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lorien14
12-Dec-2018, 03:43
Hello all!

I am new to this forum and indeed large format photography! My apologies if I have posted in the wrong place, but really looking for some help with kit questions. thank you so much in advance!

I am a student, and have just bought a Wista 45DX camera, and building up my new kit, film holders, lens cloths, loupe etc etc.

The college where I study have a few lenses (150mm, 210mm etc) which I have access too. However, I am really looking for a longer lens to do landscapes with.

I believe the maximum bellows draw for my Wista is 300mm? Can anyone please recommend any lenses (basically as long as possible) that I can use? I think that certain tele lenses have a shorter 'flange focus distance than 300mm? please correct me if I am wrong! Still very much a novice in this field! I am a student so preferably not something that will break the bank also haha.


Additionally, has anyone used lens boards like this one?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Extension-Lens-Board-For-Linhof-Wista-Ebony-Tachihara-4x5-Large-Format-Camera-CN/271186737287?hash=item3f23fd3887:g:pqcAAOSw5cNYdgQj:rk:15:pf:0

also, are there any cheaper options for this kind of thing? £100+ inc. postage and taxes seems like a lot no?

Am I correct in saying that with this lens board, I could almost use a 400mm lens say if its of tele variant?

Thank you so much for sharing all your knowledge and experience!

Cheers,

Lorien

Pere Casals
12-Dec-2018, 04:33
Lorien, this was the Nikon catalog.

In pages 9 to 11 see the flange focal distance parameter: http://www.kennethleegallery.com/pdf/Nikkor_LargeFormatLenses.pdf fot Nikon tele lenses.

This is the required distance from the inner ground glass surface to the outer side on the lensboard, or the hat on it.

Also google schneider tele-xenar (and tele arton) to get info at manufacturer's web for antique and new T lenses.

Also check Fujinon catalogs/datasheets for Fujinon T.

jnantz
12-Dec-2018, 04:51
hi lorien
you might look for the 15" tele-raptar ( also called tele-optar )
it is sometimes sold in a shutter ( i have seen them in betax, alphax and rapax shutters )
it has a very small bellows draw. it also has a smaller cousin the 10" tele-raptor( tele-optar )
same sort of thing, tiny bellows draw and sometimes in a shutter.
they do not sell for bags of gold and are usually "sleepers" and overlooked by people
who only want brand new modern lenses... ( because they don't know anybetter )...

have fun !
john

Jeff Keller
12-Dec-2018, 09:43
Welcome to the club Lorien,

Take a look at the Fujinon Tele lenses

Fujinon 300mm T - flange to focal plane 195mm
Fujinon 400mm T - flange to focal plane 259mm

http://www.subclub.org/fujinon/byfl.htm

jeff

Tin Can
12-Dec-2018, 11:14
Most LFers try to get closer and use non telephoto lenses.

Look at this link and see many variations of lenses including telephoto LF.

http://www.subclub.org/fujinon/mygear.htm

drew.saunders
12-Dec-2018, 11:44
Thanks to the Web Archive, you can still get to this very useful page from Ebony Camera: https://web.archive.org/web/20161215002237/http://www.ebonycamera.com:80/articles/lenses.html
It lists the flange back of most lenses available new in the past decade or so. You'll have to look elsewhere for older lenses, but that also explains what the terms mean, and has the information for some telephoto lenses, so you can see the difference in flange focal distance (or "flangeback") between a regular and telephoto lens.

For example, the Fujinon-C 300/8.5 has a FFD of 283mm, so could work well enough on your Wista for landscape work. I had a Tahihara with similar 12"/300mm maximum extension, and I was able to use the 300/8.5 at moderate to infinity focus. You'd use the thin lens equation, 1/focal length - 1/bellows extension = 1/object distance. The 17mm difference between the focal length and FFD of the 300/8.5 acts as if your bellows were 17mm longer, so, assuming your Wista has 300mm extension (not 305mm, which is closer to 12 inches, so you may want to measure), you'd get 1/300 - 1/317 = 1/5594mm object distance at maximum extension, and that's not too bad. I found it worked well enough until I got an Ebony with 365mm of bellows.

Sticking with Fujinons, the 300/8 T has an FFD of 195.3mm (I'll round up to 196mm), giving you a "free bellows extension" of 104mm, so that ends up being 1/300 - 1/404 = 1/1165mm object distance, and that's a whole lot easier to work with, assuming you don't mind hauling around a much larger lens.

Obviously, if you want a focal length longer than 300mm, you have to go with telephoto lenses, but if it's just a bit over, or you'd be happy with a 300mm, you could look into "top hat" lens boards that mount the lens a bit in front of the lens board. From the old Ebony catalog at https://web.archive.org/web/20161204022753/http://www.ebonycamera.com:80/acc.html scroll down a bit over halfway to see how an extension lens board works.

Huub
13-Dec-2018, 02:05
I have been in the same position as you are now: wanting a longer lens for landscape work on a camera with 30 cm of bellows draw. Over the past 15 years I have been working with a 150mm - 240mm - 360mm lens set, which suits my needs very well. Having worked originally with a 360mm Schneider tele-xenar I switched for a 360mm - 500mm Nikon set to have the extra reach of the 500mm. The Nikon tele-lens is basically a front lens with a shutter and three back lenses that can be swapted to create 360mm, 500mm and 720mm lenses. I only have the 360mm and 500mm pair. The 500mm is not a lens i use very often, but every now and then I am glad to have it with me. And yes: I do change in the field.

In 500mm configuration the lens needs a top-hat, which has a negative influence on the camera stability as tele-lenses tend to be compartively big and heavy. The top-hat also makes tilting the lens pretty awkward, but then: tilting a tele-lens is awkward anyway because the nodal point of the lens is not in it's centre, but somewhere in front of the lens. This makes the effect on where the focal plain will land hard to predict. Tilting your back works as normal and it is what I use when the tele-lens is on the camera.

Mick Fagan
13-Dec-2018, 03:35
I have a Komura f/6.3 400T which while it isnít in the same league as the Fujinon and Nikkor telephoto lenses, isnít that shabby if you are using B&W film, which is what I use on my 4x5Ē cameras.

I used the Komura for landscape work with my Shen Hao HZX45-IIA and was reasonably happy, but not super happy. Served me well for about 8 years, still have it but rarely use it these days.

I eventually picked up a Fujinon CM W f/6.3 250 lens, to effectively replace the 400 telephoto lens. The W stands for wide, meaning it has wide coverage and is suitable for formats up to 8x10Ē (20cm x 25cm). This means that on any 4x5Ē camera, you will never run out of coverage; the image circle is 322mm at f/22.

Now going down to a shorter effective focal length, may seem like madness, but I have found it is so much better in many other situations for landscape work over a telephoto lens which has, by comparison, much less coverage.

As a by product of having such large coverage, I can use this lens for architectural stuff and I can use shift, swing, and/or rise and fall to my heartís content. These are things that a telephoto is not the greatest at, but for landscape stuff, I can only remember using rear shift once in the last 3-5 years.

Another thing to remember is the possibility of cropping a shorter focal length to get an effective longer focal length in your final image. The attached picture of the big rock is taken with my Fujinon 250mm lens, but has been cropped reasonably hard to give me what I envisaged. I saw the picture as a 360mm to 400mm lens requirement, but only had the 250mm lens. So I set it up and just cropped to what I needed. I do understand that the dynamics are different, but the end result is reasonably pleasing and doable when walking in the bush carrying stuff.

Also included are a couple of shots taken quite close together of a summer beach scene. Both are cropped to a landscape format as that was what I saw when I decided to shoot that scene. One is with a 150mm lens, the other is with my 250mm lens. The tripod and camera were unmoved, only the lens was change and focus adjusted. This shows the reasonably large difference between the two focal lengths. You can see the difference and with some judicious cropping of the longer focal length picture, you could emulate a 400mm lens effect.

Larger negatives allow one to crop like this with relative ease, compared to smaller formats. It may not be what you want, but I do believe it is a viable possibility. It has worked better for me, it may not work that well for you.

Mick.

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lorien14
13-Dec-2018, 13:21
Wow! Thank you all so much for such detailed and fast responses. It certainly has given me a lot to think about.

Mick Fagan, I have been looking at the Komura. Obviously I would love to get a Nikkor or Fujinon. But do you think it worth saving a few hundred quid for? Or to invest a bit more for a keeper? I will only be shooting black and white due to college darkroom facilities. I do hear what you are saying about cropping. certainly not something I object to too much if necessary! Nice photos as well!

One more question to all if possible. How exactly are peoples experience using these top hat/extending lens boards? Are they cumbersome and not worth the hassle? Are they worth nearly a hundred quid also?!


I cant thank you all enough for all your help! will be sure to use these forums in the future!

Drew Wiley
13-Dec-2018, 14:15
Telephoto lenses are long and heavy, and your Wista is a lightweight field camera with a front standard that might struggle with the weight and forward-leaning leverage inherent to some of them. By learning how to incorporate front and rear base tilts to gain a bit more bellows extension, you should be able to accommodate lightweight regular lenses like a Nikkor 300M or Fuji 300C. Or you could employ a modest "tophat" extension board. Long tophat boards are seldom practical because they can cause mechanical vignetting of the image when front tilt is used. If you do decide on a telephoto design instead, choose one in a no.1 shutter like the Fuji 400T, so that the excessive weight of a larger shutter is not involved.

lorien14
13-Dec-2018, 14:31
Hi Drew,
Thanks for the reply. Yes I think its easy to get over exited and want to strap the longest possible lens onto the camera not thinking about the practicalities of using on location!! I certainly don't know much about camera movements yet, especially for maximising bellows extension - still learning. So will look into it thank you!

I think I am looking to purchase the Fujinon 400mm T. Has anyone had experience with using this on a Wista eque wooden cameras? Do you think the front standard will be able to hold it well enough?

Mick Fagan
13-Dec-2018, 15:15
Drew has a very good point there, I just weighed my Komura 400T which is fitted with a Copal 3 shutter. On my electronic kitchen scales it comes in at 914 grams with a 4x5" board fitted.

My Fujinon chart mentions the Fujinon 400T weighing in at 600 grams. Even allowing for the small weight of the mounting board, the Komura is substantially heavier.

I've used my Komura 400T quite a lot with my Shen Hao HXZ45-IIA. The HZX45-IIA is a reasonably strong camera, but whenever I had the Komura 400T on, I certainly knew it was on the front. Great care was needed to ensure things didn't move, or sag. I wouldn't think a top hat extension of any great length would be the best idea, but it is certainly doable.

If you do find a Komura 400T then be sure to find one with the spacer behind the shutter, like mine has. If you look at the lens, follow back to the shutter, then follow further towards the camera, there you can see a shiny section. That is a spacer which is apparently not a standard feature of this lens, as I was informed by someone many years ago. I am unsure of the reason, perhaps others better informed than me can butt in here.

For your information, that is a Toyo 45G monorail camera with my Komura 400T fitted. That is a substantial camera, it too feels the weight of that Komura lens.

Mick.





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Corran
13-Dec-2018, 15:48
Quick and cheap way to get a "longer lens" would be to buy a 6x7 120 back for your 4x5 and use that 210mm (i.e. smaller FoV). Just a thought.

I don't think many of the telephoto lenses out there are particularly cheap. But the Nikkor-T set has really gone down in price in the last couple of years so you may be able to find a 360/500 set for $500-700, if you are dead-set on really long lenses. They are very good, but big and heavy, as someone has already said.

Leszek Vogt
13-Dec-2018, 17:44
It might be worth to look (various websites) as there are plenty of articulated arms that attach to a tripod and simultaneously supports the lens or whatever the lens is attached to. One can even cobble something DYI. Naturally, more care is given especially in the wind, since everything is magnified.

Les

ottluuk
14-Dec-2018, 02:13
Take your camera and extend it as long as it will go without employing any extra tricks like front tilts. If the bellows seems stressed or the front becomes very wobbly, back up a bit. Now take a ruler and measure the distance from the ground glass position to the lens board and use this "comfortable max extension" for your considerations, not a theoretical maximum you read from a spec sheet.

A rule of thumb: add the focal length to the flange back distance to get the bellows extension at 1:1 maginification. Telephoto lenses help with the starting point (flange back distance) but not with the amount of extension needed to reach a given magnification.
Some "back of the envelope" calculations below.

210 mm normal lens with 210 mm flange back distance, 300mm max extension = closest focus at 0.7 m

300 mm normal lens with 290 mm flange back distance (e.g. Nikkor M), 300mm extension = closest focus at 9.3 m

300 mm telephoto with 195 mm flange back distance (Fujinon T), 300mm extension = closest focus at 1.16 m

400 mm telephoto with 252 mm flange back distance (Fujinon T), 300mm extension = closest focus at 3.73 m

500 mm telephoto with 287 mm flange back distance (Yamasaki Tele-Congo), 300mm extension = closest focus at 19.7 m

Based on the first formula here: http://www.kennethleegallery.com/html/tech/bellows.php
For telephoto lenses you can get effective max extension like this: focal length + max extension - flange back distance.

You can also get the close focus distances with a calculator like this: https://monochrome.sutic.nu/2018/05/24/extension-tube-calculator.html – ignore the sensor format. Enter your focal length, set the "extension tube length" to whatever amount of extension you have left after focussing the lens to infinity (i.e. max extension - flange back distance) and the Far focus is what you want. Ignore the rest.

Personally, I find a long lens to be very useful for detail shots in the medium to close distances. 2m closest focus feels okay for a 300mm (4x5), anything beyond 3m would be quite limiting. Your needs may be very different of course.

Also, don't discard the idea of cropping or using a roll film back too lightly. Most, if not all telephoto lenses fall a bit behind normal designs in terms of quality. And a fairly large lens with a more or less fully extended bellows can create other problems (wind shake, shutter vibration). So the difference between a crop and a longer lens can be less than you think.

Drew Bedo
18-Dec-2018, 17:04
hi lorien
you might look for the 15" tele-raptar ( also called tele-optar )
it is sometimes sold in a shutter ( i have seen them in betax, alphax and rapax shutters )
it has a very small bellows draw. it also has a smaller cousin the 10" tele-raptor( tele-optar )
same sort of thing, tiny bellows draw and sometimes in a shutter.
they do not sell for bags of gold and are usually "sleepers" and overlooked by people
who only want brand new modern lenses... ( because they don't know anybetter )...

have fun !
john



I have this lens as a Wollensak Tele Optar in an Alphax shutter (#4?). I have taken a few shots with it at infinity, but I've always been a bit confused about figuring correction for bellows extension.

So it infinity focuses at about 8". How is the correction figured from this 8" baseline?

the method I have used with my regular lenses (150mm and 210mm) is to add a third or a quarter stop respectively, for each additional inch of extension beyond the infinity focus bellows extension.

The 150mm is a six inch lens, therefore 3inches beyond infinity requires a full stop of additional exposure, or 1/3 stop per inch.

How do I figure this for the 15" telephoto?

Rod Klukas
20-Dec-2018, 14:59
Wow! Thank you all so much for such detailed and fast responses. It certainly has given me a lot to think about.

Mick Fagan, I have been looking at the Komura. Obviously I would love to get a Nikkor or Fujinon. But do you think it worth saving a few hundred quid for? Or to invest a bit more for a keeper? I will only be shooting black and white due to college darkroom facilities. I do hear what you are saying about cropping. certainly not something I object to too much if necessary! Nice photos as well!

One more question to all if possible. How exactly are peoples experience using these top hat/extending lens boards? Are they cumbersome and not worth the hassle? Are they worth nearly a hundred quid also?!


The Nikon T 360mm requires only about 10.5 inches for infinity and so you can move it and get a bit closer. It is almost totally flare free, even with specular highlights or street lights etc, in the frame. It has better contrast and color contrast than most other telephoto lenses, as well.

I had the set for many years and it worked well. The only problem was the 720mm was difficult as the depth of field was so truncated. I used the lens in 360mm on a Cherry wood DX and the longer on a metal 45SP.


I cant thank you all enough for all your help! will be sure to use these forums in the future!

jnantz
21-Dec-2018, 05:57
I have this lens as a Wollensak Tele Optar in an Alphax shutter (#4?). I have taken a few shots with it at infinity, but I've always been a bit confused about figuring correction for bellows extension.

So it infinity focuses at about 8". How is the correction figured from this 8" baseline?

the method I have used with my regular lenses (150mm and 210mm) is to add a third or a quarter stop respectively, for each additional inch of extension beyond the infinity focus bellows extension.

The 150mm is a six inch lens, therefore 3inches beyond infinity requires a full stop of additional exposure, or 1/3 stop per inch.

How do I figure this for the 15" telephoto?


hi drew

hate to sound like a hayseed but i have no clue and just kind of wing it. i don't typically do the type of image making
that requires bellows extension calculations... one thing i might do is put a "roll back" on your camera or use a paper negative
and use something inexpensive compared to sheet film to bracket and figure out what you might use for your calculations a few cents
( paper ) is much cheaper than a few bucks ( film ) and if you do your experiments close to your darkroom you can figure this out in no time.
sorry for not being much help... love the lenses though they render nice photographs....

Drew Bedo
22-Dec-2018, 12:53
Thanks. I will try his question in a dedicated thread here or in the Stle and Technique forums.

Doremus Scudder
22-Dec-2018, 14:41
I regularly use a Nikkor M 300mm on my Wista DXs with an extended lensboard. You can find "top-hat" boards on eBay and through other sources; I built mine. Mine allows me to focus as close as 9-10 feet. Using front tilts/swings is a bit more complicated with the top-hat board and the danger of vignetting in increased. Still, I find the set-up more than adequate for most applications. If I wanted to use a longer lens than this on the Wista, the Fuji 400T would be my choice.

Best,

Doremus