View Full Version : 4x5 lens for budget...
I am stepping into LF format after being faithful to 35mm format for more than 1 6 years. When i started with 35mm i went in for budget camera and lens. I normal ly don't like to take risk with used lens (see below), so i went in for non bran ded lens. Where i compromised 10% in terms of quality but saved sometimes 70% in money. Ofcourse, once i got into photography i switched to the best a serious a mateur can afford.
I want to follow same mode breaking into LF. I know of congo lens but i heard th ey carry more risk than buying used equipment.
Any kind of practical suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks.
(I am presently in singapore where used market is almost nonexistent. This means i have to depend on mail order stuff. This lives out trying before buying.)
LF lenses on a budget suggest to me some older "Name" brand lenses. I'm not sure how big your budget is but if it's fairly small I'd consider the Schneider convertable lenses. I own a 210/370 convertable and there were others as well. They can be purchased used for a very reasonable price, and at their "non-converted" focal length they are very nice lenses. When converted "they ain't so good". The convertables were the predecessor to the Symmar-S line. The S lenses are also excellent but we've jumped a fair bit in price. Schneider also makes the 150 and 210 Xenar lenses. Cheap, but this time with a small image circle.
I'd be a bit skittish about buying a "brand-X" lens. My philosophy of lenses in LF is to buy the best you can afford, buy a camera that's OK, and then keep the lenses when you can afford to upgrade the camera.
If you want new at reasonable prices,I can from personal experience recommend th e Caltar II series from Calumet (http://www.calumetphoto.com).These lenses currently are identical in specification to the Rodenstock Grandagon & Si ronar N (maybe Sironar-S) lines of lenses.
If you are interested in knowing which used dealers are reputable, four or five stand out in my mind.
I just recently updated my 4X5. I was able to buy good used lenses from Jacks' Camera, www.jackscamera.com, in Ohio. They responded to all of my questions in a timely manner. I would have gotten a little better deal from Midwest Photo, w ww.mpex.com, but at the time they didn't have the lenes I was looking for. I al so bought a 6X7 Calumet C2N back from KEH, www.keh.com. You can also try photo. net for used large format equipment. I have been lucky and have gotten all the equipment I was promised.
I was thinking about buying congo lenses from the company, but I was sure of the quality of the lenses or if I would get what I ordered. Because of the suggest ions on this web page and with me wanting to take landscape photographs, I ende up getting some very good used Nikkor lenses.
What I have found out is that the more "professional" the equipment is, the bett er photographers take care of the equipment.
I hope these suggestions help you. You may email me with any more questions you may have.
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