Which lens is better: Fujinon 65mm or Schneider 65mm?

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by norton_willingham, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. The lenses on this web site: http://www.nine-volt.com/auctions.php?ebid=15247&name=5x7+%26amp%3B+Smaller
    Which is better the Schneider 65mm or the Fujinon 65mm?
  2. Both are equally good - among the major LF lens manufacturers there is hardly any difference in quality. Color rendition and contrast might be slightly different, but it would be hard to tell. If it were me, I'd get the Fuji, but only because I have two other Fuji lenses and I really like them.
  3. Yes, color rendition and contrast is the main difference. The SA is more contrasty and punchier, but the Fujinon is less contrasty, very slightly less sharp, but more saturated. Though I own the Schneider 65 SA, I have considered switching to the Nikkor after shooting with a colleague's lens. It is the best of both worlds IMO.
  4. From personal experience the f8 version of the 65mm Schneider SA will barely cover 4x5 unless stopped down to about f22. And even then
    you won't have much movement with the f8 version of this lens with the 4x5 format. For roll film formats, like 6x7 or 6x9, it should be a great choice. For
    the 4x5 format the f5.6 version of the Schneider 65mm SA would be a much better choice. I don't have any experience with the Fuji 65mm f8 SW.
  5. Sergio, that is one of the things I like about the Nikkor (and maybe true of the Fuji too): the coverage. I do have a shot of two barns in my portfolio. It was taken with a 65mm f/8 (Linhof version) Schneider Super Angulon on Ektachrome. You can see it does cover 4x5, but just barely. I find f/16 is the magic f-stop for me. Anything less will give you pretty awful vignetting. Anything smaller starts to degrade sharpness. I thought about getting a center filter, but it would just add to the problem. I use it on my Crown Graphic all the time.
    Another thing that I might add about this lens is that the lines are amazingly straight. I don't know how the other lenses are, but I never see rounded lines from it. I'll try to dig up an example and post it. (maybe it's more than you want to know<g>)
  6. " a center filter, but it would just add to the problem. "
    How? The center filter reduces vignetting. It doesn't increase it. But for it to work you need to add about 1.5x exposure and stop your lens down at least 2 stops. That would be f16 on your lens.
  7. I have a Fuji SWD 65mm F5.6. Its a fantastic lens with enough coverage for 4x5.
    I can even use it on my Crown graphic with the drop bed and a few minimal movements.
    The vignetting isnt bad at all and distortions are minimal to my eye.
    I wouldn't trade that lens for anything, well maybe a 210mm for my 12x20 Korona!
    Anyway, i would get the SWD F5.6 version if you can, F8 is hard to focus with especially with a lens that wide.
    I have a SA 90mm F8 that i never use because its to hard to focus with.
  8. Bob, because putting a filter on the lens causes more vignetting. It's a very small lens. When I've put filters on it, I get more vignetting. I usually hand-hold a much larger filter in front of the lens when I shoot B&W with it. But if someone sent me one of those slick Heliopan center filters, maybe I would have a different experience.
    It would be cool to see a comparison between the Schneider, Fuji, Nikkor, and Rodenstock 65mm lenses in f/8, 5.6/4. The problem with these questions of which LF lens is better?, is that few have had enough exposure to them.
  9. Michael, A graduated Center Filter has a much larger front diameter then the rear thread. That is specifically because lens manufacturers made their center filters for their wide angle lenses so they can not vignette when the proper center filter is used on the lens. We supply lenses as short as 23mm for view type cameras as well as center filters and there is never a problem with vignetting.
    As to lens comparisons go to the manufacturer's web sites and download the MTF curves for the lenses that you are interested in. Then compare them. Just make sure you note how wide the curve represents. I posted the web address for the new Rodenstock web site here a couple of days ago. Nikon does not make large format lenses anymore so you may have a more difficult time finding their curves.
  10. Bob, I'll have to check out the Heliopan CFs then. Are they lens specific or approximate, but filter size?
    That's odd, nobody sent me the memo about Nikon leaving the LF market. How did that slip by me? <g>
    Out of curiosity, do you know offhand what is the widest lens Rodenstock makes, to cover 4x5?
  11. The Heliopans will work on any wa lens that they screw into except for the Apo Grandagon series.
    55 covers and allows movements. 45 just covers but no movements possible, 35mm, 28mm and 23mm will not cover.
  12. A center filter is to cure falloff, not vignetting. The plots of "how many stops darker" vs. "how many degrees off center" look
    very, very different for these two phenomena. That said, falloff is just going to make the vignetting look worse, and a center
    ND is always a good idea for something this wide.
    Every center ND I've ever seen is designed so as to not add vignetting, at least when used on the lens it's designed for.
    Schneider and Fuji may be roughly comparable within similar generations, but there are some really ancient SA's out there;
    the eldest Fuji's are considerably younger. It's fairly likely that a recent Fuji will beat a 50's SA (and vice versa).
  13. "Every center ND I've ever seen is designed so as to not add vignetting,"
    That is true for most, however there is a Japanese center filter that is not made that way and is the same size front and back. That one can easily vignette with a LF WA lens.
  14. If I would consider a 65 mm lens it would be the f 4 Nikkor 65mm and not anything else!
    Sometimes its important to get the best compromise!
    Cheers Armin
  15. "A center filter is to cure falloff, not vignetting."

    The odd riddle is that falloff in a lens can be by vignetting INSIDE of the lens; ie the lenses design.

    Vignetting is purposely added to a lens design in many cases to truncate the rogue ill pesky off axis rays.
    Its an optical design tradeoff.
    One purposely drops the off axis illumination a tad and gains alot better off axis sharpness.
    One does this with fooling around with the diameters of each and every bloody element in the lens design; plus the iris location; plus the internal features of every part of the lens barrels. One does gobs of ray traces and tweaks the design.
    If the design was for something where one may want more off axis illumination;and the balls to the wall sharpness is not as important; one could have less internal vigneting.This might be a fast security camera lens for a monitor; or a cellphone cam; or door peep hole viewer.

    Light naturally is less off axis even with a pinhole; the off axis distance from the hole to the film increases. Also the round pinhole is now an oval; when it is viewed off axis at the film plane. One has a double wammy; a longer path; plus a smaller hole since it is oval shaped. My be the cosine and some powers!
  16. the center filters eats light, but are well worth the small fortune they cost.
  17. i have been using Schnieder 65mm and wish to share some experience for you. Mostly i use f11 and i don't think lens vignetting is a problem. The headache is that if i use 6x12 film back, the edge performance drops significantly. In addition, you cannot screw on a CPL in it cause it will show serious dark corner for 4x5 film. i have to use my hand to put a 77mm CPL in front of the lens carefully not to cause shaking to the setup, because setup ring still cannot solve the problem. in future if you wish to go for 6x17mm, this lens coverage is not sufficient. Also, it's barely be able to focus properly looking from the ground grass even with fresnel lens on it. In view of all the above, i may suggest an alternative solution of 72mm XL.

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