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Thread: Newb neeeds your advice

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Newb neeeds your advice

    Hello,
    I am very new to large format photography. I need some advice to what equipments i should buy...

    I am bidding on a Cambo body on ebay.. the price for those seem to be reasonable.

    I need some advice on which lens i should buy..

    My studio is 17' x 19'. Most of the photos i take should be head to tow full body shots and some porttraits (waist and up).

    Can i get a 150mm for the full body shots? and move closer to the subject for the waist and up shots?

    Someone told me that i need to buy a modern lens. i am not sure what that is. I want the maximum sharpness possible for the main subject in my photos with nice shallow depth of field.

    Please tell me what lens and what brand i should be looking at.

    Thank you in advance )

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    T

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Gulfport, MS, USA
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    874

    Re: Newb neeeds your advice

    I'd suggest starting with something in the 150mm to 160mm (normal lens) for the full length shots and adding a slightly longer lens, 210mm to 240mm or even a 300mm, fairly quickly for the head and sholders shots. Most folks don't find that they need as long a lens (compared to the normal lens) for good modeling on portraits with 4x5 cameras as they would use on smaller formats. For example, with 35mm cameras a lens of 100mm, twice the length of the normal 50mm, is consdered a good portrait length, but with 4z5's a lens of only about 1/3 longer than normal seems to do fine.

  3. #3
    lenser's Avatar
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    Tim from Missouri
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    1,608

    Re: Newb neeeds your advice

    Kodak published this focal length chart in one of their old books, "Photography with Large- Format Cameras". Hope it helps.

    Tim
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails focal length.jpg  
    "One of the greatest necessities in America is to discover creative solitude." Carl Sandburg

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    San Joaquin Valley, California
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    Re: Newb neeeds your advice

    How large are you printing your portraits and whom are your clients?
    If you only print as large as 8x10s I'd doubt that there would be much to be gained by moving up from mf other than that it would sure be a lot more fun (or if you are after a unique "look".)
    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.

  5. #5
    Alan Duncanson
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Indianapolis, Ind.
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    Re: Newb neeeds your advice

    To me a "modern lens" is anything multi-coated, meaning that it could date from the mid 70's on. Many on this forum might tell you, particularly in the controlled lighting conditions of a studio, that you don't need a multi-coated lens and others will strongly argue for the joys of a soft uncoated portrait lens from the 19th century. However, you don't yet seem to be influenced by that argument.

    For max sharpness and minimum depth of field, you might look for a Zeiss Planar (ouch, very large amounts of money required), a Schneider Xenotar or to save a little more money, one of the Komura 152mm/3.5 copies of the Planar. For a fair price you might find a fast (f/3.5) Schneider Xenar, but I don't think that they were ever made coated. Finally, a Kodak Aero Ektar, might give you your desired look but you will probably have to rig a Packard shutter (find one with a sync) to use one of those.

    Good luck

    Whoops - I just read elsewhere (photo.net/large-format-photography-forum/009mU2) that the Aero Ektar has limited sharpness at portrait distances.
    Last edited by aduncanson; 18-Sep-2008 at 15:23. Reason: Added information about AeroEktar performance at portrait distances.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    San Joaquin Valley, California
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    Re: Newb neeeds your advice

    I was thinking a great set up for sharp studio portraits would be an 11x14 with a 305 G Claron and a 24" RD Artar to stick up front and make contact prints.

    It might record so much detail that the negs might reveal more than the sitter would prefer!
    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.

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