View Full Version : architecture lenses 4x5

27-Feb-2011, 10:29
I am very new to LF photography and have recently bought an entry level monorail Cambo. I am interested in Architecture and am wondering what type of lens would be most useful to a beginner like myself. Any feed back would be very much appreciated including hints and tips.

Many Many thanks

Armin Seeholzer
27-Feb-2011, 11:03
One of the f 4,5 90mm would be a good starting point!

Cheers Armin

27-Feb-2011, 11:50
Architecture usually involves a front rise, so a major concern is the diameter of the image circle for whatever lens you consider. This information is published for modern lenses and available on the internet, but may be more difficult to find for older lenses.

Unfortunately, architecture also usually requires wide angle coverage, i.e. a short focal length, and short FL lenses typically have small image circles

As a practical example, in 120mm lenses:
The Rodenstock Sironar-N 120/5.6 has an image circle of 175mm, permitting only a 7.7mm shift on the 5" axis of 4x5 film, while
the Nikon Nikkor SW 120/8 has an image circle of 312mm, permitting a shift of 84mm.

As with all things in this world, there are trade-offs, and you must consider all factors before making a decision.

- Leigh

Gem Singer
27-Feb-2011, 12:12
If I was given the choice of only one lens, it would be the Nikon/Nikkor f8 120SW.

If I could choose a second lens to match up with the 120SW, it would be the Nikon/Nikkor f5.6 180W.

A fantastic pair of lenses for 4x5 architectural photography.

Kirk Gittings
27-Feb-2011, 12:19
Some good advice above.

Question......for what purpose are the architecture photographs? My opinion is that for commercial architectural photography lenses of 90mm and wider are the norm. The rule of thumb I have expressed and heard my whole career is that you will take 90% of your images with a 90mm lens. Why? Four reasons, for example the 90mm gets you close to a building so you can avoid all the crap like telephone poles that surround buildings. Second your eye doesn't remain fixed when you view a large building or interior. You pan the interior or exterior and the wide lens mimics that panning. Third on interiors there is allot of need for very inclusive space in the images, Fourth the perspective distortion that a wide lens introduces creates dynamic forms in an image considered an aesthetic plus in advertising intended images.

If however your interest is art or documentary, like for my personal b&w work, I prefer less wide angle distortion, which screams "I used a wide angle lens". In that case I prefer a 120. My favorite being the Nikkor 120 SW, which will cover an 8x10 offering significant movement potential.

Jim Michael
27-Feb-2011, 12:27
Kirk, has there been a favorite 90 or below that you've found to be best in terms of edge-to-edge sharpness, minimal distortion, or other reasons?

Mark Sampson
27-Feb-2011, 12:30
I'm not Kirk but I use a Nikkor-SW 75/4 for shooting interiors, like kitchens and bathrooms. It's as good as my Nikkor-SW 90/8, which is saying a lot.