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Degroto
8-Sep-2008, 07:35
Hi,

I have a 8x10 camera with a 300 mm lens. However i am looking for a new lens. I have my eye on a 210 mm and a 520 mm lens.
What is the best I can do by lenses whith in mind that I also want to photograph 8x10 or should I buy lenses for the 4x5 and 5x7 format? (I have got backs for those as well) what is considered wide angle for 8x10 and what is for 4x5?

A lot of questions and I have been looking around here and on the web but didn't find clear simple answers (if there are any). Hope you can help me out.

Thanks,

Peter

Ralph Barker
8-Sep-2008, 07:55
"Normal" focal length is approximately equal to the diagonal measurement of the film size. Anything shorter is "wide", anything longer is "long", both "wide" and "long" having a fairly wide range. For moderately wide on 8x10, I use a 240mm G-Claron. The 210mm lens you're considering would be slightly wider. For very wide, I use a 150mm Super Symmar XL on 8x10. For moderately long on 8x10, 450mm lenses are fairly common.

Note that within the LF context, "tele" lenses have special designs that allow the flange focal distance to be shorter (by about 1/3) than the focal length. That can sometimes be problematic if used with movements.

jim kitchen
8-Sep-2008, 10:03
That is a good question, and an issue I had a few years ago, but I liken this problem to playing golf...

Golfers tend to carry fifty million sticks in their bag, and every other gadget but they lack a device that puts the ball in the hole, where the golfer tries to whack the ball into next week with only a few selected sticks. I am a firm believer that you should buy a lens that fills a gap you know you are missing in your image views, and only if you realize that condition exists. For my game of golf, you play a stick if you need it, and if you find that this stick is a constant requirement, then you buy one that works, and park the ones that do not. The bag becomes much lighter that way. My lenís collection for 8X10 happens to contain one very wide angle, one fabulous natural wide angle, one normal, and one long normal lens, where the focal lengths are as follows:

150XL, 210XL, 300L, and a 480L from Schneider...

My purchase order for this lenís collection, from first to last, was the 300L, the 480L, the 210XL, and finally the 150XL.

Each lens sees daylight. :)

jim k

Daniel_Buck
8-Sep-2008, 10:11
I've been pretty satisfied with 240mm for 'wide' (g-claron) and 450mm for 'long' (fujinon-c) on 8x10, those are usually the two lenses I carry with me when shooting 8x10/4x10, and it seems to give me what I want, and both are light weight with good coverage for movements. A few times I've wanted something longer than 450, but not enough for me to buy and carry around a lens i won't use very often.

And for my 4x5, I carry a 90 (wide) 180 (a bit longer than 'normal') and 240 (long). I find that I like using the 90 and the 240 most often, but the 180 I've used quite a bit when I don't have room to move back to use the 240, or move forward to use the 90.

Don7x17
8-Sep-2008, 10:20
"Normal" focal length is approximately equal to the diagonal measurement of the film size. Anything shorter is "wide", anything longer is "long", both "wide" and "long" having a fairly wide range. For moderately wide on 8x10, I use a 240mm G-Claron. The 210mm lens you're considering would be slightly wider. For very wide, I use a 150mm Super Symmar XL on 8x10. For moderately long on 8x10, 450mm lenses are fairly common.

Note that within the LF context, "tele" lenses have special designs that allow the flange focal distance to be shorter (by about 1/3) than the focal length. That can sometimes be problematic if used with movements.

An easy check on "telephoto" design v.s. "Long" lens.... Presuming the lens is > "normal" :
Open the shutter, and at the same distance from eye to shutter, compare first the apparent pupil diameter in the lens while looking through the front and, second, then through the rear. If they are the same size, its a "long" lens. IF the rear view shows a different diameter apparent pupil size than looking through the front, then you have a "telephoto" design lens.

There was a good article several years ago on exposure compensation for telephoto design lenses in View Camera Magazine. Most of us just ignore this effect as it is minor (I've not had any exposure problems with 8x10 chromes using the Nikkor 600/800/1200T. when ignoring this....)

Gene McCluney
8-Sep-2008, 10:29
If purchasing a "long" lens for 8x10, you should make sure you have enough bellows length, or "draw" to accommodate it. A 350mm, or 14" lens (for example) will require 14" of bellows to focus infinity, and considerably more for closer distances. When I refer to "bellows" I am indicating the distance between film and front lens standard. A 520mm lens will require 20.8" of bellows draw to focus infinity. Many older wooden view cameras have lost their extension rail and cannot focus "long" lenses.

Ole Tjugen
8-Sep-2008, 13:17
For wide, I use everything from a 121mm Super Angulon to a 210mm Angulon. the 121mm just almost covers, so I prefer tu use 18x24cm film with that. Same with the 165mm Angulon, which however has a large enough circle of illumination to be useful if there's nothing interesting in the corners.

If I really really need lots and lots of coverage, I use a pre-WWII 210mm Angulon. I have also used that lens on 12x16", which it covers for contact print purposes at very small apertures.

Degroto
9-Sep-2008, 03:36
Thanks for the input. Guess I have to save up for a variety of lenses then. Each for their specifik format.

Appreciated.

Gene McCluney
15-Sep-2008, 16:48
Thanks for the input. Guess I have to save up for a variety of lenses then. Each for their specifik format.

Appreciated.


Not necessarily. Any lens that will work with 8x10 will also work with 5x7 or 4x5, "if" you have enough bellows to focus it. I don't have duplicates for each format of many focal lengths...

buze
16-Sep-2008, 11:04
I used a Sinaron 300mm for some time, and now I only use the Sinaron 240mm f5.6. It's just wide enough to be wide, and not wide enough to "stretch corners". And since these lens are giganormous, I can only carry one anyway : problem solved ! :-)

cjbroadbent
16-Sep-2008, 14:31
Thanks for the input. Guess I have to save up for a variety of lenses then. Each for their specifik format.
Appreciated.
No. When the distance between the lens and the film is equal to the longest side of the film, your reader (viewer) will feel comfortable and will thank you for not intruding into the image by exaggerating the perspective or by cropping away his periferal vision. So just go for the nearest you can get to a 10 inch lens. Anything else is against nature.
(Well that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.)

John Kasaian
18-Sep-2008, 17:53
My long lens on the 8x10 is a 19" Artar. Sweet. For a really wide I have a 159mm Wollensak WA. There is also a EWA version. They are about the cheapest you'll find for that focal length that will cover 8x10. Zilch room for movements and sloooow but they'll get the job done plus they are very small and light (a 165mm Super Angulon is niether) A plain vanilla 165 Angulon "might" cover 8x10---I don't know so I'll let somenoe who does field that answer. I rarely see a need for such a wide angle but if I need it, I got it.
A less extreme wide angle for the 8x10 is a tossup IMHO--the 240 G Claron it lightwieght, coated and small, but slow. The 10" WideField Ektar is heavy, coated, big and fast. Either one is a champ, but 250/240mm may be too close to your 300mm to offer much difference (my "normal" is a 14"/360mm) so a 210 G Claron as you suggested might be more to your liking. It will certainly cover 8x10 when stopped down.

climbabout
19-Sep-2008, 09:56
I don't shoot much 4x5 any more - I shoot mostly 8x10 - so I now have lenses that cover 8x10 (which of course cover 4x5) I backpack a lot and shoot mostly landscapes, so I need lightweight lenses and can live with limited movements. For wide angle I have a 159 wollensak which is similar in angle of view to a 90 on 4x5 which is a look I like when I want extreme wide angle. For moderate wide angle I have a 240a fujinon which would approximate 120mm on 4x5(I used to use a 127 ektar on 4x5 quite often). On the long side I have a 14"(approx 360mm) artar - similar to 180mm on 4x5. My longest 8x10 lens is a 450c fujinon - similar to 240mm on 4x5. I find these 4 focal lengths ideal as the are evenly space at 6"(159mm), 10"(240mm), 14"(360mm) and 18"(450mm) - and a very compact set as well. In reality - I use the 240mm and 450mm the most - one is moderately wide and one is moderately long. If I were to carry only 2 lenses - these are the one I would take. I also occasionaly use a 300f9 compact nikkor for a normal field of view - also a very compact lens.
Tim