View Full Version : Hello from Reunion Island

20-Feb-2016, 07:08
My name is Stéphane and I am 46. I live in Reunion Island a little french oversea territory. Ten years ago I have purchased a second hand Wista 45DX field camera ; I've been using it wit 55 polaroid film (2 or 3 boxes).
I went into digital with a technical wide camera...and I have read a lot of thread on this forum too.
but now I'm going back to film for portrait photography.

So I would like a portrait lens , and a few chassis for film, any advices are welcome.


20-Feb-2016, 10:50
Bienvenue Stéphane,

[french syndrome start]
Mettez-vous à l’aise, il y a pas mal des francophones parmi les membre de cet forum.
[/french syndrome end]

The choice of a portrait specific lens for 4x5 depends almost entirely of the budget you have and the "look" you intend to rend. You can have a Cooke Series lens for 4k or more, new, an Apo-Lanthar for the same price used, or a Zeiss Tessar between 240/300mm for 1/10 of this price and have stunning results. So, it depends. In general, for portraiture a nice bokeh could be interesting, and for that a clear glass would help a lot, but at certain cost.
You could try those old Petzval design lenses also, the swirl effect those lens can have would be also interesting.
For insane bokeh only and not that razor-sharpness, a insanely clear glass like the Aero-Ektar or Dallmeyer Pentac could make your day, but it's not easy to find one in very good shape.



20-Feb-2016, 12:11
Bienvenue sur le forum Stéphane

Signé un français de Nouvelle Zélande

Andrew O'Neill
20-Feb-2016, 12:43

John Kasaian
20-Feb-2016, 13:15
Welcome from California!
My parents had good friends on Reunion Island long ago(this would be in the 1970s.)
I think a really nice portrait lens on a 4x5 is a 162mm Wollensak Velostigmat---it will give you a pretty sharp look stopped down and pleasing bokeh wide open, and they aren't very expensive. Mine came in a Rapax shutter.

Alan Gales
20-Feb-2016, 15:27
Welcome to the forum, Stepane!

Check out the Image Sharing (LF) and Discussion section forum. Click on Portraiture to see portraits taken with many different lenses. For 4x5 you have a lot of choices. Some photographers buy several lenses for portraiture because of all the different looks. You are going to have a lot of fun with it!


20-Feb-2016, 15:53
Bienvenue Stéphane,

I would look for something in the 210 to 240 range for portraits with the 4x5. You may already have a lens in this focal length, if not there are many many to choose from. Good luck! Luis

Sirius Glass
20-Feb-2016, 17:16
Welcome to Large Format Photography Forum

20-Feb-2016, 21:36
Looks like an interesting Place; I had to look it up.
You might have a look at a Kodak Ektar 203mm f:7.7. They don't make 'em any sharper, and the prices are right.

21-Feb-2016, 10:43
Welcome Stephane,

Other than A lens/shutter Combo not working properly, you can hardly go wrong with almost anything you choose.

At f295 we had a prodigious pinholer from your locale. I don't recall his handle at the moment but his work was awesome.

22-Feb-2016, 08:55
Thank you for your warm welcomes and all the advices. I took a look on the bay for some of the reference you gave me. I wonder how the old brass lens (as the Petzval) are mounted : where is the shutter ? Because the Sinaron 135 I own is mounted with a copal shutter on the plate.

Alan Gales
22-Feb-2016, 17:22
Your Copal shutter mounts to your lens board with a retaining ring. Older lenses in shutter or in barrel (without shutter), screw into flanges that are mounted to the lens board with screws. A lot of people buy Speed Graphics to use with shutterless Petzval lenses because Speed Graphics are inexpensive and have built in focal plain shutters. A lot of the old cameras had Packard shutters. You can also use Petzvals on a Sinar camera with a Sinar shutter. You can also use your hat or lens cap for a shutter.

Here is the world famous Galli shutter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICLG3HCDlhk

And yes. Jim Galli is a fellow member here and all around good guy! ;)

23-Feb-2016, 02:14
Now I see Alan, I use to do like that few years ago, when taking astrophotos on a telescope, but exposure time was quite longer !
Thanks for the explanation.