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Thread: Wide angle lens suggestions - Rodenstock Grandagon 75/4.5

  1. #1

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    Wide angle lens suggestions - Rodenstock Grandagon 75/4.5

    Hi all. I started with LF a very few months ago with a Sinar F1 together with a Sironar 210mm f5.6. Since I also got a 6x9 film back at the moment I'm mostly using it instead of proper 4x5 film: this because I would like to get a bit more confident with the camera before switching to sheet film.
    Since I would like to try some landscape I'm thinking about buying a wide angle lens and I would like something that would be good on both 6x9 and 4x5. I'm looking at the 75mm or 90mm.
    Do you think it's a good idea or they are too wide as second lens after the 210mm?
    I could have the option to get a Rodenstock Grandagon 75mm f4.5 (the old version, not the N) at a very reasonable price. Does anybody have experience with the lens and can share it?
    Would it make sense to buy instead a cheaper f8 or would it be significantly more difficult to focus?
    Thank you for your feedback and suggestions!
    Andrea

  2. #2

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    Re: Wide angle lens suggestions - Rodenstock Grandagon 75/4.5

    When I first got into large format I was looking to find a wide angle similar to my beloved 25mm Zeiss on my Contax 35mm camera. I purchase a 75mm and found it seemed too wide. I then sold it and bought a 90mm lens which felt right to me. Of course we are comparing the more square format of a 4x5 to a more rectangular format 35mm frame. If you can, borrow someone's 75mm or 90mm to see for yourself. Otherwise it may be trial and error like it was with me. I will say this. The 90mm wide-angle is the most popular wide angle lens for 4x5.

    Most favor the f8 lenses for their smaller size, lighter weight and lower cost. If you have bad eyes or shoot dusk or night scenes often you may favor the f4.5 lens. If you own a lens (any format) that will stop down to f4 then do that and then compare it to f8. This will give you an idea.

    Welcome to the forum!

  3. #3

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    Re: Wide angle lens suggestions - Rodenstock Grandagon 75/4.5

    if the 75mm is a good deal.. buy it..try it and if you find it too wide, you can always resell it again for close to, if not what you paid for it

    then go by a 90

  4. #4

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    Re: Wide angle lens suggestions - Rodenstock Grandagon 75/4.5

    A 90mm on 69 is a short normal for the format while a 75 is a moderate wide angle for 69. Your 210 is a fairly long lens for 69.

  5. #5
    Ed Freniere
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    Re: Wide angle lens suggestions - Rodenstock Grandagon 75/4.5

    I bought a Toyo 45AII kit a couple years ago that came with a 75mm. I found it a bit wide for my taste, and bought a 90mm f/8 Super Angulon. I chose it for the smaller size, weight, and price compared to the 90mm f/5.6 SA. I am happy with it, and use it much more often than the 75. It is difficult to focus in dim light, though I didn't quite believe that until I tried to compose photograph at dusk in a redwood forest.

  6. #6

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    Re: Wide angle lens suggestions - Rodenstock Grandagon 75/4.5

    Quote Originally Posted by photog_ed View Post
    I bought a Toyo 45AII kit a couple years ago that came with a 75mm. I found it a bit wide for my taste, and bought a 90mm f/8 Super Angulon. I chose it for the smaller size, weight, and price compared to the 90mm f/5.6 SA. I am happy with it, and use it much more often than the 75. It is difficult to focus in dim light, though I didn't quite believe that until I tried to compose photograph at dusk in a redwood forest.
    Except she is using it with 69 roll film, not 45 sheet film.

  7. #7

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    Re: Wide angle lens suggestions - Rodenstock Grandagon 75/4.5

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    Except she is using it with 69 roll film, not 45 sheet film.
    Bob, she starts off mentioning 6x9 but later in the post she mentions that she is looking for a lens that would be good for both 6x9 and 4x5. Easy to miss!

  8. #8

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    Re: Wide angle lens suggestions - Rodenstock Grandagon 75/4.5

    I went through the same thought process when I first got into large format about a year ago. I eventually settled on the 90mm (a Fujinon 5.6). The field of view is nice (about where a 28mm is on 135), it has plenty of coverage for movements for architecture photography, and I don't feel it needs a center filter. I read reports of the 75mm lenses needing a good center filter to combat vignetting and that's what turned me away from them. Though, to be fair, I never really gave one a chance, so I can't comment on whether or not that's just another unsubstantiated internet rumor or not. I may add a 75mm one day, but for now, I'm pleased with the 90mm.

    I would also recommend looking at a 135mm or 150mm lens (preferably 150mm). The jump from a 90mm to a 210mm is a bit large, and you might find yourself looking for something in between. The good new is 135mm and 150mm lenses are among the cheaper focal lengths in 4x5, as they're kind of seen as the "normal" focal length and are probably the most common. The 90mm, 150mm, and 210mm is a good set to start off with, in my opinion.

    If your eyes are good, I don't think there's a whole lot of difference between an f4.5 and an f8. In dim light, they're all pretty hard to see, but if you wrap the dark cloth all the way around to shut out all of the ambient light and give your eyes time to adjust, you can make do. If you're eyes aren't so good, then that extra stop and two thirds might actually make a difference to you in rare circumstances, and may be worth the money. If the f8 lenses were impossible to compose on, then they wouldn't make them.

  9. #9

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    Re: Wide angle lens suggestions - Rodenstock Grandagon 75/4.5

    Quote Originally Posted by jim10219 View Post
    I went through the same thought process when I first got into large format about a year ago. I eventually settled on the 90mm (a Fujinon 5.6). The field of view is nice (about where a 28mm is on 135), it has plenty of coverage for movements for architecture photography, and I don't feel it needs a center filter. I read reports of the 75mm lenses needing a good center filter to combat vignetting and that's what turned me away from them. Though, to be fair, I never really gave one a chance, so I can't comment on whether or not that's just another unsubstantiated internet rumor or not. I may add a 75mm one day, but for now, I'm pleased with the 90mm.

    I would also recommend looking at a 135mm or 150mm lens (preferably 150mm). The jump from a 90mm to a 210mm is a bit large, and you might find yourself looking for something in between. The good new is 135mm and 150mm lenses are among the cheaper focal lengths in 4x5, as they're kind of seen as the "normal" focal length and are probably the most common. The 90mm, 150mm, and 210mm is a good set to start off with, in my opinion.

    If your eyes are good, I don't think there's a whole lot of difference between an f4.5 and an f8. In dim light, they're all pretty hard to see, but if you wrap the dark cloth all the way around to shut out all of the ambient light and give your eyes time to adjust, you can make do. If you're eyes aren't so good, then that extra stop and two thirds might actually make a difference to you in rare circumstances, and may be worth the money. If the f8 lenses were impossible to compose on, then they wouldn't make them.
    You don't use a center filter because of vignetting. You use it to compensate for the fall off in illumination from center to edge on all modern wide angle lenses, including yours, especially if you use movements to displace the image with your Fuji.

  10. #10

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    Re: Wide angle lens suggestions - Rodenstock Grandagon 75/4.5

    Quote Originally Posted by visand View Post
    I would like to get a bit more confident with the camera
    Why not doing this directly with sheet film instead of rollfilm? Everything is more obviously on bigger screens.
    On rollfilm, every of your lens gives another impression than on 4x5".
    If you want to learn 4x5" and about your lens(es), so it could be a good idea to buy cheap stuff like Fomapan, or Rollei ATO, in 4x5" size.


    I find starting LF with a WA lens more difficult, too, so I would suggest starting first with a normal lens, but this doesn't mean not to buy the reasonable Grandagon.

    As beeing a beginner I immediately sold my f/8 Angulon which I have found very dark.
    Dark lens, wide angel, no experience - for me this all gave some trouble :-)

    Today I would use the old Angulon again, but I prefer to use my 4,5 /75mm Grandagon.

    Best,
    Ritchie

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