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Thread: 11x14 lens for huge enlargements of furniture

  1. #1
    John
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    11x14 lens for huge enlargements of furniture

    Hi all,

    I was just hoping for some help on what may be the best lens for a shoot I will be doing on 11x14 of an assemblage of Victorian mahogany furniture. Iíll be shooting on Portra 400/Delta 100 (for contacts) and Provia 100f (drum scanned for a 114x145 inch/290x370cm approx. enlargement to Duratrans, I may go for a smaller enlargement but this is the maximum).

    The set up will be roughly 3m long and 2.5 m high, Iíll be using a Deardoff V11 with fidelity holders and tungsten lights Ė there will be quite allot of black in the image. I think I will be shooting at a distance of roughly 4 metres to the furniture.

    I currently have a Nikkor-M 450mm and Apo Ronar 24in/600mm (a Klimsch labelled one so not sure how old)

    Are the lenses I have likely to provide a very high level of enlargement detail or would I need to go with something like a Symmar 480mm or even a 550 XXL?

    I thought the Apo Ronar might struggle with the depth of the furniture but wouldnít distort the lines of the furniture if the Nikkor might be considered slightly wide on 11x14 Ė Does anybody know what kind of lens furniture product shots were shot on way back when?

    Thanks for any help!
    Best,

    John

  2. #2
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: 11x14 lens for huge enlargements of furniture

    I like your last question best.

    Let's get some ideas.

    I have none, but I am very curious about historical shooting practices with Deardorff SC11, as I have one.

    Chicago was the epicenter of catalog sales photography and the reason the SC11 was built here for that market.

    Bump!

  3. #3

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    Re: 11x14 lens for huge enlargements of furniture

    The sharpest 11x14 lens kit would probably consist of the 210mm Super Symmar XL, 300mm Apo Sironar W, 360mm Apo Sironar S, 480mm Apo Symmar, and either a newer Apo Ronar or the Apo Tele Xenar HM.

  4. #4

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    Re: 11x14 lens for huge enlargements of furniture

    Not going to beat the 450M

  5. #5
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Re: 11x14 lens for huge enlargements of furniture

    To get the kind of DOF you need to photograph a room set, where tilt and swing aren't going to help enormously, and you've just got to stop way down, I doubt you'll see much difference in resolution among relatively modern, and even not-so-modern lenses.

    I've read about studios doing this kind of work on 11x14" in Hickory, North Carolina, which is a historic center of the U.S. furniture industry. They would shoot tests in black and white to process them quickly in a darkroom adjacent to the studio before shooting in color.

  6. #6
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: 11x14 lens for huge enlargements of furniture

    How close will the viewer be from the Duratrans? This would be good to know. Unless you have the ability to do some test shooting, you may want to calculate your acceptable resolution and select your aperture based on the common formulas. 550XXL was, of course, not available back then. Lens selection will probably be the least of your worries in completing this project.

    I will say my biggest film size is 8x10 and all my big prints are optical enlargements. Maybe Drew or Bob C. will chime in with some 11x14 and or scanning experience.

  7. #7
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    Re: 11x14 lens for huge enlargements of furniture

    Quote Originally Posted by DurbinLewisLtd View Post
    I’ll be shooting on Portra 400/Delta 100 (for contacts) and Provia 100f (drum scanned for a 114x145 inch/290x370cm approx. enlargement to Duratrans, I may go for a smaller enlargement but this is the maximum).
    Are you aware that Portra in 11x14 is a very expensive ($$$$$) custom order, and that Fuji no longer cuts any film to 11x14?

    Quote Originally Posted by DurbinLewisLtd View Post
    The set up will be roughly 3m long and 2.5 m high, I’ll be using a Deardoff V11 with fidelity holders and tungsten lights – there will be quite allot of black in the image. I think I will be shooting at a distance of roughly 4 metres to the furniture....

    Are the lenses I have likely to provide a very high level of enlargement detail or would I need to go with something like a Symmar 480mm or even a 550 XXL?

    I thought the Apo Ronar might struggle with the depth of the furniture but wouldn’t distort the lines of the furniture if the Nikkor might be considered slightly wide on 11x14 – Does anybody know what kind of lens furniture product shots were shot on way back when?
    Given a subject with substantial depth, the close range at which you need to work and the extreme degree of enlargement that you're seeking, I'm afraid I would question whether 11x14 is the right tool for the job. Unless you are looking for shallow-focus effects, you are going to have a devil of a time achieving adequate depth of field without paying an obvious price in resolution loss due to diffraction at small apertures - which, incidentally, will largely negate any resolution differences among the lenses you're considering.

  8. #8
    John
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    Re: 11x14 lens for huge enlargements of furniture

    hi all,

    the viewer will be able to go right up to the Duratrans - the general aim is to print the furniture at life size.

    I've got Portra 400 through Canham's special order and Provia that the seller assured me has been frozen since the Badger Graphics order a few years back

    I will be able to do some testing for this next year, just about got everything together - reliably developing the film is the next challenge.

    Based on my current work I have found a change when using 8x10 compared to 5x4 - I prefer the spatiality of 8x10 which is fairly subjective I know, and enjoy contact printing. I feel I need adequate depth of field not absolutely perfect, I will be arranging the furniture in such a way to minimize it's depth as much as I can - and photographing it frontally.

    Am I right in thinking that the Apo - Ronar will provide more depth of field challenges than the Nikkor and that this will adversely affect resolution. I expect £64 or maybe F45 will be my aperture given similar experience with 8x10 and a 360 mm Symmar S

  9. #9

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    Re: 11x14 lens for huge enlargements of furniture

    +1

    Quote Originally Posted by evan clarke View Post
    Not going to beat the 450M

  10. #10
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Re: 11x14 lens for huge enlargements of furniture

    For the same composition, I don't think you'll see much practical difference in DOF range between a 450mm and 600mm lens on 11x14" at your planned shooting distance. Of course, if you shoot smaller details at greater magnification with either lens, DOF will decrease, but at those distances, it's pretty much a function of magnification rather than focal length of the lens.

    I suspect your working aperture is going to be around f:90. Just running that quickly on my DOF calculator (pCAM app on my iPhone), converting feet to meters roughly in my head, that would give you a little less than 3m DOF range for a subject at 4m and a field of view of around 3m wide by a 2.5m high. I'm using the same CoC for that calculation as would be normal for 8x10", since I don't enlarge either format, but that should work for you, since you're making a big enlargement, and you might want a little more DOF than you would get from the standard value (or you might say that if you were using a DOF chart with the standard value for CoC with 11x14", you would stop down one extra stop than the recommendation, because you are making a bigger enlargement and want a little more DOF range).

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