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Pawlowski6132
29-Sep-2009, 17:58
I am a portrait photographer usually shooting 35mm and MF. Got a deal on a Calumet 4x5 and now want to give it a go.

I have a Schneider 210mm but was wondering what the generally agreed upon focal length is for H&S portraits.

Also, can I assume that all lenses will mount to my 4x4 lensboard and work with my camera?

thanx in advance,

Joe
South Bend

Toyon
29-Sep-2009, 18:08
It is really a matter of personal taste. You'll get all kinds of opinions on this, already stated in previous threads. But that is an excellent lens to experiment with. Remember that large format gives you the freedom to crop images and still get superb resolution.

Ron Marshall
29-Sep-2009, 18:22
210 is great for 1/2 or even full body, but for H&S I prefer a 300mm.

Of course you will get answers from 180 to 360 to this.

Pawlowski6132
29-Sep-2009, 18:24
It is really a matter of personal taste. You'll get all kinds of opinions on this, already stated in previous threads. But that is an excellent lens to experiment with. Remember that large format gives you the freedom to crop images and still get superb resolution.

Thanx! Good point.

As I think about this more, I can probably figure the lens focal length part out by doing a little research. For example. On my 35mm I realy like 135mm to 200mm. There's probably some mathematical conversion table out there I can find.

The part of my question though...once I determine which length, can I assume that any lens will mount on my board? Are these all standard sizes or will I be dealing with proprietary mount sizes?

Also, one more question to show my ignorance; My 35mm and MF portraits lenses have HUGE apertures (e.g, f1.2) for great brokeh and shallow DOF. I notice that most LF lenses dont have apertures that wide. There must be a good reason. Probably the equation to determine aperture and the dimensions of the lens?

Will I still be able to get shallow DOF for my portraits with f/5.6 LF lenses.

Thanx for your patiences and time to answer some of these basic questions.

Joe
South Bend

:o

Ron Marshall
29-Sep-2009, 18:34
Also, one more question to show my ignorance; My 35mm and MF portraits lenses have HUGE apertures (e.g, f1.2) for great brokeh and shallow DOF. I notice that most LF lenses dont have apertures that wide. There must be a good reason. Probably the equation to determine aperture and the dimensions of the lens?

Will I still be able to get shallow DOF for my portraits with f/5.6 LF lenses.

Thanx for your patiences and time to answer some of these basic questions.

Joe
South Bend

:o

Check out a DOF calculator on the net; f5.6 or even f11 will have shallow DOF with a longer lens on 4x5.

Modern lenses will fit into a 0,1 or 3 shutter; see this for lensboard hole sizes:

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/lensboard_hole_sizes.html

Paul Fitzgerald
29-Sep-2009, 18:40
On a 4x4 board you would be limited, the front opening of the camera would also be limiting the maximum size lens you can fit.

210 & 240/4.5 Heliar, Xenar, and Raptars all fit 4x4 boards.
300/6.3 Velostigmat, Commercial Ektar will fit 4x4 boards.
300/5.5 Dogmar fits a 4x4 board.

Going larger would require fitting and/or custom lens boards threaded for the flange.

Achieving shallow DOF will not be a problem at portrait distance with any LF lens. DOF usually relates to the physical aperture size so a 210/5.6 would be equal to a 50/1.4 for DOF. Just look thru the GG to see the effect.

Have fun with it.

Jim Noel
29-Sep-2009, 18:43
I use nothing shorter than 300mm for 4x5 portraits. Often 450 or 600 mm is preferred. too much distortion with 210 or 240.

Mark Sawyer
29-Sep-2009, 19:00
Welcome! A great place to get a feel for different portrait lenses is to go through some of the monthly portrait threads. Hope this link works...

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/search.php?searchid=3225637

You'll note that some of the older portrait and pictorial lenses have a very different feel from the modern lenses.

Mike1234
29-Sep-2009, 19:53
If you're familiar with the lens FL you prefer when shooting 135 film then just multiply those FL by 3.5X if you print FF or 4X if you crop your prints to 4x5 ratio. It's pretty common to use a 105mm lens on a 135 camera for H/S portraits and crop the prints to say... 8x10. A similar perspective on FF 4x5 would be 420mm (105mm x4).

aduncanson
29-Sep-2009, 22:30
You need to be careful. Your Calumet has limited bellows draw. If it is the old round rail Calumet monorail then the limit is most likely 16 inches. There was a longer version providing 22 inches.

If you are shooting tight head & shoulders portraits with a 135mm lens on 35mm film then you are probably shooting from about 10 feet, or from 14.5 feet with a 200mm lens. With only 16 inches of bellows draw you cannot focus to those distances with non-telephoto lens longer than about 360mm focal length. With a camera with 22 inches of bellows you can focus a 450mm to 480mm lens to approximately those distances. Neither of these are going to give you quite the same tight composition you get with your 35mm lenses from those distances although the 450mm lens on the camera with 22 inches of draw will come pretty close in framing to the 135mm lens on the 35mm format from the same distance.

You may be able to find a longer telephoto lens (to be understood roughly as a lens whose flange to film distance at infinity focus is significantly shorter than its focal length) that will allow you to focus as close as you do with your 35mm setup. Telephoto lenses are relatively uncommon, have limited coverage and although they are capable of providing shallow depth of field, they are rarely listed among those lenses with mysteriously wonderful bokeh.

Good luck.

cjbroadbent
29-Sep-2009, 22:56
... On my 35mm I realy like 135mm to 200mm. There's probably some mathematical conversion table out there I can find.
...
No table needed. A 'normal' lens has a focal length equal to to the long side of the film. A 'portrait' lens has a focal length equal to twice the long side of the film. More or less.
Anything longer will give your 4x5 the wobblies and your sitter will appear flat and remote.
(ok, ok, the diagonal, not the long side. But that's from 19th century german mythology. It only works for subjects cropped in the camera. We usually leave a bit of air round the subject.)

eddie
29-Sep-2009, 23:11
Achieving shallow DOF will not be a problem at portrait distance with any LF lens. DOF usually relates to the physical aperture size so a 210/5.6 would be equal to a 50/1.4 for DOF. Just look thru the GG to see the effect.

Have fun with it.

DOF is related to the focal length. 210mm f5.6 will give you the same DOF on any camera. it is not related to the film size. the film size affects the crop.

Paul Fitzgerald
29-Sep-2009, 23:42
"DOF is related to the focal length."

Actually DOF is directly related to the apparent physical aperture and the focus distance PERIOD. A 1 inch aperture focused at 10 feet will have the same DOF if it is 50, 100, 200, 400 or 600mm FL. The only difference the lens would make is if it optically magnifies the aperture.

So, yes, a 210/5.6 focused at 10 ft. will have the same DOF as a 50/1.4 focused at the same 10 ft. Crunch the numbers or check the GG.

eddie
30-Sep-2009, 00:15
So, yes, a 210/5.6 focused at 10 ft. will have the same DOF as a 50/1.4 focused at the same 10 ft. Crunch the numbers or check the GG.

so you are saying a 210 5.6 lens on a 4x5 camera will have the same DOF as a 50 1.4 on a 4x5 camera focused at 10 feet?!?!!? hhhhmmm? i disagree!

again. DOF is related to FL. all 210 f5.6 lens give the same DOF. film size only changes the crop.

eddie
30-Sep-2009, 00:20
"DOF is related to the focal length."

Actually DOF is directly related to the apparent physical aperture and the focus distance PERIOD. A 1 inch aperture focused at 10 feet will have the same DOF if it is 50, 100, 200, 400 or 600mm FL.

no it will not. a one inch aperture will give you a different F stop based on the different FL.

f stop = lens focal length / aperture diameter

1 inch is 25mm.

50mm/25mm = f2
100mm/25mm = f4
200mm/25mm = f8

so again. your example is flawed.

again. film size affects the crop.

it is late so i used wikipedia:

"The DOF ratio of two different formats depends on what is assumed. One approach is to assume that essentially the same picture is taken with each format and enlarged to produce the same size final image, so the subject distance remains the same, the focal length is adjusted to maintain the same angle of view, and to a first approximation, magnification is in direct proportion to some characteristic dimension of each format. If both pictures are enlarged to give the same size final images with the same sharpness criteria, the circle of confusion is also in direct proportion to the format size. Thus if l is the characteristic dimension of the format,

\frac {m_2} {m_1} = \frac {c_2} {c_1} = \frac {l_2} {l_1}.

With the same f-number, the DOF ratio is then

\frac {\mathrm{DOF}_2} {\mathrm{DOF}_1} \approx \frac {c_2} {c_1} \left ( \frac {m_1} {m_2} \right )^2 = \frac {l_2} {l_1} \left ( \frac {l_1} {l_2} \right )^2 = \frac {l_1} {l_2} \,,

so the DOF ratio is in inverse proportion to the format size. This ratio is approximate, and breaks down in the macro range of the larger format (the value of m in the numerator is no longer negligible) or as distance approaches the hyperfocal distance for the smaller format (the DOF of the smaller format approaches infinity).

If the formats have approximately the same aspect ratios, the characteristic dimensions can be the format diagonals; if the aspect ratios differ considerably (e.g., 45 vs. 617), the dimensions must be chosen more carefully, and the DOF comparison may not even be meaningful.

If the same lens focal length is used in both formats, magnifications can be maintained in the ratio of the format sizes by adjusting subject distances; the DOF ratio is the same as that given above, but the images differ because of the different perspectives and angles of view.

If the same DOF is required for each format, an analysis similar to that above shows that the required f-number is in direct proportion to the format size."

drew.saunders
30-Sep-2009, 10:04
Thanx! Good point.

As I think about this more, I can probably figure the lens focal length part out by doing a little research. For example. On my 35mm I realy like 135mm to 200mm. There's probably some mathematical conversion table out there I can find.


There's math, and then there's personal preference, and then there's the high probability that the different camera will change how you relate to your subject, possibly making you want to be closer or further from your subject with the larger camera than with the smaller one.

Do you like the 2:3 ratio of 35mm film? If so, you may want to consider using a 6x9cm rollfilm back (image roughly 56x84mm) for your camera. In that case, the 210 becomes a "longer" lens than it would be for 4x5. If you crop your 35mm to a 4:5 ratio, there's also the option of a 6x7cm rollfilm back, which take an image in the 56x69mm neighborhood (varying by manufacturer), which is about a 4:5 ratio.

For 35mm, 135 to 200 are longish portrait lenses, indicating you like a little more working distance from your subject than someone who prefers 70-90mm lenses. That being said, you'll probably gravitate to the 240mm+ range of lenses for 4x5, possibly wanting up to 450mm (if you can get one to work with your camera). Since you do tend to like longer lenses that may not work with your 4x5, using a rollfilm back may be your best bet. Of course, you can shoot 4x5" film and then crop it down later if you want.



The part of my question though...once I determine which length, can I assume that any lens will mount on my board? Are these all standard sizes or will I be dealing with proprietary mount sizes?


This chart lists the hole diameters of the 3 common (plus one less common) current shutter sizes: http://www.skgrimes.com/lensmount/shutmt/index.htm

Keh.com conveniently lists the size of the hole in any lensboard they sell, which they measure, so you'll see both 34mm and 35mm listed, and sometimes 36mm, which would indicate that those holes are more-or-less for a size 0 shutter. For their used lenses, they also measure the shutter and list the hole size needed, rather than the shutter number designation. Of course, you can bore out a smaller hole (or non-existent) or pay someone to do it, and you can usually get a shutter to mount into a hole that's a wee too large.

4x4" lensboards will probably not handle anything larger than a #3 sized shutter, but there's still plenty of lenses that will work for you in that size.

Drew

Ron Marshall
30-Sep-2009, 10:54
If you want a focal length that would require more extension than your camera's bellows will permit, you can get a telephoto lens or a top-hat lens board.

Pawlowski6132
30-Sep-2009, 18:21
Wow. "Ask and you shall receive."

Thank you everyone for your time and knowledge.

Joe
South Bend

jnantz
30-Sep-2009, 21:37
look for a 10" lens .. it will be long enough, and if you want to step back you can ...