Symmar 150 / 265mm lens v. Xenotar 3.5 135mm lens : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have two 4x5 Linhof cameras and am going to sell one. For this reason I have two "normal" lenses: A Symmar 150 / 265mm lens and a Xenotar 3.5 135mm lens. Which should I keep? I normally shoot barns and scenery. Since those are all in daylight and I have the super screen I don't need the f 3.5 unless it is a better lens.

-- Robert Janke (, March 14, 2002


Response to Which lens should I keep?

My Technika Xenotar is one of the sharpest lenses I've ever used. I'd keep it.

-- Wilhelm (, March 14, 2002.

Response to Which lens should I keep?

Well Robert, it is really a personal decision. The lenses are close in focal lenth its true but perhaps more important, what kind of an image do these lenses create. Are there any differences in sharpness, tonality etc...??? If so, what do you like best...??? Its your decision that counts...

If photography is a way of self expression we must - each and every one of us - decide for ourselves what is best...Someone may prefer to shoot through a coke bottle - and get something that no one has seen before...etc...

What would I do...??? Probably keep both for awhile and see if I found a preference...

-- Per Volquartz (, March 14, 2002.

Hi Robert

If the Symmar is in good condition I would sell the Xenotar, because of more coverage of the Symmar and it should also be a tak sharper then the Xenotar.

Good luck.

-- Armin Seeholzer (, March 15, 2002.


I have a 135mm Planar f/3.5 and 150mm Symmar f/5.6. The Planar is the equivilant of your Xenotar. If you can only keep one than I would base the decision on the type of shooting that I do. If you use the camera hand held for straight shooting (w/o movements), than I would keep the Xenotar because it is faster and yields a slightly wider angle and depth of field. Use of movements will be very limited though. The Symmar offers a large image circle, so you could use of the movements on your Linhof and could still use the camera for hand held'll just be limited by 1 1/2 stops. Image quality is good with both lenses, so I doubt you would be disappointed either way (do some side by side shots with both lenses and decide for yourself which one you like better). Good luck.

Best regards,

J. P. Mose

-- J. P. Mose (, March 16, 2002.

Have you ever used, or can you conceive of ever using the 150/265 as a 265mm f:12? If so, that should be taken into concideration. I have both a Planar 135mm and a Symmar 150/265mm, but that's mostly because I bought my camera (with lenses) a few months ago and haven't really got around to playing with it yet...

-- Ole Tjugen (, March 22, 2002.

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