150mm lens for 8x10 - Nikkor/Schneider ?

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I'm considering a 150mm lens for 8x10 (shooting color transparency and color neg), mostly landscape - for both full frame 8x10 and panoramic 4x10. I've seen some Nikkor 150mm SW f/8 lenses for sale or listed on eBay for prices a fair amount cheaper than the Schneider 150mm f5.6 XL lens. The specs on coverage for both lenses is similar, allowing for manufacturer's variation of advertising (Nikkor is listed around 400mm and the Schneider at 386mm). I would guess that the Schneider is the better all-around lens, but given the price differential (at least used) I was wondering if there is a major difference in performance between the two. Does anyone have experience with either (or both) lenses, as far as light falloff and sharpness towards the edges ? Thank you.

-- joe (joesans@aol.com), March 10, 2002


I have owned both a Rodenstock 155mm f/8 and the Schneider CL (which I currently own), and would strongly recommend the Schneider; from my experience, it actually has MORE coverage then the Rodenstock, wich is rated at 400mm!

As for charpness, the Schneider definatly has the edge, with less fall off (to my eye) and better resolution at the edges. More importantly, the f/5.6 is much easier to focus with, and the lighter lens just makes everyone happier. As for cost, I bought my XL used for less then I bought the 155 for - luck, but it could happen again. Unless you were in a real hurry, I'd hold out for a good buy on the XL. The 150 Nikkor is likely a great lens, but the 150 XL is bound to be better, and if you are patient, you should be able to get it for around the same price as the Nikkor.

-- Eric Boutilier-Brown (ericbb@evolvingbeauty.com), March 10, 2002.

Let your pocketbook be your guide. I shoot Nikkor almost exclusively for two reasons. 1) They are less expensive and 2) Any modern lens from any of the big four manufacturers (Schneider, Nikon, Rodenstock or Fuji) are simply marvelous and you would be hard pressed to find economic viability for the higher cost of one verses the other in the performance department. If I am not mistaken, the ability of the film to record detail is the weak link in this equation, not the lens. Most working photographers have lenses of multiple manufacturers in their bag that serve very specific purposes. The Fuji 450 C I have is much smaller than the Nikon 450mm M series in a Copal #3. Because they are both great lenses, compactness was the determinant criteria for me as they are both tack sharp. The 150 SW has great coverage and should serve you very well. Save your money for film holders (never can have to many) and film. Good Shooting.

-- Michael Kadillak (m.kadillak@attbi.net), March 10, 2002.

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