PDA

View Full Version : Advice on dipping into buying a wide angle lens



newmoon2night
10-Sep-2009, 23:00
I'm thinking of buying a lens around the 75mm area purely for 4x5 use.
It would be for landscape use only - not for architectural. Anticipate virtualy always in the F/16 to F/32 aperture range.
I have used 35mm format lenses in the 14mm to 24mm range previously.
My widest lens at the moment is a Schneider 110mm XL.
It doesn't make sense, and I can't afford at the moment, to go down the route of a Schneider 72mm XL, and similarly with a new Schneider 80mm lens.
I'm in the UK.
So the current options are:
A used Fujinon 75mm SWD F/5.6 - looks unmarked condition apart from one slight gash or paint scrape on the outside of the front element filter thread (doesn't stop filters being fitted). The asking price is 420 and this lens is in the UK.
A used Nikon 75mm F/4.5 SW on at mint - in the US at $595, so by the time I've paid postage and import duty this will stand me around 575.
Or be a bit patient and wait for a minty Schneider SA 75mm or a Rodenstock (not sure which) lens comes up somewhere, which would probably end up costing 600 or so I reckon.
If I import from US or elsewhere the $ price roughly equates to the price agter postage and customs duties.
My absolute upper price limit is 700 including a centre filter if needed.
I know the general advice is probably 'you won't notice any real difference in any modern coated lens'.
But taking into account cost and the use purely for landscapes which would you go for?
Finally if the particular lens is going to need a centre filter then I need to take that into account in costs also. With the usage there are likely to be occasions when there is a long stretch of blue sky in the shot - though rather rare in the UK!
And if anyone is selling something that might fit the job please let me know!
Thanks.

anchored
10-Sep-2009, 23:41
Honestly I doubt if you'll see much in the way of variations between any of the lenses you've mentioned. However, I would say that the faster the better... at least for the benefit of brightness for focusing.

You haven't mentioned whether you'll be shooting primarily color or B&W, but if color, a centering filter will be highly desirable if not mandatory for any lens of this length or shorter. I'd either figure it in the budget or assume you'll need to buy one relatively soon (unless you like vignetting). If you look at the prices of new centering filters you'll be amazed at how expensive they are (nearly $500 for Rodenstock), so if you find a lens with the filter included that should be a big plus.

I use a Rodenstock 75mm f4.5 with Rodenstock centering filter... it's as sharp as a tack. The centering filter is always used (except when composing or focusing in less-than-bright light).

newmoon2night
11-Sep-2009, 00:38
Thanks Glen.
I will be using colour transparency primarily, though do use B&W sometimes, and would like to start using more, though not sure whether I would with this sort of wide angle lens.
Take on board what you say about centre filter - the only combo of lens and filter I see for sale at the moment is a Schneider Super Angulon 5.6/58mm XL Lens and filter - which is right at the top of my budget.
The camera body will take down to 47mm on a flat panel, but 58mm is getting pretty wide - around 17mm in 35mm format, and I haven't checked how much leeway this lens has on 4x5.

Ron Marshall
11-Sep-2009, 00:48
With transparencies you will probably feel the need for a center filter.

Mike1234
11-Sep-2009, 06:24
Cripes, man... that 110 SS XL is far more lens than you'll ever need for 4x5. :)

You could sell it to fund the purchases of both 75mm and 120mm SA's in mint-ish condition.

If you're really considering the purchase of a 58mm... that CF also works with your 110 SS XL. ALso, should you decide to buy a 80mm SS XL, the same CF works with all three!!

So... 58mm. 80mm, 110mm then up from there. Not a bad WA setup, IMO. And you save tons of money by sharing the one CF. :)

That said, since I love WA so dearly, I would opt for a 47mm SA XL as my widest lens rather than the 58. This, of course, means only the 80 and 110 would share a CF.

newmoon2night
11-Sep-2009, 07:43
Cripes, man... that 110 SS XL is far more lens than you'll ever need for 4x5. :)

You could sell it to fund the purchases of both 75mm and 120mm SA's in mint-ish condition.

If you're really considering the purchase of a 58mm... that CF also works with your 110 SS XL. ALso, should you decide to buy a 80mm SS XL, the same CF works with all three!!

So... 58mm. 80mm, 110mm then up from there. Not a bad WA setup, IMO. And you save tons of money by sharing the one CF. :)

That said, since I love WA so dearly, I would opt for a 47mm SA XL as my widest lens rather than the 58. This, of course, means only the 80 and 110 would share a CF.

Thanks Mike
Well the 110mm would fund other lenses but it's not going anywhere ... even if the money would be useful!
I was thinking of a 75mm lens, but the 58mm looks in very nice condition and DOES have the centre filter, so had me thinking. On the downside it is getting VERY wide (though 47mm is even wider). Having said that I had the chance to use a Nikon 14-24mm zoom in 35mm format a few months ago and enjoyed using the lens.
Have you any experience of the 58mm lens?

Mike1234
11-Sep-2009, 07:57
I have no experience with the 58 yet. I'm still building my system and I'm opting for 4x10 or 5x12 format anyway. I did buy a 72 SA XL for my widest lens for this system. I do realize the 72 will only cover 5x10 or so.

I have 38 and 58 SA XL's reserved for a small/lightweight 4x5 for dedicated 6x12cm roll film shooting but have shot with neither lens. Yes, it's a sin.

The above stated, I shot 4x5 may years ago with a 65mm as my widest lens and loved it. However, there were a few times I would have liked a bit wider. Since 58mm isn't that much wider than 65mm I'm sure only a 47mm SA XL would have made me fully content. Again though, I can be a bit of a WA freak.

domaz
11-Sep-2009, 08:21
I don't know how you plan on processing/printing your images but if you are doing it digitally there is a program (http://www.fourmilab.ch/netpbm/pnmctrfilt/) that simulates a center filter. It might be worth a try before you worry about buying a center filter.

Doug Dolde
11-Sep-2009, 08:30
Isn't that program Linux only ?

Mike1234
11-Sep-2009, 09:10
I wouldn't bother with a dedicated program to emulate a CF for two very important reasons...

1: It can easily be done in PS with existing controls.

2: There is no substitute for a CF because film only has so much lattitude and as exposure slides up or down the gamma curve this affects overall and (more importantly) local contrast.

For a one stop differential shooting relatively low contrast negative film a one stop differential isn't an issue but with more severe differences in exposure and with chromes or high contrast negative films the problem becomes more apparent. I'm aware that some CF's cause minor color shift on color film but this is more easily dealt with than extreme exposure differences which can also cause color shift in addition to loss of detail and variable contrast issues.

anchored
11-Sep-2009, 09:44
Newmoon - I'm curious as to what 4x5 camera you are using? Reason for curiousity... some cameras do not handle ultra-wides all that well. And some cameras will also need a recessed lens board (another deficit from the budget).

For instance, using the 75mm in a centered-hole deep recessed board is a pain-in-the-butt for a Linhof Master Technika. I'm sure other cameras may handle it and much wider extremely well, but still I'd suggest you make sure the ultra-wides you are considering will indeed work on your camera without major headaches.

And I fully agree with Mike's comment on trying to emulate a center filter using a dedicated program or even PhotoShop... it ain't the same. You can't gain the 2-1/2-stops or so exposure the center filter corrects for in editing.

Glenn

newmoon2night
11-Sep-2009, 10:13
Newmoon - I'm curious as to what 4x5 camera you are using? Reason for curiousity... some cameras do not handle ultra-wides all that well. And some cameras will also need a recessed lens board (another deficit from the budget).

For instance, using the 75mm in a centered-hole deep recessed board is a pain-in-the-butt for a Linhof Master Technika. I'm sure other cameras may handle it and much wider extremely well, but still I'd suggest you make sure the ultra-wides you are considering will indeed work on your camera without major headaches.

And I fully agree with Mike's comment on trying to emulate a center filter using a dedicated program or even PhotoShop... it ain't the same. You can't gain the 2-1/2-stops or so exposure the center filter corrects for in editing.

Glenn

Hi Glenn

I have a Chamonix 45n-1 but am planning on using the wide lens with a Walker Titan XL Wide that's on order. The Chamonix has the universal bellows but I would imagine it gets pretty tight using a 58mm or 75mm lens (though haven't actually had the chance to try).

My idea a few months ago was to try and keep to one lens, but that didn't work (!), and I ended up with four (110mm, 135mm, 180mm and 300mm). However I find I'm using the 110mm almost exclusively and would ideally like the option of wider still on occasions. 90mm is too close to the 110mm, I have absolutely no plans to change the 110mm, so am thinking of a 75mm or similar. But a very nice looking 58mm with the centre filter included caught my eye.

The 180mm will go to help finance the wide angle, and the 300mm may go also (it's a lovely lens but I doubt it will get used much, so better that someone else enjoys it.

I don't digitally process or print - and have transparencies printed in Cibachrome (Ilfochrome).

I have recently bought some B&W film and am planning on having a go with this also, but haven't got the facilities to print B&W. If I get more into B&W I would probably try printing it digitally.

But for me and transparencies I haven't seen anything that beats Ilfochrome.

Bob Salomon
11-Sep-2009, 10:26
" using the 75mm in a centered-hole deep recessed board is a pain-in-the-butt for a Linhof Master Technika."
Then you do not have the modern board. The current 001015 Linhof "Comfort" recessed lens board is for the 72 xl, 75 4.5 Grandagon, 90mm 5.6 SA and xl, 90mm 6.8 SA, 90mm 6.8 Grandagon, 100mm Apo Sironar S, 135mm Apo Sironar S, 150 Apo Symmar L, 150 Apo Sironar N and S. It is recessed 12mm and is supplied with aperture scales to mount on the face of the board for the lens mounted in it. It has an aperture selector lever that is mounted to the face of the board and a press focus control with a surface indicator dot to tell if the shutter is open or closed. It is as easy to use lenses mounted in this board as it is to use lenses mounted on flat boards, maybe even easier and more convenient as the aperture scale can be read from the top or bottom of the shutter as well as from the front of the board and the press focus is larger and more convenient then the one on the shutter itself. As long as your lens is in a modern Copal 0 this board is the proper one to use the above lenses.

eric black
11-Sep-2009, 10:42
Take a look at the 65mm f4 Nikkor SW's. they can be found relatively inexpensive (I got one in mint shape for about $350). I have tested mine and found that I only really need a center filter with non-landscape movements that require edge to edge uniformity- 90+% of the time I shoot it without a CF for landscape situations. I have found the results to be very sharp and the f4 bright enough to help with the focussing of it.

pocketfulladoubles
11-Sep-2009, 11:27
I use my Chamonix with the universal bellow on a Nikkor SW65mm with no center filter. I don't really need it for landscape shots. I can get enough front tilt that I only get slight falloff at the extreme corners. I wouldn't use it against a building facade though, as then it could be distracting. And, it doesn't get tight with those bellows, it's just fine. The camera will take up to a 450mm with the extender plate just fine - haven't tried the 47xl yet.

newmoon2night
12-Sep-2009, 03:47
Take a look at the 65mm f4 Nikkor SW's. they can be found relatively inexpensive (I got one in mint shape for about $350). I have tested mine and found that I only really need a center filter with non-landscape movements that require edge to edge uniformity- 90+% of the time I shoot it without a CF for landscape situations. I have found the results to be very sharp and the f4 bright enough to help with the focussing of it.

I don't think Nikon ever made or specified a centre filter for this lens - what would you get or use with either the Nikon 65mm or 75mm SW?

jeroldharter
12-Sep-2009, 05:08
I have a 75mm Caltar as my widest lens. It is really wide and I find that in landscape photography, even out West, I only use it occasionally. Of course, everyone sees things differently, but I have to think that the 47-65mm lenses would be difficult to apply widely to outdoor scenes. Focusing can be difficult also. I have an Arca Swiss camera and the ground glass seems brighter that with my former cameras (Canham and Toyo). With the previous cameras I bought a Maxwell screen so that I could focus more easily, so in addition to the cost of the center filter you might need to budget ~$275 for a screen. Those Walker cameras sound very nice but I haven't heard any comments about their ground glass. I do not shoot color but have not noticed vignetting in black and white with my 75mm lens.

I do wonder (apart from cost), why not get the 80mm Schneider lens if you already have the 110? I hear they are outstanding.

newmoon2night
12-Sep-2009, 09:58
I have a 75mm Caltar as my widest lens. It is really wide and I find that in landscape photography, even out West, I only use it occasionally. Of course, everyone sees things differently, but I have to think that the 47-65mm lenses would be difficult to apply widely to outdoor scenes. Focusing can be difficult also. I have an Arca Swiss camera and the ground glass seems brighter that with my former cameras (Canham and Toyo). With the previous cameras I bought a Maxwell screen so that I could focus more easily, so in addition to the cost of the center filter you might need to budget ~$275 for a screen. Those Walker cameras sound very nice but I haven't heard any comments about their ground glass. I do not shoot color but have not noticed vignetting in black and white with my 75mm lens.

I do wonder (apart from cost), why not get the 80mm Schneider lens if you already have the 110? I hear they are outstanding.

Your comments are very interesting and thanks.

Fortunately I already have a Maxwell screen that Mike Walker is going to fit to the Walker camera, though from what I hear the screen he fits as standard is pretty good anyway.

Your comments about the 58mm being very wide and the 80mm possibly being a better option is very valid. The 58mm would be extremely wide, and there is hardly any room for camera movements with it on 4x5. The 80mm interests me, and the people who are selling the 58mm on ebay are also selling an 80mm ... as well as a 38mm, 150mm, and 80mm and 180mm Makros. Not to mention Toyo and Ebony bodies and assorted bits and pieces!

I think I held back on the 80mm because people generally seem to be suggesting the non Schneider 75mm lenses in preference, or prefer the Schneider 72mm lens. However the 80mm is a neat size and focal length I agree.

Another alternative that I'm thinking about, but don't know of a good one available used, is the Rodenstock 75mm F/4.5 which seems to get really good comments, and also has a dedicated centre filter if required.

Mike1234
12-Sep-2009, 11:29
While the 80mm is said to be a stellar lens and I have absolutely no doubts that it is I wouldn't call it an ultra-wide on 4x5 film. It's roughly equal to a 24mm lens on a 135 format camera... well a teeny bit wider (22.6mm). Just something to chew on if you really like wide angle shooting. The 72mm SA XL is similar to a 20mm on 135 film, the 58mm resembles a 16mm, and the 47mm shoots similar to a 13mm... now we're getting r-e-a-l-l-y --- w-i-d-e... :)

Bob Salomon
12-Sep-2009, 11:49
I don't think Nikon ever made or specified a centre filter for this lens - what would you get or use with either the Nikon 65mm or 75mm SW?

Whichever Heliopan, Rodenstock or Schneider center filter that has the same filter thread as the lens. They will all work with the Nikon lenses. Just don't use a CF for a speciality lens. Rodenstock, for instance, makes two different 67mm thread CFs. One for the 35, 45 and 55mm Apo Grandagon 4.5 series and another for the Grandagon-N lenses with 67mm thread. You would not want the version for the Apo Grandagon lenses.

newmoon2night
12-Sep-2009, 12:00
Whichever Heliopan, Rodenstock or Schneider center filter that has the same filter thread as the lens. They will all work with the Nikon lenses. Just don't use a CF for a speciality lens. Rodenstock, for instance, makes two different 67mm thread CFs. One for the 35, 45 and 55mm Apo Grandagon 4.5 series and another for the Grandagon-N lenses with 67mm thread. You would not want the version for the Apo Grandagon lenses.

Bob - with the Rodenstock centre filters is the 67mm/86mm 1.5 67mm thread into the lens and 86mm thread if you wanted to use a Lee filter holder? I've never seen this filter but was looking on the Robert White website (I'm in the UK).
Thanks. David

newmoon2night
12-Sep-2009, 12:01
While the 80mm is said to be a stellar lens and I have absolutely no doubts that it is I wouldn't call it an ultra-wide on 4x5 film. It's roughly equal to a 24mm lens on a 135 format camera... well a teeny bit wider (22.6mm). Just something to chew on if you really like wide angle shooting. The 72mm SA XL is similar to a 20mm on 135 film, the 58mm resembles a 16mm, and the 47mm shoots similar to a 13mm... now we're getting r-e-a-l-l-y --- w-i-d-e... :)

Mike - do you have any samples of landscapes taken with any of the really wide lenses on 4x5, or can you point me to somewhere that does have gallery?
Thanks. David

Mike1234
12-Sep-2009, 12:03
Let me just add one thing to what Bob said. Buy the weaker of the correctly sized CF's... the 1.5 f/stop version. The Nikkors don't need the denser 2 f/stop CF and the latter is over-compensation.

Mike1234
12-Sep-2009, 12:45
Mike - do you have any samples of landscapes taken with any of the really wide lenses on 4x5, or can you point me to somewhere that does have gallery?
Thanks. David

Obviously not all of these are done with LF... and not everything w/ WA lenses... but just look and you'll find your answer. There is some truly spectacular work on this forum... http://photo.net/gallery/photocritique/filter

EDIT: So... I think any ideas regarding ultra-wide lenses being of no use can be dropped now. :)

Bob Salomon
12-Sep-2009, 13:27
Bob - with the Rodenstock centre filters is the 67mm/86mm 1.5 67mm thread into the lens and 86mm thread if you wanted to use a Lee filter holder? I've never seen this filter but was looking on the Robert White website (I'm in the UK).
Thanks. David

Yes, so is the Heliopan.

newmoon2night
13-Sep-2009, 00:54
Yes, so is the Heliopan.
Thanks