View Full Version : 4x5 lens used on a 8x10?

3-Nov-2015, 17:12
Hi there,

I am after a bit of advice on large format lens, hopefully someone can help. I recently bought some Harman positive paper for my 4x5 camera, and I LOVE it! But I would like to make some bigger images and use some of the 8x10 paper, problem is, I don't have a 8x10 camera!

So I'm planning to make one! (A basic one at first to play around with and then maybe save up to buy one long term). My question is how will my 4x5 lenses fair on a 8x10 camera, or bigger even? I have a 90mm, 150mm and 210mm. Can I use them and if so what would the equivalent focal length be?

If it's not possible, where would be a good place to buy a 8x10 lens (and also a darkslide?) I live in England.

Also, while I'm here, can anyone recommend a good place to find designs for 8x10 online? The ones I have come across are not great.

Any help/advice would be much appreciated?
Many thanks,

3-Nov-2015, 17:14
Double the field of view.
Depends on which models of lenses you have. Most don't cover 8x10.

3-Nov-2015, 17:21
Some 210mm lenses cover 8x10 well, many will cover good enough for paper negatives and homemade camera.

3-Nov-2015, 17:30
Thank you both for such quick responses. The lenses I have are

Schneider - Kreuznach APO - Symmar 5.6/210mm Multicoating
Schneider - Kreuznach APO - Symmar 5.6/150mm Multicoating
Nikkor - SW 90mm 1:4.5

Kevin Crisp
3-Nov-2015, 17:45
Some people say the 210 Symmar will just cover, others disagree. You will have zero room for movements if it works. A 210 G Claron will do it with a little room for movement. The 150mm is a 5X7 lens at best (previous versions were labeled as suitable for 4X5) and the 90 won't cover either.

Now if you were moving up to 5X7, you'd like the answer better.

3-Nov-2015, 18:52
Emmet Gowin shot with a 4X5 lens on his 8X10:

Doremus Scudder
4-Nov-2015, 02:55
Your lenses will work on 8x10, it's just that they won't cover from corner to corner, with the possible exception of your 210mm (see picture #5 in the link above). They'll project a circle or leave the corners dark. If you can live with that, or if you trim down your prints, you can certainly use them to make images. Some like the circular image.

The focal length of a lens doesn't change with film format; it's just that larger film formats need longer lenses to look "normal". Whereas a 150mm lens is normal (i.e., with focal length approximately equal to the diagonal of the film), for 8x10 it is 300mm. A 210mm on 8x10 is roughly equivalent to a 100mm (i.e., fairly wide-angle) lens on 4x5.

Lenses come in different designs with smaller or larger angles of coverage. For example, the 150mm and 210mm you have cover about 70, your 90mm has 100+ of coverage. Schneider Symmars, Fujinon and Nikkor Ws, and Rodenstock Sironars fall into the first category. In the second category are Schneider Super Angulons, Nikkor and Fuji SWs and Rodenstock Grandagons. The Schneider and Rodenstock lens "families" have been developed and improved over time, acquiring additions to their names as coverage and quality got better (e.g., Sironar-N, Sironar-S, Super Angulon XL, Apo.. etc.). Wikipedia is your friend if you want to start learning more.

Hope this helps,


4-Nov-2015, 06:54
Where are you in the UK. Someone local may have a camera for you to look at that may help you with your design, pr be able to show you the coverage of your lenses on their ground glass

Dan Fromm
4-Nov-2015, 07:38
The lenses I have are

Schneider - Kreuznach APO - Symmar 5.6/210mm Multicoating -- image circle 321 mm @ f/22
Schneider - Kreuznach APO - Symmar 5.6/150mm Multicoating -- ic 233 mm @ f/22
Nikkor - SW 90mm 1:4.5 -- ic 236 mm @ f/16

Image circle definitions here are "acceptable image quality within the circle." The lenses may illuminate larger circles.

John Kasaian
4-Nov-2015, 07:52
How about a pinhole?

4-Nov-2015, 12:33
You can make it work with a pinhole. You can also use a lens which does not cover 8x10 on 8x10. You just have to be able to accept the results that you get. I have seen 8x10s done with a non-covering lens (like a 127 Ektar from a quarter-plate or 4x5 Graphic) and they have an interesting look all their own. The image will be circular where you have placed it on the film and the light may fall off quickly or not and the limits of the image may be distorted or not. The pinhole will also have its own look to it.

4-Nov-2015, 15:16
Thank you both for such quick responses. The lenses I have are

Schneider - Kreuznach APO - Symmar 5.6/210mm Multicoating
Schneider - Kreuznach APO - Symmar 5.6/150mm Multicoating
Nikkor - SW 90mm 1:4.5

Here is a non-cropped 8x10 negative taken with a Symmar 210mm. However if you are making a box camera, you won't be able to take advantage of the extra covering power gained by back tilt as used in this example. So you edges may be a little dark in the corners.
Century 8x10/Symmar-S 210mm