120mm lenses for 4x5

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It seems that often a 110XL is a bit too wide, while a 135mm is usually not wide enough, thus a 120mm seems just about right. Trouble is, I don't see any relatively small F5.6 120s with decent coverage. Schneider used to make a 120 super symmar HM but I think it's discountinued. This leaves the Schneider apo symmar, and the Fuji 125, with it's 204mm coverage.

Anybody have an idea on what the 120 apo symmar covers and opinions on this lens? Ditto the Fuji?



-- (hyperfocal@attbi.com), February 01, 2002



I have used the 120 Apo-Symmar on 4x5. Schneider gives the image circle as 179mm, but that's conservative, I would guess it is closer to 190mm, but that may also be sample dependent. The Fuji 125mm has a 204mm image circle, not quite the 211 of the Apo-Symmar HM, but still larger than the Apo-Symmar. Given the sharpness of the 110mm XL, and assuming the issue isn't cost or weight, just crop off some!

-- Glenn C. Kroeger (gkroeger@trinity.edu), February 01, 2002.

Hyper: I'd agree the image circle published numbers on the 120 mm Schneider APO are conservative. At least for landscapes, I've never run out of room on a Zone VI camera with it and it's performance is excellent.

-- Kevin Crisp (KRCrisp@aol.com), February 01, 2002.

I see that Wisner is offering a 120mm Wide Field Gauss lens. Looks like it is being sold only as part of the 4x5 Flight camera package. Has anyone here used this lens? Could it be a Wisner selected 120 Congo? Could be a nice compact 4x5 120mm if it performs OK and they begin to offer it separately.

-- Chuck Pere (jcpere@aol.com), February 01, 2002.

I use the Fuji 125mm on my Sinar for architectural work and a 120mm f6.3 Osaka (Congo)for my Wista SP field kit. Both are sharp and small. The image circle of the Osaka is listed as 220mm. One thing to bear in mind about image circles is that they are given at infinity. You will almost always focus short of infinity to maximize depth of field, which will result in a larger image circle. I think the 120mm super symmar is probably the sharpest of all of these lenses- sorry to hear that it may be discontinued. You can find them on Ebay occasionally.

-- David Rose (DERose1@msn.com), February 01, 2002.

I'm an admitted lens junkie and I still can't believe anybody could justify a 10mm spread. Tell me again you're going to look through the 110 (wish I had one) and say to yourself Hmm it's a bit too wide. Think I'll put the 120 on and have a look.

-- Jim Galli (jimgalli@lnett.com), February 01, 2002.

Of course, there's the venerable 120mm f6.8 Schneider Angulon. I had one of these lenses, and it seemed kind of soft to me.

The Wisner sounds very interesting; I've seen this lens on his webpage. As a double-gause, it should be very sharp. One fault of the double-gauss is that the 8 air to glass surfaces can lead to flare. However, if this lens is multicoated, that may help to control light.

While a little large, I have a 121mm Super Angulon that I like. You can find them on EBay occasionally, and they can be pretty reasonable in prices.

-- neil poulsen (neil.fg@att.net), February 01, 2002.

I just bought a like-new 120mm Schneider Super-Symmar 5.6 off eBay for $450, after having the same complaints that you did. When reading McGrath's book on architectural photography, I became convinced 120mm was the answer. And it is. The lens is about 3" long and 2" wide, with a 67mm filter mount. It came with a Copal No. 0 shutter. With this one and a 90mm, most building shots are covered. I'd wait for this one to come up again.


-- Chris Engholm (chris@engholmgroup.com), February 03, 2002.

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