View Full Version : 360mm Tele Lens for 4x5 Tachihara

Michael Heald
8-Jun-2006, 06:45
Hello! Currently, I am using a 90mm SuperAngulon and a 210mm Ilex Calumet Caltar for landscapes, and they are dong well for me.
I'm considering purchasing a 360mm telephoto lens. I've read the posts on pluses and minuses. The Tachihara has about 13 1/4 inches of draw, so a telephoto would work well. With landscapes, I don't anticipate a lot of movements.

I'd also like to try a few portraits, so a telephoto lens would work well with the Tachihara.

I've read about the Tele-Xenar/Artar/Raptar. For landscapes, I'll be stopping down for sharpness adn depth of field. For portraits, a softer lens with a wider f-stop would work well. It would seem that an older telephoto lens would meet these considerations.

Are each of these lenses older models? What is the general price range for a older telephoto lens in reasonable shape? Best regards.


John Jarosz
8-Jun-2006, 10:01
I use a 360 Tele-Xenar made in 1942 on 4x5. I do B&W mostly, but the lens does a decent job on transparencies. Black & white is fine if you watch what you're doing (like not shooting into the sun).

It depends on what your expectations are.


David A. Goldfarb
8-Jun-2006, 10:21
An Artar is not a telephoto design, so you wouldn't have enough bellows for it, but they are very sharp.

I have a 360mm Tele-Xenar and it does the job. It sharpens up a bit with B&W if you use a strong monochromatic filter with it.

I've owned a 360mm Tele-Arton in the past, which has more coverage and is sharper in the center, but it's a big lens on a wooden 4x5" camera (Copal 3).

8-Jun-2006, 13:55
I use with Tachihara 400mm Bush Bis-Telar built some time before WWII. With Tahihara it focuses up to some 3-4 meters. I work only with B&W so I do not know how it would do with color. It costed me some $170 on e-bay and also some work to assemble diaphragm which arrived in a separate box.
It is not super sharp but I would say it has a personality.

Michael Heald
9-Jun-2006, 09:42
Hello! Thank you for the input. I'll keep a watch for these lenses on E-Bay and MPEX and KEH. Best regards.


Joseph O'Neil
9-Jun-2006, 11:09
I have a 380mm Wollensak Tele-Raptar, but is that ever a big hunk of glass (F 5.6) to hang off the end of my Tachiharia. The one time I had it mounted frankly it kinda scared me - yes, i could reach focus, but that was just a lot of weight for the small tachi. In fact, I keep my Crown Graphic around specifically for that lens.

I used to use a 300mm Komura Tele lens, and it was just the right size for me. I later sold that lens when I got myself a 270mm G-Claron.

One thing to consider is do you really need a long tele-photo lens for 4x5, or would you find something in the 300mm range like a Commercial Ektar or a G-Claron? For me, the answer was one of each.

For me, I use my Tele-Raptor very seldom, but but when I do need it, I am very, very happy I have it. But it get used in less than often than my 270mm G-Claron.

If you are set on a tele-lens for a Tachihara, look for something in the 300mm range. Once you get past that swize, you are getting into some really big lenses, and while yes you can reach focus, having all that weight on the best extended so far forward.

One last thought - my Wollensak is great for B&W, but I've never used it for colour work, so cannot comment there.


Jerry Fusselman
13-Jun-2006, 15:33
There is a Voigtlaender (a.k.a. Voigtlander) Telomar 360mm f/5.5 available on eBay right now for $1500. They probably often sell for a little less than that. I find the Telomar great on color film even with city lights at night.

Colorful city lights at night, rightly or wrongly, I consider my toughest test for chromatic aberration.

Ralph Barker
13-Jun-2006, 16:52
I have a Nikkor 360T that I've used on my Toyo Field (45AX), which has, I think, similar bellows draw as the 4x5 Tachi. It has been OK for upper-body portraits, but there's just not enough bellows to do tight head shots. So, I either drag out the 45C monorail or put the 4x5 adapter on the 8x10 Tachi.

So, bottom line, Michael, you may want to think about the portrait style you want to dabble in, and then do some calculations on how much bellows draw you'll really need for the available tele designs in that range.