Which 135 mm lens: Apo-Sironar S f5.6, Xenotar f3.5 or Xenar?

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by pietro_chelli|1, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. Hello everyone!

    i am writing this post, because I am in the process of deciding what 135 trying
    to find/purchase.

    More than technical differences (like the best coating/resolution/coverage) etc.
    it would be very especially nice to hear comments on the "feel" of these lenses.

    Also, if someone has images that they took with these lenses, that would be
    beautiful to see, especially portraits or environmental portraits, but also
    everything else that could give me an idea of the lens peculiarity.

    Thanks to everyone and Kind Regards

  2. Stop 'em down to f:22 and I doubt that you can tell the difference.
  3. Um, how about coverage? Pietro, why are you so intent on the wrong thing, not on what really matters? And why don't you tell us what format you're shooting, your budget, and what you're trying to accomplish?
  4. Optically, the Apo-Sironar is the by far the "best," but it you need the speed of the Xenotar (for, say, hand-held shots of a Crown Graphic), then the Xenotar is the "best." Of course, you may have to offer your first-born to get a good Xenotar 135 these days. The Xenar is probably a distant third in any measure -- unless, of course, you're planning to shoot landscapes tripod-mounted at f22 or so, then defraction will make them all the same (as Bill already mentioned).

    So, in summary, it all depends ;-)
  5. You forgot Fujinon W's, Symmar-S and Componon's (if you do tabletop or close up/detail work). Bill's correct, at f22, you'd likely be unable to tell the difference.

  6. Rodenstock S
  7. Ok. I obviously write in a very poor english these days.

    What I really ment, and what I would like to hear, is not quality comparisons on the lens performances, but personal views on the "feel" of the images produced by those (and other ones maybe) lenses.

    I am, indeed concerned on what really matters, and not at all on the lens coverage. I would like to understand, if for example, a Xenotar is a softer lens particularly nice for portraits. Or if one of these lenses renders better in black and white than in colour, because of its way to reproduce colour contrast.

    By the way I shoot environmental portraits.

    Thanks for everyone responses in any case. There is always something new to learn!

    Ciao pietro
  8. Pietro, you should add the 150 APO Lanthar to your list. Or even the more common f4.5 Heliar. Excellent in the "feel" department. A Sironar S is one of the sharpest lenses on earth but may be clinical for your tastes.
  9. It really would be great to see some images taken with these lenses.
    I am really curious to see images taken with the Xenotar 3.5-
    Thank to all for your contributions.
  10. Apo Sironar is 70 degree coverage, superb color, fine lens, good close focus.

    Xenotars were truly excelent high speed lenses, about 56 degrees coverage, technically not as good in color (but most observers could not tell that) but a lens that I have valued over the years for press cameras.

    Xenar, 4 element tessar type, 56 degrees coverage, sure that you can test it before you buy it, quality is sometimes variable.


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