I can't speak to the 28HR but I would agree that the 23HR is a fussy lens to work with if only because of it's propensity to centre hot spots in any kind of flare conditions.
Alternate look, for budget and small size:
35XL, 55 Apo Sironar (although the 60 Schneider would be next in line), Rodie 90 HRW (now discontinued, but a fine lens), and a 150. A bit more spacing, a bit less current and a bunch less cost. Only up to the 60 mp back, tho.
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Feel free if you are in London, ON anytime to drop by. You can hands-on demo 23/32/40HR and 60/120XL along with the Arca and all the bits that go with it. Still waiting for the 90HR-SW, but could be a while, apparently there was a recall on that lens by Rodenstock.
I think it is more than just focal length. Each of these lenses has their quirks and charms. As an all-rounder, I think the 40HR or 60XL are very good. The 32HR is massive, and the 23HR highly specialized. The new 120SK is also very good, but again a specialized FL. I don't have the 43XL, but have played with it. It is also a very nice lens and much smaller than the Rodie, although I prefer the Rodie for its size, especially when when using gloves.
Gazwas also has a Arca/43XL for sale in the B&S which would be great kit.
Ok, imagine I drop my "requirement" to future proof my lenses , and go with a line-up that works on an IQ160, but doesn't on an IQ180 (basically all wide Schneiders).
Do I still lose something on the IQ160 ? I mean maybe the lenses correct well with LCC on an IQ160, but still require an LCC. Whereas an IQ180-compatible lens would allow me to work without LCCs on an IQ160. That would be a plus from the workflow point of view.
I just assume that the color casts already exist on an IQ160, and they become uncorrectable on an IQ180. And that the color cast problem is "solved" (if you work without movements) with a Rodenstock retrofocus design, hence making the lens IQ180 compatible, and possibly LCC free on an IQ160.
Is this true, or am I pretty much going to have to do an LCC anyway, and on an IQ160, the Rodenstocks do not bring that much ?
Thanks so much for your input !
LCC only takes a few seconds, I find it mandatory on all of my lenses regardless of having a center filter or not. I even do an LCC on my 210mm Schneider mounted on my Arca R3MDI. I use a Hasselblad H4D50 back.
I just finished an Alpa demo of the Rodi 28mm on an IQ180 and found that it was exceptional across the whole field. Almost as good as the Rodi 40mm that I own. In Landscape orientation, I was able to shift the lens +/- 8mm before hard vignetting began in the corners. For smaller displacements, color shifts and falloff were easily neutralized with an LCC. I certainly wouldn't rule it out, although I just about passed out when told the price!
If you stick at 60mp then the schneider a with the exception of the 24XL all become viable and great cheaper options. The rodies definitely have some advantages as you go larger MP and they are even wickedly sharper than the merely wickedly sharp schneiders. You pay for with size, weight and cost though.
OMG how have I not seen this post!
First there's a lot of good information/suggestions posted here. The very best is from Ed where he suggests don't buy anything before a demo in your hands. I might add the word "full" demo. By that I suggest you get a chance to really try the complete kit out, kick the tires do a road test and see if its for you. Will it provide you with everything you want/need/demand it to do. Can you get adequate shifts with the lens, also look at the rise/fall of both the body and lens.
I don't have a 180 however I've used a P45+, P65 and now a IQ160 on the same camera for many years. I've experienced the 35, 72 and 120 all Schneider's and used them with great success and only recently replaced the 35 with a Rodi 40 T/S and like it a lot.
Regarding the 120... I've used a Schneider short barrel 120 for many many years and while it can be a PIA to put on (remove the back then insert the spacer and replace the back) it has a huge image circle which is large enough for me to shift almost to the stops and stil get a great file.
I firmly believe that lens choice in landscape is a very personal thing. As stated above I've been using lenses from 35 to 120 with great success. The lens I decide on is based on the particular location and what I'm seeing/feeling at the time so I have a hard time suggesting a particular focal length to use. If I were beginning with a one lens wonder then I'd suggest 40 to begin with then work your way up towards either 120 or 150. You can of course always go wider however again based on my own person experience/preference I use nothing wider than a 40 (which when used to shift can be much wider).
Come down to Carmel when Ken, Dave G. and I are there doing a get-together and there shouldn't be a lens left out of the bunch to try.
Good luck and welcome to the wonderful world of tech cameras....
If you are matching lenses for a 60mp back, then both the 28XL and 35XL are great options. You just need to know their limitations and shoot accordingly.
On the Credo 60 both are pinsharp across the frame zeroed. Solid file with 10mm/8mm movement for the 35XL and 8mm/6mm for the 28XL - that's where I draw the line. LCC needed for both. Centrefilter needed for both.
Both not usable at all with 80mp back so if that is the path then they are not an option. The 35XL are quite common on the second hand market at decent prices but I have read that quite a few have needed to get them calibrated. I know I had to calibrate mine at Schneider, but o my, what a difference! Couldn't be happier with it. Just saying if you find a used one and not happy from square one...
The SK 72L is a candidate to my 'all-time-favorite-lens'. I find it extraordinary in all respects. Yes, it is true that if I started from scratch I would opt for the new 60XL with its enormous image circle and excellent formula, but my trusty 72 actually beats it in one regard - it is much better should you need it for macro work. In fact, the 72 is a marvel and maybe the best allround lens you could find. Nice and light is a bonus.
Longer Schneiders are all great and I cannot recall I have read anywhere anybody not liking them. They just do their job!
For me, I have found that the older I get (I'm not that old but....) I tend to pack lighter and lighter for hiking. Nowadays I am perfectly happy with my SWA, the 28XL (or 35XL) and the 72L and stop there! That did not happen a couple of years ago...thinking all the time that if I didn't have everything I own with me, then I would miss thousands of images! That simply isn't the case. In fact, with a comfortable and ultralight backpack you stay fresh and happier longer and much more alert for compositions all around you.
There is always the option to start out with one or two lenses in a tech setup to get used to the workflow and grow to have a mindset of looking for framing the two focal lengths you have. Promise there are images everywhere even with fewer lenses
And, once again, they new 90mm Rodenstock/Alpagon is the single sharpest corner to corner lens I have ever used. Simply in a whole other ball park to the old 90mm, and every other lens of this length.
my 4 would be: 40 (or 32), 60, 90, 120.
US Representative, Arca-Swiss International
R-Line Technical Cameras, Large Format View Cameras, Ballheads D4, D4m, P1, P0, Z1, Z2, C1 Cube.
This is really helpful, thanks !
Is there any major difference between the 60mm XL and the 50mm HR ? I may want to try flat stitching at some point, and I get the impression the 60mm HR is the king of flat stitching...
Any other major differences (except 10mm in focal length) between the two ?
For the moment, I am still tending towards 32mm HR, 50 mm HR (or 60mm XL), 90mm HR, and then either a 120mm (Schneider) or perhaps even a 150mm, but perhaps a bit later.
Is it correct to say that longer lenses (from 120mm upwards ?) are trickier to use on a tech cam than the wider angles (simply due to their physical length) ?
Yes just like normal shooting . The spacer is the same on 120 and 150 but the lens is longer on the 150.
I can't speak for the 50 HR but the SK 60 is a laser. Loved that lens. Lot if folks bought it after I did. There happy campers. Lol
I guess when I start getting that wide, I feel like I need to stitch to preserve the detail, and stitching with the 40 and 70 rodie really works well.
I'm going to sell or trade the 23HR so I can try the 28.
I liked using the 23 but if I bought back in I would buy the 28
I own a Cambo WRS and it seems to work well for me. That said, I've had 4-lenes in the 5-years I've used the WRS. I started with a 28 which at the time was just too wide to do any movements (using a P45+) and sold it. I bought a 35, 72 and 120 the same time I bought the WRS and have used all three successfully with movements. I quickly learned each lens was capable of slightly more movements, starting with the 35 and ending with the 120 which I found could take the largest amount. I used this 3-lens combo until just this year when I switch the 35 for a Rodi 4 with tilt/swing.
Reading the original question I see Bill is interested in landscape work (which is the majority of what I do) and more interested in tilt than shift. I've been using shift for the past 5-years to achieve some rather good files that depending of the location/lens used looks good 30x40 or 30x60. Just my personal experience.
Regarding Schneider and Rodenstock. I'm not about to regurgitate the 7o answers found here.
Here's my take on the 3-ranges asked about.
45-55 range, normally I wouldn't answer since I don't have personal experience however having the Rodi 40 and since it's close enough I will. Can't say how pleased I am with this lens. I upgraded from the SK 35 with an eye to future back upgrade (either a 180 or 280). I've found lens cast not to be an issue as well as a large enough image circle to suit my needs. While I don't normally need to run an LCC I do so because I'm used to doing it and it doesn't take that much time. I very strongly suggest looking at this lens.
75-90 range, again I'm just outside of this with a SK 72. This has a great image circle for my needs and just about lives on the camera. I haven't sent it in yet however it will be going in soon to have the tilt/swing lens plate added. I'd have to say that slightly over 50% of my landscape is with this lens.
150mm range. Again I'm slightly off the mark here having a SK 120 short barrel. The really good news is the image circle is huge with this lens and from what I've heard is similar to the 150. The bad news is that it it a royal PIA to; you have to remove the back and place before using the spacer then reinsert the back. The lens front works like any other and is quick to attach. I'll confess that I've given thought to changing to the 150 however the amount of money to do that and what I can get for the 120 I just can't justify the cost per added focal length. I'd recommend going right out of the box with the 150. After experiencing just how good the short barrel is I'd still recommend it due to the freaking huge image circler over the more user friendly long barrel 120/150.
I wrote this then noticed I had already answered one before. What the heck, I'll just leave this here...
The 100/asph was pictured and listed alongside the 120/asph in the 'apo digitar' section - but when I went back to look at it again, it had vanished.
This is such a great thread, lets keep it rolling..
I'm thinking of moving to a IQ260 and in the process also get a Rodie 40 HR and a SK60XL.
Regarding the SK60XL, I know it has a huge image circle which makes it great for stitching, which is why I'm looking at it.
But how does it behave regarding showing centerfold lines and the like?
I do a lot of high contrast B&W where that really is an issue with the 47XL which I have at the moment.
I assume the Rodie 40 HR being retro focus is of no concern regarding this?
I'm not sure how much the lens has to do with centerfolds. I have an image from a PODAS workshop, that has a centerfold issue if I push it hard a certain way. That was taken on the DF with zoom attached at about 120mm.
However, I could see the rational for thinking a retro design would help. I certainly don't think it would hurt!
Centerfold issues and the like most often (for me) appear when using lenses from which the light hits the sensor at a steep angel, eg wides like SK35XL and lenses with a very large image circle. That's just my observations...
Latest sighting of the S/K 100mm 'Aspherical' - this time in Cambo's 2013 pricelist. Price would indicate the lens is a new design, but the IC is stated as 100mm, which seems a bit conservative (though the S/K PDF posted above states that it's 100mm at full aperture, 120mm at f/11, so maybe the former is what they're quoting).
There was some confusion about the IC when the 120ASPH first launched, largely because of two typos, including one on Schneider's own website.
But I can tell you I am 100% positive the stated image circle of a 120ASPH is 150mm* (assuming no mechanical vignette in whatever mount you purchase/use it in).
I have the mechanical drawing, internal analysis sheet, and confirmation from the Photo Product Manager at Schneider in Germany.
I'll reach out to Rene Rook at Cambo to find out if their datasheet is a typo or if there is some other explanation.
*It's actually listed internally as 153mm, but these numbers are traditionally rounded for any public-facing documents, likely because having such a precise number gives the false impression that image circles are exact hard-edged circles. And don't forget Schneider tends to be a big aggressive/liberal in their statement of the image circle - you usually need to subtract 5-10mm (lens/back/use dependent) from what they say if you want to know the maximum sharp+usable area of the image circle. This is unlike Rodenstock who tend to be a bit more conservative in what they state the image circle to be.
Thanks Doug - it would be great to get some hard facts. I assume the 100ASPH exists, but there's really nothing substantial out there to confirm this. The most I've seen are mentions of it in S/K and Cambo literature - it's not mentioned on the B&H, Alpa, Linhof & Studio etc. websites. Regarding IC, the older 'N' version has a 100mm IC, so if there was a new version you'd hope it would have an IC around the 120mm mark.
So what about lens choices in the (much less discussed for tech-cams) range of ~150mm. I really like that focal length, and it would be a good fit after the HR 90mm that I've ordered (it seems it will take a while to get that one). What I have found so far in 150mm:
- Rodenstock makes an Apo Sironar digital f/5.6
- Schneider has an APO Digitar N f/5.6
Are there any "oldies but goodies" as alternative choices ? Although I suspect mounting them on an Arca-tube will not be cheap.
Any other options ? Opinions ?
The "canonical" answer seems to be the SK 120mm macro, but that's probably a tad too short, since I'll have a 90mm.
I also know you need a contraption between the back and the camera for lenses longer than 120mm. Is that an annoyance, or not really ?
Thanks in advance for your wisdom !
I have the SK 120 Asph in a short barrel T/S Cambo mount. It's a stellar lens!
Regarding the spacer between the camera and back I don't find it to be an annoyance at all.
I too like the longer focal lengths and have both the 100N and 150 Schneider's. Both are outstanding and are my most used focal lengths. Both have very large IC's and can be easily tilted. My lenses are both short barrel and require a 34mm adapter - I use the tilt adapter.
It is a real lens. I received and tested one for our film scanning solution and found it performed excellently - even better than the very very good 120M.
I believe production has been very slow and there were some production issues they shut the line down to improve efficiency on. So not surprisingly there have not been that many "real world sightings" of the lens yet. But I have seen the lens - and it is good .
Rene Rook at Cambo got back to me. He acknowledged their typo of the image circle in the sales guide (link posted earlier) and said the typo will be corrected soon.
Fortunately, programmers are a lazy bunch , and whilst the link to the info has been removed, the info itself is still there:
Schneider-Kreuznach 100mm f5.6 'Aspherical'
Oddly, from the MTFs it would appear that contrast/resolution/distortion are inferior to the older 'N' version - kind of like with the 120 'Aspherical' vs the 120 'N'. So, this probably means that the 100 'Aspherical' has a much larger image circle, right? Er, nope - it says the image circle is 100mm - i.e. same as the older 'N' version. Doesn't really make sense - hopefully a typo with the IC dimension - I would expect it to be at least 120mm, maybe even more, to bring it in line with other recent digitar lens releases.
According to this it has a 120mm IC.
Arca-Swiss Schneider 100mm f/5.6 Apo-Digitar Aspherical 51521000
Good spot - that must have just appeared - seems like the cat is out of the bag, through the front door and off down the street.
An IC of 120mm makes more sense, but to be honest 100mm is more than enough for my Alpa STC. I was hoping that other performance characteristics would 'enable' me to justify dropping the extra $ on the 'Aspherical' version, but that's not the case - so it looks like I'll be going for the 'N' and saving a few bucks. The B&H listing mentions 'flattening of field curvature' - and whilst field curvature is an issue with wider lenses (notably the 35) I've not read of any such issues with the current crop of longer digitars ?
Interestingly, there is relatively less discussions about longer (150mm-ish) lenses with tech-cams than with wide angles. I wonder why this is ? Here a few hypothesis:
- The lenses are larger (generally not telephoto) so people prefer to use their (MF-)-DSLRs for shots requiring long focal lengths
- The Tech-cam "idea" is more adapted to short FLs - I don't really know why, but perhaps people feel this way ? Perhaps as the lenses are longer, they get unwieldy ?
- The long focal lenses on SLRs are better, and so a tech cam is not necessary and an SLR is easier to use
- Focusing is tougher, also framing may be more difficult (compared to an SLR) ?
Any other ideas ?
I am just a complete newbie to tech cams, but really like the 150mm FL on my Hassi V + IQ 160, so am wondering why people seem to not use this king of FL as much as wider options...
Four main reasons I think:
- Tech cameras are rangefinder like. Long lenses are inherently more difficult to use on rangefinders than SLRs.
- Tech cameras are compact by nature, even with "relatively large for a tech camera" lenses they are typically more compact than an SLR with equivalent length lenses. But if you go to especially long lenses you'll need (depending on the system) a special lens board, an extension tube (or other form of box/extension), and they system is no longer as compact.
- Tech cameras, with their rise/fall/shift/tilt/swing mostly serve the architecture/interior/landscape/street-shooting market where wide angles are more common than longer lenses.
- The difference in optical quality between a tech camera wide and an SLR wide is huge. See our test of the 28D vs 32HR. But the difference in optical quality between a tech camera long and an SLR long is modest (the SLR may even win sometimes).
It's not that no one uses long lenses on a tech camera. But it's definitely less common.
Since digital backs are modular a lot of our tech camera clients also have an SLR body (Phase/Mamiya/Hassy/Contax etc) which they use for faster work or longer lenses, and a tech camera which they use for slower and more wide angle work.
Doug described my feelings pretty well. I have the sk150, and it may be my most-used lens. The other factor is many of us have backs with plenty of pixels, so cropping is a reasonable alternative on the long end. It's just easier for me to visualize a how the cropped telephoto image will turn out vs. a cropped wide angle.
I would like and use a 210mm, but if I crop a 150mm image to a 210 field of view that is still 41MP. Actually if Alpa would make a "double-short" barrel I might be more interested. I could stack adapters I already have, reducing the packed length of the 210mm.
Like Dave I use the sk150 short barrel with my Alpa. It's about as long a lens that I can store vertically like my wider lenses in my F-stop bag without having to allocate a full bag section to it. I considered a longer focal length such as the 210/250 but the physical lens size becomes significant.
It is convenient to have a reasonable telephoto for landscape work. Even I as a gear slut won't take both the DF camera/long lens and the tech camera out together unless shooting from close by the car.
Just out of interest I emailed Alpa about the 100mm 'aspherical' and was told that Schneider have decided not to go ahead with it. A shame.
Hey, I'm back !
I now have the Factum, plus 3 lenses, all Rodenstock: 32HR, 50HR and 90SW. For the moment, that suits my shooting style quite well, and I don't find the jumps between focal length too large.
Only (very minor) annoyance is the spacer I have to put between the tech-cam and the digital back for the 90mm. One extra step of handling, but not a big deal.
I am now considering one extra lens (it never stops !), at the long end. With the experiance of my Hassi-V rig with the IQ160, I would tend towards a 150mm (120mm seems a bit close to 90mm, and if 150mm is too long, I have no problem stitching).
Question is: is the Arca-swiss spacer for the 90mm the same as the spacer for a 150mm ? Or does each focal length come with it's own spacer ?
I wish the Factum was around when I was making my choice; it is a good competitor to the STC. I'm very curious how you get on with it. Great lens choices too.
The sk 150 may be my favorite lens. Can't help with your spacer question...
I am quite happy with the Factum. It's lightweight and compact, "cute", I like that the 0 position in shift (or rise/fall depending on the orientation of the body) has a clear position (it falls into place at zero and stays there, no need to look at the numbers), same thing for tilt. I like the build quality and "feel" of the body (which I took with the extra grip - it adds quite a bit of weight, but is very useful).
The L bracket is very handy (but a bit heavy in my taste), and allows to quickly change between tilt and Rise/fall.
I will start experimenting with viewfinder options (a cheap Chinese zooming optical viewfinder, vs an iPhone holder), but need to get hold of a cold shoe adapter.
Note that the Factum only has the Monoballfix type attachment by default, so you can't directly use the old style Arca-swiss rails and accessories (that go on an Rm3di) without an adapter (and those are not cheap).
Some nitpicks in general: the Arca-Swiss R-line lens mounts are quite big and heavy (they add to the weight / bulk to a lens) - nothing you can do about it though, the throat in the A/S system is quite large. It takes a bit of practice to attach and remove the lenses (it's quite different from a Canon bayonet, on the A/S you need to carefully screw the lens in).
All in all, very happy camper at the moment ! :-)
So does anybody know if the Arca-Swiss spacer for the 90mm is the same as the spacer for the 150mm?