### A Modest Proposal - or how to calculate the value of one's photographic system

I have been trying to come up with a way that I can evaluate lens and system costs vs. performance. I think I've hit upon one useful mechanism. Hence this Modest Proposal for evaluating the relative costs of performance for Large Format lenses and Medium Format systems.

I believe _one_ way to evaluate performance vs cost can be described by:

```{cost of item} / {max. resolution of item to film } = {cost of one line per mm of
resolution}

Here are several examples of what falls out of this calculation:

90mm Angulon - \$200(used) / 67 l/mm       = \$2.98 / line / mm

3 1/2" WARaptar - \$125(used) / 60 l/mm    = \$2.08 / line / mm

90mm SW Nikkor - \$750(used) / 80 l/mm     = \$9.30 / line / mm

90mm SW Nikkor - \$1350(new) / 80 l/mm     = \$16.80 / line / mm

110mm Schneider XL - \$2300(new) / 80 l/mm = \$28.75 / line / mm

135mm WF Ektar - \$375(used) / 76 l/mm     = \$4.90  / line / mm

150 mm APO Sironar S - \$750(new) / 85 l/mm = \$8.80 / line / mm

150mm Symmar Convertable - \$300(used) / 64 l/mm = \$4.60 / line / mm

200mm M-Nikkor - \$450(used) / 67 l/mm     = \$6.70 / line / mm

203mm Kodak Ektar - \$200(used) / 67 l/mm  = \$2.98 / line / mm

210 APO Symmar - \$750(used) / 76 l/mm     = \$9.80 / line / mm

210 APO Symmar - \$1000(new) / 76 l/mm     = \$13.10 / line / mm

Bronica SQA w/ 80mm - \$800(used) / 67 l/mm        = \$11.90 / line / mm

Fuji GW690III w/ 90mm - \$1000(used) / 67 l/mm     = \$1492 / line / mm

Fuji GW690III w/90mm - \$1300(new) / 67 l/mm       = \$19.40 / line / mm

Kodak 620 Special w/100mm = \$15(used) / 63 l/mm   = \$0.23 / line / mm

Mamiya C220Pro w/80mm - \$225(used) / 67 l/mm      = \$3.35 / line / mm

Mamiya 6 MF w/80mm - \$2800(new) / 95 l/mm         = \$29.47 / line / mm

Mamiya 6 MF w/80mm - \$1800(used) / 95 l/mm        = \$18.95 / line / mm
```
A couple things fall from this.

• It could be argued _based purely on these numbers_ that the best value per line of resolution in LF is an old 3 1/2" WA Raptar or the 203mm Ektar. They'll both cost a person less than \$3.00 per line per mm of resolution.

• In MF the winner, hands down, is an old Kodak Special Six20 with 100mm f/4.5 Kodak Anastigmat. It wins by costing only \$0.23 per line of mm of resolution!!! More reasonably the Mamiya C220 Pro comes out costing a person only \$3.35 per line of resolution.

So my modest proposal is: When newbies ask what the best value for their money is, simply take it's cost, divide it by the number of lines per mm of resolution it's capable of returning, and evaluate competing systems based on the lowest cost per line of mm of resolution...

I hope this spins a few thought wheels... :-)

- Chris