Schneider/Rodenstock/Caltar 90mm LF Lenses

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by ross_borgida, Nov 1, 2002.

  1. Hello

    Aftering shooting 35mm for the last few years, I have finally decided
    to enter the world of large format photography. I have recently
    purchased to the Toyo 45CF field camera and I am looking for a wide
    angle lens for architecture. I thought a great lens to start out
    with was a 90mm with an f/6.8 for image brightness when focusing my
    shots. Can someone please recommend which of the following lenses
    are worth purchasing for mostly exterior architecture and abstract

    New Schneider Super Angulon 90mm f/6.8
    Rodenstock Grandagon 90mm f/6.8
    Caltar II N 90mm f/6.8

    My budget for a lens is around 850-900 and I am looking at either new
    or used.

    Thank for your help,
  2. Well Ross for starters Both the Rodenstock and the Caltar are the same lens. New Caltars are all made by Rodenstock. Another lens that you might want to think about is the Nikon 90mm f/8. True it's a half a stop slower, but it has a bigger image circle and is a bit lighter. The Nikon has a image circle of 235mm, while the others are Rodenstock/Caltar 221mm and Schneider 216mm.
  3. The Rodenstock and the Caltar are really the same lenses! Both are made in the Rodenstock factory and are only branded different. (Caltar is the "home brand" for Calumet.) The Caltar is around $100 cheaper than the Rodenstock, else it should be the same. (I.e. $799 at Calumet. Badger graphic sells the Rodenstock for $875 and the Schneider for $825. I.e. they are all within your budget.)<br>
    As the new Schneider lens is indeed new, noone really knows anything about it, but given it's a Schneider lens you will not go wrong with it.<br>
    If you can find a used lens in nice condition, there is of course money to be saved there too.<br>
    The main factor is obviously the price, as any of the three given lenses are equal (and very good) performers. Buying used
    I, for one, cannot tell you which lens of these three to buy. But I'd be happy with either one.
  4. I like the Nikon lens that was mentioned. I can tell you that I've shot with it in conditions dark enough to require a 30 min exposure. Screen brightness wasn't a problem. The Silvestri tilting loupe is a help in these conditions. I'm sure the other lenses are fine. I'd base my decision on price and weight.
  5. I shoot a 90mm 6.8 Caltar(Rodenstock) II N in a recessed board on a Toyo 45D using a short rail. Wonderful lens, I reccomend it highly.
  6. Ross, IMHO you won't go wrong with any of the lenses mentioned! If you are happy to consider a used lens then simply go with whichever you happen to come across first - Schneider/Rodenstock(Caltar)/Nikon/Fuji - all will give great results. As long as you get a lens that is in good condition - preferably with a warranty from a dealer, then you'll be okay! If you decide to buy new then again, any new lens is going to be a great performer! Despite the lenses you mention having a maximum aperture of 6.8, you'll be hard pushed to see any real difference in image brightness on the screen than with an f8 lens (when it comes to actually using the lens in the field).
  7. Ross, there is very little difference between the brightness of an f6.8 and f8.0 lens, when you are composing and focusing on a ground glass. The Toyo 45CF does not include a built-in brightening screen. It does not have the strength capability to handle a huge, heavy 90mm wide angle lens on the front standard. It's designed to be a lightweight field camera. Get a lighter weight f8.0 90mm wide angle lens to match it. f8.0's are mounted in the smaller, lighter-weight Copal 0 shutters, take smaller filters, and are less expensive. Look at the selection of new, and used, Nikon and Fuji f8 90mm wide angle lenses at There is no need to spend $850, or more, on a f8 90mm wide angle lens. Now, if you really want to splurge, take a look at the Scnneider 110XL.
  8. Eugene, Unless I'm mistaken, all the current 90mm lenses come in a Copal 0 shutter, except for the Rodenstock/Caltar 90/4.5. Even the HUGE SA 90XL is listed with a Copal 0. But you are correct in that the f/8s are a bit lighter and like I said the Nikon 90/8 is not only light but has a image circle larger than any of the other f/6.8-8s.
    Good luck.
  9. Also as mentioned before used might save you a few $$$. But look around first. Very often if your talking currently made gear, used might be about the same price as new (sometimes even more). Case in point, a Nikon 90/8 at is only $30 less than new and Badger. Now the folks at mpex are great guys and I would recomend them, but for me for just a few dollars more I'd buy new.

  10. I respectfully disagree with eugene. I've used both the super ang 90/8 and the roden/caltar 90/6.8 (which is the one I now own). I found *quite* a noticeable difference in brightness. The 90/6.8 is a great lens, not too bulky for field work. I think I paid $699 if I recall for the 90/6.8 and have been quite happy.
  11. Ed, you are certainly correct about the Nikon f8 90SW. It's a great lens. I owned one for a number of years. However, as you know, I discovered Fuji lenses recently, became a Fuji enthusiast, and sold all of my Nikon lenses. When my new Toyo 45CF arrives, I have an set of six new Fuji lenses to use with it. They range from a 75 SWD (in a recessed lensboard) to a 300 Tele. All are mounted in Copal 0 shutters. The Fuji 210 CM-W and the 400 Tele are the only Fuji's I own that are mounted in Copal 1 shutters. I can also use the lenses mounted in Copal 0 shutters on my Toyo 45AII, but the Copal 1's are quite large and heavy to use with the 45CF. I talked to Jim, at Midwest a few minutes ago. He has ordered a Fuji 180A for me, also to use with the 45CF. It ,too is mounted in a Copal 0 shutter. By the way, the prices listed on the website are not hammered in bronze. If you talk to Jim on the phone (and only Jim), he will usually be able to quote a lower price. Paul I appreciate your comment. I usually work outdoors in sunlight, so I hardly notice a difference in brightness between my f8 and f9 lenses and my f5.6 lenses. In dimmer light, or indoors, it probably would be a lot more noticeable.

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