View Full Version : Image Circle

5-Jan-2010, 10:19
Hi, I'm new to his forum but I'd like to share what I know and get a little help from members 'in the know' :)

I recently moved from Sinar F1 4x5 to the P1 with 8x10 back and I'm looking to experiment with the image circle, to use it as a compositional device included within the image. Can anyone advise me which lenses will give me a clear image circle within the 8x10 film frame that is not too fish eye looking? Or does anybody know someone working in this vein already. I'd appreciate any tips.

Peter K
5-Jan-2010, 10:34
8x10" needs an image circle from at least 312mm. Here (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/lenses/) you can find the specs for new large format lenses.

Years ago I've tested some lenses with 18x24cm film. The Super-Angulon f/8 75mm gives a nice round image of 18cm at f/32. The Tessar 105mm 13cm and the Tele-Arton 180mm 12cm.

Another possibility: cut a hole in a black paper and mount it in the rear bellows-frame. So you can use any lens.


5-Jan-2010, 11:31
There is a couple possibilities. Telephotos designed for 4x5, perhaps? The other choices are short lenses normally used on 4x5 (perhaps 5x7) cameras. The problem arises of with being able to focus such short lenses (bag bellows help there). The film is 8 inches across, so you are looking for a lens that has a total image circle of less than 200mm or so.

The image circle in the charts would be smaller than the actual, so that they would not be overstating the usable image circle. The size of the image circle changes with focus (smaller when focusing at infinity), so you can use that property to help create your images.

Here is a link to a round image...


Looks like round images were the rage at the turn of a couple centuries ago. (the lenses probably did not cover the formats very well, perhaps?) I have seen comtemporary images as you described, but can't come up with any names at the moment. It is an idea I have entertained, but have not explored.

Mark Sampson
5-Jan-2010, 12:19
Look up the work of Emmett Gowin; he did some well-known work in the late '60s using the approach you're thinking of.