View Full Version : Wide Angle Lens for Canham Lightweight 8x10

Mark Stahlke
3-Feb-2006, 23:16

Having recently acquired a K. B. Canham Lightweight 8x10 field camera, I'm in the process of planning a lens kit for shooting color landscapes. I'd like a wide angle around 150mm. I've read all the threads I can find about wide angles for 8x10 and I know the choices (at least in modern lenses) are Nikon SW 150, Schneider 150 SSXL, Grandagon 155, Super Angulon 165, and I suppose I should add the Wollensack 159.

Here is the problem: The opening in my front standard measures about 92 or 93 millimeters square. The camera uses 110mm lens boards.

Specs for the Nikon SW 150 say the rear element is 100mm in diameter. That won't fit, scratch that lens (err... wait, let me rephrase that...). I'm sure the 150 SSXL and the Wollensack will fit. Does anyone know the diameter of the rear elements of the Grandagon 155 and SA 165? Is anyone using a 150-ish lens on this camera? If so, which one?


Oren Grad
3-Feb-2006, 23:55
The Canham will accept the 155 Grandagon, which has a rear mount diameter of 90mm. Keith Canham has been quoted as saying that one of the reasons he went for the Toyo-size board rather than the smaller Technika-type board when designing his cameras was precisely that he had customers who wanted to use the 155 Grandagon. I will be remounting my own 155 Grandagon shortly for use on a Canham that accepts the 110mm boards.

There has been more than one version of the 165 SA. According to Schneider literature I have on hand, the rear mount diameter for both new and old versions was 100mm. Rear mount diameter of the 150 SS-XL is specified by Schneider as 65mm.

The Wollensak is really the odd man out in that group - a much older design than the others, and discontinued decades ago. Not exactly what I'd call a "modern lens", though you might like it anyway.

Oren Grad
4-Feb-2006, 00:00
To be absolutely sure, I just ran downstairs and checked the rear mount diameter on my 155 Grandagon. It does indeed measure just a hair under 90mm.

Mark Stahlke
4-Feb-2006, 01:50
Thanks Oren. That's exactly what I needed to know and it's good new too. I like the Rodenstock wide angles. I'm awfully fond of my 55 APO-Grandagon and my 75 Caltar II-N. I'm sure I'll be very happy with a 155 Grandagon. Now all I have to do is find one. Right after I find the money to pay for it.


Walt Calahan
4-Feb-2006, 08:40

I own the same camera. I use a Nikkor 120 mm with no problem because the rear element is 80 mm instead of 100. The 120 mm lens works great.

For the Nikkor 150 mm you should have gotten the standard Canham 8x10 field camera because the lens board is larger.

I use a Fujinon 180 mm and a Nikkor 240 mm as my other two wide angle lenses. The Fujinon just barely covers 8x10 some gives me only millimeters of movement, but within its limits, I'm very happy with that lens. It is very very small, so packs well.

Good luck with whatever you finally get. Cheers.


Andrew O'Neill
4-Feb-2006, 08:42
I had the light weight until it was stolen from my house last August. I often used it with nikkor SW 120 with no problems. I forget the rear element size,but it's quite large. I'd go and check but that lens was stolen too. (still waiting for all new replacements to come...can't wait to get back at it!)

4-Feb-2006, 10:19
150 SSXL image quality on 8x10 is stunning.... I use 10 lenses on my 8x10, all new vintage, and nothing comapares to the 150 SSXL and Fuji 240A.

4-Feb-2006, 10:31
I recently went 8x10 wide-angle lens shopping, having decided that the SSXL 110mm was too wide for me. I ended up with the Wollensack 159mm. In my judgement it was sufficient for contacts, along with being much cheaper and way, way smaller than the competition. If you don't intend to enlarge, these factors may be relevant to you as well.

George Stewart
4-Feb-2006, 10:42
Perhaps the Schneider 165mm f/6.8 Angulon will do the trick.

Oren Grad
4-Feb-2006, 12:29
I'm sure I'll be very happy with a 155 Grandagon. Now all I have to do is find one. Right after I find the money to pay for it.

You can still buy one new from Robert White or Teamwork in the UK for the piddling price of 2,292 pounds, which is about $4000.

Seriously, though, keep an eye on eBay. With a bit of patience you ought to be able to find a clean one for less than $1000. With the compact SS-XL series now available for those who can afford them, prices have softened a bit for the older wide angle lenses like the 165 SA and 155 Grandagon, which are much bigger and heavier.

Ole Tjugen
4-Feb-2006, 14:18
I'm with George Stewart here - an Angulon 165mm f:6.8 should do nicely. Best if all, it's very small, at least compared to the other offerings. Costs a fraction too, at least if you find one in the original Compur #2 shutter.
That, and the Symmar 240/420 convertible, are my two most used lenses for landscapes on 5x7" and 18x24cm (I don't have a functional 8x10" yet, but I don't think those few mm will change my preferences).

Mark Stahlke
5-Feb-2006, 21:10
Thanks for all the info. It looks like my options in modern multi-coated glass are the 155 Grandagon or the 150 SSXL. One has a painful weight and the other has a painful price tag. Decisions, decisions.

The Nikon SW 120 didn't make my short list because I don't have a wide angle bellows. I tried my Fuji 125 just to see if the standard bellows can handle a lens that short. It's mighty tight. I can focus but the bellows doesn't allow very much movement. Of course, that lens just barely covers so it's still on my long list.

The Angulon 165 might be an option if I can find one at a nice price although I'd prefer a modern MC lens.

Thanks again for the info.


Walt Calahan
6-Feb-2006, 06:51
Even if the Nikkor 120 mm didn't make your "long list", and you end up getting the 155 or 150, I'd recommend getting a bag bellows.

I got a bag bellows for the Canham before I ever bought the 120. Found the standard bellows drooped too much with my Nikkor 240. The bag bellows makes working so much easier with any wide angle. It packs nicely under my camera in a Lowepro backpack.

Again, what ever you get, enjoy.