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newmoon2night
12-May-2009, 00:14
I'm thinking of getting a lightweight 4x5 field camera for around 95% landscape and 5%architectural photography. I'd say the majority of my landscapes tend to be 'compact area' (i.e. within woods, or shots of a river etc) rather than all encompassing vistas.

I really want to keep this set up minimalist and as simple as possible, just one lens, and I'm leaning towards the idea of using a reflex viewer (and no loupe)

I'm also wanting to keep the cost in check, but ideally would like a new or very nearly new lens.

I'm in the UK but may well buy from US (if the choice ends up being a Nikon lens I don't have a choice anyway, and have bought from US many times before anyway).

I'm thinking along the lines of something in the 105-135mm range and have the following shortlist:

Nikon 120mm F8 SW
Schneider 120mm F5.6 Apo Symmat L
Nikon 135mm F5.6 W
Rodenstock 135mm F5.6 Apo Sironar S

Pricewise the Nikon 135mm appeals most. At $550 is will convert to around £550 by the time I've paid duty and postage.

The Nikon 120mm at $800 will come out at about £800.

The Rodenstock 135mm I can get in the UK for about £680, and the Schneider 120mm would work out at around £720.

There is a used Rodenstock 135mm Sironar N available in the UK at £365 - is this a reasonable price and buy, and what is the difference between the 'M' and 'S' lenses?

So any advice anyone can give would be really appreciated.

Thanks,

Eirik Berger
12-May-2009, 00:26
I guess the seller mean Sironar "N". I have the Rodenstock APO Sironar N 135mm f/5,6 and it was my first lens in LF. It is small and produces excellent results. I am not sure what benefits you get from the "S" version, but it must be marginal. The lens folds up nice within most field-cameras. I use a lightweight Toyo 45CF.

I like this focal length for 4x5". It is a light wide angle and suitable for many purposes. I have used it for both landscape, arcitechture, (large) interiors and close up work. Even now when I have a bunch of lenses, this is the lens I use the most.

newmoon2night
12-May-2009, 02:13
I guess the seller mean Sironar "N". I have the Rodenstock APO Sironar N 135mm f/5,6 and it was my first lens in LF. It is small and produces excellent results. I am not sure what benefits you get from the "S" version, but it must be marginal. The lens folds up nice within most field-cameras. I use a lightweight Toyo 45CF.

I like this focal length for 4x5". It is a light wide angle and suitable for many purposes. I have used it for both landscape, arcitechture, (large) interiors and close up work. Even now when I have a bunch of lenses, this is the lens I use the most.

Hello Erik.

Thanks for the reply. The 'M' was my typo - it is 'N' and on eBay at http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/RODENSTOCK-APO-Sironar-N-135mm-5-6-Copal-0_W0QQitemZ180355119334QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_CamerasPhoto_CameraAccessories_CameraLensesFilters_JN?hash=item180355119334&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1683%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318%7C301%3A1%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A50

Aender Brepsom
12-May-2009, 04:07
You can't go wrong with that 135mm Apo-Sironar-N lens. It'll be as sharp as you could wish for. There is no real need to pay almost double the price for the S-version, which has a slightly larger image circle and 75 degrees of coverage versus 72 degrees for the N-version. In real life, those things won't matter for your landscape shots. The price is fair, considering that it is the most recent version. I'd go for it.

Ed Richards
12-May-2009, 04:17
The Nikon 120mm SW is completely different from the other lenses. It is a little slower, it is much heavier, but it has unlimited movements, while the others will not allow much movement at all. I think it is the prefect one lens solution, because of the flexiblity of the movements. I used it as a one lens system for a while when my gear was stolen, and only missed my 90mm when I was in a place where I could not back up enough.:-) If you only shoot landscapes with no movements, it is a waste, but if you want to use movements, it is the only one those choices that gives you enough image circle.

Carsten Wolff
12-May-2009, 04:21
E.g. an older (single coated) 125mm/f5.6 Fujinon-W would also do it for me.
Reasons: Small & light, quite cheap, sharp, good coverage.
The 125mm mean pleasant angle-of-view as a standard light wide.

Frank Petronio
12-May-2009, 05:26
I like your approach. It's such a relief from the ~~~ who come in all hot to shoot large format and think they need to drop thousands of dollars on a rack of lenses in order to take a good photo. "I like my 80-200mm zoom on my digital so I need a 1200mm for my 4x5..." Right.

However... some of the 135 Nikkors have a reputation as being slightly softer than the other brands... you probably wouldn't notice this though, just repeating gossip.

You should be able to find a major brand 135/5.6, like the Rodenstock Sironar-N or Schneider Symmar-S, in nice shape for a 1980s-era model in the mid-$250 range or so in the USA on eBay or forums like this if you are patient. Maybe $100 more for a current model, although you would be hard pressed to tell a difference in the images since the lens designs don't change that much. In any event, choose based on condition, not age. Make sure the shutter is working nicely.

venchka
12-May-2009, 05:57
E.g. an older (single coated) 125mm/f5.6 Fujinon-W would also do it for me.
Reasons: Small & light, quite cheap, sharp, good coverage.
The 125mm mean pleasant angle-of-view as a standard light wide.

I was about to type the same thing. The 125mm Fujinon-W came in several incarnations. I recently purchased a multicoated version that takes 46mm filters in a Copal #0 shutter. I can't imagine a smaller lighter lens. Perfect for packing long distances. The field of view is quite pleasing as well. A friend has a similar EBC version and his takes 52mm filters. The price is so good and the size so small that this could be a second lens and not overburden you. I paid less than $250 USD for mine.

For half that price or less, you could get a nice 127mm Ektar. You will give up a bit of coverage but you won't lack for image quality.

Staying in the $200 range or less, the 203mm Ektar is a stellar lens.

For less than $500 you could have a really nice brace of lenses in the Fuji 125mm and Kodak 203mm. Total weight and bulk hardly more than the modern lenses on your list.

I'm all for minimal weight and bulk. However, having a spare lens/shutter along far from civilization is priceless.

Don't overlook the re-badged Caltars either.

John Kasaian
12-May-2009, 07:10
A 127 Ektar will give up a lot of coverage. The 203 Ektar is a fine lens, but you might find it would be of limited use for your architectural work if you need something wide. If the Ektars strike your fancy, I'd look for a 135mm Wide Field.

Dagors and Angulons are always good bets as well, and the older Schneider Symmar "convertible" will gives you two focal lengths in one lens---that's a lot of bang for your buck!

venchka
12-May-2009, 07:33
Perhaps I was misunderstood.

I mentioned the 127mm Ektar with a coverage qualification because I own it and have personal knowledge of it's abilites. I mentioned the 203mm Ektar as part of a pair matched with the 125mm Fujinon-W.

Back on topic:

A high quality low weight low volume medium wide lens substantially under the OP's budget: 125mm/5.6 Fujinon-W with 46mm or 52mm filter ring and either single or multicoated.

Bruce Watson
12-May-2009, 07:47
I'm thinking of getting a lightweight 4x5 field camera for around 95% landscape and 5%architectural photography. I'd say the majority of my landscapes tend to be 'compact area' (i.e. within woods, or shots of a river etc) rather than all encompassing vistas.

I really want to keep this set up minimalist and as simple as possible, just one lens, and I'm leaning towards the idea of using a reflex viewer (and no loupe).

This might be a problem. You seem to want a short-ish lens, and the shorter the lens the more important the loupe. The reason for this is that as the lens gets shorter the detail you want to focus on gets smaller on the GG. It doesn't take a lot of thought to see where this is heading...

Personally I'd forget the reflex viewer. It adds weight and isn't that valuable a tool. People who don't do a lot of LF photography seem to have a tendency to under-estimate the value of looking at the image upside down and backwards on the GG. The value of this as a composition tool should not be so easily dismissed.


I'm also wanting to keep the cost in check, but ideally would like a new or very nearly new lens.

I'm in the UK but may well buy from US (if the choice ends up being a Nikon lens I don't have a choice anyway, and have bought from US many times before anyway).

I'm thinking along the lines of something in the 105-135mm range and have the following shortlist:

Nikon 120mm F8 SW
Schneider 120mm F5.6 Apo Symmat L
Nikon 135mm F5.6 W
Rodenstock 135mm F5.6 Apo Sironar S
.
.
.


For your stated qualifications -- weight and coverage (for architectural) -- I think your short list is missing a good candidate. That being the 110mm SS-XL. When I've done the one lens thing, this is the one lens I've always used. It's light enough, razor sharp, and has enough coverage for a ton of movements in 5x4 or even 7x5, so even the architecture is easier. And they do come up on the used market from time to time.

Ron Marshall
12-May-2009, 08:38
As Bruce said, you really need a loupe with wider lenses. It is lighter and more compact than a reflex viewer.

The Nikon 120mm f8 is too heavy and has more coverage than most lightweight cameras will be able to use.

The Caltar II-N is a Rodenstock APO-Sironar-N. Scroll down to the Caltar II-N 135mm MC for an idea of pricing:

http://www.keh.com/OnLineStore/ProductList.aspx?Mode=&item=0&ActivateTOC2=&ID=59&BC=LF&BCC=7&CC=6&CCC=2&BCL=&GBC=&GCC=

gevalia
12-May-2009, 08:54
I'm often grabbing my 150 sironar S for landscapes. While I love sweeping vistas, I also like picking out sandstone elements or interesting trees. You're asking a question based on a lot of personal style which is difficult to answer unless we're in your shoes. If I had to settle on 1 lens it would be the 150 with a 210 a close second for what I think you want to shoot. My opinion would be that a 120/135 would be too short.

I bought a reflex viewer for my Chamonix when I 1st bought the camera 2 years ago. I used it once and never even pack it. Some day I'll sell it but I loose about 2 stops when I use it which is not acceptable to me. I did see a guy with a Toyo using a reflex viewer when I was in the Smokies last year. he said he used it religiously. But it doesn;y fot my style. A loupe is small and easy. Now if you plan on NOT using a darkcloth, that's another matter alltogether.

Vaughn
12-May-2009, 09:05
I would lean more towards a 150mm, say a Caltar IIN 150/5.6 in a Copal 0 shutter. I realize that it is a bit longer than your stated possibilities, but I think that having adaquate movements is an important part of the versitility of LF.

The times one can not back up enough are, IMO, equal to the times one can not get close enough. While one can crop if one does can not get close enough, the image is still not the same. Eventually, one begins to see as the one lens sees, and one will find an unlimited number of possibilities to photograph.

So, in my mind, it matters little what focal length one decides to use in the 125mm to 180mm (or perhaps 210mm) range for 4x5. All are close enough to our eyesight to be considered "normal". Wide (90mm or shorter) and long (>210mm) lenses tend to start looking "un-normal" if one's portfolio consists of nothing but one lens in these ranges.

So with all else being equal, having an large enough image circle will give you additional creative control in both the landscape and architectural work. And to that end, I recommend the above 150mm, or its equals, as a way to keep the size and weight down, yet have a good amount of movement.

Just my biased opinion -- I used the above lens as my only lens for 4x5 for well over a decade.

Vaughn

Steve Hamley
12-May-2009, 09:48
This thread might help you decide:

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=41763

It sounds to me like you need/want a slightly longer than normal lens; those compact scenes, "intimate landscapes", etc seem to be a little easier with a slightly long lens.

You might want to look at Roman Loranc's work, for years he used only a 210mm lens.

Cheers, Steve

Gem Singer
12-May-2009, 10:20
How about a Nikkor f5.6 180W?

Slightly longer than "normal", but not too large or heavy.

It's the Goldilocks lens for the OP's needs.

Merg Ross
12-May-2009, 10:21
It has been said, and I will repeat; your choice of a lens depends on your photographic style and expectations. My 4x5 kit cosists of lenses ranging from 90mm to 270mm. I have used the 90mm once in the last seven years, likewise the 270mm. Most often used are my 150mm and 210mm lenses. If I had to choose just one, it would probably be the 150mm. The 125mm Fujinon also gets used, and might be a good choice if you prefer the wide look.

aduncanson
12-May-2009, 10:35
I can't contribute to the question of focal length, I personally usually gravitate to a short normal, like 135mm, unless I am trying to isolate a detail. But that is just me.

If by architecture you mean highly corrected technical and artistic documentation of building interiors and exteriors, then no matter the focal length, generous coverage is critical, and there are not many choices shorter than 150mm that will do the job other than a true wide angle lens. And modern ones tend to be large, like for example the Schneider Super Angulon. If on the other hand, you mean pictures of buildings where some keystoning (and its horizontal analog) can be tolerated, then the usual plasmat designs will serve, probably down to 135mm.

I am happy to see others questioning the value of a reflex viewer. Something else to consider is the 4x "Flip N Focus" clip-on magnifier discussed here a few months ago. Several of us ordered these from Cabella's sporting good and have reported finding them very convenient and capable.

If you are lucky enough to not wear glasses and don't need readers to focus on the 4x5 frame, then stand alone wearable magnifiers like the OptiVISOR and others might work for you.

Interestingly, my expensive 4x Schneider loupe never seemed quite powerful enough. The clip-ons give me confidence the loupe could not.

newmoon2night
12-May-2009, 13:50
This is a great forum, and I've received some fantastically helpful responses thanks.
I'm a little nearer in narrowing down to the one lens but not there yet! I'm pretty sure it will either be a 120mm or 135mm, with the Fujinon 125mm also a possiblility.
A Rodenstock or Scheider 35mm do appeal.
I take on board the comments about the weight of the 120mm Nikon.
The 135mm Nikon doesn't sound as good as the Rodenstock or Schneider, so I've knocked that off my possibles.
The 180mm Nikon is less wide than I anticipated - but I will consider it.
The 110mm Schneider is slightly wider than I was thinking, but following Bruce Watson's comments I'll add this to my possible.
When I mentioned architecture I wasn't referring to exacting technical detailed shots, but more urban scenes, so I was a misleading in my use of phrase.
From the posts I'll completely eliminate the idea of a reflex viewfinder ... especially after Gevalia's post about not using one with his Chamonix, as it's a Chamonix 45 I'm thinking of getting!
I have owned an Ebony in the past - am I likely to find a Chamonix of similar build to the Ebony? I ask this as I happened to notice a used Ebony RSW 45 with a dealer I know, so it's another option ... without a three month wait!
Another question is what loupe magnification would you get ideally for a lens between 110mm and 135mm - a 6X or would less magnification be a better option.
Finally thanks to Steve Hamley for the link to this thread http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=41763 - a really useful thread fo me.

timberline12k
12-May-2009, 14:30
I would not assume you have to wait 3 months for a new Chamonix. I went through the selection process last month and once I decided on the body, I bought a new Chamonix that Kerry Thalmann with Really Big Cameras had in stock. It was a 045n-1 Walnut/Titanium w/Universal Bellows available for $875. He also sold me a quick release plate that he attached and shipped the same afternoon. The whole process took a few days.

I started the lens acquisition process earlier and found two used lenses; a 210mm f/5.6 APO Sironar-S and 90mm f/4.5 Caltar-II N. I have everything I need, including film, but am reading up on large format before I take my first shots. I found this largeformat forum very helpful. I donít know which lens I will use the most, but my preference should develop after using both.

drew.saunders
12-May-2009, 14:33
When I started back up with LF in '01, it was with just one lens, the 120mm APO-Symmar (pre-L). I had learned LF with a 150 back in college, and what I learned was that I didn't like the 150mm focal length. The 120 APO-Symmar-L will be quite a bit smaller than the 120 Nikkor, and smaller than the 135mm lenses that you mention, but not a whole lot smaller than most 135/5.6 lenses. I have run out of image circle a few times with the 120 APO-Symmar, so if I was looking for a replacement, I might go with the Fuji 125 for its larger IC over the current APO-Symmar-L (I have since added two lenses that take 67mm filters, so the strangely large filter of the current Fuji 125 wouldn't be a problem).

Kerry L. Thalmann
12-May-2009, 18:06
I'm thinking of getting a lightweight 4x5 field camera for around 95% landscape and 5%architectural photography. I'd say the majority of my landscapes tend to be 'compact area' (i.e. within woods, or shots of a river etc) rather than all encompassing vistas.

I really want to keep this set up minimalist and as simple as possible, just one lens, and I'm leaning towards the idea of using a reflex viewer (and no loupe)

For the cost and weight of a reflex viewer, you could easily add a second lens. Get a focusing loupe and learn to love the upside down image. It is your friend.

I'm not quite sure if I could live with just one lens. Too many things begging to be photographed. I could probably get by with two lenses, though - if I had to.

Then it would come down to which was more important - as light as possible, or as versatile as possible.

For as light as possible, I'd probably go with a two lens set of 135mm APO Sironar-N (or maybe 120mm APO Symmar) and a 200mm Nikkor M (or 240mm Fujinon A).

For as versatile as possible, it would be a 110mm Super Symmar XL and a 210mm APO Symmar (since that's what I already own - perhaps a 210mm APO Sironar-S if I was buying new).

For the type of compact areas you like to photograph, I really like the 210mm focal length. But, that's based on the way I see things. Let your own eyes be your guide.

I'm not sure if it helps, but several years ago, I wrote a couple articles on lenses you might find useful. Here's one on lightweight lenses (http://www.thalmann.com/largeformat/lightwei.htm) and my Future Classics (http://www.thalmann.com/largeformat/future.htm), which was sort of a best of the best list at the time it was originally written. I need to update both articles to add a few more lenses I've "discovered" since, but most of the lenses I still use can be found on those two lists.

Kerry Thalmann

Frank Petronio
12-May-2009, 18:57
Kerry's articles are hardly out of date and to most of us here they are the "bible"....

Don Dudenbostel
12-May-2009, 18:57
For a very compact kit of lenses I carry a 90 Congo WA, 125 (version 1) Fujinon, 150 G Claron, 203 Ektar and 300 Nikkor M.

The V1 Fujinon 125 W with the engraving on the retaining ring not the outside of the barrel will just cover 5x7. It has very good contrast and tonality and is quite sharp.

Allen in Montreal
12-May-2009, 19:22
Kerry mentions in his article, on "future classics",

"120mm f5.6 Schneider Super Symmar HM (390g, 67mm, 211mm)"

I have this lens and it would be my "single lens" if I had to make a choice. Great lens, blazingly sharp and nice contrast. I think they can be found for reasonable money on the Evil with time, they are more than 135mm etc but IMHO, worth it.

I use it on my 5x7 and find the 211mm image circle rating to be conservative.

jeroldharter
12-May-2009, 20:14
I think 110-120 is too wide for a single lens unless you really like that look for everything.

I have a 135 mm Caltar which is an excellent lens but the 135's do have a limited image circle. If you try to use it as a wide angle with a lot of tilt for foreground-background depth of field, you will rapidly run out of movements and have vignetting. Therefore I consider it limiting for a 1 lens outfit.

I would get a 150mm which will offer many options at great prices. You don't need to get an Apo-Sironar-S for the larger image circle here. Any Caltar, Rodenstock N, Nikkor, Fujinon of modern vintage would be more than accurate. None of them will take larger than 67 mm filters (keeps cost down if you later get a 210 or 90) so I would get 67mm filters with a step-up ring. All are reasonably light, Copal 1 and usually the sharpest of the bunch. Although technically equivalent to a 50 mm lens in 35mm format, it seems much more versatile and wider in practice because of all the movements.

Jiri Vasina
12-May-2009, 22:58
In 4x5 format, I have a single lens kit - a 135mm (old Schneider Xenar 135mm 1:4.7). Since you are buying a new lens, I would not recommend this Xenar, but I'm totally content with it. While using this lens, it's most often adequate (the angle of view), but sometimes I need something longer (210mm? 250mm?), and not that often would I need something wider.

So I'd second Kerry Thalmann's suggestion of having 2 lens kit, something around 120-135mm, and a lens in the 180-240mm range (210 most likely).

(In 5x7/5x8, my main format, I find I use a 210mm and a 305mm lens equally often, so I wouldn't be that happy with only one lens kit).

cjbroadbent
12-May-2009, 23:15
I back up Kerry, Drew and Jiri on the 120 or 135 recomendation. My 150 has not been used in years because it makers me feel remote. The 120 lets you shoulder your way into the situation and maintain contact. I use that in the studio. The lightest camera I carry around, a featherweight 4x5 Gandolfi, has a 135 more or less glued on.

Matus Kalisky
14-May-2009, 14:19
Well - for the Fujinons 125/5.6 - I have the latest version: the CM-W. It is a bit bigger and it uses larger filters - 67mm. Yes - it is somewhat heavier than the older versions, but it is actually designed in a very clever way - the front element is sitting DEEP inside the cone-shaped front rim (not the best wording, see HERE (http://www.badgergraphic.com/store/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=165) what I mean) and is therefore very well shielded. I have gotten finger prints on all of my lenses already - apart from this Fujinon. And the performance is simply first class. I have hard time to see the difference in sharpness between f/8 and f/16 (in 2000 dpi scans). The coverage is 204 mm. Just the used ones are not so easy to get ...

On top of that - this is a very nice focal length and - if you find the need - couples nicely to 210 or 240 lenses (e.g. to Fujinon A 240/9 ;) ).

newmoon2night
15-May-2009, 00:15
Well - for the Fujinons 125/5.6 - I have the latest version: the CM-W. It is a bit bigger and it uses larger filters - 67mm. Yes - it is somewhat heavier than the older versions, but it is actually designed in a very clever way - the front element is sitting DEEP inside the cone-shaped front rim (not the best wording, see HERE (http://www.badgergraphic.com/store/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=165) what I mean) and is therefore very well shielded. I have gotten finger prints on all of my lenses already - apart from this Fujinon. And the performance is simply first class. I have hard time to see the difference in sharpness between f/8 and f/16 (in 2000 dpi scans). The coverage is 204 mm. Just the used ones are not so easy to get ...

On top of that - this is a very nice focal length and - if you find the need - couples nicely to 210 or 240 lenses (e.g. to Fujinon A 240/9 ;) ).

Thanks for the information Matus. The front 'cone' is like the current 35mm format Nikon 85mm PC-E lens, which is similarly well protected. Quite a few previous Nikon 55 and 60mm micro lenses have the same design, and it is very useful for protection, and a built in shade!
This lens is added to my possibles!
Thanks.

newmoon2night
15-May-2009, 00:28
This thread might help you decide:

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=41763

It sounds to me like you need/want a slightly longer than normal lens; those compact scenes, "intimate landscapes", etc seem to be a little easier with a slightly long lens.

You might want to look at Roman Loranc's work, for years he used only a 210mm lens.

Cheers, Steve

Steve
Thanks for the post, and this is exactly what my wife Ann tells me (she's an artist with a fantastic visual eye).
To add to this, all except one photograph I've ever thought good enough to frame and hang on the wall has been taken with a standard (or very slightly wide of standard) or short telephoto lens!
My best 35mm results come from my 85mm lenses.
So this may be the sensible way to go!
In looking at wider angle lenses maybe I'm being too conventional, rather than going my own way.

dsphotog
15-May-2009, 00:54
For landscapes on 4x5 I use, in order of frequency:
135, 210, 90, & rarely a 65.

I'd start with a 135, or 210, and see what works for you.
If you buy used, you can resell without much loss.

I won't throw gas onto the "Who makes the sharper lens" fire.
Most any modern lens will make sharp negs.
Shoot lots,& have fun!
David Silva
Modesto,Ca

timparkin
16-May-2009, 02:40
Hi ..

I have a 80,110,150,240,360 and find myself using the 110mm most and 240mm second.. Have a look at http://www.timparkin.co.uk for an idea what sort of photographs I take..

I have thought about a lightweight kit and I think I would end up with the 110 if it were just one lens (with possible a 135 Sironar being a lightweight close second) or a 110 and 240 if I could use two lenses (or replace the 240 the 200mm f8 Nikkor M - very light lens)..

so ... 110/240 for a total weight of 680g or a 135/200 for a total weight of 400g

Peter De Smidt
16-May-2009, 15:17
A 203mm Ektar.

Kirk Fry
16-May-2009, 18:39
http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/testing.html#100mm_thru_163mm
Fuji W f/6.3 150mm 140g Seiko #0 1970's
f/11 60 60 48
f/16 48 60 54
f/22 54 60 54
A super lens if you can find one and it covers about 260 mm
The newer ones do not cover as much.

KFry

Larry Gebhardt
16-May-2009, 18:56
70% of my shots are made using my 135mm Sironar S. So that would be my choice. Add the 200mm Nikon and I have a perfect lightweight kit.

Doug Dolde
16-May-2009, 19:19
My most used lens when shooting 4x5 was the Super Symmar XL 110mm. I'd pick this for my one and only.

Frank Petronio
17-May-2009, 00:32
While the online jury is pushing you towards a longer lens for "intimate" landscapes I'll circle back to the 110-150 range as being the best all-around single lens. I think getting closer with a slightly wide lens makes a more interesting photo than the typical long shot, whether it be a person or a patch of foliage (sometimes the same thing!).

Eric Brody
17-May-2009, 08:39
I'll add my two cents. When I bought my Toyo 45A, way back in 1982, I got a Fuji 210 on the advice of the salesman. He was wise. I used that only for over two years doing landscape photography in the Pacific northwest. I learned a lot. I next got a 90, too short as an only lens, and then a 150, both Nikkors.

I'd like to suggest either the 210, pick the maker, if you're a slightly long lens person, or a 150, if you like a slightly wider approach. There are lots of good lenses; any of the modern plasmats by Fuji, Nikon, Schneider, or Rodenstock are likely to meet your needs. A 150 will have reasonable coverage, more than most 135's, and is likely inexpensive. A 180 is an interesting idea too, though I have never used one.

I agree with Frank, I like your approach. Many people, coming from small format cameras think they need lots of lenses, spend lots of money on gear they use rarely, and spend too much time in the field deciding which lens to use. Spend your time with basic composition, zoom with your feet, if possible, and you'll have both better photographs, more fun, and way less angst.

Good luck.

Eric

cobalt
17-May-2009, 09:14
203 Ektar.
152 Ektar.
127 Ektar.

seawolf66
18-May-2009, 17:48
What"s wrong with a Good Turner -Reich triple lens 7-1/2" and 12" and 15 inch lens ??

Vaughn
18-May-2009, 19:11
What"s wrong with a Good Turner -Reich triple lens 7-1/2" and 12" and 15 inch lens ??

Probably the limited ability to enlarge the negatives significantly -- especially in the two longer focal lengths where only one lens element is used. The lens might be fine for enlargements to 8x10 and for contact printing. but it does have limitations...though there is a lot of varience between examples of the lens...some pretty sharp, many are not as sharp.

I have used the 28" element of my 12/21/28 with 8x10. Plenty of sharpness for a platinum print, but not, IMO, for a quality carbon print. While both are contact processes, the resolution capability of a carbon print exceeded the resolution capability of the single lens element. This was with an orange filter, which helps some by reducing the blue light which is particularly hard for a single element of the TR to focus on the same plane as the other colors.

Vaughn...YMMD