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Thread: Advice on longer lenses please

  1. #1

    Advice on longer lenses please

    I currently have a Nikon 90mm, Nikon 120mm macro and Schneider 150mm lens for use on an Ebony 5x4, and am looking at getting a longer lens ... but not too long, and not too heavy!

    It's for landscapes rather than portraits.

    I'm not sure whether 210mm is too near the 150mm to make very much difference, or whether I should go for a 240mm or even 300mm.

    The Ebony I have is an SW45, but I also have the extension back, so have 270mm of extension.

    I also (a complete impulse buy that I shouldn't really have made, but it was under 45% of new price and is pretty close to mint!) just bought on eBay an Ebony SV45TE, which has much more extension at 445mm.

    I'm planning on keeping one of the Ebonys, but haven't decided which will stay and which will go yet. My hunch at the moment is the SW45 will probably stay, as it gives me an easier option of getting a 75mm (I'd have to change the bellows on the SV45TE I think), and it's lighter and looks easier to operate.

    I favour Nikon lenses really, and have been following two 300mm F/5.6 lenses, but would imagine these are pretty big and heavy (I think they are Copal 3).

    My budget is up to 400 ($800), and if used would want a pretty mint condition lens.

    So any suggestions for the lens I should go for?

    Thanks.

  2. #2

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    Re: Advice on longer lenses please

    Quote Originally Posted by newmoon2night View Post
    I currently have a Nikon 90mm, Nikon 120mm macro and Schneider 150mm lens for use on an Ebony 5x4, and am looking at getting a longer lens ... but not too long, and not too heavy!

    It's for landscapes rather than portraits.

    I'm not sure whether 210mm is too near the 150mm to make very much difference, or whether I should go for a 240mm or even 300mm.

    The Ebony I have is an SW45, but I also have the extension back, so have 270mm of extension.

    I also (a complete impulse buy that I shouldn't really have made, but it was under 45% of new price and is pretty close to mint!) just bought on eBay an Ebony SV45TE, which has much more extension at 445mm.

    I'm planning on keeping one of the Ebonys, but haven't decided which will stay and which will go yet. My hunch at the moment is the SW45 will probably stay, as it gives me an easier option of getting a 75mm (I'd have to change the bellows on the SV45TE I think), and it's lighter and looks easier to operate.

    I favour Nikon lenses really, and have been following two 300mm F/5.6 lenses, but would imagine these are pretty big and heavy (I think they are Copal 3).

    My budget is up to 400 ($800), and if used would want a pretty mint condition lens.

    So any suggestions for the lens I should go for?

    Thanks.
    Just a personal opininion, but I would keep the SV45TE, it allows use of lenses from 75 to 450. I know because I use those on mine. The extra bellows extension is a must for me as I like using longer lenses. I have a 75 for my SV45TE and used it just last week. The only "requirement" is dropping the bed which was simple. I have the mahogany version of the SV45TE so my camera is fairly light compared the the Ebony wood version. As for the 300, the Nikkor 300 F9 is a gem, lightweight and sharp. Jim

  3. #3

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    Re: Advice on longer lenses please

    `I'm putting together my system and so far I also have 90mm and 150mm lenses. I'm in the process of getting both 240mm and 300mm lenses, but if I was only getting one it would be the 240mm. I'd check out the 240mm Fujinon A f/9, 300mm Fujinon A f/9 and the Nikon 300M (as above). All have excellent reputations and are compact for field use.

  4. #4
    IanG's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on longer lenses please

    Look for a Nikon 300mm f9, I've had one for some years now and it's a great performer and light weight. But any 300mm lens would only be suitable for the SV45TE.

    Your other option is to find a tele lens, but most available S/H in the UK are usually quite old.

    Ian

  5. #5

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    Re: Advice on longer lenses please

    My natural jump in seeing goes 90, 150 & 210, so no, I don't believe the 210 is too close to a 150.

    Like any gas attack, once you get a 210 or 240, you'll need something a little longer, and then longer, and then longer. Enjoy the discoveries with your new lens whatever it is.
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

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  6. #6

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    Re: Advice on longer lenses please

    200/210 is not too close to 150, but 240 would also be fine.

    I would go either 210, 300 or 240.

    For the 240 the Fuji 240mm f9 can't be beat. For the 210 I have a Nikon 200mm f8, tiny, 180g, sharp, contrasty.

  7. #7

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    Re: Advice on longer lenses please

    I also shoot 4X5, and with so little real estate I hate to crop. This "zoom with your feet" principle is ill-founded for landscapes - I know when I've found my tripod holes and I want the proper focal length in my pack to match the vision. I shot with a 150mm and 240mm for two years and often found myself wanting a focal length between the two. I found a Nikon 200mm f8 and I'm now happy with the progression. Now there's the conspicuous void between 110mm and 150mm. 90,110,135,150,200,240,300 might seem too close, but with such a small transparency I feel I have to have the right lens.

    In your case, I think that you should make the camera decision first, and then come back to the advise in this thread.
    Last edited by Eric James; 7-Feb-2008 at 08:55.

  8. #8

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    Re: Advice on longer lenses please

    I owned a 150 and a 210 for many years and found that I almost never used the 150. For me they were too close. If you think of it in 35mm terms, it's roughly like owning a 50mm and a 70mm lens. Would you have bought those two focal lengths in your 35mm days (if you had any)? As for a lens, for your purposes the 300mm Nikon M is hard to beat. It's f9 but with a lens that long f9 is no problem for viewing on the ground glass. The Nikon is light, sharp, and well within your budget ($400 - $500 or so). I've owned one for years and wouldn't part with it.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  9. #9
    All metric sizes to 24x30 Ole Tjugen's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on longer lenses please

    I use 150mm slightly more often than 165mm, 180mm, or 210mm. I use the 240mm a bit more, but that's partly because it also gets used on larger formats. I also use 65mm, 80mm, 90mm, 105mm, 120mm, 135mm, 270mm, 300mm, 355mm, 360mm and 420mm.

    There's difference enough between one length and the next that I consider it worth owning all of these (and more); and enough that I'm also considering a 75mm to fill in the largest gap.

  10. #10

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    Re: Advice on longer lenses please

    These discussions always go around in circles because you have the guys that like a series of twelve lenses and the guys with two lenses who're perfectly content. I've decided that the only sane policy is to buy used lenses in excellent condition at a reasonable price and try them on for size. If they don't fit, you can sell at very little (or no) loss.

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