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View Full Version : 8x10, extreme enlargements, no weight /price concern - which would be best lenses?



arkadi
13-Sep-2015, 13:48
My intent is to shoot 8x10, color negative film for big if not extreme enlargements (like 150 x 100 inches). I shoot contemporary art what means that I am not concerned about weight of lenses because all the scenery and subjects are in urban zones and my camera is an aluminum Gibellini.

I like tech specs but to a certain degree. I feel that if I buy an very-very good lenses I won't change them for a long time. If it make a difference I would just buy best choices.

Would you guys be so kind to recommend me three basic lenses? Something about 240-250, 300-320 and 450-480 focal lens.

thanks.

ps I have had some personal discussions with few users of this forum but than I've been suggested to open a discussion about it.

Old-N-Feeble
13-Sep-2015, 14:02
A photographer after my own heart regarding lens selection. I don't think I can carry 8x10 anymore plus my economic situation deteriorated a few years ago... but I'm subscribing to this thread anyway!! :)

If you're sticking to three lenses then I would suggest going a bit wider than 240mm though. If you can afford it I'd suggest a 210 SSXL... oh that's a sexy lens.

Alan Gales
13-Sep-2015, 14:25
If you are looking for maximum sharpness the Rodenstock Apo Sironar-S lenses are said to be among the sharpest. They made lenses in 240mm, 300mm and 360mm focal lengths.

http://www.rodenstock-photo.com/Archiv/e_Rodenstock_Analog_Lenses_27-42__8226.pdf

The popular Nikkor M 450mm lenses are very sharp and contrasty.

http://www.kenleegallery.com/pdf/Nikkor_LargeFormatLenses.pdf

ic-racer
13-Sep-2015, 17:15
My intent is to shoot 8x10

Aperture selection, placement of the focus plane and appropriate tripod legs will be the determining factors. These are the basics of 8x10 photography and can take years to master. This can't be bought (unless you are hiring an 8x10 camera operator for your project). Wouldn't it be great if one could just buy a camera and start making great art? Good luck with your project.

Steve Barber
14-Sep-2015, 04:32
My intent is to shoot 8x10, color negative film for big if not extreme enlargements (like 150 x 100 inches). I shoot contemporary art what means that I am not concerned about weight of lenses because all the scenery and subjects are in urban zones and my camera is an aluminum Gibellini.

I like tech specs but to a certain degree. I feel that if I buy an very-very good lenses I won't change them for a long time. If it make a difference I would just buy best choices.

Would you guys be so kind to recommend me three basic lenses? Something about 240-250, 300-320 and 450-480 focal lens.

thanks.

ps I have had some personal discussions with few users of this forum but than I've been suggested to open a discussion about it.

APO-Sironar-S in 240mm and 300mm, although I would rather use the 210mm APO-Sironar-W for the wider lens. For the longer lens, a 480mm Ronar or a19 inch Artar Red Dot but, if I were going to have only 3, I would substitute a 24 inch Artar Red Dot for the 19 inch lens.

arkadi
15-Sep-2015, 00:48
thanks to all for your replies and opinions. In few days I got the knowledge I've been looking for. I'll go for Apo Sironars-S

jp
15-Sep-2015, 07:41
Once you get some good negatives, if you go the digital route, I'd suggest an epson for your proof/evaluation/small prints and send away to a drum scan service for the 100+ inch prints.

russyoung
24-Sep-2015, 16:30
I am surprised no one has mentioned the Computars f/9. 210/240/270/305 I have had a convertible 210 for three decades now and it is astoundingly sharp.

Jac@stafford.net
25-Sep-2015, 08:42
Aperture selection, placement of the focus plane and appropriate tripod legs will be the determining factors. These are the basics of 8x10 photography and can take years to master. [...]

Given the technical nature of his project (if it is flat artwork), are there any laser alignment tools we could use on site?

arkadi
26-Sep-2015, 01:12
I think it's easy. ..but really easy. I don't immagine myself standing there wondering about aperture or focus plane.
Just got a super-yuper carbon fiber Manfrotto tripod... the best money could buy from Manfrotto.

arkadi
26-Sep-2015, 01:14
I'd like to know that too... thought I am not going to shoot flat artwork.

There's a lot of apps that are helpful with LF.

arkadi
26-Sep-2015, 01:16
How do they compare to Apo Sironars-S? It's tricky in LF when it seems there no technical comparison and all you can hear is "well... it's sharp."

arkadi
26-Sep-2015, 01:18
nice idea. Thank you.
Otherwise I'll drum scan in little format.
It's crazy I have to use negative film . it would be so easy to valuate positive transparencies.

vinny
26-Sep-2015, 04:24
nice idea. Thank you.
Otherwise I'll drum scan in little format.
It's crazy I have to use negative film . it would be so easy to valuate positive transparencies.

Does the subject matter prohibit you from using transparency film?

Daniel Stone
26-Sep-2015, 10:45
If you intend to make VERY LARGE enlargements, either via optical enlargement, or via drum scanning, both methods of transferring the information in the negative/transparency to the film, or into the digital format/file will be VERY demanding of hi quality information on the film. You are in Italy, I'd get in touch with Castorscan ( http://www.castorscan.com/ ). He scans for a good number of Europe's big-name photographers(many of whom still use LF film regularly in their own work), and he is very technically proficient. IMO, if the artists he scans for can afford to "go anywhere", but go to him, that in itself speaks of his talents, in my opinion.

Personally, unless you(or your intended clientele) are only interested in optical enlargements, I'd go with the drum scanning and digital output route. Printing via large format inkjet(Canon, Epson or HP are the large contenders here in the fine-art market), or via Lightjet onto C-type papers, both are viable courses of action. IMO, the choice of digital post-production allows for a greater degree of control in the minute details, especially when preparing a drum scan for output on such a large scale.

Just my 2 of course, but after looking at both options some years back for my own workflow, I found that I did not have the time to invest in learning advanced masking techniques which are required to eek out exactly what is wanted/desired from my film within the manual darkroom. I still enjoy manually enlarging black and white film in smaller format, but if I intend to do anything for public display, these days I'll drum scan it and digitally output. That degree of control is worth it's weight in gold, I feel.

-Dan

arkadi
27-Sep-2015, 04:02
[QUOTE=Daniel Stone;1277929]Castorscan ( http://www.castorscan.com/ ).

Thanks Daniel, thats exactly what I gonna do. Alessandro Gibellini - maker of Gibellini folding cameras http://www.gibellinicamera.com also pointed Castorscan to me.
It's a fortune I live nearby.
I worked for years as a graphic designer so Photoshop is my home)

carverlux
27-Sep-2015, 11:44
My intent is to shoot 8x10, color negative film for big if not extreme enlargements (like 150 x 100 inches).....Would you guys be so kind to recommend me three basic lenses? Something about 240-250, 300-320 and 450-480 focal lens.

Interpreting your request sounds like you are looking for very high resolution performers for your extreme enlargements. If so, my experience with the following 8x10 coverage lenses may be helpful to you:

1. For high contrast needs, the very late Goerz/Schneider Blue Dot Trigor is my go-to lens. It is sharp corner to corner, and is very contrasty making dawn/dusk/indirect light scenes easier to capture. They come up for sale on eBay once in a while and are well worth looking for. Unfortunately, they only come in the 355mm focal length.

2. For medium contrast needs, my number one choice is the Goerz LD Artar. The LD is a version of the more common Red Dot Artar. Although it is supposedly tuned for extremely low distortion, their resolution capabilities is also legendary. Over the years, I was able to find them in 8"-210mm to 16"-420mm but I have not been able to find a 19"-480mm. They were much more expensive than the Red Dot Artar and were sold mostly to government agencies and research institutions that did not mind the high price. One of mine came from NASA. Please see the resolution specs on the attached spec sheet - the performance is better than many current 35mm lenses covering a lot smaller area.

I also own and use the Sinar-branded versions of the Apo Sironar S, the Sinaron SE. They are very fine lenses for sure and offer more coverage per focal length but I find myself reaching for the Trigor and LD more often than not if the ultimate resolution is what I am looking for. Also important to mention would be a very solidly stabilized camera during exposure (not just a solid tripod) so the resolution can be fully and faithfully recorded.

Good luck in your quest.

carver

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