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Sazerac
26-Jan-2014, 08:52
Hello, I'm new to the LF world and am working on some architectural views of openings and entrances. The Sinar F that I got had a Nikkor-W 135/5.6 lens with it that seems to be working well, but I am wondering if there is another lens that I should be looking at for architectural work. I like the 135mm focal length and will probably add something in the 75mm and 300mm range later. All suggestions are welcome!

John Kasaian
26-Jan-2014, 09:38
Most architectural photographers I know live and breathe 90mm Super Angulons or the Nikkor/Grandagon equivalents.

Bernice Loui
26-Jan-2014, 10:49
For 4x5, the 90mm is often used with a bag bellows. The f4.5 versions have a larger image circle which is significant when greater camera movements must be used.

The 75mm, 65mm or shorter is used for cramped interiors spaces. These also are used with a bag bellows.


Limitations of the 135mm would be image circle, this would restrict the amount of camera movement possible. It might be better to upgrade to a wide angle lens of 120mm focal length if this becomes a problem.

A 300mm is often used for building detail images..

Do get a normal focal length lens too.



:)
Bernice


Hello, I'm new to the LF world and am working on some architectural views of openings and entrances. The Sinar F that I got had a Nikkor-W 135/5.6 lens with it that seems to be working well, but I am wondering if there is another lens that I should be looking at for architectural work. I like the 135mm focal length and will probably add something in the 75mm and 300mm range later. All suggestions are welcome!

Steve Goldstein
26-Jan-2014, 11:23
If you're happy with your current combination but would like greater coverage at the same focal length to provide for more movements, look for either an older Fujinon-W 135 (so-called "inside lettering", identifying engravings visible when looking into the front of the lens) or a 135mm Wide-Field Ektar. Your Nikkor covers 73 degrees, giving an image circle of 200mm at f/22, the Fujinon covers 80 degrees at the same aperture (228mm IC) and the Ektar covers even more. Unlike your Nikkor, both are single-coated.

If you want something slightly wider that's still fairly small and inexpensive, look for an "inside lettering" 125mm Fujinon-W, also single-coated. You'll give up a little image circle (211mm at f/22) with this, but it's still got a bit more coverage than your Nikkor.

All of these show up regularly, but not frequently, on eBay.

That being said, 90mm seems an awfully popular focal length with the architectural crowd, as previous replies have pointed out. But any 90 with appropriate coverage will be bigger and heavier that the lenses I mentioned above.

Robert Skeoch
27-Jan-2014, 06:36
Although the 135mm is a great length I would consider the 120mm f8 Nikkor. I use one on my 8x10 so it has great covering power and is wonderful for 4x5 work because you run out of camera before you run out of lens.
-Rob Skeoch

Larry Gebhardt
27-Jan-2014, 11:54
Keep using the 135mm until you know you want to replace it for some reason. If it's too long look at getting a shorter lens. If it runs out of coverage look for a lens with a larger image circle.

One more lens to consider is the 110mm Super Symmar XL, which has lots of coverage (just covers 8x10, so I've read) and is slightly wider than the 135mm if you don't want to go all the way down to 90mm. I use one on 5x7 and 4x5 and find I like it better in most cases than the 90mm for the little bit of architecture I shoot. It couples well with a 75mm (I like a 1.5X multiplier for spacing my lenses).

Drew Wiley
27-Jan-2014, 12:28
If you like the "feel" of that angle of view, no need to look elsewhere. But in terms of usable image circle on 4x5 film, you're not going to have a lot of surplus for
serious rise or other potential movements typical of many architectural subjects.

Leigh
27-Jan-2014, 12:51
Your 135mm Nikkor-W is a very nice lens, but it's not really a "wide angle" lens.

In fact many people consider 135mm to be the "standard" focal length for LF, much like 50mm for 35mm film.

I think the most popular FL for 4x5 architecture is probably 90mm, provided it has a large enough image circle.

I use a Fujinon SWD 90/5.6. Its image circle is 236mm @ f/22, which allows significant movements on 4x5.

For comparison, your Nikkor-W 135/5.6 has an image circle of 200mm @ f/22 and 156mm @ f/5.6.

Many consider the Nikkor SW 120/8 to be the ultimate architecture lens with its huge 312mm IC, but it's large (80mm diameter front and rear) and expensive. I love mine, but I use other focal lengths also.

- Leigh

Merg Ross
27-Jan-2014, 13:16
Speaking from experience, for exterior architectural photography use the longest lens that works. Save the 90mm and shorter lenses for the intended situations, most often interiors. Working for architects as clients, I found their preference was for the longer lens perspective.The 150mm was used quite often, and on occasion, the 250mm. Of course, a 90mm is essential if you are a professional in that line of work and sometimes a 75mm will be necessary. The 135mm lens you have is also a good choice for architectural work.

Leigh
27-Jan-2014, 13:41
I certainly agree with Merg that most viewers will likely prefer the perspective provided by lenses closer to "normal" focal length.

Shorter FLs are commonly used when the option of moving farther from the subject is not available.

- Leigh

Drew Wiley
27-Jan-2014, 14:18
The name of the game often changes between outdoors and indoors, or when otherwise confined by insufficient distance. I rarely pack true wide-angle lenses, but
when I do, there is a reason for it.

Alan Gales
27-Jan-2014, 16:32
If you decide that you want a Nikkor SW 120mm f/8 lens and find the price a little too high you might look for a Schneider Super-Angulon 121mm f/8 lens. I picked up mine for a little less than $200.00 and I have seen others go in the $250.00 range. It has almost as large an image circle as the Nikkor and plenty more than enough needed for 4x5.

Doremus Scudder
28-Jan-2014, 02:41
If you like the 135mm focal length and not running out of image circle, then, by all means, use it! 135mm is my most-used focal length.

However, as Merg points out, longer lenses often give you better framing and perspective for architectural details (since you're doing doorways...). My advice would be to use a viewing frame (an two-inch x two-and-a-half inch rectangle cut in a dark mat board works great) and practice framing your subjects without the camera. Find the ideal distance from the subject and then compose the borders with the viewing frame. Now set up your camera on that spot and see if your 135mm has too wide or too narrow a view (or is just right!). If you find you consistently want a tighter composition, your next lens might be in the 180mm or 210mm range. If you find you are consistently wanting a wider view, then go for the 90mm.

If you are running out of image circle because of camera movements, that's another issue. If you are looking for larger image circle in the 135mm focal length, then get your hands on a Wide-Field Ektar. I have two and they won't be available till I kick the bucket! The 290mm image circle is often just enough more to get that extra bit of rise needed.

If you need more than that, you'll have to go with one of the larger wide-angle designs (Super Angulon, etc.) in a similar focal length, e.g., 120mm SA (or the older 121mm SA, or the Fujinon SW 125mm or something similar in the Grandagon, Nikkor SW series. These lenses are going to be much bulkier than you little 135mm Nikkor W!

Best,

Doremus

Sazerac
28-Jan-2014, 04:46
Lots of great advice here! Being an architect, I do like the normal to long perspective which is why the 135 is suiting me well for now. I was framing up some views this weekend and I think that 300 may be a bit longer than I expected. I might start to look for something in the 250 range. I know that a wide will need to be in my future soon but it'll take some time to figure out what is wide enough without being too wide.

I haven't run into any limits on image circle yet, but it is good to know which lenses have the most coverage. I had seen a 120/8 Nikkor-SW recently. That is one big piece of glass!

MDR
28-Jan-2014, 05:11
The 210mm lens is a favourite of many lf photographers and there is a reason for it, it's just a little longer than normal and doesn't compress the perspective as much as longer focal length, that being said I love the look I get from 300mm lenses. As a side note Andreas Feininger was a great advocate of using longer lenses for architectural work and cityscapes as he felt they were better at reproducing the correct size relations. My most used focal lengths are 135mm and 300mm.

Robert Opheim
28-Jan-2014, 12:32
deleted

Robert Opheim
28-Jan-2014, 12:41
From my experience as an architect who shoots his own company photographs. Often I like the space to seem larger than it really is - therefore a wide angle "lies" about the size of interior space. Wide angles distort - especially at the corners - try to avoid objects in the corners. I shoot with a number of lenses for architectural work - interiors usually are shot with a 90mm Grandagon or if too tight a 75mm Grandagon - I have used a wider lens as well in a really tight shoot of a stairway. Lenses for exterior shots can be with most lenses. The situation in the field often controls which lens. Can you shoot from a parking lot or from across the street? Are there telephone poles in the way - Which lens will work? and from where? For exterior images I have used: 90mm, 135mm, 180mm, 240mm, and 300mm. As mentioned above many architects don't want too much compression from a long lens - or distortion from a wide angle lens - but you get the best image you can get depending on the circumstance. It's like those perspective drawings that we did in architectural school - a little wide gives some pop but too much is too distorted - the same with the opposite - it gets boring. Of course there may be great detail, color or other elements that carry the image. I have a 135mm Symar S lens but it doesn't have very good coverage. As mentioned above a 115mm Grandagon, or a 120mm or a 121mm Super Angulon lens, or a Nikor or Fuji equivalent would give you much more coverage and be a better architectural lens. I have heard that these are real work horses for architectural work. I have a 4 3/8 inch dagor (112mm) which works well and is smaller - but probable is not as overall sharp.

Jeff Keller
2-Feb-2014, 12:25
Openings and entrances ... sometimes insanely short lenses give the view you want. http://julianalee.com/homes/2014/cesano_ct_440_311/closets-a.htm but they also give a perspective that may not be ideal http://julianalee.com/homes/2014/park_blvd_3396/park_blvd_3396.htm but is needed when surroundings limit what you can do.

The very short focal lengths are challenging for many cameras. As others have said you are likely going to swap to a bag bellows for a 72 or maybe even a 90. If you rarely need the insanely short, not having to swap bellows is a plus. If you ever intend to shoot roll film on your 4x5 you will be probably using a bag bellows.

Professional
2-Feb-2014, 23:30
Can you people show me the picture of the bag bellow, please please please???

Leigh
3-Feb-2014, 02:13
Here's a bag bellows by itself, almost fully collapsed:
109757

and here's a bag bellows fully extended:
109760

Here's a camera with a bag bellows almost fully collapsed, moving the lens very close to the film.
This is what you need when shooting a short lens.
109758

Here's an example of the extreme movements available with a bag bellows:
109759

Bag bellows also enable extreme rise/fall/shift with lenses of moderate and longer focal length.
The image circle of short lenses is usually too small to make use of this feature.

- Leigh

Professional
3-Feb-2014, 03:32
Here's a bag bellows by itself, almost fully collapsed:
109757

and here's a bag bellows fully extended:
109760

Here's a camera with a bag bellows almost fully collapsed, moving the lens very close to the film.
This is what you need when shooting a short lens.
109758

Here's an example of the extreme movements available with a bag bellows:
109759

Bag bellows also enable extreme rise/fall/shift with lenses of moderate and longer focal length.
The image circle of short lenses is usually too small to make use of this feature.

- Leigh

Thank you very much!

I think i should buy one then for my Shnei. 72XL, i use a recessed lens board, but i am not sure if the bag bellow will give even more room for movements than the standard one.

Leigh
3-Feb-2014, 08:07
IIRC the 72XL has a very large image circle, so yes, the bag bellows will allow greater movements.

- Leigh

vinny
3-Feb-2014, 08:16
not to mention that standard bellows often vignette the image because the fabric gets pushed one way or the other.

Professional
3-Feb-2014, 17:04
Very nice, i will order that bag bellow for my LF very soon when budget is ready, thank you very much for that help.

Well, as long this thread is about lens for architecture, i am really going to buy 90mm to be my most outdoor architecture lens used, 72 will be dedicated for interiors mostly and some outdoor and landscape, but the problem is, i always buy expensive gear, so which 90mm has the greatest IC?

Leigh
3-Feb-2014, 17:17
so which 90mm has the greatest IC?
The largest 90mm IC in my database is the Schneider XL 90/5.6 @ 259mm. The XL series is known for large ICs.

Other 90mm lenses cluster around 235mm:
Nikkor SW 90/4.5 @ 235mm
Rodenstock Grandagon-N 90/4.5 @ 236mm
Fujinon SWD 90/5.6 (EBC) @ 236mm
Nikkor SW 90/8 @ 235mm

Then there's a smaller group:
Rodenstock Grandagon-N 90/6.8 @ 221mm
Fujinon 90/8 @ 216mm

Note that my database has few Schneider lenses, so they likely have other models available.

- Leigh

Professional
4-Feb-2014, 18:52
The largest 90mm IC in my database is the Schneider XL 90/5.6 @ 259mm. The XL series is known for large ICs.

Other 90mm lenses cluster around 235mm:
Nikkor SW 90/4.5 @ 235mm
Rodenstock Grandagon-N 90/4.5 @ 236mm
Fujinon SWD 90/5.6 (EBC) @ 236mm
Nikkor SW 90/8 @ 235mm

Then there's a smaller group:
Rodenstock Grandagon-N 90/6.8 @ 221mm
Fujinon 90/8 @ 216mm

Note that my database has few Schneider lenses, so they likely have other models available.

- Leigh

Cool, thank you very much!

So once i buy 90XL and 210 and 300 then i will all done and fit for long long time in the future.

Leigh
4-Feb-2014, 19:37
So once i buy 90XL and 210 and 300 then i will all done and fit for long long time in the future.
90 to 210 is a huge difference in angle of view, from 59/70 to 27/34 (narrow/wide film side).

You'll certainly want an intermediate focal length like 135mm (41/50).

- Leigh

Professional
4-Feb-2014, 20:25
90 to 210 is a huge difference in angle of view, from 59/70 to 27/34 (narrow/wide film side).

You'll certainly want an intermediate focal length like 135mm (41/50).

- Leigh

I know, i have Rodie 150mm for now, and also i have 135mm Ektar on my Speed Graphic, later i can worry about 135mm for my field camera, so i am more thinking about 90 and 210 first.

Leigh
4-Feb-2014, 20:35
OK. Sounds like you're good to go.

Good shooting.

- Leigh

Professional
4-Feb-2014, 21:01
OK. Sounds like you're good to go.

Good shooting.

- Leigh

I hope so, thanks Leigh!

Keith Pitman
5-Feb-2014, 07:34
The 90mm SA XL also takes 95mm filters and weighs a pound and a half. There are other things to consider than simply image circle.

Professional
5-Feb-2014, 09:47
The 90mm SA XL also takes 95mm filters and weighs a pound and a half. There are other things to consider than simply image circle.

I am a guy who came from digital world, with expensive gear, so i still infected with heavy and expensive gear, need time to be healed then i can buy anything that works for LF, cheap and light.