PDA

View Full Version : Good value wide angle, bargain standard lens for 4x5?



dylanear
13-Jun-2017, 12:02
First post, have mercy! :) I just randomly found a Sinar P in my life after wanting to try large format for 25ish years. My head is spinning trying to get my head around lens options, there's lot's of great options it seems, but having never used this type gear it's all a bit mysterious to me.

First and most important I want a very wide lens with excellent coverage (Maybe somewhat usable if I get a larger rear standard, 5x7, or even 8x10?), excellent sharpness across the image. I'd like to spend about $500 US. Little more, little less. Hopefully more like a 60mm than a 75 or 90, but I'll try to be open minded. Landscape and cityscape/architecture are my intended subjects.

And secondarily a bargain standard lens. Much less budget for this one, I'm hoping something in the $150 to $200 range may still give good results? This may be more an indoor, studio(ok, my living room) lens.

Where are the go to places besides ebay? KEH seems to have an ok selection. Any other shops that would ship to BC Canada that would have good selection, prices, service?

David Karp
13-Jun-2017, 12:22
I think you would be looking at a 65mm for your wide lens, which is really WIDE on a 4x5. You might regret going that wide. There will be little room for movement with a 65. I think you will find that most architectural photographers reached for a 90mm first, and a 65mm as a last resort if they really had to go wide, wide. However, it is not for me to tell you what to do when choosing your wide angle lens.

An excellent budget normal lens would be a 150mm Caltar f/5.6 II-N (which is a re-branded Rodenstock Sironar-N or APO-Sironar-N), or a 150mm Fujinon f/5.6 NW (the multicoated one with the lettering on the outside of the lens barrel). These are available in your price range and are excellent lenses.

interneg
13-Jun-2017, 12:39
75mm Super Angulon & a 150/5.6 of any of the many choices would seem to be a good bet. 150mm Schneider Symmar or Nikon Nikkor-W to add to the above selections.

More to the point, why do you need a very wide lens? Answering this will help in terms of recommending lenses. $500 is pretty tight for the seriously wide stuff with good coverage. 75 is about a 22.5mm in the long dimension & an 18.75 in the short dimension relative to 35mm.

Personally, I'd get a good 90mm first. Lots of them around, & plenty of coverage.

Alan9940
13-Jun-2017, 13:14
As interneg suggests, I would +1 the recommendation to start with a 75mm and a 150mm. I see that David already suggested the Fuji 150/5.6 NW which I'm sure is a very nice lens, but don't discount the older 150mm with inside lettering which has a larger image circle vs the NW, though single coated. I own a copy of this lens and it's very sharp, though I'm not a fan of the Seiko shutter.

David Hedley
13-Jun-2017, 13:41
First and most important I want a very wide lens with excellent coverage (Maybe somewhat usable if I get a larger rear standard, 5x7, or even 8x10?), excellent sharpness across the image. I'd like to spend about $500 US. Little more, little less. Hopefully more like a 60mm than a 75 or 90, but I'll try to be open minded. Landscape and cityscape/architecture are my intended subjects.



The Nikkor SW 120mm is medium wide on 4x5, and will cover up to 8x10. You might now find a decent quality one for $500, given the decline in lens prices in recent years. It's an outstanding lens, and I regret having sold mine a few years back.

To the best of my knowledge, this is one of the widest lenses for 8x10; I don't think there are 75mm or 90mm lenses that will cover 8x10. But a modern 90mm is a very good and inexpensive starting point for a wide lens for 4x5.

dylanear
13-Jun-2017, 14:35
75mm Super Angulon & a 150/5.6 of any of the many choices would seem to be a good bet. 150mm Schneider Symmar or Nikon Nikkor-W to add to the above selections.

More to the point, why do you need a very wide lens? Answering this will help in terms of recommending lenses. $500 is pretty tight for the seriously wide stuff with good coverage. 75 is about a 22.5mm in the long dimension & an 18.75 in the short dimension relative to 35mm.

Personally, I'd get a good 90mm first. Lots of them around, & plenty of coverage.

Thanks for all the suggestions!

As for needing/wanting a very wide lens? That's my favored type on 35mm/Micro Four Thirds. 18 or 20mm is probably where I shoot most of my outdoor photography, going between 20 and 35mm a good bit, only occasionally wider than 18, but 14 or 16 on occasion.

Anything I get I'll probably want something else later on. It's my curse. I do want plenty of room for coverage/movement. A 75 may do the trick, but 24, 25mm certainly would leave me wanting something wider on a 35mm SLR a lot of the time.

On the more budget end for a wide, how are these? Both in the low $300s and thus tempting on price alone as starter wide.

Calumet 75mm f/6.8 Caltar II-N MC Copal BT

Nikon 65mm f/4 Nikkor SW Copal BT (35 MT)

For a bit more I see:

Rodenstock 65mm f/4.5 Grandagon MC Copal BT

And a bit more:
Nikon 75mm f/4.5 Nikkor SW Copal BT


Closer to $500:

Calumet 75mm f/4.5 Caltar-II N MC Copal BT

Getting into more than I want to spend, at about $650:

SCHNEIDER 58MM F/5.6 SUPER ANGULON XL MC LENS IN COPAL 0 BT SHUTTER

Any comments on those options (at KEH) is quite welcome. I suppose I'd consider a 90, buy perhaps I'd go looking for some example images using them.

Alan Gales
13-Jun-2017, 14:42
A very wide lens for 4x5 will not work for 8x10.

A 90mm on a 4x5 camera feels like a 25mm lens on a 35mm camera to me. Wide but not ultra wide. Quite nice! I had a 75mm once and it felt about like a 20mm on a 35mm camera to me which is wider than I care for. If a 75mm isn't wide enough you might want a 65mm.

If you buy a lens and it isn't quite wide enough for you and you decide to sell you should get most of your money back. I sold my 75mm for a slight loss and bought a 90mm. After you are a member for a month you will have access to the for sale section here on the forum. You can also advertise that you are looking for a particular lens. Welcome to the forum! :)

xkaes
13-Jun-2017, 14:44
I see that David already suggested the Fuji 150/5.6 NW which I'm sure is a very nice lens, but don't discount the older 150mm with inside lettering which has a larger image circle vs the NW, though single coated. I own a copy of this lens and it's very sharp, though I'm not a fan of the Seiko shutter.

The image circle of the later, EBC coated, Fujinon NW 150mm f5.6 in Copal isn't enormously smaller than it's earlier, uncoated, Seiko brother -- 245mm vs 224mm -- especially for 4x5 use. Both cover 5x7". For a look at Fuji lenses check out

http://www.subclub.org/fujinon/

They made four 65mm lenses, all of which cover 4x5, but not by much. You'll find that f8 versions, from any manufacturer, are smaller, lighter, and less expensive than their wider f-stop brethren.

I concur with the idea that a good place to start is with a 150mm and decide where to go from there. The listed website has some inexpensive ways you can determine how wide you want to go. Part of it depends on your camera's capability.

Jac@stafford.net
13-Jun-2017, 14:52
First and most important I want a very wide lens with excellent coverage (Maybe somewhat usable if I get a larger rear standard, 5x7, or even 8x10?)

My two-bits worth - stick to 4x5. Why go larger? For larger format, lenses become more scarce, and generally more expensive (especially quality wide-angles) and I am guessing that you will not be printing optically. Scanning reduces output to the digital domain where little advantage will be achieved.

How wide do you want? For extreme nominal 4x5 you can use a 47 Super-Angulon, suffer its vignetting and call it art, or use a center filter. Wider? 35mm Grandagon, and suffer even more.

interneg
13-Jun-2017, 15:08
As for needing/wanting a very wide lens? That's my favored type on 35mm/Micro Four Thirds. 18 or 20mm is probably where I shoot most of my outdoor photography, going between 20 and 35mm a good bit, only occasionally wider than 18, but 14 or 16 on occasion.

Anything I get I'll probably want something else later on. It's my curse. I do want plenty of room for coverage/movement. A 75 may do the trick, but 24, 25mm certainly would leave me wanting something wider on a 35mm SLR a lot of the time.

A modern 75mm (ie an f5.6 Super Angulon or thereabouts) is probably your best chance of balancing coverage & angle of view - the wider effective vertical angle of view (because of the format shape) will make the lens feel considerably wider than you'd expect. Take an image shot with an 18mm & crop it to a 1.25:1 aspect ratio & that'll give you a very good idea of the perspective.

For a 65mm you'd be needing to get the most modern - ie a super angulon XL or similar - to have a chance of useful movement. Going below that towards 47mm & coverage becomes smaller & smaller very rapidly. Below 65mm you'll need the latest generation glass - and that puts you in the USD800 range easily.

dylanear
13-Jun-2017, 15:20
Well, the movement is why I'm trying large format. Well, and just to do it, play with film again. I generally am pretty happy with the results of my Nikon D800 with wide angles for general purposes. So wide for the sake of wide, but loosing the movement capabilities is not a good goal for me. So, especially at my price range I may be better off with a 75 with good coverage.

I'm not too concerned about using the wide on 5x7 or 8x10, wouldn't a 150 make a decent wide angle on the larger formats? Good chance I'll never go larger unless I find a 5x7 or 8x10 rear and bellows for a baragain. But I am just very curious about that whole experience. I will probably be printing digitally initially, but I do hope to do b&W prints of my own again someday. I can't even picture what an enlarger capable of using 8x10 negatives would look like??!

Jac@stafford.net
13-Jun-2017, 15:30
I can't even picture what an enlarger capable of using 8x10 negatives would look like??!

Got a 16 foot ceiling? That's mine, but now in storage. Had to yield to overhead (literally)

166081

xkaes
13-Jun-2017, 15:58
For extreme nominal 4x5 you can use a 47 Super-Angulon, suffer its vignetting and call it art, or use a center filter. Wider? 35mm Grandagon, and suffer even more.

Let's not forget about fisheye lenses, like the Mamiya 37mm f4.5! Now THAT's WIDE!!!

Check out: http://www.subclub.org/fujinon/gonefishin.pdf

Jac@stafford.net
13-Jun-2017, 16:00
Let's not forget about fisheye lenses, like the Mamiya 37mm f4.5! Now THAT's WIDE!!!

It does not make rectilinear images, does it?
.

xkaes
13-Jun-2017, 16:32
Oh course not; it's a 180 degree, circular fisheye. But considering it can be a REAL 4x5 fisheye, the price is a bargain. It came in a few, basically the same, versions -- single coated, multi-coated, etc. It has about a 100mm flange focal length, which helps out in a lot of ways, and you can put standard filters on the rear!!! Ever hear of a polarizer on a fisheye?

dylanear
13-Jun-2017, 16:57
Let's not forget about fisheye lenses, like the Mamiya 37mm f4.5! Now THAT's WIDE!!!

Check out: http://www.subclub.org/fujinon/gonefishin.pdf

Oh man. You must know me! I am a fisheye nut. Good chance I'll be picking up the new Nikon 8-15mm zoom (circular to full frame fisheye) this week. I own the Nikon and a Sigma 8mm. And the 16mm 2.8, and the 10.5mm for the cropped Nikons. That Mamiya is now on the list!! Granted, given it's price and specialist nature, it's below a wide and a standard on my list. But maybe before a 300 or longer!

consummate_fritterer
13-Jun-2017, 17:15
You might find a used 30mm ARSAT medium format fisheye for less money than the Mamiya. The ARSAT requires the integrated lens shade to be trimmed off.

Rich14
13-Jun-2017, 17:15
A 75mm on 4x5 is equivalent in angle of view to a 20mm on 35mm (FF digital). !50mm is equivalent to a 42mm on FF, at the lower end of the "normal lens" range, and considered by some to be almost wide angle. I prefer a "longer normal." 210mm on 4x5 is about equal to 52mm on FF.

With your D800, you have the ability to "scan" your 4x5 negs. I have documented here and elsewhere scanning 4x5 with my D800e/Micro Nikkor 105 2.8D, obtaining results equal to or better than my drum scanner(s). I scan the 4x5 neg/pos in 4 quadrants and process and "stitch" the image in ACR/Photoshop.

KEH and B&H Photo are good sources for lenses.

I have had excellent experiences buying large format lenses on eBay from Japanese sellers. Currently there are 75mm, 150mm and 210mm lenses from Nikon, Fuji and Schneider in mint, near mint and excellent++ condition well under your indicated budget. I recently found a Nikkor-W 210mm f/5.6 and a Nikkor-SW 75mm f4.5 that look like they have never been used. They were advertised as mint and certainly live up to that description. They were less than I had expected to pay. I previously bought a Schneider 75mm Super Angulon. It had slight haze and a few small fungus areas. The seller immediately refunded my money even before I was able to ship it back to him. Another contacted me after I had confirmed a purchase to be sure I had noted the rear barrel had a ding. I hadn't picked that up in the pictures, although it was clearly evident. I asked to stop the sale. He immediately canceled the sale and refunded my money. In general I have found the Japanese sellers extremely honest and responsive.

Not only is it important to look for lenses in excellent condition without haze or fungus, but the condition of the shutter is crucial. Time degrades both glass and shutter mechanisms. I recommend getting a lens with as late a model Copal shutter as possible. No other brand. While other brands were just as good when new, it's near impossible to get service now on anything other than a Copal (SK Grimes lens service). All the lenses I have gotten from Japan have shutters that are dead accurate at all speeds. Look for black shutter mounts with silver or white lettering. Such mounts indicate later manufacture.

You'll also need the correct lens board for your camera, with the correct size opening for the shutter mount. In some cases it's necessary to mount the lens in an adapter plate with the correct mount opening, which then screws or is epoxied to the lens board.

75mm or wider lenses will probably need to be on a recessed lens board or they won't be able to focus to infinity, depending on camera type. Most are sold that way, but not necessarily. You may have to buy that separately for your particular camera. You'll also probably need a short or bag bellows. I get away with my standard bellows on my Calumet/Cambo 4x5 but swings and tilts are a little limited as the collapsed bellows gets in the way.

Unless you absolutely know that you want 8x10 go with 4x5 until you begin to feel proficient (which might take a long time! And lots of film! This ain't digital!) 8x10 is beautiful. But it's a beast in so many ways!

Best of luck!

Rich

xkaes
13-Jun-2017, 17:31
You might find a used 30mm ARSAT medium format fisheye for less money than the Mamiya. That one requires the integrated lens shade to be trimmed off.

There are plenty of medium format, full-frame fisheyes that, with the lens shade removed, will produce a circular fisheye image if used on a 4x5. But the size of the image that it can produce, and the cost, will increase with the focal length. And a medium format, full-frame fisheye designed for 645 will produce a smaller circular fisheye image than a full-frame fisheye designed for 6x6 -- which will produce a smaller circular fisheye image than a full-frame fisheye designed for 6x7, etc. It, of course, is best to get an image as large as possible.

The biggest problem is finding a lens that has the shutter in the lens and can be cocked and released -- with the lens removed from the camera for which it was designed. This excludes most. The Mamiya 37mm meets all these requirements and creates a circular image that is JUST smaller than the 3.XX" width of the 4x5 format. The article has more details.

consummate_fritterer
13-Jun-2017, 18:11
^^^ The 30mm ARSAT is designed for use full-frame on 6x6cm. True, it has no shutter. The one I saw was mounted to a modified 4x5 Speed Graphic with the rails, front standard and front cover removed.

Luis-F-S
13-Jun-2017, 18:18
Got a 16 foot ceiling? That's mine, but now in storage. Had to yield to overhead (literally)

166081

My DeVere fits just fine in an 8' ceiling!

Jac@stafford.net
13-Jun-2017, 18:36
My DeVere fits just fine in an 8' ceiling!

That's excellent. How large is the baseboard?

consummate_fritterer
13-Jun-2017, 19:06
If you like ultra-wide and lots of Scheimpflug then maybe you can adjust your budget. The Schneider 72mm and 90mm SA XL lenses have the largest image circles of any other modern lenses of the same focal lengths. Neither are inexpensive optics. There are many contenders for the 90mm spot but none have the massive image circle of the XL, though some others have enough coverage for nearly any situation. To my knowledge, there is no suitable replacement for the 72SAXL.

There are plenty of 150mm lenses that should have enough coverage for movements. Three modern 150mm lenses that come to mind (with the most coverage) are; 1. Apo Sironar (no suffix) or Apo Sironar-W (same lens), 2. Super Symmar HM, 3. Computar/Kyvytar/Graphic-Kowa. These too are a bit pricey.

Most large format lenses longer than 150mm are a cakewalk for 4x5.

The 135mm focal length is a bit of a red-haired stepchild but there are a couple with more coverage than most; 1. Older Fujinon-W (front markings), 2. Wide-Field Ektar.

None of the lenses above cover 8x10 but have tons of room for 4x5.

Vaughn
13-Jun-2017, 20:37
I have gotten a lot of great service from my 150mm Caltar f/5.6 II-N. In a Copal 0 shutter, it is quite small and lightweight. I have a 180mm Fuji W (inside lettering) that does very nicely on the 5x7 as a wideish normal, and you might find it a nice focal length...a longish normal...for 4x5. It will be a versatile lens for me when I can get my 4x5 and 5x7 cameras set up to use the same lensboard!

xkaes
14-Jun-2017, 10:02
^^^ The 30mm ARSAT is designed for use full-frame on 6x6cm. True, it has no shutter. The one I saw was mounted to a modified 4x5 Speed Graphic with the rails, front standard and front cover removed.

My comment, should be amended. I was thinking of field cameras without shutters. There are camera/shutter/situation combinations that would allow the use of a medium format, full-frame fisheye lens -- LACKING a built-in shutter -- to work on a 4x5 large format camera. All you need to do is play some Frank Zappa music in the background, to help you figure out the details.

One thing to consider with any fisheye is that the front of the lens has to extend out in front of the camera body/base/rails. With the Mamiya 37mm, this is not a big obstacle because the lens is so long!

jnanian
14-Jun-2017, 10:36
hi OP

wollensak made some lenses that nowadays people say are
"bargain" lenses / won't break the bank that are in the FL's you
are looking for. for years i used a 90mm raptar, a 3 1/2" EXWA and a 203mm
usually they can be foundin working shutters at affordable prices. if you can find/pick u p
a 150 symmetrigon its worth whatever you might pay for it. these lenses won't cover bigger than
4x5 for a larger image circle you ar looking at more $$. you might look at convertible symmars
they don't sell for huge money i've used a 210/370 on both 4x5+5x7 cameras with no coverage issues...
bigger than that ... you might look into wollensak 1a convertibles ( 13/20/25 ) huge coverage ( covers 11x14 )
and doesn't cost too much.

mdarnton
14-Jun-2017, 13:41
I don't know if this is common, but though I am an ultra-wide user on 35mm, I find myself gravitating towards slightly longer lenses on LF. So maybe you don't really need that 65mm. Though it's still a bit wide for me, I think the general sugestion of 75/150 is a good one.

Patrick Gauthier
14-Jun-2017, 14:01
Where are the go to places besides ebay? KEH seems to have an ok selection. Any other shops that would ship to BC Canada that would have good selection, prices, service?

Talk to Kumar. He'll ship to Canada with EMS->Canada Post (excellent combination IMO).

As far as the lenses are concerned. I can only comment on landscapes. I agree with others about the Fujinon 150 f/5.6. I've used the single coated one in a seiko for about a 1.5 years and I think it may actually be my sharpest lens. Never had issues with flare or reduced light transmission or whatever the multicoating improves.

The Fujinon 90mm f/8 is my wide lens and it's an absolute joy to work with, especially compared to the Fujinon 65mm f/8 I bought for very specific shots. I almost never use it and I don't even take the 65 with me unless I know of a shot I need it for. I have to drop the bed to use it, it barely covers 4x5 so pretty much only a bit of front tilt. It's really dark at the edge of the ground glass, making movements even more harder in terms of focusing, depth of field, etc. I'm sure a lot of other 65 mm lenses have similar features. Others have recommended what sound like better choices for 65-75 mm lenses based on your needs.

Luis-F-S
14-Jun-2017, 14:19
That's excellent. How large is the baseboard?

I believe 32x42

Jac@stafford.net
14-Jun-2017, 14:30
I believe 32x42

So is mine. Mine is so tall because the baseboard table is 3' or so. Gads, it is impossible to move.

xkaes
14-Jun-2017, 17:40
Sometimes a 65mm is just the ticket -- especially if you are in close quarters, have a large subject, and/or can't move back any further. Here's a shot of a wide waterfall in a narrow canyon on the west side off Zion National Park that had ALL of those problems at once. I was just able to get it all in.

166128

A while later, I sold my 65mm and got a 75mm -- only because I wanted the 47mm and the 65mm was just too close in perspective.

As to the darker corners, you are correct, of course, but my Beattie Intenscreen helps quite a bit.