View Full Version : Wide/standard lens to replace nikon 135 W ?

19-Apr-2010, 13:44
I'm growing a bit tired of my Nikon W f/5.6 135mm.
It's image circle is just to small for my use ; at full front rise on my chamonix, it won't cover 4x5 even at f/32!
I kind of expected this, but I though i'd give it a try because i was looking for something light and small (and affordable).

Here's my question : what lens would be a good replacement in the 135-150mm range, considering the size and price concern?
I'm looking for a used one obviously, but with multi coating and good flare resistance.

thanx for advices!

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
19-Apr-2010, 13:49
If you want to stick with 135mm, the Kodak 135mm f6.3 WF Ektar will provide the most image circle of any 135mm commonly available. If you have more money a 135mm f5.6 Sironar-S is a great lens, with a slightly smaller ic. If you could drop down to 120mm, that would open all sorts of possibilities, as would jumping up to 150mm.

19-Apr-2010, 14:53
All of the plasmats are going to have coverage similar to that of the Nikkor. If you want enough coverage to use full front rise with a focal length near 135mm....well, you're gonna have to spend a lot more money.

What are you doing that you want / need so much rise?

19-Apr-2010, 16:20
By going to a 150 or 180 you can get up to 280mm circle (vs your current 200mm circle) without having to go to a XL type wide coverage lens.

The Fuji 150 and 180 are pretty inexpensive.

Gem Singer
19-Apr-2010, 17:00
Keep the Nikkor f5.6 135W. It's a fine short "normal"lens with a 200mm image circle.

Add a Nikkor f8 90SW wide angle lens for situations where you need more rise. It has a 235mm image circle.

Later, add a Nikkor f5.6 210W for situations where you need more magnification. It's a long "normal" lens with a 295mm image circle.

With careful shopping in the previously owned market place, you will end up with a fine set of lenses for your 4x5 Chamonix at a reasonable price

20-Apr-2010, 00:23
Thank you all for your answer.
I'll take a look at the fuji lenses.

I understand that the very design of the plasmat is what's causing my problem.
Switcing to 150mm is ok, 120mm is fine, 180 would be a bit too much...

Gem, i second your opinion, te 135 IS a fine lens, and I guess 200mm ic is quite ok for a lens of this design, but my 4x5 isn't my primary camera, I have tons of gear in other formats (medium and small) so i'm not looking to ever get a complete kit for my chamonix... I'm fine with just one wideish standard lens and that's why i'd like to have as much versatility as possible from it.

Brad S. I need that much rise for architecture. I quoted rise, but I also found the swing to be limited by the lens ic. (i'm talking big swing for creative purpose, not light swing for focus purpose witch is ok...)

Gem Singer
20-Apr-2010, 04:44

Since you are limiting the choice to one lens, and want as much versatility as possible for architectural photography, choose a wide angle lens.

A lens in the "normal" range, even one with a large image circle, won't meet your needs.

Realizing that using a single lens on a 4x5 camera for architectural photography is limiting, the Nikon/Nikkor f8 120SW, with it's 312 image circle, would be my choice.

It's not a small size, light weight lens, but it is mounted in a Copal 0 shutter, and will do the job very nicely.

erie patsellis
20-Apr-2010, 10:07
Fuji or Nikkor 120 SW would give you significantly more movements than you have now, with the Fuji being significantly less expensive, if that factors into the choice. I find the 120 to be an ideal focal length on 4x5, personally.

Ron Marshall
20-Apr-2010, 10:19
Fuji or Nikkor 120 SW would give you significantly more movements than you have now, with the Fuji being significantly less expensive, if that factors into the choice. I find the 120 to be an ideal focal length on 4x5, personally.

My recommendation as well.

I use the Nikkor 120 SW mostly on 5x7 except when I need the coverage on 4x5.

Gem Singer
20-Apr-2010, 10:57
Fuji doesn't make a 120SW. They make a 125SW that has a 280mm image circle and takes an 82mm screw-in filter.

New Fuji 125SW's are hard to locate, and used ones rarely come up for sale.

Badgergraphic doesn't show a Fuji 125SW on it's list of new Fuji lenses .

Nikon no longer manufactures the Nikkor large format lenses. They are available on the used market at very reasonable prices.

B&H has a new (old stock) Nikkor 120SW listed on their website.

20-Apr-2010, 11:46
Thanks again for your answers.
Since you're all unanimous, i'll consider a 120mm sw from fuji or nikon (witchever i find first)

I quickly took some pictures of my slides on a light table so you can have a visual idea of my problem (and my kind of pictures):

Full front rise at f/32

Too much tilt/swing at f/22

Bob McCarthy
20-Apr-2010, 14:36
Front rise is not the only way to point a camera upwards, btw...

Just aim it up like a 35mm and then move the back to vertical. You should have enough stops to cover the DOF in these pictures at F32 where you shoot.

Actually I'm not quite sure what you doing, lower part of the transparency is level with eyepoint. Excess rise must be something to do with the reflection???

I don't get it!!


Armin Seeholzer
20-Apr-2010, 15:00
Yes you really need the 120mm SW Nikkor and you will be happy, for a long time!
I use mine sometimes on my 8x10 as very wide!
With this lens your 4x5 camera will be the limiting factor for shifts etc.

Cheers Armin

Jack Dahlgren
20-Apr-2010, 23:11
On the top image it looks like you have some front tilt and shift going on?

On the bottom image you can use a little shift with the swing to avoid vignetting, but I don't really understand what you are going after with all the movements you are using. selective focus on the shuttle? It would seem that if you want the shuttle in focus and the storefront out of focus (as most of it is) you could just focus on the shuttle with out any shift.

Struan Gray
20-Apr-2010, 23:55
If you're looking at 120 mm, consider also the 120 mm Super Angulon. Or, if your budget is tight, the earlier 121 mm Super Angulon, which actually has more coverage. Single coated, but mine is flare-free and sharp.