Suggestions and Preferences for 4x5 Lenses : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I am new to Large format and I have been given some older Lenses to start up. I have not been able to test them because I am waiting for lens boards etc. I was wondering if I could ask for some "Suggestions and Preferences" with regard to lenses I have been given, their qualities and uses. All are in perfect working order, shutters clean and adjusted. I will be mainly taking Landscape Photos. Symmar 1:5.6/240 Symmar 1:5,6/ 135 (copal0), Angulon 1:6,8/120, Super Angulon1:8/121. as well as a shutterless Symmar-S5,6/180. Otherwise Compur Shutters. Regards Paul Mapstone

-- Paul mapstone (, March 05, 2002


Paul: Assuming that your LF is 4x5, you have a good selection of quality lenses. The Super Angulon is a newer and better lens than the Angulon. Symmars are good lenses. The 240 is a good portrait-medium telephoto on 4x5, the 120-121 is slightly wide, as is the 135. Normal for 4x5 is 150. The 180 is a long normal. I would get rid of the 120 because it is the same focal length as the 121 and not as good a lens with less coverage. My suggestion, for what it's worth, would be to trade the 120 in on a 90mm.


-- Doug Paramore (, March 05, 2002.

Hi Paul

I agree in almost every what Doug sayed but I`m not shure if the 121 Super Angulon is newer because I have a Super Angulon from 1956 So just look at the NO. on it the higher NO is the newer lens. And I would do a little tesing with booth and then you see wich is sharper etc. The Super has more coverage okay but the rest is to be tested!

Good luck!

-- Armin Seeholzer (, March 05, 2002.

Whether or not the Super Angulon is newer, given that it's in good condition, it's better.

-- neil poulsen (, March 06, 2002.

It doesn't make much sense to keep either the 120 or 121mm. They are both so close to the 135 to not make that much of a difference in practice (the same goes for the 180/240)
FWIW: I'd keep the 240 and the 135 - sell the rest and buy a 90mm. That would make a nice compliment of lenses, without wasted weight. Use whatever $ is left over for film.

-- Matt O. (, March 06, 2002.

Hi Paul,

I am also new to large Format. I wish I had friends like yours. As a few people have said, I too think that one of the 120-121 lenses should go. I would keep one of them because I like the perspective of 120 as well as 135. How do you find focussing the 121? Is f/8 too dark? If not it does have great coverage. I would test both of these lenses for sharpness. If you are happy with the sharpness of both (and are sticking to 4X5) I would sell the 121. You will get more for it than the 120: possibly enough to get a 90. Will the 240 cover 8X10? If it will I would keep it around in case you want to shoot 8X10 and contact print in the future? I personally would have no use for a 240 in 4X5. If you decide to sell any of the lenses e- mail me. I would be interested in any one of them. In good condition, they are all quality lenses.


-- Edward Kimball (, March 06, 2002.

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