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BSTAR
20-Feb-2008, 12:46
Hi,

I am looking to buy a telefoto lens for my 4X5. I want something in the range of 400mm. Any advice / suggestions?

Thanks

Marc

stompyq
20-Feb-2008, 12:52
I used to own a Fuji 400mm T lens. I was quite happy with it on my wista. Gave me so sharp pics on 4x5 with moderate movements. The nikon 360mm is also highly regarded but is about three times as expensive.

Justin Black
20-Feb-2008, 13:02
In a 400mm telephoto, the Schneider Compact Apo-Tele-Xenar is pretty hard to beat optically. It's nice and bright (f/5.6) and sharp as a tack, though it's in a #3 shutter and isn't the smallest, lightest, or cheapest thing out there. I've got a Fujinon-T 400mm f/8, which is in a #1 and is a quite serviceable, but isn't apochromatic. I've always found that it produces color fringing that is noticeable at high magnifications, though this is pretty easy to correct in Photoshop if you are printing digitally.

You might consider a Nikkor 360mm tele. It's in a #1 shutter, and can be converted to 500mm and 720mm with additional rear lens cells.

What kind of camera will you be using?

Gene McCluney
20-Feb-2008, 13:13
I have Komura 400mm and 500mm telephoto lenses that I use on my Super-Graphic, and these can sometimes be found for very economical prices on auction sites. The 400mm in in a Copal 1 shutter, the 500mm is in a Copal 3, and both focus a nice range from infinity to fairly close with the limited bellows draw of the SuperGraphic.

mdd99
20-Feb-2008, 19:32
I've had the Fujinon 450/f9 and found it a capable performer, but you'll need some bellows (and a non-windy location).

Matus Kalisky
21-Feb-2008, 01:42
Hi, I am using osaka 400/8 tele with my Tachi. While it is probably not the sharpest lens in my kit (I would still consider it sharp though) it is at 500g the lightest tele lens in this focal range (Fujinon 400 T ~ 600g, Nikkor 360 T ~ 800g). The funny thing is that it does not have a serial number. Also the prices are usualy reasonable at around $300 on auction site.

Ken Lee
21-Feb-2008, 08:12
Not everyone knows this, but the term "Telephoto" is used to describe lenses that require a shorter bellows draw than normal. In other words, a standard 400mm lens normally requires 400mm of bellows extension at infinity, but a 400mm Tele lens may only require 250mm of bellows draw.

Eric Woodbury
21-Feb-2008, 14:24
I know you said telephoto, but I'm with mdd99. I have the Fuji 450C and think it is a great lens. I had a Fuji 400T years ago and didn't like it that much. I wasn't was as sharp as other lenses and the tele design, not matter Fuji or Nikkor or other, is large and heavy. Therefore it gets left behind, like my 600T Nikkor does now. Left behind doesn't do much good at all.

If you don't have 450mm of bellows, consider using a 360mm lens and cropping the neg.

cotdt
21-Feb-2008, 14:27
what's sharper, a 400mm Telephoto lens or a 400mm normal lens (say a Tessar)?

gary mulder
21-Feb-2008, 14:38
The Schneider Compact Apo-Tele-Xenar I have is the sharpest lens I own. including Fujinon T and symmar-s 360 MC

Eric Woodbury
21-Feb-2008, 14:59
FWIW

this is not all lenses and samples are few. Sharpness is not everything and enough is enough.

YMMV

http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/testing.html

Joseph O'Neil
21-Feb-2008, 15:13
I'll second the opinion on the Komura, I used to own a 300mm Komure tele and I liked it very much.

Now i use a Wollensak 15 inch (about 380mm) tele-raptar. big heavy lens, but bright, and pretty darned good. Hard ot find anymore however, but worth looking into if you see one
joe

JPlomley
21-Feb-2008, 15:24
How does the Nikkor 450M stack up? Just curious b/c I just bought one. Significantly cheaper than the 400 APO Tele-Xenar.

BSTAR
21-Feb-2008, 15:46
In a 400mm telephoto, the Schneider Compact Apo-Tele-Xenar is pretty hard to beat optically. It's nice and bright (f/5.6) and sharp as a tack, though it's in a #3 shutter and isn't the smallest, lightest, or cheapest thing out there. I've got a Fujinon-T 400mm f/8, which is in a #1 and is a quite serviceable, but isn't apochromatic. I've always found that it produces color fringing that is noticeable at high magnifications, though this is pretty easy to correct in Photoshop if you are printing digitally.

You might consider a Nikkor 360mm tele. It's in a #1 shutter, and can be converted to 500mm and 720mm with additional rear lens cells.

What kind of camera will you be using?

I am using a 70's Calumet. Not the best but it does the job.

I actually have the Nikkor 360mm but want something that gets me even closer. What exactly do I need to convert the lens to 500 or 720.

BTW, I am kind of new to large format.

Thanks,

Marc

Eric Woodbury
21-Feb-2008, 16:24
You need a different rear element.

BSTAR
21-Feb-2008, 18:38
You need a different rear element.

Thanks, but what is it called? So I can do a search for it.

Thanks,

Marc

Eric Woodbury
21-Feb-2008, 21:10
It is called the 500 or 720 rear element for the Nikkor T series lens.

A friend has the 500mm element for sale, but it comes with the front, too. That is, he has the whole lens for sale. I don't see individual elements much, but they are there. Call everybody and see what you find.

photographs42
22-Feb-2008, 07:52
I am using a 70's Calumet. Not the best but it does the job.

I actually have the Nikkor 360mm but want something that gets me even closer. What exactly do I need to convert the lens to 500 or 720.

BTW, I am kind of new to large format.

Thanks,

Marc

Does your version of the 360T have aperture scales for 500mm and 720mm? Not all of them do. Itís useable without that but much simpler if you have it. I have the full set and find that I use the 500 occasionally and the 720 rarely.

Jerome

neil poulsen
22-Feb-2008, 09:39
A Wollensak Raptar Tele 15" (380mm) lens might be a consideration. I've seen these lenses for reasonable prices on EBay. Here's some information.

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=26489

I forget it's flange focal length, but I understand that it can be used on a Graflex. So, I'm thinking that it's less than 300mm.

I picked one up at for a very reasonable price at our local pro store two or three months ago. But, I haven't used it yet. One thing, these tele's are pretty heavy.

Chuck Pere
23-Feb-2008, 05:56
Don't forget to look at the extended lensboard with non tele lens option. The size and weight may be less than using a true tele lens.

Skorzen
23-Feb-2008, 06:34
A Wollensak Raptar Tele 15" (380mm) lens might be a consideration. I've seen these lenses for reasonable prices on EBay. Here's some information.

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=26489

I forget it's flange focal length, but I understand that it can be used on a Graflex. So, I'm thinking that it's less than 300mm.

I picked one up at for a very reasonable price at our local pro store two or three months ago. But, I haven't used it yet. One thing, these tele's are pretty heavy.

I'm going to second Neil on this one. I recently go one of these off ebay for a very reasonable price (about $150 shipped!). I finally got a chance to go out and shoot a couple test negative with it and I must say I am impressed! I'm attaching a quick and dirty (really) scan with a crop (scanned at 1200 dpi on a Epson 3200). My only complainants, and they are minor, is that the shutter has a top speed of 1/50th and minimum aperture of f32 (will go a little past this). On the plus side though with the 12" of bellows on my Shen Hao it will focus down to about 9 feet. I'll let the images speak for themselves (these we at f32 because it was a bright day)