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Thread: Portrait Lens for Graphic View II?

  1. #1

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    Portrait Lens for Graphic View II?

    Just purchased a Graphic View II. I've been doing a lot of research but there's still a few thing's I'm unsure about. One of them is what type of lens would be good for portraits. I heard that 300mm's are normal portrait lens for 4x5 view cameras but I also read somewhere that you have to make sure the lens for the view is greater than 90mm and less than 300mm. Any help on what would be a good portrait lens? I heard the Rodenstock Sironar 240mm f/5.6 lens is good for large format but would I be able to focus considering the length of my bellows?

  2. #2

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    Re: Portrait Lens for Graphic View II?

    In my opinion, around 210mm. The GVII that I have stood duty in a commercial portrait studio through the 50s, 60s, and 70s, with a 210/4.5 Ilex Paragon, which I still have. I recently bought another Paragon, a 300/6.3, and it's waaaaay too long for anything but heads at a reasonable range, though the bellows will reach, mostly. I bought it for my 5x7, not 4x5.

    The traditional measure for a portrait lens was film length + width, which makes 9" for 4x5 and 12" for 5x7, which I think is about just right. If you're stuck on having a long lens, depending on what you do, the 240 probably wouldn't be horrible.

    If you discover that your new camera changes focus as you tighten things up (you can see the standards move as you tighten the locks), I have a strategy to fix that, easily . . . just ask and I'll take some how-to pix.

    At first I wasn't too impressed with mine, but once I got it tuned up, it turns out to be quite a nice camera for its age, and easy to pack, as monorails go, and durable. I got more into it when I learned that the Graphic View is the camera Karsh used for on-the-road jobs that didn't require 8x10!

  3. #3

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    Re: Portrait Lens for Graphic View II?

    The Velostigmat, a Tessar design, is very nice and smooth at wider apertatures. As a bonus they are still reasonably priced. I agree with the 8-9 inch length for portraits.

    I should add the the pre-war lens is called the Velostigmat, and the post war is called the Raptar. Same lens, just that the Raptar is coated. It will have the CW (W inside a C) logo to show "Wolly Coated." I like the olde uncoated lenses but both are very nice.

    I've been using a 150mm Heliar with good success for family portraits.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails KarynHeliarM.jpg  

  4. #4

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    Re: Portrait Lens for Graphic View II?

    Thank you for all the great answers. I'll probably go for a 210mm then and get used to that. I'd also like to experiment with wet plate collodion, and for this I know I will require a bright camera, around f/3. Any lens recommendations for a lens that's bright and soft? The Graphic view is a copal #0, not sure if #1 and #2 can work also. So for this I think I'm very limited with a selection on lenses.

  5. #5

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    Re: Portrait Lens for Graphic View II?

    Hi

    I have a 210mm f4.5 Zeiss Tessar, a fairly old one, dispenses some lovely bokeh and if considered, produces some terrific close up/still life etc images

    good luck

    andrew

  6. #6

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    Re: Portrait Lens for Graphic View II?

    If you go for wet plate, you have to use a Petzval. It's required by federal law.

  7. #7

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    Re: Portrait Lens for Graphic View II?

    Most big lenses and shutters will fit fine, though you may have to put any Packard shutter on the front of the lens rather than the back. The thing that the Graphic View doesn't handle well is modern wide angles, because the sunken board is so small inside--you're mostly limited to the old Raptars and Optars that were made for the camera.

    For that funky old look, how about one of these, with the Packard shutter on the front?
    http://www.re-inventedphotoequip.com/Prices.html

  8. #8
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    Re: Portrait Lens for Graphic View II?

    If that graphic view has the 4x4 lensboards, you can use pretty big, upto copal 3 without problem. For portraits, the 210ish range is good.
    I'd suggest something with a shutter like the copal3, compound, ilex, et... An ilex5 would be too big probably.

    Triplets, tessars, heliars are great smooth lenses. Triplets include the Trioplan, Cooke has a few, and many others, including the contemporary Fuji soft focus, which I'd suggest as a smooth triplet stopped down a bit rather than actual soft focus. Rapid rectilinears can do well too. I'd suggest a tessar or triplet to get started simple and cheap. I like the Fujinar 210/4.5 tessar, but there are many capable equivalents.

    Soft focus options with a smaller-medium sized modern shutter include the Veritar. Galli meniscus, cooke 945ps. If it's only for studio use a packard shutter can be modded to sync strobes. People have done good thing with magnifying glasses or closeup lenses too if you're adventurous.

  9. #9

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    Re: Portrait Lens for Graphic View II?

    My two big lenses are Ilex 4s. I think you're right, a 5 would probably be too much.

  10. #10

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    Re: Portrait Lens for Graphic View II?

    That would be pretty a pretty good focal length for doing wet plate. And yes i'd love to do close up portraits. Bokeh would be great for the portraits background. What copal # is it?

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