View Full Version : Lens recomendations......?

andrey belo
5-Dec-2001, 02:33
Hello people.I would like anyones advice on lenses for 4x5.I want a lens that wi ll serve well for several purposes: for portraits (head only) and pictorial work ,along with reasonably closeup still life.I use an Ebony SV45 so need a reasonab ly small and light lens.I was thinking of 360mm to 400mm...my max extension at p resent is 440mm (540mm with movements).The other consideration is cost,as it wou ld be to most.....used and cheap as poss,but with good coverage and sharpness.Wh at are the forums recomendations?Also any thoughts on tele-photo lenses which I am quite ignorant about regarding LF.....

I have recently settled in California from the UK and have found an amazing amou nt of used LF lenses on the market here (Lensrepro etc..)...these are harder and more expensive to come by in England and Europe.Does anyone have any particular ly good dealers to recomend?

5-Dec-2001, 06:40
I think, provided you are talking about buying one lens for all your shooting, you'd be much better off with a lens in the 250-300mm range, which would be perfect for classic portraiture. This would be a much smaller piece of glass than most 360-400mm lenses. It would also be more versatile for general pictorial use, and it would require considerably less bellows extention for close-up work. (I don't know how much magnification you are looking to get, but you can run out of bellows pretty quickly with a lens in the 360-400mm range.) You might also consider a 210mm lens. While this would be a bit wide for classic head and shoulder portraiture, you could always pull back when you shoot, reducing your subject by 25%, or so, and crop to size when you print; this would give you the perspective of a longer lens and only marginally reduce image quality. A 210mm could be considered a long normal lens for a 4x5, and thus, even more flexible than any of the other options. It's also the smallest and cheapest option.

5-Dec-2001, 07:33
if you don't need a large image circle : apo ronar 240/9 or 300/9 try to find a later multicoated version, or at list a single coated if you need a light weight lens, with a large image circle : Fuji A 240/9 EBC, g o to the lens section to find more about it

5-Dec-2001, 09:33
Kodak Ektar 203mm f:7.7.

Jim Chinn
5-Dec-2001, 12:31
I agree with Wilhelm. The 203 Ektar is a classic lens, sharp with good contrast, can be used for all the applications you want. They are relatively inexpensive and available. The only caveat is that you will need to have the shutter CLA as is the case with most used lenses. The Ektar was the first large format lens I ever used and even though I have purchased new lenses for other focal lengths, i still use the Ektar for my normal outdoor lens. I would check with Midwest Photo Exchange or Lens and Repro. Both are reliable dealers who usually provide return provisions if you try the lens and don't like it.

David Grandy
5-Dec-2001, 20:00
I use a 300 f9 M Nikkor with my Toyo. It's multi-coated, cheap, small and razor sharp. It also has an image circle the size of a soccer ball.

I'm not sure if you'd get away with a non telephoto lens of a much longer focal length with your relatively limited bellows extension. The Nikkor 360 tele is a much bigger lens, much more expensive and has a much smaller image circle than my M so I'm not sure that's a solution for you. As for the "f9" part of my 300, it'll look about three stops brighter than your 65 f8 SA (assuming you get the 65 to work)when you look through the ground glass. I assume that it has something to do with ALL of the light being directed into your eye rather than having the light spread around as it will with a wide angle.

To do close up work with this lens you'll need another camera, since it'll take 600 mm of bellows extension to focus at infinity. A 150 or a 210 should work fine for that.

Jim Galli
5-Dec-2001, 23:39
If you can live with f9 (I can, some can't) I'm a BIG fan of Schneider G-Claron's. They come in 210, 240, 270, 305. All of the ones I've just mentioned come in Copal 1 shutters. My 305mm covers 11X14! They are VERY sharp, and for some reason, they're sleepers. Do some searches on "completed items" on Ebay for G-Claron and you'll be surprised. I almost died last night when that 270mm wide angle sold for $169.50! (in barrel) I wanted to bid and my internet connection failed!!! AAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHH!! The computer almost went into the neighbors yard. Busy signals for 6 minutes as I'm watching the time creep up, and then it was gone. Anybody got a 270 WA to sell me?? Oh heck, ther'll be another one. There's also a 355 G-Claron but it's in Copal 3 and will set you back just under a grand. I just put a 355 Repro-Claron into an older compound shutter for under $400 but that's another story. J