90mm/f8 Super Angulon -or- 80mm/f4.5 Super Symmar XL

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Thanks to you, I've made my decision - I'm going to get an Ebony RSW45 from Robert White. (Actually, Robert White is the ONLY place where you can purchase this particular model).

Robert White offers this as a package which includes a lens and board - either a 90mm/f8 Super Angulon, or an 80mm/f4.5 Super Symmar XL. The 80mm/f4.5 is more expensive, and I'm wondering if I should spend the extra $ and get that one, or if the 90mm/f8 will suffice for the intended landscape shots I'm planning on taking.

As always, any help you can provide me is most appreciated .....

-- Robert J. Fox (aa8yo@mediaone.net), November 17, 2001


I've used the 90mmf8 SA, and it's for landscape use - plan on purchasing a center filter if you're using transparency film even without movements. Focusing is not a problem in good lighting conditions, but at f8 you're going to have some focusing challenges at the edges in low light.

Unless you really need the extra 10mm or speed, I'd go with the 90SA.

-- Michael Mahoney (mmahoney@nfld.com), November 17, 2001.


I have just been through a similar selection process. My intention had always been to replace my 72mm and 90mm SA XL's with the new smaller Super Symmar XL 80mm 1:4.5. Once the other two lenses had sold I was all set to purchase when I was made aware of some serious shortcomings of the new 80mm.

There is a review of it in the UK magazine Outdoor Photographer by colour landscape shooter Joe Cornish. If you can obtain the magazine have a read.

Bottom line is that I went for a Rodenstock Grandagon-N 90mm 1:4.5. Yep, it's big but the results so far are staggering - possibly even more appealing than the previous lenses. Continue your enquiries long and hard before you decide.

As for the CF issue - with movements on full frame 4x5 you're likely to need with all lenses of this focal length. (I sense that that may open the CF can of worms again) but you won't know until you suck it and see!

Good luck ... WG

-- Walter Glover (walterg@netaus.net.au), November 18, 2001.

Have a look at the 110XL. Greta all round lens and always surprises me how wide the view actually is with this lens. I couldn't see any noticeable difference between looking through it and a 90XL!!

-- paul owen (paulowen_2000@yahoo.com), November 18, 2001.

A couple of points,

First do hvae a look at the 110 Super Symar XL. If you find that wide enough then consider it strongly. I t has beomce my 'standard' lens for scenics. OTOH, I use a 90 as well and use it quite often and I do not feel that one replaces the other.

On the subject of center filters I have to disagree with the prior posters. I find them necessary on wider lenses but not on the 90 mm. If you like I'd be happy to send you a full frame scan of a recetn shot using a Grandagon 90 mm without a center filter. No evident light falloff in the original chrome and none in the 16 x 20 prints.

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

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