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Thread: 90mm & architecture why the popularity?

  1. #11
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
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    Re: 90mm & architecture why the popularity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh View Post
    …The 90s will definitely permit greater movements than the shorter ones.
    If a shorter focal length – let’s say the 75mm – permitted, generally speaking, greater movements than the 90mm, I’d be curious if the 75mm would become the new “favorite” for architecture, or whether the 90mm’s more “human-like” field-of-view (despite its inferior movements) would keep it champion of general purpose architecture lenses.

  2. #12

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    Re: 90mm & architecture why the popularity?

    RE coverage...

    72mm SA XL = 229mm

    90mm f/5.6 SA = 235mm

    ... pretty close to the same coverage according to the manufacturer. Yes, these are different vintages/series but, IMHO, most folks are thinking of thinking of older series lenses. If we're discussing lenses of different FL's all with "enough" coverage then this post is valid.

    As a previous poster stated, FL depends on positioning vs preferred amount, or the limiting of, distortion.

  3. #13
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: 90mm & architecture why the popularity?

    At one time the major pro photo schools would tell their students to buy a 4x5 along with
    a 210 for portraits and 90 for architecture. This would cover most of the needs with a miniumum investment and give an image circle generous enough for movements. These were considered the "basics". Now it's a cell phone scavanged from the bottom of a Cracker Jacks box.

  4. #14

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    Re: 90mm & architecture why the popularity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Old-N-Feeble View Post
    RE coverage...
    72mm SA XL = 229mm
    90mm f/5.6 SA = 235mm
    But the SA XL is probably the most expensive lens series in existence at any focal length.

    - Leigh

  5. #15

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    Re: 90mm & architecture why the popularity?

    Price isn't the point, Leigh. It's about popularity of focal length for architectural photography. My argument is that until the 72 SA XL was on the scene the widest commonly available lenses that cover 4x5 with enough movement for architecture were 90mm. The 72 SA XL changed that. Price? If you're a professional you might pay for a good used one with one or two jobs. That would NOT be me, BTW.

  6. #16

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    Re: 90mm & architecture why the popularity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Old-N-Feeble View Post
    Price isn't the point, Leigh.
    I'm glad it's not for you. It is for most people.

    The SA XL is a relatively new series of lenses, with much wider coverage than previous offerings from any maker.

    This thread is talking about popularity. It takes time for any lens to build a reputation and a following.

    Given the high price of the SA XL series, it's not likely to be warmly embraced by the majority of shooters.
    They simply can't afford to try it, regardless of its performance.

    - Leigh

  7. #17

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    Re: 90mm & architecture why the popularity?

    never mind

  8. #18

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    Re: 90mm & architecture why the popularity?

    Quote Originally Posted by rfesk View Post
    "trade-off between field-of-view & distortion help explain things?"

    It is a practical choice mostly. You choose the focal length that lets you accomplish the task at hand with the least distortion. And yes, the 90mm focal length on 4X5 is often the one chosen because you can only get so far away from a building before other things intrude (poles, trees, etc.)

    One well known architecture photographer commented that the longest lens he nomally had in his kit was a 180 which is close to a 50mm lens in 35mm photography.
    Classic schools (european) of painting recommends field of view approx. equal to 35mm (32 actually, but hey) lens on 35mm camera.. This considered to be most "natural" way of perceiving architecture for human.

  9. #19

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    Re: 90mm & architecture why the popularity?

    A newer 90mm lens is a great workhorse for general architectural images (I have used a 90mm 6.8 Grandagon for a number of years) - with the abiltity for a lot of rise or fall for control of the perspective. Most architectural shots want to be a 2-point perspectives - that is to say the converging veritical lines are corrected to not converge by using the back of the camera parallel to the building facade. 90mm lenses also makes the building look bigger, and have more depth. 120mm and 135mm lenses are very useful as well especially on exterior whole building images. It does depend on what you are trying to show and intent of the image. Details are often shot with longer lenses - such as door handles and other smaller parts. For interior shots the 90mm lens is the starting point for me. I often use a 75mm Grandagon and have used a 58mm lens in the past for a really tight situation with a stairwell image. I have also had issues with where can I set a camera up and gain access to an image of a perticular building - some locations really suck - long lenses make a great difference. These images have been for commercial architectual images for my business as an architect.

  10. #20

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    Re: 90mm & architecture why the popularity?

    I think anything wider than a 90mm on 4x5 falls into the category of, "The client wants the whole damn room in the picture and this is the only way to do it" versus taking a considered approach to describing the space by intelligently selecting what is significant via a longer lens.

    It's like going to the Grand Canyon and popping on a super wide lens. Yeah you got it all in but you also emptied out most of the meaning.

    I bet you rarely see many wider-than-90mm shots in the better portfolios.

    And a $600-$800 90/4.5 Rodenstock Grandagon is an awesome lens with nice coverage but not as ridiculously clumsy as the Schneider XL lens.

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