they can really decrease the quality of an image. The 72 "feels" very different from the 90--it seems much wider to me. I assume that the 58 mm would feel much wider yet, but don't have any experience with it.

On the other hand, you have a 58 mm lens. You can probably do the job of the 72 mm lens by using the 58 mm and cropping to the view the 72 would have give you. The only reason I said "probably" is because of the issue of coverage. It is virtually impossible to run out of coverage with the 72 mm Super-Angulon XL on 4x5 film. Only you can decide how important composing in camera with a 72 mm versus using a 58 mm and cropping is to you.

The price of 2800 AUD (about US $1650) seems rather high. B&H in New York is quoting a price hundreds of US$ lower for a new lens, and Robert White in the UK hundreds of dollars yet lower.

-- Michael Briggs (, July 12, 2000.


The point is that sometimes you just can't move to reframe, and sometimes when you do move to reframe, the perspective is unsuitable.

Must you have a lens for every situation?

If you do this kind of photography for a living, you often have to. Or you'd try to have as large a lens range as possible. Just in case.

-- K H Tan (, July 12, 2000.

ummmmmmm, thanks for all the responses. However, I think some of you failed to notice that my tongue was slightly in my cheek!! I am aware that the lord gave me legs for a reason, however it's not always possible to move closer or further back to get THE shot that the client is paying for....sure, I could use the 58 XL and just crop, but thats not the point!! For starters, the 58 has relatively limited coverage, so the tall vertical shots just don't always work with that lens, however I understand that the 72 has similar coverage to my 90 XL with a much wider aspect, so I guess I was just after some feedback from someone who has faced similar problems (which I received from a few of you - thanks!!!) Oh, and by the way, Doug, if you ever convince Schneider to go into production with that 40-100 zoom, I'll order one in a heartbeat..........

-- mark munro (, July 13, 2000.

Hey Bob Moulton,

I have a 72 also and agree with nearly everything you mentioned, but I feel the Lee filter adapter for the 72mm is great. It is not advertised anywhere but is available now. I got one. Compared to the original price of the lens, the additional cost is is under $200 but I can't recall what. I use b&w filters and graduated neutral density filters with it now and they work flawlessly. A shade cannot be put on it, but not much shading can work with such a wide lens anyway, especially with all that movement. And for the original question, until I got the 72mm I felt that 65mm and 90mm covered everything, especially with a little leg work. Now my most used lens for interiors and one of my favorites for exterior architecture is the 72mm. It out does the movements for any 65mm so effectively it has as much view, and the 90mm just feels too tight for me now. If your work justifies the expense of the lens then there is no reason on earth not to experience the freedom of expression another view gives you. This is the very philosophy that has given me 23 lenses all told for large-format. And I use them all!

-- Rob Tucher (, July 13, 2000.

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