View Full Version : Looking for xtreme wide angle lens for Full Plate film

20-Oct-2015, 11:08
I currently use two film formats: Full Plate and 11x14". For the 11x14" camera I use a shuttered 5.9" F/14 R D Gray Extreme Angle Periscope lens, 116 degrees coverage (equivalent to a 16mm lens on 35mm film). For my Full Plate camera the widest lens I have is a 120mm Nikkor. A possible wider lens would be a 115mm Rodenstock/Caltar optic, but the 5mm difference is negligible. Am looking for an extreme wide angle lens for my Full Plate camera. Search of photographic literature indicates that there was a 3.6 inch R D Gray Extreme Angle Periscope lens made to cover the Full Plate format but have yet to find one for sale.

Have found some "modern" optics that cover 5x7 but just fall short of covering the Full Plate format. Diagonal for Full Plate film is 270mm but the actual useable image on the film diagonal being 262mm.



20-Oct-2015, 11:25
I don't know about old classics but I'm sure a 90mm SAXL will cover and I'm willing to bet a 72mm SAXL will illuminate full-plate with some image degradation in the corners. Please note: I have no practical experience with these lenses on full plate. In fact, I'm quite out of practice. I'm just regurgitating what I've read many times on several forums.

Dan Fromm
20-Oct-2015, 12:05
72 SAXL, 229 mm. 90 SAXL, 259 mm. Schneider's claimed coverage @ f/22.

Steve Goldstein
20-Oct-2015, 12:07
If you can tolerate a little corner vignetting the 105mm f/8 Fujinon-SW might do. It has a 250mm image circle at f/22 per Fuji's literature.

Mark Sawyer
20-Oct-2015, 12:19
The old Hypergon 75mm covers 8x10, and I've heard the 60mm Hypergon also covers 8x10, but they're rare, expensive, and slow. Still, there's nothing else like them...

20-Oct-2015, 12:21
110mm super symmar xl would cover with plenty to spare, is that wide enough?

20-Oct-2015, 12:23
Right, Dan, but the 90 SAXL is darned close and will cover adequately will little usable movement, if any. The 72 SAXL will "illuminate" straight on with degradation in the corners. I don't know anything about the Periscope lens Greg is using but I strongly suspect it has some limitations of its own and in that light, I suspect Greg is accepting of those limitations.

20-Oct-2015, 13:40
90XL will kinda-sorta cover 8x10 so should work on FP easily.

20-Oct-2015, 16:24
The extreme wide angles from the old days I can think of are:

Zeiss or Bausch and Lomb Protar V
Wollensak EWA F12.5 ver
Goerz WA Dagor

All of these are about 90 to 100 degrees angle of view, I believe. The Gray EWA had the widest view of any lens I can think of. You could look for one of those in the size you mention, but you might wait a long time. The rest of these are going to be about the same focal length/view as what you have.

Dan Fromm
20-Oct-2015, 16:54
Garrett, you forgot the f/14 Perigraphe VIa, which also won't do. Claimed coverage, as much as 105 degrees, claimed illumination, as much as 115 degrees, depending on the catalog's vintage.

Steven Tribe
21-Oct-2015, 02:12
Another genuine 105 degree lens is the Goerz Lynkeioskop series F. Size 0 is 120mm and it was designed for full plate.

21-Oct-2015, 15:43
Thanks for all the responses. First off Old-N-Feeble is totally right about the 5.9" F/14 R D Gray Extreme Angle Periscope lens. It certainly does have its limitations... I have an 180mm Schneider Daystar f/12.5 (pre-Angulon) optic and the Daystar far outshines the Gray Periscope. The Periscope does cover the 11x14" format with an image but the corners leave a lot to be desired. Yes I accept those limitations... I view it as vintage 1800's Bokeh. After a few test shots with the Periscope, had S K Grimes mount it in a Copal shutter strictly for convenient ease in use. Am printing Platinum/Palladium and the beauty of the process overshadows the lenses limitations for me.

Now for my search for a extreme wide angle lens for Full Plate film:

60mm or 75mm Hypergon... too rich for my pockets.
72mm SAXL: from my research on this optic, determined it just wouldn't cover Full Plate. Close though.
90mm SAXL: definitely the best bet, but cost of the the optic along with a center graduated filter from B&H Photo being $2,700, I just can't justify paying that much. Used lens & filter though a possibility.
110mm super symmar xl: Just too, too close to my 120mm WA Nikkor, Also have been offered a 115mm Caltar (Rodenstock optic) at a bargain price but again just way too close to the 120mm WA Nikkor.
Zeiss or Bausch and Lomb Protar V, Wollensak EWA F12.5 ver, Goerz WA Dagor: definitely will look into these optics.
If a 3.6 inch R D Gray Extreme Angle Periscope lens came along, would snatch it up in moment...

LAST MINUTE FOLLOW-UP: Read the post by Dan Fromm (thank you Dan) about considerating a f/14 Perigraphe Via. Well found a Berthiot Paris Perigraph 90mm f/14 Brass Lens at a bargain price,and now am anxiously awaiting its delivery. Per "A Lens Collector's Vade mecum" covers 105 degrees. As I see it, the lens probably just falls short of covering a full plate at 105 degrees, but if it illuminates 8 or 9 degrees more, I'm golden. In any case, am willing to accept its limitations. Will post results when I receive and shoot some images with the optic.

Thanks to everyone for their responses


21-Oct-2015, 16:12
Late to the topic, but what about a Planigon Type II, 6 inch, F 6.3? They are out there and rea$onable.

Dan Fromm
21-Oct-2015, 16:47
Late to the topic, but what about a Planigon Type II, 6 inch, F 6.3? They are out there and rea$onable.

Much longer than the OP's dream lens.

21-Oct-2015, 17:12
Greg... You should be able to find a very nice used 90mm SAXL for US$700-1000. Same for the 72mm SAXL... and I think the 72mm will 'illuminate' full plate to the corners but with image degradation in the corners (you'll need to verify). You should be able to find an appropriate CF for either lens in the US$300 range.

Dan Fromm
21-Oct-2015, 18:11
Greg, good luck with y'r 90/14 Perigraphe. According to my Berthiot catalogs it will cover 13x18 at small stops so it may not cover whole plate. You really want a 120, except that you already have faster 120s that will cover whole plate.

These lenses' cells are hard, possibly impossible, to put in shutter. However, the rear of the barrel will screw somewhat insecurely into the front of an Ilex #3. That's how I use the 60/14 Perigraphe I bought to use on 2x3 (format not to be discussed here). 60, 75, 90, 120, 135 and 150 mm f/14 Perigraphes' cells all fit the same barrel, # 3b. Yes, I've stuffed my 75 and 90 into an Ilex 3.

As you'd expect, because of the shutter barrel's length my little 60 suffers severe mechanical vignetting in a normal Ilex #3. The solution? Truncate the rear of the shutter, drill and tap holes in the back of the shutter housing to attach it to a board. You can read about the adaptation and see pictures of it here: http://www.galerie-photo.com/telechargement/dan-fromm-6x9-lenses-v2-2011-03-29.pdf

Good luck, have fun,


21-Oct-2015, 19:04
The actual image size difference between whole plate (nominal 6.5x8.5) and 8x10 is so small that for lens coverage specs they can be interchanged.

21-Oct-2015, 19:23
There's approximately two inches difference between the diagonals of full-plate and 8x10. That may not seem like much but it's actually quite substantial, IMO.

28-Oct-2015, 10:34
Yet another addendum my previous follow-up....

Got the 90mm Perigraphe lens. Absolute gem of a vintage optic in almost mint condition. Projects about a 9 inch image circle which falls just short of covering the full plate format. But new intention is to actually use it on my 11x14. The Perigraphe beautifully projects a really nice 9 inch image circle on 11x14 inch film. Years ago used a 28mm PC Nikkor mounted on a Sinar lens board in front of a Sinar Copal Shutter mounted on a Sinar 4x5 back standard. Also gave me a beautiful circular image on my 4x5 film, but way too smallish for contact printing.

So... the day after I won/bought the 90mm Perigraphe, I happened to come across some old copied notes of mine mentioning that the "105mm f/8 Fujinon SW lens covers an 11" image circle. Works great with the 4X10 format" - Source unknown. Found one for sale for around $200 on EBay and just bought it. Lens arrived better than described being in mint condition. It totally covers my Full Plate camera's ground glass. Icing on the cake is that the center graduated filter for my 120 Nikkor also screws into the front of the 105mm Fuji. And looking at the image this lens projects, honestly 105mms is as wide as I'd care to go with the Full Plate format.


28-Oct-2015, 10:41
Congrats, Greg. :)

28-Oct-2015, 11:02
center graduated filter for my 120 Nikkor

Glad you worked something out - also, what CF are you using for your 120 Nikkor?

29-Oct-2015, 05:40
FUJI CENTER FILTER GX617 90mm ND-2X 77mm filter. Honestly I think any quality (Schneider, B&W, etc.) CF filter will give you very acceptable results. I got the FUJI CF filter off EBay at a bargain price and am totally happy with it. On the plastic case that I store it in, I have a label on it reminding me to adjust exposure compensation after many times of forgetting to do this.