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Thread: Lens for 11x14 head & shoulders portraits?

  1. #1

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    Lens for 11x14 head & shoulders portraits?

    My 11x14 has a 21" bellows draw. What would be a good lens for a 11x14 head & shoulders in-studio portraits?
    I'm using it for wet plate photography so no shutter is fine.

    Thanks all

  2. #2

    Re: Lens for 11x14 head & shoulders portraits?

    Your bellows draw limits you to 16" (400mm) or shorter.
    Wet plate limits you to large portrait lenses and NO top-hat lens board, too heavy.

    16"f/4 petzval, f/4.5 tessar, 420/5.5 Dogmar just squeaks in, 18"f/4 Verito.

    I did test this a few weeks ago, relisted below:

    Camera = Ansco 5A double extension studio 8x10
    target = 60" from lens board
    bellow draw = lens board to GG

    lenses =
    B&L 11x14 tessar 400/4.5 = 20"
    Heliar
    14"/4.5 = 17.5"
    420/4.5 = 23"
    480/4.5 = 26.5"
    Dogmar
    420/5.5 = 20.5"
    480/5.5 = 26"
    500/4.5 = 29" (mounts mid-barrel)
    Extra Rapid Lynkeioskop 19"/6 = 26.5"
    Verito 18"/4 = 21"
    Vitax 16"/3.8 = 23.25" (rear cell well behind flange)
    Varium 19"/4 = 26"
    Voigtlander Petzval 20"/5 = 24"

    B&L Aero-Tessar 610/6 = 41"

  3. #3

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    Re: Lens for 11x14 head & shoulders portraits?

    Thanks paul but how do you figure that my bellows draw limits me to 16"? Just interested in the math.

  4. #4

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    Re: Lens for 11x14 head & shoulders portraits?

    check the post titled Formulas.....these work perfectly for me...will help you choose a lens based on you length limitations.

    note--I measure from the aperture---that's the best place to measure from (except for tele-lenses...which you measure from rear nodal point)...otherwise they have worked exactly and perfetly for me...these are also VERY good for LF enlarger calculations--with ceiling height limitations.

    oh--see last posts where they actually ARE verified as very useful by the naysayers who don't like that I didn't include relativistic effects....

  5. #5

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    Re: Lens for 11x14 head & shoulders portraits?

    Thanks
    I am offered a Konica Hexagon GRII 260mm - any thoughts/tips?

  6. #6

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    Re: Lens for 11x14 head & shoulders portraits?

    that's pretty short for 11x14....you'll have HOW much room from aperture to subject?....twice that at 1:1 magnification...which is head and shoulders...that ain't much room....take you bellows divide by two and that's the max for 1:1....OR....extend the back OUT with a cardboard box...it works...and use a longer lens....LONG as possible is what I use.....that's why I gots a studio camera...and THAT ain't long enough for my tastes.

  7. #7

    Re: Lens for 11x14 head & shoulders portraits?

    "Thanks paul but how do you figure that my bellows draw limits me to 16"? Just interested in the math."

    No math involved, I just measured the actual distance for each of the lenses listed.
    21" bellows draw would give you 22" from the lens board to the GG. Just run down the list. These were focused at 5 feet, closer requires more and more bellows.

    A B&L 16" Petzval converts to a 20" f/5 meniscus by removing the rear elements AND it's mounted 7" in front of the lens board, instant extension.

    Formulas are nice for the optical distance but not the physical Flange Focal Length for each different lens :

    Vitax 16"/3.8 = 23.25" (rear cell well behind flange)
    Voigtlander Petzval 20"/5 = 24" (rear cell even with flange)
    Dogmar 500/4.5 = 29" (mounts mid-barrel)

    Have fun with the hunt.

  8. #8

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    Re: Lens for 11x14 head & shoulders portraits?

    Well, supposedly the 260mm Hexagon GRII covers 11x14 at infinity with no movements so I can use it as a really wide landscape lens. But I was hoping for something available and inexpensive for head/shoulders too.

  9. #9

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    Re: Lens for 11x14 head & shoulders portraits?

    well....can you take and use 1/2 of the hexagon (what's that---a triangle???)...yeah...when you shoot it that way, call it a konca triangle...anyways...if the front or rear cell screws out...you can get like double the focal length plus "soft focus" (blurry) action going on.....i THINK hexanon is a plasmat 6 element type..if so...1/2 lens works...but you STILL need the bellows extension...or an extended mount on front or the cardboard box on back...try it.....1/2 lens and cardboard box

  10. #10

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    Re: Lens for 11x14 head & shoulders portraits?

    LOL - my mistake - hexaCon not hexaGon...

    There are a couple of posts here 'n there (one by Jim Galli) saying that the 260mm Hexacon does cover 11x14.

    The lenses on Paul's list are a bit beyond my budget! using a box or a tube is also beyond me since I don't have the technical skills to make em. I guess the idea of a box is to basically build an extension that attaches to the rear of the camera?

    I have a 21" Kodak anastigmat. Hmmm.. I wonder what happens if I remove a cell...

    Anyway, I guess I should have been clear that I was thinking of the Hexacon as a landscape lens. "Just for fun" (to quote my late father who was an engineer) lets say it should cover 11x14 at infinity. At infinity bellows draw is the same as focal length, which for the 260mm Hexacon means a bellows draw of 260mm=10 inches.

    For 1:1 it would be double that: 520mm or 20 inches, which is just shy of the max 21" bellows draw on my camera.

    Now how far away would your lens have to be from your subject to get 1:1 magnification using a 260mm lens and a max bellows draw of 21"? What was the formula for lens to subject distance etc etc? My math is rusty! So I think the formula was 1/f=1/u +1/v where f is the focal length, u is lens-to-subject distance and v is the lens-to-film distance (aka bellows draw.) (Yes this formula is an approximation for a simple lens etc - lets just pretend that's the case)

    So we have 1/260mm = 1/u + 1/520mm, eventually arriving at u=520mm or 20 inches.

    So in other words, to get 1:1 magnification using the Hexacon the lens would have to be 20 inches away from the subject? Is this right?
    For a 310mm lens, it would be 29 inches. But then I couldn't focus on infinity anymore.

    Anyway doing the math, it turns out my Anastigmat 21" is a bad deal because of the limited 21" bellows draw on my camera. It can focus on infinity only at full extension. And, it can't focus on anything closer, because it would need greater than max extension. In theory, However then you have to consider the DOF of this lens. That's more math.
    Last edited by cyrus; 1-Oct-2011 at 19:28.

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