Upgrade from black 90mm f8 Super Angulon

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Looking for a significant sharpness improvement from my single coated 90mm that is approximately 20 years old. Mounted on a field camera, I don't want the extra weight of a f5.6. If modern wide angle lens's offer only a slight gain, I will keep it and be happy. Shooting Velvia and examining with 10X loup.

Thanks much, Howard

-- howard henrickson (howieh@earthlink.net), October 19, 2001


I also upgraded from the Super Angulon 90, and chose a Rodenstock Grandigon-N, 4.5! It is an incredible lens by professional standards and I am delighted with it. Optical test confirm the Grandagons-N's performance. Richard Boulware - Denver.

-- Richard Boulware (boulware-den@att.net), October 19, 2001.


Depends o what you mean by 'significant.' Also depends on what lens you have right now. Improvements in shrapness adn resplution are due to a number of things. Strictly limiting them to the lens the design as well as the coating are important. The addition of multicoating will definitely reduce reflection/flare and color saturation too in most cases.

Now teh tricky part. If you are comparing a late version single coated Super Angulon 90 mm f8 v the current multicotaed version the difference you will see will depend on the type of shooting you do, whetehr or not you use/can use a lens shade and otehr factors. There may be very little difference and there may be a lot. If on the other hand you are comparing a current model Super Angulon 90 mm f8 to a single coated f8/f9 90 mm 'apo crapogon' you will see much more difference. Thus, to gie you na educated answer we need to know what lens you rae talking about. For comparison purposes I eitehr use or have used both a 75 mm and a 90 mm single coated Fujinon f8 SW and found both to be excellent performers that did not suffer from tehir lack of multicoating.

Gie us some more details and we can be of more help ...


-- Ted Harris (slberfuchs@aol.com), October 19, 2001.

howard, there are many more qualified than me to answer your question, but my impression from reading the archives here, and from other forums and sites is that you're not likely to see much if any improvement in sharpness by changing to a newer lens. your lens is really not that old, and the SC is fine if you're not shooting into the sun, and if you take some precautions as to lens shading during exposure. so " significant sharpness improvement " is not likely to come via a new lens - some more knowledgeable members of this site could answer for sure, but I don't think the SA lens design has changed in the past two decades.

-- Michael Mahoney (mmahoney@nfld.com), October 19, 2001.

One final comment on the old 90mm vs. the new breed of 90mm. Yes, it does really depend on what kind of performance you desire. My tests, as a professional, are to place a grey scale at 1000' and photograph it at infinity. Using a 30X binocular microscope viewing the original negative,... viewing the ability of a lens to separate individual steps in the gray scale at this distance. ( I use a rolling measuring wheel to accurize the distance target.) This is what I personally refer too, as "Micro Contrast'. i.e. the ability of a lens to separate gray scale steps at a great distance. Although my 90mm f-8 Linhof could produce a sharp image at that distance, it could not separate the grey values at that great distance. The newer technology Grandagon came much closer to producing the true gray scale at that distance, by far, than the older technology. Perhaps it depends on... if the owner/photographer of the lens wants to produce 16 X 20" prints with a gray scale or a 40 X 60" print with a viewable gray scale. It depends upon your needs. Occasionally my clients need BIG blow-ups. Multi coated lenses have much more to do than situations than shooting into the sun. They have the capability of separating gray scales values on the micro contrast scale...at great distance, and great maginification. Perhaps it depends on your personal needs, and if you feel the need to pay the additional $$$ for this kind of performance. Since my professional reputation depends on quality imagery, I opt to go for the maximum performance. My business depends upon quality imagery. Sometime it costs a few extra bucks...but I'm not going to gamble my professional reputation on it...if a better, albeit more expensive option, is abailable to me.

-- Richard Boulware (boulware-den@att.net), October 19, 2001.

How big is this greyscale Richard?
With a 90mm lens at 1000ft, a target a foot high would be only 3.5 thou on film!

-- Pete Andrews (p.l.andrews@bham.ac.uk), October 22, 2001.

Thanks for all the advice. As I suspected, differences would be small, and I should spend the money on upgrades to the 135mm and 210 Symmar convertable's to the APO's or at least the S series. I assume that at f16 and f22 there would be a performance increase, but prehaps not much in diffraction at f32 and f45. I appreciate your thoughts.


-- Howard Henrickson (howieh@earthlink.net), October 23, 2001.

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