View Full Version : 5x7 shooters

3-May-2005, 14:57

I would like some suggestions for focal lengths. I have a 110 and a 150mm and was thinking of either of these:
210 and 300 or 240 and 360. I'm going to be shooting farm houses, barns etc. trying to record what is being lost before it is.


John Kasaian
3-May-2005, 15:10

I've got a 14" APO Artar on my 5x7 and can put the 159 WA Wolly on it for a wider lens. Niether are especially high dollar state of the art stuff, but it works for me when I'm after landscapes. A Kodak No.33 lives on the Speed Graphic. Maybe someday I'll add a 120 Angulon or 210 G-Claron to the menu (when I get too old to lug around the 8x10;-)!)


Gem Singer
3-May-2005, 15:14
Hi Chris,

Since you already have a 110 and a 150, I would suggest a Nikkor 300M or a Fujinon 300C to use as your longish lens. Either of those compact 300's would do the job that you described. I found the 240 to be a little short for 5X7, and a 360 would be slightly too long for the subject matter you mentioned. However, it would also be handy to have a 210 to fill in between the 150 and the 300.

MIke Sherck
3-May-2005, 15:19
My 5x7 lenses are a 180 Fuji CM-W, a 240 Rodenstock, and a 14" RD Artar. I don't particularly gravitate toward wide lenses and this set suits me just fine.

Ted Harris
3-May-2005, 15:41
I everything from 90 through 450 but find that my most frequently used lenses are 150 and 300.

Michael Kadillak
3-May-2005, 16:08
Find a fellow LF shooter in your area and try one of his/her lenses in the 200mm and 300mm category to see how that fits your perspective. My 300M Nikon is a light weight compact and reasonable priced optic that is tack sharp. There is nothing like seeing the results as per your question before you make the leap. I think that more of us offered to assist people in our area in these endevours there would be less interpretation and mystery about certain lenses and the results that they produce. I personally have seen any hard earned dollars go for expensive optics when as John said above, older lenses would work quite well. Also, I have discovered that these older cheaper lenses provide a unique and quite beautiful gradation of the tones within the scene that a modern lens could not replicate.


3-May-2005, 16:15
My 300 works well isolating the subject, but I hardly ever use it. My 180 and 210 make up 99% of my work.

Brian J Nelson
3-May-2005, 16:19

consider doubling your focal length if you are trying to save money or weight. If your subject allows, this is a good practice. When shooting exteriors you can make up some shortcomings by moving up or back from the subject. If you're doing interiors where you are more confined by space, you often need a 58,72,90, 110, 150, 180 etc. If you can move back or forward to make up for the range between a 150 and 300 you'll have a lighter load and less investment.

Eric Woodbury
3-May-2005, 17:36

I have (what seems like) every lens for 5x7 from 72 to 800mm. I use the 150mm the most. I used to carry a 210 and a 300 and found that I almost never used the 300mm. Then I bought a 250mm Fuji for 810. It is such a nice lens that now I carry it and have tried leaving the 210 and 300 at home. Works so far. I always figure that one of the advantages of 57 is that I can crop quite a bit and still have lots of negative. If you don't believe in cropping, then get the 210mm.

3-May-2005, 19:09
If you don't know what you need, you probably don't need it.

David Flockhart
3-May-2005, 19:50
I often substitute using my feet for changing a lens when the terrain permits, It's good exercise and cheaper than a new lens :-)

Ben Calwell
4-May-2005, 06:04
Those of you who are shooting 150 mm lenses with your 5x7s, which 150 is it? It's my understanding that most 150s won't cover 5x7. I use a 180mm Schneider with mine and think that it is a terrific focal length for that format.

Gem Singer
4-May-2005, 06:31
Hi Ben,

I tend to agree with you, a 180 will give more coverage for the 5X7 format and is probably a better choice as a "normal" lens. Chris already owns a 150. The standard 5.6 plasmats from Rodenstock, Schneider, Nikon, and Fuji will also cover the 5X7 format with a slightly wider angle of view and somewhat limited movement capability.

4-May-2005, 06:55
150mm G-claron for me. Not the brightest but one of the smaller ones.

Eric Woodbury
4-May-2005, 09:44
The 150mm lens of choice for 5x7 is Rodenstocks' apo-sironar W. It has about 250mm image circle. Orginally called just Apo Sironar, the W was added later. The lens is no longer in production.

Michael Kadillak
4-May-2005, 09:58
Not to get to far off of the original subject matter, but I will add the 150mm Kowa and the 6" Gold Rim Dagor as easily covering 5x7 in small and light packages that are hard to beat.

The 180mm Nikon W is also a great lens for 5x7.


Kerry L. Thalmann
4-May-2005, 10:57
Those of you who are shooting 150 mm lenses with your 5x7s, which 150 is it? It's my understanding that most 150s won't cover 5x7.


While it's true that most current 150s barely cover 5x7, there are several excellent lenses of recent vintage that cover with room for decent movements. Here's a few examples:

150mm f5.6 Rodenstock APO-Sironar(-W) - as Eric mentioned, this lens was originally called the APO Sironar when it was introduced in the late 1980s. In the early 1990s, the name was changed to APO-Sironar-W and a yellow racing stripe was added. It was also sold as a re-badged Sinar lens under the name Sinaron WS (with and without the racing stripe). IMHO it an excellent compromise of coverage (252mm IC), performance and size/weight (380g) . Unfortunatley, it was discontinued in the late 1990s and not all that common on the used market.

150mm f5.6 Schneider Super Symmar HM - another 80 degree lens (254mm IC) that was a contemporary of the APO-Sironar-W. Outstanding performance, more common on the used market, but almost twice as heavy (740g) as the APO-Sironar-W. If size/weight are not a major concern, this would be a good choice.

150mm f9 G Claron - tiny lens (35.5mm filters) which doesn't appear to cover 5x7 on paper. Schneider lists the coverage at 64 degrees with an image circle of 189mm. Anyone who has used one will tell you Schneider was very conservative in their coverage claims for the G Claron series and that the usable coverage is considerably more. You can actually push the coverage out to about 80 degrees by stopping down to f32. For some reason the Schneider published weight for this lens (230g) is also way off. In a Copal 0 shutter it weighs about 165g. It is also sometimes found in a late all-black Compur 0 shutter - which shaves another 30g off the weight. This makes this tiny lens a favorite with hikers and backpackers.

150mm f9 Docter Optics Germinar W - pretty much a modern updated version of the G Claron. It is everything the G Claron is (small, sharp, light, etc.) , but adds multicoating and reaches optimum sharpness at f16 (Schneider recommends stopping down to at least f22 when using the G Clarons for general purpose photography). Hard to find, but worth it. I've been using one for a couple years. At 132g in a Copmur 0 shutter, there is just no excuse to ever leave it home.

150mm f9 Graphic-Kowa, Computar and APO Kyvytar - these triplets seem to be different versions of the same lens. Some say they are identical, some say the Computar covers more than the Graphic-Kowa. I've been using a 150mm f9 Graphic-Kowa on 4x10. So, I know it will cover 5x7 with room to spare. I haven't completed any formal tests, but based on actual use, I'd say the usable image circle is in the neighborhood of 290mm, give or take. Most of these are sold in barrels, but the cells are a direct fit in a standard No. 1 (Copal, Compur, Prontor, Seiko, etc.) shutter. Also, very compact and lightweight. In a Copal No. 1 Press shutter, my 150mm f9 Graphic Kowa weighs about 185g. The Computars and APO Kyvytars are single coated, but the late Graphic-Kowa I have appears to be multicoated. The reflections don't have the brilliant hues of current multicoated lenses, but the coating definitelty reflects multiple colors beyond the pale straw and magenta typical of single coated lenses.

Of course, any of the big 150s designed to cover 8x10 will work for 5x7, but they are really overkill in terms of size, weight, coverage and cost.


Kerry L. Thalmann
4-May-2005, 11:12
Back to the original question...

I generally like to space my lenses about about 1.5x intervals. I sometimes space them a little closer for general purpose use, or sometimes a little further apart when size/weight are an issue (backpacking). On a recent trip, I carried the following six lenses:

80mm f4.5 Super Symmar XL
110mm f5.6 Super Symmar XL
150mm f9 Graphic-Kowa
210mm f9 Graphic-Kowa
300mm f9 Nikkor M
450mm f12.5 Fujinon C

I was shooting 4x5 and 4x10, but the last five would have also worked well for 5x7. These lenses are all reasonably compact and lightweight - especially the last four. This spacing works well for me and I really like the 110mm, 150mm, 210mm, 300mm progression on the 4x5, 5x7 and 4x10 formats.

I also occasionally replace the 150mm, 210mm, 300mm with a 150mm (Germinar W), 240mm (Fujinon A) combo when backlpacking. The problem then becomes what to do about a long lens. A 360mm would give a nice 1.5X spacing, but there aren't any compact, lighweight 360s out there. The 360mm Fujinon A comes the closest, but it is hard to find, expensive and while not too heavy (475g) not exactly ultralight either. Of course you could just skip the 360mm and jump right to the 450mm Fujinon C as your long lens (assuming your camera has enough bellows). That's getting close to a 2x jump from 240mm, but that might not be too bad at the long end and a two lens combo of 240mm, 450mm would be lighter and less expensive than a 210mm, 300mm, 450mm three lens set.


John D Gerndt
5-May-2005, 20:30
If you are going to just buy something look for a 210mm first. They are considerably cheaper than anything longer (that will cover 8x10). If you buy a 180 you won't see much of a jump from your 150. I love my 240 and my 125 but that is just me.


Jan Virtanen
6-May-2005, 10:32
I use a Sinar F2 5x7, its a wonderful format in my opinion, with two lenses, 110mm Super Symmar and
210mm Apo Symmar L. I would like to add a 400-600mm but thats to be seen.

Glenn Thoreson
8-May-2005, 22:31
Kodak No. 33 on mine. If I remember correctly, the No. 33 is 190mm.