super-symmar XL110mm & architectural work : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hello to all, This lens seems to be well loved by the LF landscape shooter. I haven't seen much said about using this lens for architectural work in combination with a studio camera where the most is made of movements. Before getting serious about this lens, I thought I'd better seek some advice from those using this lens for this type of work. One question comes to mind,to center filter or not to center filter? Then there is the question on filtering. Will a step-up ring from 67mm to 77mm suffice when using movements? Do you, the architectural shooter, feel the same as the landscape shooter in that this is a superior lens for this application of work? I was hoping to match this lens up with my Calumet Legend 4X5 for some architectural work. Many thanks in advance for your thoughts.

-- rick obermeyer (, September 04, 2001


rick, This lens is every bit as good as the postings suggest. I use it for both landscape and architecture and dont need a centre filter, even using (often) extreme rise/fall. I use a step up ring from 67-77mm for all filters, both to prevent any vignetting but more importantly with this lens to ensure that the filter itself does not touch the front element of the lens. This lens easily covers 5x7 and I understand , would probably cover 10x8 albeit without movements. A real cracker! Good prices here in the UK, try Robert White? Regards paul

-- paul owen (, September 04, 2001.

i have no doubt that the 110 is an excellent lens, but my experiences lead me to feel that i would not be able to substitute a 110 for my existing 90sw nikkor, since it is all too often that even the 90 is barely wide enough for many architectural situations. when i have a bit more room, i tend to use my 135 for a bit flatter treatment. i dont feel like something in between those two lenses would benefit me that much. landscape is a very different animal than architecture...

-- jnorman (, September 04, 2001.


I was always a fan of the 120mm focal length and since having the new 110mm XL I achieve the same view and image circle with a smaller, lighter lens using smaller filters and CF filters.

We each set our own standards and are happy to accept varying results for ourselves and on behalf of our clients. Frankly, I find the CF essential with all wide-angles for my architectural work but often only when using extreme shifts with the 110mm XL.

The image circle would certainly be of greater benefit than using a 135mm (Symmar).

I use the lens in tandem with a 72mm XL and 90mm XL but have found that the 90mm seldom gets a guernsey these days.

I hope this helps ... WG

-- Walter Glover (, September 04, 2001.

Hi Rick

I work almost as architectural photographer for mags and I use the f4,5 75mm Nikon about 45% the f 4,5 90mm about 35% and the 135mm Rodenstock about 10% and the Rodenstock 150mm 210mm 300mm together about 10%. If I would start new, then I would start with the 72mm XL from Schneider as first lens. But this is my subjectiv meaning. Good luck!

-- Armin Seeholzer (, September 04, 2001.

"gets a guernsey"?

-- Ellis Vener (, September 04, 2001.

To Ellis V,

Sorry for the confusion. "Gets a guernsey" is a colloquialism used here in Australia, and possibly in the UK meaning that a player is given a guernsey (jumper, sports top) to wear during the game if he is chosen for the team. What my use of the term meant was that given the choice of 72mm, 90mm and 110mm the 90mm lens is seldom selected.

Cheers ... WG

-- Walter Glover (, September 05, 2001.

Hi Walter

But your statement about the 90mm is in my opinion false.Philippe Ruault from Paris works as the favorit photographer for architect Jean Nouvel one of the leading architects in Eu. I saw him working on a building for 4 days only with a Schneider 90mm. And in my case is the 90mm on 2 position and I now some friends they also use the 90mm very often. I definitly don`t need a 110mm. But thies is just my opinion! For every photographer hes favorit lenses! Good light;-))

-- Armin Seeholzer (, September 05, 2001.

Armin, Walter says that he does not use his 90mm much compared to his 72mm and 110mm. How can you say this is false? How do you know which lenses he uses?

-- Michael Feldman (, September 05, 2001.

Hey Guys,

Settle down, I use whichever lens is appropriate to the study I'm capturing ... and this often includes the 90mm.

However, I have always liked the 110mm/120mm view of the world where you can fit a bit more into the shot without the noticeable exageration of diminishing perspective one gets with shorter focal lengths.

At the other end of the scale (under discussion) the 72mm includes more in tight situations and its rendering of diminishing perspective is such that it can be utilised as a design element while having a greater image circle to play with than a 65mm.

For me, the 90mm sits in a position of being neither one style or the other.

Of course, for where they are essential I use 58mm & 47mm or, in particular circumstances the 35mm on 6x12.

Like the craftsman carpenter with a rack of various chisels, or the painter with a handful of brushes I just feel it is beneficial to use the right tool for the job. Having said that, there is also a lot to be said for the discipline of allowing yourself one focal length and finding the views that work with it.

Cheers ... WG

-- Walter Glover (, September 05, 2001.

Gentlemen, Thank you for all your comments. I've come to the conclusion that this lens will work well in architectural work, that I don't really need the use of a cf, and the step-up ring size doesn't seem to be a problem. Since I detect no project stopping problems, I'll go ahead and add this lens to my list. I see that there are some personal favorites other than the 110mm(90mm)and that's fine. My plan was to be able to do architectural work without going below the 110mm which would require the addition of a bag bellows,center filters,etc. for my Calumet Legend. With two sons in college, I kind of have to draw the line on toys! If you know what I mean. Many thanks for your comments.

-- rick obermeyer (, September 06, 2001.

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