View Full Version : Right lens to shoot stills

Melissa Punch
27-Mar-2002, 13:52
Hi! I am requesting info related to a stills shoot I have. I will be shooting some books (various sizes, open, closed) with my 4x5. I usually shoot them with a 135mm so I don't have to get on a ladder. I have had a lot of trouble with vignetting with this lens. Any suggestions on a different lens or to solve vignetting problem? Thank you!!

27-Mar-2002, 15:29
What causes the vignetting problem? If it is the limited lens coverage , then you shoulg change the lens. I think a 150 mm. should do the trick. but has to cover 4 x 5 . A symmar-s would be adequate, is corrected for a wide range of magnifications, so it is going to give you good optical results. The vignetting problem coud also be given by the use of a quasi wideangle ,but it is so moderate that makes me think it could be my first assumption the cause. Anyway a 250 mm. would be a good compromise......

27-Mar-2002, 15:30
i meant 150 mm.......

Dave Schneidr
27-Mar-2002, 17:02
What is causing the vignetting? I don't know which 135mm lens you are using but if it has adequate coverage why would it vignette, are you using extreme movements? I most often use the 150mm G-Claron for still life subjects in this size range. It provides a good working distance in my small studio space and has plenty of coverage. Remember the image circle gets larger as the magnification increases, at magnification of .1 there is plenty of coverage. I have used my 210 Symmar-S in these situations as well, puts me farther away from the subject for the same magnification ratio. I have also used a 305mm lens but my studio is not long enough for magnification of any less than about .15 when using this lens.

Charlie Stracl
27-Mar-2002, 19:59
A 180 lens usually provides a very large image circle, so that is worth considering. Many 150's have limited image circles.

If you don't do a lot of close up work, consider using the 135 and plan on cropping the 4x5, or use a 6x7 or 6x9 roll film back, where the vignetting would be out of the image area.

For still lifes, though, the usual rule of thumb is to use a long lens (say, 210 to 250 or even longer) to keep the perspective rather "normal" looking. Using a short lens gives an exaggerated perspective compared to how the eye interprets the scene. If your studio is short on space this isn't a real alternative, though.

Melissa Punch
27-Mar-2002, 20:23
Thanks! I do have a really small studio set up, so that's why I initially went with a 135. It was a macro 135 too, recommended by the rental place. Does that make a difference? They told me it was great for close ups as well as what I was shooting. I did try a 210 and it worked for the smaller books, but the bigger books became a problem due to limited space. I will try the 150 this time and see what happens! Thanks for all the help!

27-Mar-2002, 22:54
Now the problem is obvious. A "macro" or "digital" 135mm probably will not cover more than 6x12cm (I'm guessing) at infinity. It's covering power is usually stated at 1:1, where it will cover 4x5 and probably 5x7. Off the top of my head I can't think of a Macro 135mm lens though - it almost sounds as if you were sold a medium format lens. What lens did you get?

Pete Andrews
28-Mar-2002, 07:08
The lens sounds suspect to me too. A Symmar or G-claron type of lens should have more than enough coverage in a 135mm focal length to do what you're asking.Vignetting with a 135 at close distances would mean that the lens only has a coverage angle of around 45 degrees. Any modern design ought to be better than that.It's a good job you only rented the lens, because it sounds totally wrong to me.