View Full Version : Seeking lens advice

Harry Ogloff
15-Jan-2008, 16:26
Always wanted to get my feet wet in large format photography and finally bit the bullet and picked up a used Tachihara 4x5 camera. I'm looking for advice on lenses that might fit my needs. The two most used lenses from my 6x7 photography would be the 55mm and the 105mm. I'd like to stick within that range. Any suggestions for lenses that are good quality and value at the same time? Thanks in advance,


Walter Calahan
15-Jan-2008, 17:31
I'd start off with a good 150-mm lens.

That's what I did when I got a Tachihara back in the mid-80s. I still have and use the lens. A nice Schneider. But a Fujinon, Nikon, Rodenstock will fit the bill just as well.

I've converted my Tachihara to a pinhole camera, and now shoot with an Acra-Swiss 4x5 (plus various other LFs).

Good luck. Remember, fun is the name of the game.

15-Jan-2008, 17:36
Can't speak to specific focal lengths, but as far as lenses in general are concerned, check out anything from the Calumet Caltar line (both the Caltar and Caltar-II were rebranded forms of some very good lenses) and the older Schneider Symmars. Both of these can almost always be found in fine supply and at reasonable prices. Before you learn the ins and outs of LF lenses, I'd shy away from Fujinon lenses, because there always seems to a lot of arguement on what any particular lens will and won't do, and because the differences between the lens series (which, with Fuji, can make a HUGE difference) is not always that appearant. For something more classic, check out the old Kodak Ektars. It has been said a few times that the Supermatic shutter that they tend to come in is able to hold its own against the modern Copals in terms of reliability.

Happy Hunting!

Ron Marshall
16-Jan-2008, 01:02
The 55mm is about equivalent to a 90mm on 4x5, and the 105 to a 180. There are many used lenses in these focal lengths for reasonable prices.

Consider how many lenses you eventually plan to have in your kit. You could have 90-120-180 or 90-135-210 etc.

An f8 or f6.8 90mm is lighter weight. The Nikkor 90mm f8 is a nice lens, as is the Rodenstock Grandagon N f6.8, Schneider Super Angulon f8 90mm or Fuji SW f8 90mm. All are modern and multicoated.

The Rodenstock APO Sironar-S is a very nice 180mm, but any of the current offerings from Rodenstock, Schneider, Fujinnon or Nikon (out of production since last year) are very similar.

Check out the info on the front page of this site:


For pricing used lenses check out KEH Camera brokers or Midwest Photo Exchange. See Badger Graphics for Fuji lenses.