View Full Version : 8x10 lens for closeup work

chris jordan
12-Apr-2006, 08:29
Hi guys, here's a noobie question for you. I did some fairly close-up work when I was down in New Orleans recently, and I discovered that my Rodenstock Sironar-S lenses lose some sharpness when I get up within a few feet of the subject and the lens is wide open. Can you suggest a lens that is optimized for this kind of work, maybe in the 300-360mm range, that will cover 8x10?




Donald Brewster
12-Apr-2006, 08:32
14" APO-Artar.

John Kasaian
12-Apr-2006, 08:50
305 G-Claron.

Ken Lee
12-Apr-2006, 08:57
300 Fujinon A if you can find one. Good for distance and close work.

Oren Grad
12-Apr-2006, 09:09
If you're getting down to 1/3 life size: 300 Macro-Sironar, if you can find one.

But maybe we need to take a step back. I don't know of any big-camera lens that's optimized for close-range use wide open. Also, DOF is going to be so thin hardly anything will be in focus anyway - unless you're just shooting flat surfaces, in which case the problem is to place the plane of focus exactly right. What kinds of things were you trying to photograph?

Bob Salomon
12-Apr-2006, 09:29
the 120 and 180 Rodenstock Apo Macro Sironar lenses more then cover 8x10 at 1:1 and at lower ratios and will easily outperform a non macro.

however none of the lenses are designed or corrected for wide open use.

The S should be performing to spec down to 1:5. Were you closer then that?

William Mortensen
12-Apr-2006, 09:48
I'd consider a good process lens (G-Claron, Ronar, GR-II...) which can serve as a close-up and double as a regular distance lens. One nice thing about the process lenses is that they often have very small f/stops (f/128-180-256) which will give you that little extra depth of field. Personally, I'd rather have the option of losing a little to diffraction than a lot to depth of field. Bear in mind that shutter-mounted process lenses often lose the small f/stops of the barrel lenses.

You might also consider something in they 150-210mm range, as you'll have the bellows way cranked out, (then consider one that will still cover 8x10 at infinity). This will also gain you back a slight bit of depth of field, which, as Oren noted, will be extremely limited, and only moreso with longer lenses. With the bellows extension you'll be using for close-up, the perspective will be that of a longer lens.

John O'Connell
12-Apr-2006, 10:02
What are your subjects?

I actually use a 355 G-Claron for this sort of work when I need a long lens. Not for static subjects, but for portraits. I stop down between f/11 and f/16, though I have used it at f/9. Reproduction ratios vary between 1:2 and a little over 1:1.

It works fine, but I don't know that it's much better than your Sironar. Most LF lenses suffer at wide stops and depth of field is fairly shallow at such subject sizes, making it tough to know when the conditions are difficult and when the lens isn't the best.

Additionally, all of the 8x10 "macro" lenses people generally use are slower than the taking plasmats, by one or two stops. Wide open isn't going to be as wide open with a G-Claron, an Artar, or a Ronar.

Eric Leppanen
12-Apr-2006, 10:58
The Cooke XVa convertible is marketed as a wide-open 8x10 lens, although at such a short focus distance I am skeptical that anything other than a dedicated macro or process lens will suffice. I owned a Cooke for a while last year, and at fifteen feet the 311mm focal length was every bit as sharp and contrasty wide-open as my 300mm APO Sironar-S. I did not test it at any closer distances. Clive Russ has done a lot of testing of the Cooke, so it might be worthwhile checking with him. I also had some direct discussions with Cooke regarding optimal focus distances for the longer single-cell focal lengths, and the Cooke folks were extremely open and responsive; but we never discussed the 311mm dual-cell configuration in this context.

Stan. Laurenson-Batten
12-Apr-2006, 14:00
Hello Chris.

For the past year or so I have been using a Schneider APO Symmar 'L' 300mm F5.6 with a Copal 3 shutter. I bought the lens new, specifically for my Sinar P2 8X10. It has performed extremely well in close up and distance work. The only downside is that it is a very large heavy beast..

Eric Leppanen
12-Apr-2006, 14:46
Stan's suggestion of the APO Symmar L joggled my memory: Schneider specs the APO Symmar L series down to 1:3, where the Sironar-S spec is 1:5 according to Bob above. How much of this difference is specsmanship who knows, but I have been very happy with my 480mm APO Symmar L (enormous beast that it is), which compares very favorably with my 300 and 360mm Sironar-S's. The L has a bit more of the Schneider "smooth" look (compared to the Sironars' more dramatic, contrasty tendencies), but it is extremely sharp both close up (although I have never tried it as close as three feet) and at infinity.

chris jordan
12-Apr-2006, 15:00
Hi guys, thanks for all the thoughts. I would like to be able to use the lens wide open for very low depth of field, but that's not as important as having a lens that produces tack-sharp results up close. I don't anticipate getting as close as 1:1, more like about 1:3 or so.

John Kasaian
12-Apr-2006, 15:48
The Commercial Ektars are pretty decent wide open, I know they were used for food & jewelry product shots in the 50's and 60's so they must behave well for close-ups too. I have a 14" and its a dandy lens.

Jim Galli
12-Apr-2006, 16:40
Here's (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7607170166&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&rd=1) your baby Chris.