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Thread: 5x7 Lens Suggestions

  1. #1

    Question 5x7 Lens Suggestions

    I'm slowly learning more LF with a beautiful black Seneca City View 5x7 camera. I currently have Schneider Super Angulons in 90mm, 210mm, & 360mm all in Copal shutters. I was wondering if those of you who shoot 5x7 could suggest other lenses. I shoot primarily landscapes & architecture currently. Any thoughts on lenses with another "feel"? Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. #2

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    Re: 5x7 Lens Suggestions

    It sounds like you have all your bases covered, but since you asked, how about a 159mm Wollensak WA, 9-1/2" or 12" Dagor or 190mm Kodak WF Ektar?
    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.

  3. #3

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    Re: 5x7 Lens Suggestions

    There's a huge gap between 90mm and 210 - basically the wide angle field (90 being extreme WA in 5x7). Suggestions include:

    115 Grandagon - same as above
    120mm F8 Super angulon/Fujinon/Nikkor SW etc. Big and heavy, large IC $350-$600+ price range.
    135 5.6 Fujinon- W (inner lettering/single coated) Covers 5x7 with a v small amount of movement. Cheap. Tiny.
    150 5.6 Fujinon-W (inner lettering/SC) Covers 5x7 with modest movements. Cheap, Tiny. The f6.3 version is more common, but much smaller IC.
    150 Rodenstock APO Sironar-W. Covers 5x7 nicely. $600-$1000+. Great lens and much sought after.
    150 f9 G claron. Covers stopped down to F22 and has room for some small movements at f32/45. Dark viewing, but cheap and v good. $200-300.
    165 f6.8 Angulon. Masses of coverage and not too expensive. Many are quite old so vary sample to sample. $400 +/-
    180 5.6 Fujinon-W (or NW) cover nicely with 280 (305mm) circles respectively. Most other lenses of this FL have less coverage. Older 'W' is cheap.

    With the 159 wolly that about covers it. You could pay lots for a 150XL but its overkill for 5x7.

    If you are after one lens, a 150/165 would seem the best bet and sit smack in the middle of what you already have.

  4. #4

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    Re: 5x7 Lens Suggestions

    If you like the classic look, Turner-Reich made a triple convertible for 5x7. I used to have one and stupidly sold it after I got my 10" Ektar. Kind of liked that lens.
    Michael W. Graves
    Michael's Pub

    If it ain't broke....don't fix it!

  5. #5

    Re: 5x7 Lens Suggestions

    What effects would I get from these lenses? What about some of the older "convertible" lenses? Thanks for your input.

  6. #6
    All metric sizes to 24x30 Ole Tjugen's Avatar
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    Re: 5x7 Lens Suggestions

    I can't remember ever having heard of a 360mm Super Angulon, and I would guess a 210mm Super Angulon would be a considerable load on any 5x7" camera?

    I use everything from 75mm (Super Angulon XL) to 420mm (Apo-Ronar) on my 5x7" cameras. Most used are 120mm and 165mm Angulon, and 210mm f:6.1 Xenar. If I need more coverage than the Xenar gives I will use either a 210mm f:5.6 Symmar (convertible), or a 210mm f:6.8 Angulon. The latter is pre-WWII and uncoated, so flare is a real problem to deal with.

  7. #7

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    Re: 5x7 Lens Suggestions

    What are you after, as far as "look?" Something vintage? Swirlies? Soft? Contrasty?There are a lot of directions to go with this.
    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

    Re: 5x7 Lens Suggestions

    Was kind of thinking about the softer look of older photos, but not the "soft focus" lens type of look.

  9. #9

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    Re: 5x7 Lens Suggestions

    Turner-Reich Triple convertible and 10 3/4" Dagor, come quickly to mind. A TR convertible in the appropriate focal length range should be rather inexpensive. I believe they made one in the neighborhood of 8-12-15", but I am unsure of the exact focal lengths.

  10. #10

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    Re: 5x7 Lens Suggestions

    In terms of a pure focal length question, it all depends on what you like but my most-often used 5X7 lens for your type of subjects is the 180 Symmar-S, followed by the 150 g claron. I very rarely use anything wider than the 150 though a couple times I've used a 110. I have a Nikkor 90mm that will cover 5X7 but have never once used it on that format.

    I am sure I use the 180 in many situations where a 210 would do, with a bit more coverage, but the vice versa of that is not true due to space limitations. If I want something longer than the 180 I carry a 240.

    I am a big fan of convertible lenses, protars in particular, but if you think you will get something atmospheric and artsy and soft, rather than contrasty and brutally sharp, you'd be disappointed. Though I have a kit of cells that would allow me to assemble many different slightly different focal lengths, I do tend to put it together for something around 180mm and use that for most of a trip. Occasionally when I don't have a "real" long lens in the 300mm and up range I have used a single cell of the protar and it has saved the day, provided I refocus at taking aperture. That is with a B&L protar, for whatever reason my experience with the Zeiss single cells has been very disappointing in even mild enlargements. Combined the Zeiss ones are excellent, though.

    My ideal carrying set in the bag is: 150/180/240. Somewhere in the trunk will be a 305 and a 450.

    I've had some decent Turner-Reich lenses but not yet one where a single cell will give a negative good enough to enlarge. I've heard some of those are out there. The coated Wolly convertibles are quite decent but many need recementing now; this seems to plague the longer ones in particular. I've tried out six of those, they are not as sharp combined as a protar (but still plenty sharp) and the single cells are excellent.

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