View Full Version : 8x10 Lens Suggestions

17-May-2008, 13:02
I just bought Eddie Gunks C-1 8x10 and need a good, yet moderately priced wide angle lens for it. Does anyone have a recommendation for a starter lens in wide angle. I will only be using the lens for B&W photography. Thanks for your assistance, Mike C.


Ralph Barker
17-May-2008, 13:11
Depends on how wide you want. I use a 240mm G-Claron frequently as a slightly-wide on 8x10. They are relatively inexpensive compared to new, modern wides, but sharp enough to be a keeper, too.

17-May-2008, 13:19
Thanks Ralph, Mike C.

17-May-2008, 13:22
I'm finding I like the 240mm focal length a whole lot--on 4x5 and 8x10. On 8x10, 240mm is a moderate wideangle and most lenses give decent if not generous movements. I have a 240mm f/5.6 Symmar-S in a Copal 3 and 240mm f/9 Docter Germinar W in a Copal 1 and both work well for 8x10. If you want a small lens, the 240mm f/9 Fujinon A in a Copal 0 would be a great choice and is easily available. The big Copal 3 240mm lenses like the Symmar-S, Apo Symmar or Sironar-N are excellent lenses with bright images, but are on the heavy side. Smaller lenses like the Germinar W or the Fujinon A and G-Claron are good choices if you can live with the slightly dimmer groundglass image.

Jon Shiu
17-May-2008, 13:39
I use a 240mm f5.6 Caltar IIN in Copal 3 and find it to be very sharp and contrasty. Pretty cheap too, last I looked around $250-300 on ebay.


17-May-2008, 13:42
I am glad to be a member of this forum! Where else can you get advice like this :)? Thanks everyone, Mike C.

Walter Calahan
17-May-2008, 17:18
Some claim a 210 mm is a good jump from a 'normal' 12" lens, but I like the 240 mm as well. I use a Nikkor.

Mark Sawyer
17-May-2008, 20:03

I'm not associated with this auction, and the "buy it now" price is about the going rate for a nice example of this lens, which is also known as an Ilex Acuton. I have a couple of these, and love them both. Bright for focusing at f/4.8, fairly wide and also a nice close-up lens. It covers 8x10 with modest movements, is very sharp to the corners, and converts to a nice 14" lens (very nice for portraits) with a factory conversion scale for the aperture. The shutters are usually quite reliable, and the design is a plasmat with single coatings.

As I said, the price is just "okay", but if the price were based on performance, it would go for considerably more. These are fairly common lenses, so you might well find one for less.

17-May-2008, 20:35
Mark's suggestion is good. I have a Caltar 375mm which compares favorably to the Kodak Commercial Ektar in performance, which is to say it's nice. Personally I find the 8 1/2" focal length a tad wide for everyday use. My own preference is for something in the 10" range. That's the "long side of the format", a focal length I find appealing in most standard formats. Consider a 10" Wide Field Ektar. Joel Meyerowitz used one exclusively for his exquisite photos in Cape Light. You will, of course, decide what's best for you. One of the neat things about 8x10 is that there's a world of lenses out there waiting for you to discover them. In addition to Ebay, don't forget to check the "usual suspects" and, in particular, Midwest Photo Exchange.

John Kasaian
17-May-2008, 22:09
The 240 G Claron is a very useful lens on an 8x10, though you'd be fortunate indeed to find one priced as a "budget" lens these days. The 10" WF Ektar is also a beautiful lens but once again, these things aren't "budget" any more. It would be rare to find either in a working shutter for less than $600.

You might consider a Wollensak Velostigmat triple convertible---I think they are still way undervalued and will give you three focal lengths.

The 210 G Clarons are worth looking at as well---they'll cover 8x10 with some movements and don't seem to be going for as much as their 240mm brothers.

The Ilex version of the 165mm F/8 Super Angulon might be worth considering as well if wide is what you're truly after.

Happy hunting!

17-May-2008, 22:27
Depends on how wide you want. I use a 240mm G-Claron frequently as a slightly-wide on 8x10. They are relatively inexpensive compared to new, modern wides, but sharp enough to be a keeper, too.
I agree! G-claron 240/9 is a nice lens. I use it on my 4x5 as my long lens, and on my 8x10 as my short lens. It provides decent movements on 8x10, even with one filter, and I've used it with two filters stacked (color + polarizer) and it still covers, though movement is much more limited with two filters.

17-May-2008, 22:43
A little wider the 210mm Fuji-W [First type not the later NW or CMW] But I think these have gone up in price to.

But how wide do you want to go?

Michael Graves
18-May-2008, 05:30
Two lenses that didn't get a nod here are usually found relatively inexpensively and are outstanding performers.

The earlier 210mm 5.6 Fujinon W with the lettering on the inside of the barrel has a big enough image circle for 8x10 with a little wiggle room for slight movements. Their 250mm 6.7 is an outstanding lens with a couple of inches of movement in any direction.

Brian Ellis
18-May-2008, 08:12
I've owned the 240 G Claron and it was a nice lens but I used it as a moderately wide normal lens rather than a real wide angle. At only 20% shorter than normal it isn't what I'd call a wide angle lens. For a wider angle you might look at the 210 G Claron, which works well with 8x10 as long as it's stopped down to about f22 or smaller, which is what you'd usually do anyhow. From that point on it has good coverage, more as you stop down more. An even wider, moderately priced lens that's been discussed here several times recently is the Wollensak 159mm f12.5 or 9.5. Those two lenses, the 210 G Claron and the 159mm Wollensak, are both very good for backpacking since they're small and light, unlike a lot of wide angle lenses that cover 8x10. I haven't looked at prices lately but I bought my 210 and 159 for about $300 each on ebay.

Kirk Fry
18-May-2008, 21:35
159mm f12.5 Wolly, 141mm Protar V,165mm Angulon, 111 mm Protar V stopped way down, 165mm super angulon, A 210 G Claron straight on, 190 mm Wide Field Commercial Ektar, 155m Grandagon-N and 150 mm Nikkor-SW, many others. K

John O'Connell
19-May-2008, 07:33
So you want a moderately priced wide angle for 8x10. There are lots of 8x10 wides out there, but you basically have 2 categories of lenses in the inexpensive and shuttered category.

First: old wide angle designs. The most commonly available is the 159mm (6 1/4 inch) Wollensak, which comes in a fast version (f/9.5) that barely covers, and a slow version (f/12.5) that offers movements. There are some other lenses in this category also, such as the Protar V and the Cooke wide angles, but among them only the 141mm Protar V is inexpensive, and it is f/22 wide open, usually unshuttered, and uncoated.

Second: modern plasmat mild wide angles. Every 8x10 shooter wants a 210mm lens that covers 450mm, however, it's called a Computar and none of us can afford one anymore. The consensus choices for 210mm lenses that offer a bit of movement are the early Fujinon 210/5.6 and the G-Claron 210/5.6. The fabled 210 Sironar-W is multicoated, massive, and apparently offers the same coverage as the much-cheaper Fujinon.

240mm plasmats are another good choice, as they are currently cheap, offer wide coverage, and yield a mild wide angle look in 8x10. If you're starting out it's hard to go wrong with one (in my opinion), as you can always add lenses around it later.