View Full Version : Which lens next

Mark Andes
20-Apr-2006, 16:55
The Tachihara 4x5 with 210 and 90 has been wonderful. Although I am not feeling great about my results with the 90, my work with the 210 has been pretty solid. My questions.

1. Why are my results with the 90 poor? It is a Scneider in a Copal shutter and seems to be quite clean.

2. If I wanted to do portraits with the Tachi, what lens would be best?

Thanks for all your great advice.

Eric Leppanen
20-Apr-2006, 17:09
Could you please describe in more detail the type of problems you are experiencing with the 90? Soft images? Areas out of focus? Low contrast?

A 210mm lens is a nice starting focal length for portraits.

Joel Truckenbrod
20-Apr-2006, 17:12
1. I think you need to give more information regarding the problem. Exposure I'm guessing, since you mention the shutter. How are you metering? Working with a 90mm requires a bit more careful exposure work since the scene is less localized and a larger area has to be examined, if that makes sense. If the shutter assembly is in question, I would do some controled test shots and then have it repaired if necessary.

2. Any lens can work depending on the type of portrait. Are you speaking of headshots here? I'm sure others will offer some good suggestions.

3. (Your title question) I would get a 135mm or a 120mm next. I find my 135 fujinon to be my most used lens, its super flexible, small, adequately bright...good stuff. Once again, depends on your application though. If you want to do portraits specifically, a 300mm might be a better option. I think they will work on the Tachi, but the bellows draw might start biting you at that point. I have a 250mm that works well, I'm not sure if I would go longer though with my Tachi.

Best of luck! :)

John Kasaian
20-Apr-2006, 17:33

I don't know whats going on with your 90, but with the two lenses you have I'd think you're pretty well covered for most anything 4x5 ish.

IMHO, if you want a cool portrait lens, you might try a Wollensak Velostigmat---usually under $100 and depending on film gives a nice creamy skin tone in b&w plus its not a monster like a 9" verito.

Mark Andes
20-Apr-2006, 18:23
When I use the 90, the images are soft. I think my metering is pretty accurate, but the images seem slightly soft. Is that the usual way a 90 behaves. The 210 is tack sharp.

Dan Fromm
20-Apr-2006, 18:32
Mark, WHICH 90 mm Schneider do you have? At what apertures have you been shooting it? How do you focus it? And which parts of the images taken with it don't please?

Jon Wilson
20-Apr-2006, 19:43
I have a Tachihara 4x5 and just love it. I would agree that the Wollensak Velostigmat in 7.5" to 12" range can produce fine portraits. The 12" velostigmat Series II lens were made with and without a diffuser ring. I like the swirl one finds away from the sharp center at about an f8 when using a verito or a 12" velostigmat series II with a diffuser ring....it is nice bokeh; IMO. These type of portrait type lens would not be sharp throughout a portrait and can be made with several lens, but for the 4x5, I would recommend a 9" Verito in a studio shutter. I believe they are more readily available than the 12" velostigmat Series II with a diffuser ring or try the much more expensive 254mm Veritar in an alphax shutter.

If you are wanting a sharp lens for portraits in a 4x5 format, I would recommend the 240mm Kowa, 240mm G-Claron, Germinar-W 240mm (the Germinar Docter 240mm barrel lens I think is still available from Kerry Thalman in apug classified ads and possibly on ebay) , or even the Fujinon 250mm f6.7 which, along with these other sharp lens, will cover 8x10 in the event you should desire to have a larger view camera.

You can usually find the wollensak velostigmat lens with a f4.5 and/or its newer (but still old) single coated model in f6.3 for less than $200 in a shutter.

All of the above can produce some nice portraits.


20-Apr-2006, 20:18
The 90 mm will not focus to infinity on a Tachihara without moving the front standard back some on the bed. Pull down those two upright levers in the front and push the standard straight back until the front lines up with the 5 or so on the ruler. Push the levers back up to lock it down. Then move the rear standard all the way forward by loosening the two knurled brass knobs in the back and pushing the the brass guides forward until they hit the stops. Then tighten those and you're ready to shoot.

21-Apr-2006, 01:47
Stop buying equipment and get to work making photographs...! It's a distraction. The fewer lenses the better!

Mark Sampson
21-Apr-2006, 09:31
I have a 12" Wollensak Velostigmat f/4.5 Series II, and can tell you that not only will the lens not fit on the Tachi, (the Betax shutter is too big for the Technika-style lensboard), the lens also weighs more than the camera itself.

John Kasaian
21-Apr-2006, 10:52
Amen, Brother Jonathan!

The weather is waaay too nice to be suffering from GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome!)

Scott Kathe
21-Apr-2006, 13:10
I've only been at this for a year and had my 90mm Angulon since last fall. I understand that this isn't the sharpest lens and there is a lot of lens to lens variation, mine was made around 1956 according to the serial number. I shoot primarily nature and landscapes. I thought my Angulon was soft because the distant mountains were soft but the trees and rock closer to the lens in the same print were very sharp, mind you this was only an 8x10 print. I think the softness in the distance was due to atmospheric haze, I was shooting FP4+ without a filter just after dawn. I think a filter would have helped cut through the haze. Just a thought.

Ole Tjugen
21-Apr-2006, 14:11
Scott, I've just put up a comparison shoot of a 1939 Angulon 90mm and a 1951 model of the same on www.bruraholo.no/Cameras/Angulon/ (http://www.bruraholo.no/Cameras/Angulon/). I'll continue using Angulons, but maybe not on "oversize" film. Or maybe I will use oversize film, if I'm shooting for contact prints...

Mark Andes
21-Apr-2006, 14:58
You may have a point. Although the lens is not the sharpest, I think I need to move the lens back and the back forward. I think you are correct that I am not getting full focus to infinity. Ok, off for a Saturday shoot to try it.

Thanks for all your help and great knowledge. I am totally hooked.