View Full Version : Longest Lens for 4x10 ??

5-Sep-2009, 10:55
This may be a dumb question but I'm just now getting back into LF and am assembling my lens kit for 4x10. I shot 4x5 years ago and found that a 300mm was "usually" long enough to meet my long lens needs although there were times that a 450mm would have been nice.

Panoramic isn't new to me because I always cropped my images to at least 2:3 ratio and often 1:2 or wider. However, shooting with a true panoramic camera IS new to me.

So far I've collected all the lenses I need from ultra-wide to slightly long... 450mm. My gut feeling is I'll often find myself wanting a 600mm or longer lens. If my calculations are correct using 135mm as normal for 60x120mm (4x5 cropped to 1:2 ratio) and 260mm as normal for 4x10 then my longest lens should be approximately 890mm... if my shooting style hasn't changed. I plan on buying a used Canham 4x10... if I can find one I can afford... which has a max bellows extension of 660mm. Even if I use a 150mm top-hat extension board the max "long" lens I could use is about 700mm or just a bit longer and this will require a support aid from under the lens to a tripod leg or to the ground. I really wanted to avoid use of a telephoto design due to size/weight but I guess I'm stuck with one if I really want to shoot with something longer than 600mm. Telephotos are also VERY pricey.

I've resaerched this but am a bit stuck when it comes to the really long/telephoto lenses. Maybe an 800mm Nikkor-T??

All advice is appreciated!!

5-Sep-2009, 12:42
There is one mental thing you can use:

If you are used to 4x5 and take the 4 for the S(hort) and and the 5 for the L(ong) end see what lenses you want to use to make a good looking 2x5 inch photo.
Than double the focal lenth for 4x10 and than find a lens in that focal lenth with a IC to acomodate the 4x10 inch format.

Mind you, when you have that figured out for your self you will have to find a camera with bellows on which you can use all the lenses you want.

In the extra-long departement I can forsee some problems in bellows and groundrail/bed lenth.
It might be easier and cheaper to use a 8x10 camera with a modified back that can be set-up with diferent beds and bellows to suit both the very wides and the very long ones and keep the weight down to your needs.

In your case I would be looking at a Sinar because it can be adapted so easily.......


5-Sep-2009, 15:01
Thanks, Peter. Yes, that's about the 890mm I mentioned. Of course, I can't focus a 890mm Apo Ronar on any 4x10 camera of which I'm aware. I could just squeeze a 800mm Nikkor-T into infinity focus or a "smidge" closer with the Canham or similar. I dunno... maybe I already answered my own question. My feeble brain ain't worth poop these days. I'm just looking for alternatives... smaller/lighter/cheaper/better. Yeah, I know... I'm dreaming. :)

Carsten Wolff
5-Sep-2009, 15:10
If the 450mm you mentioned is a Fujinon-C, you might be in luck. I found that an Olympus C-180 Teleconverter (x1.7) works astoundingly well with this lens, resulting in a sharp, small 765mm which doesn't need any extra bellows. I know, it's heresy. Imagine my surprise when I realized my jokingly added TC was producing a quality output.

5-Sep-2009, 15:16
Carsten, yes it's a Fujinon-C. I'll check out the teleconverter. You may have just made my day!! :)

Carsten Wolff
5-Sep-2009, 15:41
one caveat: I've only used it up to 5x7...I can look at it tomorrow using shift to see whether you'd get vignetting at 4x10...wouldn't think so though.

5-Sep-2009, 16:04
Great... thank you!!

David Karp
5-Sep-2009, 17:26

That teleconverter idea is brilliant. I might have to try that for my 450 on 4x5 up to WP. I look forward to your report. All this time lusting over a 600mm Fujinon C when I don't even have a long enough bellows to use it! (I know its a disease).


You might also consider buying an ARCA Swiss or Sinar and having Richard Ritter build a 4x10 back and bellows for it. Check this out: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=17878&highlight=franken

5-Sep-2009, 17:40
So... two fish on the line. :)

5-Sep-2009, 17:59
You might also consider buying an ARCA Swiss or Sinar and having Richard Ritter build a 4x10 back and bellows for it. Check this out: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=17878&highlight=franken

$$$ :eek: $$$

David Karp
5-Sep-2009, 18:08
Maybe not. I bought a Discovery for less than $600. I have not talked to him yet because I don't have the cash right now, but I'll bet it will cost less for him to make a Whole Plate back and bellows for my ARCA than buying a new camera. The ARCA will provide all the movements. All he would have to make is the box with adapter to the ARCA, back, and bellows. You could use a flat lensboard for the front bellows frame. Richard could probably machine out the extra material and it would work great. :) :)

S. Preston Jones
5-Sep-2009, 18:29
Since this thread is about 4x10 cameras, see http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=23134&highlight=4x10+conversion this is about the 4x10 Lotus/Arca-swiss Hybrid by Kerry Thalmann. He indicated that the bellows extends to 27".


5-Sep-2009, 18:29
Hmm.. okay, David, I'll look into your suggestion. :)

5-Sep-2009, 18:31

Wow... that conversion is SWEET!!

David Karp
5-Sep-2009, 19:01

Even better! I totally forgot about those.