View Full Version : 3 lenses for landscape in 8x10

Paul Schilliger
11-Mar-2000, 16:10
This question will certainly rise as many opinions as there are answers, but I w ould be keen on reading what is your favorite set of lenses for 8x10 landscape p hotography. Perhaps should I precise "what are the 3 most used" among them? Than ks!

William Marderness
11-Mar-2000, 19:24
Fujinon 240A and Fujinon 450C.

Sal Santamaura
11-Mar-2000, 21:57
Paul, add the 300mm Fujinon C (that you and I posted about last weekend) to William's two lenses and you've got my 8x10 landscape set. They make a very portable outfit when combined with my Phillips Compact II and a few holders. As a bonus, all three take 52mm filters.

Bill Glickman
12-Mar-2000, 06:14
Paul... wide super symar XL 150mm, that should be first assuming you do landscapes, normal.. the ones mentioned above...long is a matter of choice between 360 - 600mm, beware of wind, you may want the tele designs by Nikor or Fuji...on 4x5 I would not use the teles due to be less sharp than their non tele brothers, but on 8x10 unless you make huge enlargement you would not notice it any difference...

Paul Schilliger
12-Mar-2000, 08:12
Thanks gentlemen. You are unanimous on the 3 Fuji's and this choice seems to me as deadly as the 3 stones David had in his pocket in his war against Goliath! At less than 300 g ea ch and reasonably priced! ... The A 240 though is tight on the format. I use extensive movements with the 120 (now 110)mm on my 4x5. Is there an other choice in the 200 mm range without going into the huge Su per-Angulon categories? The Super-Symmar HM has a little more: 356 mm against 336 for the Fuji A, but th is is not much more and the lens is huge! The Nikkor W 240 has also 336 mm. Perhaps Schneider will complete the range of Super-Symmar XLs with a 210 XL? Seems to me having 3" or more rise possibility in the vertical format in a 1 Kg lens should be nice ! Are there other available options I haven't thou ght of? Of course in ultra wide-angles, the 150 XL and even the 110 XL have amazing capabilities !

12-Mar-2000, 12:01

Schneider is going to introduce a 210 XL this spring. There is some information at:


The lens will weigh 2 kilos! and is really quite excessive coverage for an 8x10.

You may have noticed my post a week or so ago regarding this very same issue. I was thinking about the 240A, but am concerned about coverage, and there aren't that many other lenses in the 210-240 range that are small and with sufficient coverage.

I have been thinking of a Rodenstock Sironar-S 210 as possibly my only option. It will cover 8x10 (barely) and the focal length is closer to my preferred 90mm for 4x5.

One other that I might add to the list for lightweight lenses in the 300mm range is the Nikkor 300M. It doesn't spec the image circle as large as the Fujinon 300C, but several sources state that the lens actually has a larger circle than the 300C when stopped down.


Sal Santamaura
12-Mar-2000, 12:58
Paul, before deciding on the Fuji 240, I spent a long time considering a 240mm Apo-Sironar-S, which has an image circle of 372mm at infinity (vs. 336 for the Fuji). However, the Rodenstock requires an 86mm filter and weighs considerably more than the Fuji, though not even close to 2 kilos! In the end, I decided to primarily rely on back tilts with a Fujinon. This has not been much of a problem, since my typical situation at this focal length is a near-far composition with the camera pointed down. Restoring the back to vertical is required anyway for straight trees, which puts all film inside the Fuji's small projected image.

Paul Schilliger
12-Mar-2000, 13:02
Thanks Michael, I had passed on this post! So the 210 XL is already made. Unfort unately at 2 kilos, and financially probably out of my reach. But this will certainly be a nice lens, a bit excessive as you say.

Paul Schilliger
12-Mar-2000, 13:24
Sal, you probably took the only valid option. Hey, what is this Phillips 8x10 yo u use? Michael is planning to get one and an other guy I contacted recently said he would get this "Ultra Ligh t" Phillips also? I couldn't find anything on the net about it.

William Marderness
12-Mar-2000, 15:30
I have had some coverage problems with the Fujinon 240A. I have used it with architecture, with significant rise, which means as much direct rise as my Wisner Traditional allows. The negatives show reduced density at the top corners, about a 1 zone loss. I have tried taking a vertical shot with extreme rise, as much as I could get with my camera by using direct and indirect rise (through tilts). The negatives show fall off, but the corners are not out of the image circle. I wish for a lens like the Fujinon, but without the fall off.

12-Mar-2000, 22:29

Richard Phillips makes several cameras in the 8x10 size. He makes the Compact II, which has a reversing back, and an Explorer, which is horizontal orientation only. The Explorer is about one pound lighter, and Also a bit smaller, I suppose.

I'm going to get the Compact II, and make up the weight on other equipment (lighter backpack, etc.)

These cameras have a great reputation and following among the followers, but information is hard to find. That is mainly because Phillips only sells direct in America, and doesn't have a website. I would not consider this camera without trying one out, because they are a little different from the traditional Deardorff style field camera. I played with one at Photo Plus Expo in NYC last fall, and spent a good bit of time talking with Dick before ordering.

There is a good long waiting list for the cameras, Dick can tell you how long, but I'm afraid I'll be waiting for a year for mine.

You can email Dick at: rhphill@concentric.net. That's often the easiest way to reach him. He can send you out some literature on the cameras. Let him know I sent you (maybe it'll help me get my camera sooner! ;) ).

Another lens that some people use in this focal length is the 210 G Claron (Someone correct me if I'm wrong). This lens is a macro lens, like the Fujinon A series, but performs very well in smaller apertures at infinity. I understand Ron Wisner is an advocate of this lens. I'm not sure the specs show that it will cover 8x10, but it's being used by people with success. It probably doesn't cover at f22 but will by f45 or something like that.


Sal Santamaura
12-Mar-2000, 22:59
Michael added his latest post while I was running upstairs to get Dick's email address. Here's something additional you might enjoy. Dick works with a European distributor: Monochrom in Germany. They have a Web site that includes information and photos on the Compact II. I used to be able to access it in English and German, but lately only seem to get German. Go to:


and have fun. The camera weighs only 7.8 lb., is extremely rigid, and is of unconventional design. I use mine on a Gitzo 1325 with Arca B-1 (that's right, B-1 not B-2). I've added Gitzo spiked end sections from their 1338 video tripod, which are the same size as the smallest sections of the 1325. Kirk makes a 4"x4" Arca-style plate which works perfectly for this application. Add a BTZS focus tube and you're all set.

William: the 300 C has no business being used for architecture. There's only about 1/2" more image circle than film. Try the Apo-Sironar-S.

13-Mar-2000, 00:03
The lense choice is fundamental to thinking about 8x10, and has so far prevented me from getting into this format. I think the Fujinon 600C would be one of the first lenses, as it would be similar to a 300mm on 4x5. The difficulty is that there is no relatively inexpensive and light, wide coverage lense, in the 180mm - 210mm range, that would be similar to the 90 - 110mm range in 4x5. I can't see the point in getting a lense for 8x10 that doesn't have enough image circle to permit a good range of movements. Even the (much heavier) Nikkor W240 has a very similar image circle to the Fujinon A240. I have seen and held the new Super-Symmar 210XL, which will cover 11x14, but it is extremely heavy and not suitable for back- packing. (I wouldn't want to take such an expensive lense up a mountain anyway). So you're left with a conundrum, unless some of the older lenses (Ektars, Dagors, etc.), which I'm not familiar with, solve the problem. Anyone have any thoughts on these, and their relative quality to the R/S/N/F lenses? It seems to me there is a good opportunity for one of the four LF lense producers to come up with something for 8x10 in the 180-210mm range.

13-Mar-2000, 00:36
I agree with FW, to a certain extent the lack of a lightweight wide angle in the 180 to 210 range is disturbing. What I find intresting is that the 90 is one of the most used 4x5 wide angle focal lengths, and there is not a single lens offering in the comparable focal length for 8x10 (180 mm).

I can't quite figure that out, since I would expect 8x10 users to want to use the focal length equivalencies in the from 4x5 to 8x10 for familiarity reasons. (I certainly do)

That's the reason for my post earlier about the 190mm WF Ektar, which specs out with about a millimeter or so to spare for 8x10.

I wish there were good representation by Fuji here in America, because they are making some great, small lenses right now. Maybe they would listen... Somehow I doubt it, but I do mention to every Fujifilm rep that I would love for them to start officially bringing them in. One can only hope.

I think I may end up getting the 240 A as the moderate wide angle, and the 150 XL for my very wide... (along with my Nikkor 300M, Fuji 450C, and a future 600C)

Does anyone know what Michael Fatali uses for his lenses? He does a lot of solo backpacking with his 8x10, so he must be using some small lenses. His site doesn't mention equipment, but I know he uses a Phillips 8x10.

Erik Ryberg
13-Mar-2000, 01:58
Look here you nerds. You are talking about lenses that cost a fabulous amount of money. I don't care what you spend on your gear, but other readers may want to know that it is possible to make beautiful 8x10 images without spending your kid's college money. One of the advantages of 8x10, in fact, is that since you (presumably) aren't doing much enlarging you can get away with older optics. Nobody is ever going to be able to convince me that a contact print made with a $4,000 SuperDuper Extra-XL Ultra Symmar is going to be noticeably different from one made with a $250 Goerz Red-Dot Artar mounted in a crappy old Betax shutter.

As for wide angles, the 7 inch dagor barely covers 8x10 and the 184 mm Protar offers gobs of coverage. Both can be had real real cheap.

As for me, for wide angle I use a 7 inch dagor ($45) currently with a packard shutter ($55) but soon to be mounted by Grimes ($200) in a bargain Copal shutter ($120) I got on ebay.

For more "normal" focal length I use a 15 inch Ilex Paragon (free in a dumpster) front mounted ($75) in a Betax shutter (came with a bunch of junk with my camera).

For longer shots I use a 45 cm Goerz Red Dot Artar, ($235) and a Packard shutter.

Three lenses, well under $1,000. Your pictures might be better than mine, but if they are I bet it isn't because of your lenses. It's because of your talent.

take j.Fuber
13-Mar-2000, 06:55
Fuji C300mm, Fuji W180mm(old version has 308mm image circle), Nikkor 120mm,

I like these wide angle lenses for 8X10 landscape works.

13-Mar-2000, 09:34
Erik's only partially correct. You will have difficulty telling a vintage lens from a modern lens in terms of SHARPNESS in a UNENLARGED BLACK AND WHITE PRINT. However, I believe you will easily see the difference in terms of contrast, even on an unenlarged print. The older optics will become apparent in several additional ways if you use color, and if you enlarge, and also if you are working at the edges of the field circle.

I have no intention of putting together an 8x10 camera system that I can only use for black and white contact prints (unless it's a 12x20!). Yes, this costs more, but the lenses we are talking about are all quite reasonable as far as big glass is concerned (with the exception of the 150 XL).

Masayoshi Hayashi
13-Mar-2000, 12:04
Here (http://www.monochrom.de/fotograf/compactII.html) is the URL Sal posted (. instead of / before html). Thanks Sal!

Sal Santamaura
13-Mar-2000, 15:38
Thank you Masayoshi! Next time I'll be more careful, and one of these days when not so rushed will figure out how to include a link in posts to this forum.

Paul Schilliger
13-Mar-2000, 18:20
Well, thank you all so far! Lots of good stuff in your replies. Lots of concern also on some missing parts of the field photographer lens bag! Thanks for the link on Phillips cameras, im pressive! I have also received some private mail on some no longer made but quite interesting lenses! But as fw says, makes me think twice.

Glenn Kroeger
13-Mar-2000, 20:25
From down here in 4x5 land, it sounds like all you folks need is a $400, 210mm f/2.8 lens that covers a 500mm image circle and weighs 200g.

Sal Santamaura
14-Mar-2000, 11:15
Glenn, a winning lottery ticket would serve just as well, and is more likely to be found.

Ellis Vener
14-Mar-2000, 14:13
To those who are still following this thread, I believe that Phillips has for th e time being ceased production of 8x10 camera to concentrate on production of 4x5 cameras. iI believe i saw this as a short article in a recent issue of Vi ew Camera.

Sal Santamaura
14-Mar-2000, 17:05
Ellis, if the article said that it was wrong. Dick has been concentrating on 4x5 production lately, which resulted in the long 8x10 lead time that Michael referred to. One can still order, and eventually take delivery of, a new Compact II.

Sal Santamaura
14-Mar-2000, 17:15
Well, I guess that's essentially what you said the article reported, eh Ellis? Removing foot from my mouth. Out of here for today.

3-May-2000, 17:19

As a followup to the discussion about "3 field lenses for landscape photography", I wanted to mention that I have found out that the previous version of the Fujinon W 210 had an 80 degree fov, and a 352mm image circle at infinity. This certainly fits my criteria for a good wide angel lens for landscape, and has decent overage for movements.

The one issue is that the lens is pre-1980 (about) and single coated. I don't consider this to be a great drawback, and I plan to eventually get one. The identifying features are: labelling on the inside rim of the lens, not outside; single coated (probably reddish-amber coating color); and a chrome ring copal shutter. I don't know if these were available in Seiko or not...

Thought you'd like to know, it might fill the void at the wide angle end for you. I suspect you can find these for $450-550 on the used market.