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Thread: What should be my next lens?

  1. #1

    What should be my next lens?

    I am new to LF and have a Tachihara field camera with the 150mm 5.6 that came with it. I am going on vacation soon and thought I would get a second lens. I shoot pretty much landscape only, some wildlife. I know it's somewhat subjective, but what would be a decent quality lens you would recommend for a non-pro with limited funds ? I should mention that I would need to buy used.

    Cheers

  2. #2

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    Re: What should be my next lens?

    With a little more information we can probably make a few suggestions- do you find yourself wishing you could zoom in more or would you like wider angles? what kind of price range are you looking into?

  3. #3

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    Re: What should be my next lens?

    I use a fair range of lenses with my 4 x 5 from wide (65) to long (500) I used to tend toward the wider end, but as my vision has changed I now tend toward the other end completely.

    I don't think that anyone could really give you good advice as for what to choose for your next lens, I think that comes from personal experience in the field and results on the light table.

    Knowing my own history, if I were new to LF, I think that I would stay with the single 150 lens, and really learn how to see and work with that angle of view and perhaps more important to really learn how to control perspective and focal plane (scheimflug) which totally puts LF work apart from other fixed relationship photography.

    my .02

  4. #4

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    Re: What should be my next lens?

    Hi Coops,

    I guess you do not try to shoot wildlife with your LF camera, do you? For landscapes, if I could only take two lenses on a trip, it would be a 150mm and a 90mm.
    Any modern lens from Rodenstock, Schneider Kreuznach, Nikon, Fuji or Caltar will be of excellent quality. 90mm lenses with f/4.5 or f/5.6 are quite large and heavy, so I would recommend an f/6.8 (or even f/8) version. I went for the Rodenstock Grandagon-N 6.8/90mm. It takes 67mm filters and is a good compromise between bulk and brightness of the image on the ground glass. With a bit of lucck, you can get one for just under 600$.

  5. #5

    Re: What should be my next lens?

    Great responses. No, I don't try to shoot wildlife, lol. I do that with my digital camera, and don't know why I added that.
    I guess the times I use my current lens, I do wish more that I could get a little closer, than I could wider. I know that ideally I will need several lenses to cover all situations. Practising with what I have is good advice, and I have to say, I am thrilled with the results I have so far. While not concentrating on composition so much, my focus and exposures look pretty darn good for a first timer. In fact I am having my first drum scan made today.
    I would like to spend less than $500 if possible, and once I know what to look for, I can spend time looking online for a deal.
    Thanks again.

  6. #6

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    Re: What should be my next lens?

    Focal length selection is an awfully personal matter. I tend towards moderately long lenses, so something in the 210mm range would be my choice. For budget-conscious folks the 203mm f7.7 Ektar is a very sound choice. The 203mm f7,5 lenses made by Wollensak tend to be even less expensive.

  7. #7

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    Re: What should be my next lens?

    Stick with what you already have unless there is some overiding factor you haven't told us about My point is that you know your work better than anyone else. If you often find a genuine need for, say a wider lens to shoot in cramped quarters, or maybe a longer lens in order to "reach out" beyond fences, then you pretty much already know what you want---at least a longer or shorter lens, and you can expect to get plenty of suggestions here. Until the need for a 2nd lens becomes apparent---and may very well on your trip---stick with one lens is what I suggest. Have a great vacation!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  8. #8

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    Re: What should be my next lens?

    Opps! I didn't read your reply above!
    If longer is the road you want to travel, I'd have to agree with Ernest Purdum about the 210s (Schneider made a convertible Symmar thats very nice) & 203 Ektars and Optars. I have a 203 Ektar and it is sweet! Another longish bargain lens to consider might be a 215mm Ilex or Caltar.
    If you want to pull out all the stops, ther was a recent post here about Schneider closing out 240 G Clarons for arond $5-600 (?) If your bellows can handle the focal length nd if you have the slightest notion of moving to an enven larger format sometime in the distant future (and you really really want to spend the $$) the 240 G Claron could well be a "legacy" lens in your kit.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  9. #9
    All metric sizes to 24x30 Ole Tjugen's Avatar
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    Re: What should be my next lens?

    I like wide lenses, and (relatively) cheap lenses.

    So the first wide lens I bought was a 90mm f:6.8 Angulon, which I later supplemented with a 90mm f:8 Super Angulon - mostly for 5x7" use.

    Beyond that I use a 210mm f:6.1 Xenar, but a 210mm f:5.6 Symmar would be cheaper and only a little heavier - and almost as good, but with a much larger image circle. A 210mm f:4.5 Xenar is older, cheaper, but also much larger.

    I have no experience with Ektars, so I can't say anything on the relative merits of Symmars, Xenars and Ektars.

  10. #10

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    Re: What should be my next lens?

    A good rule of thumb is to space your lenses by a factor of 1.5, which is also 3/2 or 2/3

    Based on 150, this translates to 100mm and 225mm. For practical purposes, this means that anything in the neighborhood of 120 and a 240 would do very well. Lenses that are small and light, like the Tachihara, will be desirable.

    I still have my 240 Fujinon A. It's one of the sharpest lenses out there, both near and far - and wide open, gives nice bokeh too. If I had only one lens, that would be it.

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