Schneider super symmar 210mmf5.6 on 4x5 camera

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by joe_chiu|1, Sep 26, 2002.

  1. Hi.I am aLeica and Rollei user from Hong Kong,and is a new commer in
    LF camera. Landscapes is my main interest,and wide angle lenes are my
    most frequently used lenes. I'm quite interested in the Schneider
    Super symmar XL lenes. But I don't understand why different focal
    length eg,80mm, 110mm, 210mm, can have same angle of coverage ie.105
    degrees. And can the 210mm lenes be used on my 4x5 field camera ,like
    the Toyo? Thanks very much . From Joe.
  2. Joe, - I think you are thinking in terms of 35mm cameras where the 'angle of view' is related to the focal length. eg In 35mm terms a standard 50mm lens gives about 46 degrees angle of view.

    Each type of Large format lens has an 'angle of coverage' eg Super Symmar XL = 105 degrees, standard symmars are about 72 degrees, and Tessars and Xenars about 60 degrees.

    To take your Super Symmar XL example this lens will cover 8x10 with room for movements and be a wide angle lens equivalent to around 28mm (in 35mm-speak) but on 4x5 you would get much more available movement and it would be a longish standard lens equivalent to around 70mm.

    I think pretty nearly all LF cameras could cope with 210mm without any trouble but I expect others will be able to confirm specifically for the Toyo.
  3. Welcome to LF, first of all.

    Angle of coverage refers to the cone of light that is projected rearward by a lens toward the film. It has nothing to do with the angle of view or angle of acceptance which pertains to how much of the scene you will see on the ground glass. That angle is calculated based on what happens in front of the lens. The angle of coverage specification is sometimes suplemented with the image circle which is the diameter of the aforementioned cone of light at the film plane when the lens is focused at infinity at some specific aperture. Those conditions are often stated differently for different types of lenses. For instance, a graphic arts lens that was designed for close up work might have an image circle of a given dimension when the lens is set up for 1:1 reproduction. You can pretty much use any type of LF lens on any camera so long as the following criteria are met.

    l. The bellows must extend far enough to allow the lens to be focused at the closest working distance you intend to be at. this is often referred to as bellow draw.

    2. The lens must have an image circle (or angle of coverage) that enables the image to fill the film area completely, plus allow for any movements you might require in your type of shooting. For example, if you do architectural work, you may require lots of rise to be used to correct for foreshortening of tall buildings.

    3. The lens and its shutter must physically fit into the lens board and front standard opening so you can attach it properly to the camera.

    That said, a "normal" lens for a 4x5 is about 150mm. For an 8x10 that would be 300mm. For 5x7, 210 might be considered normal. these focal lengths never change, so if you work in multiple formats, as long as you have sufficient coverage, a normal 300mm lens for your 8x10 could become a long lens for your 4x5.

    Hope this helps and I hope you enjpy LF as much as the rest of us do.
  4. A good rule-of-thumb is that 4x5 lenses are roughly 3x the length of their 35mm counterparts.

    Thus, a "normal" lens for 4x5 is 150mm, equivalent to a 50mm lens on a 35mm camera. Some people like to use a 135 for this same purpose.
  5. Just to add. While the Schneider Super symmar XL 210 could be used for 4 x 5 and is a very good lens. It's a very large, very very heavy and really overkill for 4 x 5. It's better suited as a wide angle for 8 x 10. There are other lens what would be better for 4 x 5.
  6. Joe, a 210 Super Symmar XL will certainly be usable on your Toyo field, but (unless you already own one) I cannot see the interest of such a lens. A regular plasmat type 210 is largely enough for 4x5 and so more for the Toyo field and its limited movements.
  7. and really overkill for 4 x 5.
    Why? I want to know. I'm not being sarcastic.
  8. "..and really overkill for 4 x 5." - "Why?"
    Because the 210mm Super Symmar XL has an image circle of 500mm diameter! That's why.
    I don't think there's a 5x4 camera made that allows that much movement on the front and rear standards combined. The long side of 5x4 is only 120mm, so you could shift the film by almost its length again, up or down, and stay within the image circle of the lens. Just nobody needs that amount of lens shift. And besides, an excessive image circle does nothing for the contrast of your pictures, because all that extra light bounces around inside the camera, causing flare.
  9. The Super Symmar XL lens is indeed a very fine lens, but the reason for it being overkill for (normal) 4X5 is its sheer bulk and weight. It has lots of movement, but the question is whether you have use for that much movement.
    Using an LF camera takes a lot of things, apart from the camera and the lens, to carry around. A sturdy tripod, a light meter, film holders etc. Last but not least, filters. The filters are huge and very expensive. Good but huge lenses will more or less brake your back when trying to use the equipment in the field. LF field photography is cumbersome. If anyone tells you anything else they are not really looking at facts. After carrying the equipment around for a day you will regret every single gramme that you carried around without having any use for it. And a tired photographer is not a good photographer.
    For 4X5 work a normal plasmat will do nicely. (E.g. a Symmar S or similar.) An, in my opiníon, even better suggestion would be e.g. the Nikon M 200 lens. It's a very small lens (180 grammes.) with ample coverage for 4X5. It's very sharp. (I'd say it's at par with the Super Symmar.) It's quite cheap. (At least compared to the Super Symmar.) It also takes small filters (52mm).
    Ok, the Nikon lens may not look as impressive as the Super Symmar, but you are much more probable to bring it along with you (and save a lot of money in the process). Your final prints/transparenies will look just as great with any of the lenses mentioned.
  10. As noted above, the SS 210 XL lens has a huge image circle (quite a bit bigger than the advertised 500 mm), of which you would utilize less than half on a 4X5 camera. It is also by far the largest and heaviest lens I own, and I would not be at all confident about most 4X5 systems being able to support and fit such a lens, though I have no experience with the Toyo. It would weigh nearly as much as your camera, and is not an easy lens to carry around. For perspective, I used to use it as a mod WA on 8X10, and now use it as an extreme WA on 12X20, which it covers beatifully at f45, though I have not tried it at infinity. The Nikon 210 is a nice, sharp and comparatively light choice at this focal length and is what I use for 4X5.

    N Congdon
  11. To give you an idea of the diffences in weight, the Schneider Super Symmar XL 210mm is 2002g (4.41 lbs). The other plasmats are 440-505g. So your talking about a lens that is 4 times as heavy. Not to mention the huge 100mm filters it takes. The little Nikon M that was brought up weighs in at a light 180g. Another nice lens that I just bought, that's slightly longer is the Fuji 240 A. It weighs 225g and is the longest lens made with the small Copal 0 shutter. Hope this helps.

  12. I would like to add to Pete Andrews earlier posts about the
    mechanical difficulty of utilising the 500mm diameter image
    circle. Bellows vignetting is bound to restrict access to the full
    image circle at just 210mm flange focal distance. Flexibility
    would doubtless be a problem also. Using a 4x5 adapter back
    on an 8x10 may allow such movement - but would you want it?
    Taking the 20º rise and fall rule of thumb into account the image
    suffers wierd geometric side-effects when too much rise or fall is
    employed. The optical illusion of the convergence becoming
    divergence and the excessive elongation of certain forms would
    make this a special effect rather than an everyday tool.

  13. I see now Pete, thanks.
  14. A 210 mm lens might be too large for you to leave on the camera when folding it up, whereas the camera might have room to accomodate something smaller, say a 135 or 150.

    A matter of convenience really, and probably a secondary consideration, but it is nice not to have to fuss with fitting the lens (and perhaps getting it dusty) when setting up in the field.
  15. I will second Björn opinion about the 200 M Nikkor because this is what I have been using on my Toyo 45AII for years. The 200M coverage does not limit the movement capacities of the Toyo. On the other hand Ed Balko suggestion about leaving a lens on the Toyo when folding it does'nt work : The Toyo cannot be folded with a lens attached even backwards, at least it did'nt with the smallest ones I tried : 105, 135 & 200 Nikkors.
  16. Last week I shot a SS 210 XL on a friends Canham 7x17. The lens is a
    monster, (so was the camera, just look at my bruised shoulder from carrying
    it). The lens is so heavy that the Canham front standard would creep and tilt
    down. I guess one could classify it as auto DOF compensation.


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