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Jim Rice
25-Oct-2013, 20:01
I am starting to think about LF again and am really leaning toward a 120ish on 4x5. I enjoy my 58 (Koni) in 6x7 and when I was shooting 8x10 the 250 was my favorite. Am I missing something here? I would appreciate the greater coverage as opposed to a 90 which always seemed a tad wide for me as a moderate wide. Also, what are my choices and your thoughts on them?

neil poulsen
25-Oct-2013, 21:26
I've enjoyed using medium format film on a 4x5.

Of course, one gets the movements of a 4x5. The lenses aren't as good, if one uses 4x5 lenses. (Compared to say, the latest RZ lenses on an RZ67.) But, I think that they're good enough. Plus, if one uses a lens shade, they can go a long way towards reducing flare, since there's far less opportunity for light to reflect off the bellows onto the film. If I were going to photograph a snow scene, I'd pick my format and then use the next larger camera with an effective lens shade. Focus is more critical, since it requires greater enlargement to obtain the same sized print or image. One can even use the zone system for B&W by reserving a different film magazine for each development. And of course, one for color negative, one for transparency, etc. Depending on print sizes, one would want the best possible scanner for color. Even a high-end Epson consumer scanner tops out at about a 3-4x enlargement. I think that an 11"x14" would be about the limit for color images, whereas a decent 16"x20" color image is within range of a 4x5 color negative or transparency.

I think that one has to pick their camera. It might be difficult using a clamshell camera, since the restricted bellows can make it more difficult to use the wider angle lenses needed by medium format film. A rail camera would be best, one that accommodates a bag bellows.

Kirk Gittings would have some very good insights to using a medium format film on a 4x5 camera. As I understand, he spent years photographing architecture using Calumet medium format holders on a Calumet wide camera. (Very reasonably priced equipment.)

drew.saunders
25-Oct-2013, 22:02
When I got back into LF in 2001, it was with a APO-Symmar 120/5.6 on a Tachihara. I've just recently picked up an older 125/5.6 Fuji W with much greater coverage, and sold the Schneider, since I moved to an Ebony with much more movements, and the limited coverage of the older pre "L" APO-Symmar was occasionally a problem. I still prefer a 125 or 120 as a good general purpose somewhat-wide lens. If I take just one lens on an outing, it'll be my 200/8 Nikkor-M, but if I take just two, I'll add the 125 Fujinon. There are some 120mm wide angle lenses for larger formats that are quite large, and there was the Schneider SS HM, but if you're looking for something that isn't huge or very expensive, you'll mostly be looking for the APO-Symmar (or APO-Symmar L with greater coverage) or one of the Fuji 125mm options. If you can find one and it fits your budget, the Super Symmar HM is reputed to be excellent. Both Schneider and Nikkor made 120mm macro lenses, but I don't know how well they covered 4x5 at regular focal distances. There's also the Schneider 110mm SSXL if you want a lot of coverage and can afford it.

E. von Hoegh
26-Oct-2013, 07:30
I am starting to think about LF again and am really leaning toward a 120ish on 4x5. I enjoy my 58 (Koni) in 6x7 and when I was shooting 8x10 the 250 was my favorite. Am I missing something here? I would appreciate the greater coverage as opposed to a 90 which always seemed a tad wide for me as a moderate wide. Also, what are my choices and your thoughts on them?

FWIW, a 240 (actually a 9 1/2") Dagor is one of my favorite lenses on 8x10, the only reason I don't use a 120 for 4x5 is that I don't have one. The 120 (4 3/4") Dagor might not be the best choice for negatives that will be enlarged, though, the corners of mine on 8x10 get soft in a hurry when I apply movements. Straight on it's fine.

tgtaylor
26-Oct-2013, 08:28
A 250mm on an 8x10 translates to 125mm on a 4x5. If you are looking for a 4x5 equivalent, then I highly recommend the Rodenstock 150mm apo Sironar-S which will deliver the same field of view as the 250. The Rodenstock is an excellent, if costly, lens but well worth its price. But then when I purchased it the selling price (new) was 1/2 of what it is today.

Some years back I purchased a 120mm Nikkor-SW for the 4x5. It's an excellent lens but the FOV is only slightly, very slightly, greater than the 150mm Rodenstock and for some time I thought that I had made an unwise purchase since the FOV of the two lens were almost identical. But I have since purchased an 8x10 system and the Nikkor covers 8x10 where it is an extremely wide angle for that format so I remounted the 120 on a 6" toyo-view lens board and dedicated it to that format.

Thomas

Kodachrome25
26-Oct-2013, 09:07
My favorite lens is the 135 Apo Sironar S, I just bonded with the 135 focal length more than the 150 so I don't even own a 150. I also have a 120 AM Nikkor Macro, great special purpose lens that has proven super sharp at close ranges.

Jim Rice
26-Oct-2013, 12:57
Anyone using a 115 Grandagon?

Randy
26-Oct-2013, 14:19
I have the Calumet re-branded version of the 115mm. I have used it on 5x7 and 4X10. I like it.

jeroldharter
26-Oct-2013, 15:06
Regular 135 mm Sironar N or Caltar lenses have somewhat limited coverage. I found it easy to max out the rise for example. The apo Sironar S 135 has better coverage, is tiny and light, and expensive. Some of the 120 or 115 mm lenses are much larger, heavier, and use large/expensive filters. I would consider the 135mm apo Sironar S if you have the money. Otherwise, any modern 150 would have good coverage and be excellent.

photobymike
26-Oct-2013, 16:48
I would not use 120 on my 4x5.... a good twin lens or a Koni Omega...now there is a camera i miss. i used to do weddings with several years and years ago... fast and very reliable... then there is the Mamiya 330... another walking camera.... and i am more of a wide angle shooter...... give me a 65 or a 75 and i am in love

Randy Moe
26-Oct-2013, 17:14
+1


I would not use 120 on my 4x5.... a good twin lens or a Koni Omega...now there is a camera i miss. i used to do weddings with several years and years ago... fast and very reliable... then there is the Mamiya 330... another walking camera.... and i am more of a wide angle shooter...... give me a 65 or a 75 and i am in love

David Lindquist
26-Oct-2013, 17:19
Am I the only one seeing two parallel discussions here; one about using 120 roll film in a 4 X 5 camera and one using a 120 mm lens on a 4 X 5 camera (with 4 X 5 film)?

Jim Rice
26-Oct-2013, 17:22
Perhaps I phrased my question badly. I am asking about using a 120mm lens on 4x5.

EdSawyer
26-Oct-2013, 18:05
If you can live with limited coverage, the 120 apo symmar is an excellent lens, sharp and small.

photobymike
26-Oct-2013, 20:54
oh ... well. i use a 127 ektar on field camera for close in stuff...it is an old graflex lens.. i use it for portraits actually as well .....i use it for everything...i am now experimenting with a paragon 7 1/2. i would not put a whole bunch of money in a 120 lens cuz the Ektar it perfect for what use it for..... Actually i am over spending money for the latest a greatest sharpest whatever. i like to see some personality in my photos...i think economy and ease of use are important factors along with the personality bokeh ect...Then i look at for the extra 500 maybe dollars will make my bottom line more..or will actually make pictures better....no not really ...the 127 cost 65 dollars ....it takes really good pictures yea the corners might not be as good ..... but if you have people noticing the blurry corners of your photos maybe it is time to take class and fix cars.

Andrew O'Neill
26-Oct-2013, 22:05
I have been using a Nikkor 120SW for years on my 8x10. I've rarely used it on 4x5. It's 90mm or wider!

Doremus Scudder
27-Oct-2013, 02:40
The 120mm wide-angle lenses (SA, Grandagon, et al.) are going to be rather large, but will give you the coverage you need to use more extreme movements (ca. 300mm image circle give or take depending on mfg).

Plasmat designs in 120/125mm will have significantly less coverage. That said, I've been intrigued by the older Fujinon 125mm lenses. They are small, take 52mm filters and have a bit more coverage than the newer models. A 120mm Angulon (not Super Angulon) may be a good choice also, since it, too has more coverage (211mm ic) than the plasmats. You only get single-coating however. The Schneider Super-Symmar 120mm would be a good choice, albeit a little larger, but with the same image circle as the angulon.

If you can live with a little longer, there are a huge amount of 135mm lenses. My favorite for coverage is the older Wide-Field Ektar. It's still relatively small, but has a gratifyingly larger image circle than most plasmats.

Best,

Doremus

Chuck Pere
27-Oct-2013, 08:19
If you want small the 120 Osaka (Congo) Wide Field is a usable lens. Modern Copal shutter and MC. I've used mine on 5x7 straight on with no problems in coverage. 220mm coverage and 43mm filter size.

Drew Wiley
30-Oct-2013, 15:49
I'm not terribly fond of that perspective, but I do use a 240 or 250 for my typical 8x10 wide applications, and get the equivalent with a Fuji 125W - a little gem
with superb optical performance.

Ari
30-Oct-2013, 16:22
Anyone using a 115 Grandagon?

I do, and it's hard to beat on 4x5.
When I have to take only two lenses in a small kit, it's the 115 and 210; there's not much you can't do with those two lenses.
The 115 is such a versatile lens; I use it for portraits and architecture, but it would be equally excellent for landscapes, close-up work, anything really.
Quality-wise, it's an outstanding lens, though a little chubby.
I've also used it in a pinch on 8x10, with only slight darkening of corners.

Yes, I'm a fan. :)

Leigh
30-Oct-2013, 17:58
120 what? Are you asking about film size or lens focal length?

A bit more specificity in the question would likely yield more relevant answers.

- Leigh

David Lindquist
30-Oct-2013, 20:57
120 what? Are you asking about film size or lens focal length?

A bit more specificity in the question would likely yield more relevant answers.

- Leigh

Hi Leigh,
See post number 13 above (following my number 12). :)
David

Leigh
30-Oct-2013, 21:13
The Nikkor SW 120/8 is a relatively small lens in a Copal 0 shutter with a huge 312mm image circle.

I've been very pleased with its performance. I bought the last new one that B&H had in stock.

They can be hard to find, but they do show up on the used market.

- Leigh