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thorirv
21-Jan-2007, 17:35
hi
new around here, thought i'd ask for advice.

i'm looking at getting into LF mostly for shooting buildings, inside and out. before i make a shopping list i need to research a little, on pretty much every aspect of your format/approach, and for now i'd like to concentrate on optics. i'll be looking at wides, probably a 65 or a 75, and later(?) a 120/135, but i need to be able to compare the various models in terms of max aperture, coverage, physical size/weight, and - ehhh... price.

i've done some searches on the matter, and though i usually get plenty of sites, few of them have much, if any, info on lenses this wide.

if anyone could direct me to a good source of info, i'd be very thankful. if not online, then a book recommendation perhaps..??

thanks in advance.
thorir v.

Juergen Sattler
21-Jan-2007, 17:38
On the home page of this forum you find this:

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/lenses/LF4x5in.html

thorirv
21-Jan-2007, 17:44
hey..
thanks already!!

steve simmons
21-Jan-2007, 18:44
There are several articles in the Free Articles section of the View Camera web site that will help someone get started in large format

www.viewcamera.com


steve simmons

John Kasaian
21-Jan-2007, 19:39
thorir,

Probably the most universally used lens when it comes to 4x5 format interiors is the 90mm Super Angulon. I don't have one (or shoot much 4x5) but hey, theres got to be a reason for thier popularity.

JW Dewdney
21-Jan-2007, 21:26
I'd say only in about 5% (or less) will you find yourself needing to use anything shorter than a 90. Honestly. I know the idea of going radically wide can seem somewhat seductive, I doubt you'd find it useful under most circumstances.

thorirv
22-Jan-2007, 07:09
juergen, steve, john, jw,.. thanks a lot.
having read a little around here already, i've noticed the reputation the ninety seems to have. currently i'm photographing various interiors on a small format, digital, and am getting used to having about ninety degrees horizontally to play with. most of the time that's enough, sometimes a tad too wide, sometimes i could use a little more. a 90mm on a 4x5 would "only" give me 70degrees horizontally (given the fov calculator i'm using is correct), and though the film area is proportionally taller, that doesn't compensate for the lack of horizontal ... ehh, can i say coverage (meaning how much in front of the lens i get on film).

for me the idea of using a "super"wide isn't seductive (though i like the figure of speaking), it's just an aesthetic preference, as well as practical.

otoh, i'm being tempted with a sinar norma that comes with one (super angulon 90/8), and if i won't be able to resist, i'll defineatly try it out before investing in anything wider.

again,.. many thanks!
thorir

Ole Tjugen
22-Jan-2007, 10:09
For "buildings, inside and out" it would definitely be nice to have something wider than a 90mm. Even for landscapes it's nice; I often use my 90mm f:8 Super Angulon on 5x7" when the 4x5" doesn't give me a wide enough view!

I would suggest a 65mm and a 72 or 75mm at the wide end.

David Karp
22-Jan-2007, 10:43
Every interior/architectural photographer I have talked to or read comments from seems to state that the 90 is the workhorse lens for their sort of work. That said, I have seen photos from all of them using 75mm and wider. Their arsenal seems to include everything from 55/58mm to 120/125mm at the wide angle end.

The problem with the 90mm Super Angulon f/8 is that it has a smaller image circle than the f/5.6 version. The image circle is a strong consideration in lenses for architectural work.

Norman McGrath wrote a very informative book, Photographing Buildings Inside and Out, which is a great resource for anyone considering architectural and interior work. Included is a discussion of lenses, focal lengths and why and when he uses different focal lenghts.

Jim Galli
22-Jan-2007, 11:32
The reason that the 90 is most useful is intuitive if you think about it a bit. Most often we're looking at architecture from the ground. With a view camera it's important to keep architectural lines straight. So a wide angle see's a lot of concrete in the bottom half, the doorway at it's "eye level" and part of the building. So what we do is raise the front up to put that doorframe at the bottom and the sky above the building at the top. Coverage is the problem and the best of the 75's and 65's will begin to vignette before you've got the framing you want. A good 90 is just about the trade off of wideness and coverage unless you're a millionaire and can afford a 110 degree 72mm lens. Now interiors are different and that's where the 75's and 65's begin to work better.

thorirv
22-Jan-2007, 12:29
jim, since you put it this way, i'm thinking i'd be fine with a lens with not such a huge image circle after all. as a matter of fact i like concrete, and have nothing against filling the frame with all kinds of accessories, be it grass, bushes, garages or parking lots and whatnot - obviously i don't live in a big city.. (for example http://farm1.static.flickr.com/124/329598346_7ffbdc67f8_o.jpg)

but seriously, a table like the one juergen sattler linked to, only for older (read: cheaper) lenses would get my hunt for the 65/75 going. i vaguely remember seeing such source of comparison once, but haven't been able to find it again, in spite of good help from google's best men. if anyone knew where to find such a thing (not neccessarily identical, but similar) i'd be very thankful.

again... thanks for all input!
best
thorir v

Ole Tjugen
22-Jan-2007, 12:37
but seriously, a table like the one juergen sattler linked to, only for older (read: cheaper) lenses would get my hunt for the 65/75 going. i vaguely remember seeing such source of comparison once, but haven't been able to find it again, in spite of good help from google's best men. if anyone knew where to find such a thing (not neccessarily identical, but similar) i'd be very thankful.

Like this one? http://www.largeformatphotography.info/lenseslist.html

thorirv
22-Jan-2007, 13:06
feeling slightly dumb...
ole, thanks