Best lenses combo for 6x9 cameras ? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread


I've received my second hand 6x9 Arca-Swiss yesterday .. and wow.. what a nice camera !! I'm impatient to try it now.. However I don't have any lenses yet and was wondering whether there are any 6x9 format users here and what their ideal lenses combo would be

1) if you were allowed three 2) the bellow was accepting lenses from 55mm up to 150mm 3) you wanted to shoot mainly in the field, architecture and cityscapes, plus may be some portraits from time to time (also on location).

I've visited the main sites devoted to lenses for LF, but most of them are considering larger format than 6x9.. So any input concerning the best adapted lense for that smaller format would be welcome (not only the film format, but the whole camera is 6x9)

In 35mm, my main lenses are 28mm 45-50mm and 90mm .. I was thinking to 65mm (but would be 55mm better ?) and 150mm .. but what kind of lenses should come in the middle as standard ?

Sorry to ask so many question in a few days, but when taking the plunge into the view camera world there are so many new things and so big money investments to do, that one does really need help.. So thanks in advance for all suggestions


-- Christiane Roh (, September 06, 2000


My choice was: 58mm, 100mm and 210mm. In 35mm terms that means (more or less) 25mm, 43mm, 90mm. Ciao,

-- Stefano Gatti (, September 06, 2000.

These days when I'm using my 6x9cm field camera, to keep things light in weight, I mainly use just a 55 and 135. The 135 is the Rodenstock Sironar-N (now replaced by the Apo-Sironar) a super little lens which is extremely light and compact. Depending on the size of lens panel this lens will fit easily into a shirt pocket! Regards,

-- Trevor Crone (, September 06, 2000.


55mm Rodenstock Apo-Grandagon is a must, about the same angle of view as your 28mm on 35, it is an outstanding lens, both sharper and wider than any 65 around. If you have the standard bellows, you can go with either a 150 or 180. Depends on whether you tend toward wide or long lenses. The 180 would be closer to your 90 on 35. You could fill in the middle with a 100mm Apo-Symmar, or a 105 Fujinon-CM. If you are mostly into wide angle work, choose the 135mm Rodenstock Apo-Sironar- S, and fill in with the new 80mm Schneider SymmarXL which will be available by the end of the year. These are the latest, sharpest and most expensive options. There are lots of other good lenses for 6x9 work. The 75mm f/6.8 Grandagon is a nice lens that can be had for about $500 used.

-- Glenn C. Kroeger (, September 06, 2000.

I use the 58 mm Schneider XL, 75 mm Grandagon f6.8, 135 APO Symmar f5.6, and 240 Rodenstock f9 APO Ronar, multicoated version (approximately 25 mm, 32 mm, 60 mm, and 105 mm equivalents in 35 mm). If I were to use only 3 lenses, I would exchange a 65 mm (the Grandagon is better reputed than the Schneider equivalent in this focal length) for the 58 mm and 75 mm. If you will sometimes want to use 3 lenses, and sometimes 4, I would stay with the 58 mm and 75 mm, and then just sometimes leave one or the other at home. I've tried different combinations, including using a 150 mm and 300 mm in place of the 135 mm and 240 mm, but like this combination the best.

-- Howard Slavitt (, September 06, 2000.

Congratulations to your camera. I use the Rodenstock 55 mm, the Schneider 110 XL and the Rodenstock 180 Apo. All three are superb lenses.

-- Andreas Carl (, September 07, 2000.

Christiane, would you take the time to weight your Arca Swiss so that we (I) can know the actual weight, which sometimes differs significantly from the manufacturers' specs? Would you also please let me know what your measured weight includes (i.e. does it include an Arca Swiss QR plate, the roll film adapter back, etc.)? Thanks in advance. Howard.

-- Howard Slavitt (, September 07, 2000.

In selecting your lenses, I suggest that you consider whether you want all of them to have the same filter size. The highly acclaimed Schneider XL 110 mm and Rodenstock f/4.5 75 mm lens each are best used with an extra-wide 67 mm filter. The Rodenstock Apo-Sironar f/5.6 S 135 mm lens and Schneider 210 mm f/9 G-Claron each use a 49 mm filter. There numerous combinations of lenses that require a normal 67 mm filt

-- David Caldwell (, September 07, 2000.

Many thanks to all of you,

what a rich set of experiences you shared .. I'm glad to see there are other adepts of this format..

-- Christiane Roh (, September 07, 2000.

As an afterthought, what about the Schneider 47mm (non XL). It is small and very lightweight. It takes 52mm filters and is very sharp. I use it exclusively for 6x9 and am very pleased with it. regards Paul

-- paul owen (, September 09, 2000.

I will weigh in on my kit. I use a Horseman 6x9 VHR with 65mm NikkorSW, 100mm Apo-Symar, 150mm Sironar-S, and a 240mm FujiA. These lens are all terrific.

-- Paul Minkus (, November 22, 2000.

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