View Full Version : Apo Grandagon 35mm Ultra wide & Toyo VX 125 ?

Andre Noble
1-Mar-2006, 10:11
Does any one on this forum have direct experience using the Rodenstock Apo Grandagon 35mm Ultra wide lens on a Toyo View VX 125 camera to say for sure if it's possible or not?

Thanks in advance,


Donald Hutton
1-Mar-2006, 11:14
Yes - you need a 25mm recessed lens board (I have all my lenses on Linhof Technika type boards and use Toyo adaptor boards - I have a flat one and a 25mm recessed adaptor board). I haven't specifically used the 35mm Rodenstock, but I have used the 47mm Schneider XL frequently. On a flat lensboard, you can focus the 58mmXL at infinity and the bellows still allow for several inches of movements.

Andre Noble
1-Mar-2006, 13:35
Toyo advertises the VX 125 only down to the 47XL lens.

I believe the flange to focal plane on the lens I'm asking about, the Rodenstock Apo Grandagon 35mm is appx. 40.0mm. I'm curious as to real world experience as to the workability of the 35 on the VX 125. Thanks Don.

Donald Hutton
1-Mar-2006, 13:45
Linos literature gives the FTFP on the 35mm Grandagon as 43.2mm. The Schneider 58XL is 69mm and it focusses with a bit of room to spare on a flat lensboard. 69 less 43.2 is 25.8mm - I think you will be fine with a 25mm recessed lensboard....

Jack Flesher
1-Mar-2006, 13:56
I think Toyo only specs down to 47mm since that is the last lens that will cover 4x5...

Again, not conclusive but supports the above: I can infinity focus my 55 APO Grandagon on a flat board -- Tech board on lens attached to the camera via the Toyo flat Tech to Toyo adapter. The simple math with the 25mm recessed board gets us to a workable 30mm lens -- not conclusive, but certainly compelling.

I think the larger concern is if adding a roll-film back or digital sensor back, is the back-spacing the same as the 4x5 GG? If so, I think you are going to be okay. However, if it is set back even a few mm, it may be close.

Scott Fleming
1-Mar-2006, 14:25

If you get this definitively worked out let us know. Most of us VX 125 owners desire to know.

Paul Schilliger
3-Mar-2006, 10:50
The way I went was to get two adapters for the Technika boards. I have a flat one for the usual lenses and a 40mm recessed adapter for the 65mm and 47mm. The flange to film distance can be set as short as 22mm with it and is much better than having the lenses mounted on clumsy and expensive recessed boards. At 38mm the bellows are still adjustable by 20mm shift or rise, no need for a bag bellows.

3-Mar-2006, 11:01
What the heck will you be shooting with a 35mm lens? My 65mm is gathering dust in the closet, because I find it so absurdly wide; I really can't imagine the point of a lens twice as wide.

This is a serious question, by the way. Real estate interiors? Skyscrapers? Some weird kind of landscape? Table top?

Paul Schilliger
3-Mar-2006, 11:32
>What the heck will you be shooting with a 35mm lens? My 65mm is gathering dust in the closet, because I find it so absurdly wide.

You have to think 120 film with those lenses. A 65mm on 6x7 matches a 33mm in SF. A 47mm a 24mm. And a 35mm... an absurdly wide 18mm.

But as far as I am concerned, those lenses are certainly the least used in outdoor photography. Might suit some styles though.

Jerry Fusselman
3-Mar-2006, 16:52

What is your widest lens that does not collect dust in the closet?

What do you shoot that leads you to never use anything as wide as 65mm on 4x5? For example, if you shoot landscapes, where are you shooting and what are your subjects that would lead you to never use 65mm or wider?

4-Mar-2006, 15:10
Paul, I guess my question should have been why bother with 120 in a LF camera.

Jerry, I use 80mm for urban stuff that I can't get very far away from. In the great outdoors, I rarely shoot shorter than 180, and 240 is the most used.

For really wide subjects, I prefer my Widelux, a totally different look, along with being appropriately narrow. If I point the LF 65 at anything more than 200 feet away, all I get is a bunch of sky and dirt, with the thing disappearing off in the distance. And you?

Jerry Fusselman
4-Mar-2006, 16:47

What I cannot figure out is this: If you visited the same places I do, would you find a need to go much wider than 80mm on 4x5? And if I visited the same places you shoot, would my Ago Grandagons stay unused too?

Ah, but you use a Widelux, so you admit the desire to shoot really wide subjects, and it is just a matter of taste how to shoot them---rectilinear or not? Maybe we are not so different about the need to shoot wide subjects after all. We both see very wide subjects, except that I prefer rectilinear lenses to fish eyes and rotary cameras.

If you are interested, I think I can make two generalizations for when I shoot ultra wide. The first is that there are often large vertical walls, such as canyons or being up on a steep mountain or shooting buildings in downtown Chicago. In these cases, an 80mm lens on 4x5 seems inadequate. The second is that when I go ultra wide, I am more inclined to shoot 612 (35mm and 55mm), 617 (47mm and 80mm), 624 (110mm), or 4x10 (110mm and 150mm) than I am to shoot 4x5 or 8x10. That is, ultra wide subjects seldom look best to me on a squarish frame. I find 35mm on 612 far more useful than 55mm on 4x5.

Kirk Gittings
4-Mar-2006, 17:31
"Paul, I guess my question should have been why bother with 120 in a LF camera."

I have shot all my commercial architectural photography for many years on a 4x5 with 120 backs. Why? Convenience on road trips, film costs etc.