To roll film, or not to roll film with 80XL : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have been looking at prints made from my MF planar 2.8 (645), and although I am no expert they are considerably better looking - more contrast, sharper, more detail, especially under the lupe, - than ones made off an APO Symar 150 with a roll film back (6x7), there is just no doubting in it.

I was thinking about putting a 80XL on my LF camera to shoot 6 x 7 with a more or less "normal" angle of view (135 on 45?) (plates are sooooo expensive), but looking at the results up to now I'm having second thoughts, any users out ther have any experience with this configuration?

-- adrian tyler (, March 01, 2002


yes all MF lenses seem sharper than the LF lenses. i shoot 6x9 with a fiji 690 and when i compare these to my 6x9 negs done with a linhof tk23 mostly the rangefinder is sharper. that said i am convinced one can attin similar results but it takes some exhaustive testing of lense.etc to find ones that are equal. i have been conducting these tests for some months and i will say that whatever is published data is not too relevant,hands on tests are the best way to go. i recently found an extremely sharp fuji 105 NW lens that rivals the rangefinder. also have an extremely sharp 150 apo sironar n but focusing is critical, and needs to be done with a good loupe. also i never use these lenses closed down further than f11 or f16,best results are at f8 or f11. ihave had some of the legendary lens (at least according to this forum) and found that they did not measure up for my needs. also, contrary to some opinion there are differences between similar lens from a manufacturer so test the specific lens you need. ok thanks a

-- robert (, March 01, 2002.

Hi Adrian

If your going to be shooting 6x7 via a roll back you might want to consider one of Schnieder's or Rodenstock's APO digital lenses. Some of them will cover 4x5 but most have image circles closer to 100mm. These lenses are very sharp and contrasty and are on par or better than many MF lenses. Take a look at the published MTF graphs and make up your own mind.


-- Jim Bancroft (, March 01, 2002.

The back plays a big part - don't expect to get tack sharp results with a Calumet, or any other back without a pressure plate.

-- Wayne DeWitt (, March 01, 2002.

sorry for the typo's in above-i was working too quickly!

-- robert (, March 01, 2002.

As stated earlier, there can be variablility from one specific lens to another ... especially older lenses. Having said that, I suspect there is even more variability from one LF system to another. I use a Fuji GW 690 II extensively and also both Phillips adn Horseman 4x5's. The Horseman I sometimes use with a Horseman 6x7 or 6x9 back. Generally speaking I find no difference in the contrast, sharpness, detail, etc. of chromes exposed via the 6x9 back on the Horseman FA and those exposed on the Fuji. However, I hve never bothered to do a side- by-side comparison. I generally use a 75 f5.6 SA, a 90 f6.8 Grandagon or 110 Super Symmar when I am using the 6x9 back. OTOH, I regularly check and maintain the alignment on my Horseman and see tht the backs ae in good repair. The backs I use are Horseman.

An earlier poseer already mentioned problems with the Calumet backs and that is even more likely with Graphic backs unless they have been worked on and tightened, etc. In fact, the back and the possibility that the rear standard, graflok back, etc. are not quite in alignment with the gg, etc. are a more likely source of problems than the lenses you are using (assuming you are using modern lenses similar to the 90mm on your Fuji.

-- Ted Harris (, March 01, 2002.

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