I've got a heavily modified Tele-Graflex RB in 4x5, and I'm trying to decide on what to use for a lens... Here's the camera:
At some point in the past, someone built a heavy support bed for the front standard, so it's supported on rails all the way out. It'll take a hell of a lens on there...I'm guessing this was built for an Aero Ektar or something really heavy. The front standard is an aluminum plate with about an inch of wood behind it. The hole is something around 5" I think. It's huge anyway. Whatever lens I put on there, I'm going to need to build a custom mount. The bellows is toast, and the body is kind of beat, but the shutter is in good working order, and the back was converted to a standard Graphic back (which is great since I don't really need two collections of film holders). Sooo...I need to pick out a lens. There's no easy/practical way to make it interchangeable, so it'll be semi-permanent. I'd mostly like to use this camera for portraits. Don't envision using it for much else.
Here's what I've got for lenses now that I could use:
Schneider Componon 240mm f5.6
It's an 8x10 enlarging lens, so it'll have an enormous image circle...on 4x5 it should really be using the sweet spot. Focal length is about right for what I want. Anyone ever use one of these? I'm guessing it should be a pretty sharp lens (too sharp?)... The flange it's mounted on just covers the hole in the camera, so it might be possible to use it. Won't focus to infinity on the RB--I can get maybe 20 feet, which is ok.
Dallmeyer Pentac 8" f2.9
Bought this just to use on this camera...it's big, kind of hazy, and covered in that black paint the British liked to slather all over their war material. I didn't have any luck taking it apart to clean it...looks like someone with a pipe wrench also tried without success (it's got bite marks on it). Only problem with this one is it's not even close to infinity on the RB--it's more like 5 feet. I held it up on my Crown Graphic, and it seems like a much better fit. I may just have to get a Speed to put it on. With the RB it would require some extreme creativity to mount it and get enough distance between me and the subject (it would have to be set down inside the hole pretty far).
Option three: Elgeet 10" f4.5
Really a nice little lens. Well, not that little I guess. It's mounted on a Graphic board, but when I put it on my Crown, it used up almost the entire bellows just to get to infinity...not sure what you do when you need to focus any closer. It's a better fit for the RB, which is so thick to start with. I think it will focus to around 20' on the RB. Anyone shoot one of these? Focal length and speed are pretty good for what I want. Can't seem to find much info on it though.
About the only other option I've looked at would be a Wollensak 15" tele...seems like it would be a good fit for what I want.
Thoughts? Suggestions? The camera can handle the weight of just about anything you could mount on it...