View Full Version : Lens for 8x10 in NJ

6-Oct-2003, 08:46
I'm a high school student in northern NJ and it looks like I'll be shooting a shot of the whole school for the rear page.

I shoot 8x10 but only have one lens - a 537mm barrel lens.

I really need something wider - I'd like between 240 and 300 - but don't have the money for it.

If anyone can recommend a place that will rent such a lens and is IN NJ - or if anyone would let me rent it from them - that would be great. Logistically, I can't work out renting from the city. I can't get it there and back in one day and can't afford a week rental.


Bob Salomon
6-Oct-2003, 08:57
Try Fishkin Bros. in Perth Amboy.

Another possibility would be Dover Photo in Dover.

And then many of the dealers that do rent in NY can do it over the phone. Try Lens & Repro, Photo Habitat, Photo Gizmmo, Foto Care, Ken Mar, etc.

Ted Harris
6-Oct-2003, 09:29

You should also check local photo studios. Tell them who you are and waht you are doing and you may find one that will cooperate.

6-Oct-2003, 10:49

I'm trying that, I e-mailed a few, but there aren't many that own 8x10 equipment. I'll also look around for any architecture guys.

Bob, I'm familiar with the NY guys, love Lens and Repro, and have thought about renting from them before. The problem with anyone in NY is that this is for a one-page shot in the yearbook, I can't get into the city twice in one day (too much driving) and can't afford a week rate for it. Plus, I'm not sure how the issue of collateral would work. I assume I'd just have to have one of my parents charge it?

Thanks for the advice, I'm e-mailing different places.

Jeffrey Goggin
6-Oct-2003, 12:59
If you can live without a shutter -- and I assume you can, since your other lens doesn't have one -- then you should be able to find a process lens on eBay for under $50, which is perhaps just a bit more than you'd pay to rent one.

I successfully purchased a 213mm/f9 Agfa Repromaster lens on eBay for $35.55 plus shipping and it covers 8x10 quite nicely. If timing is a problem, though, drop me a note (in the next day or so, as I'm heading out of town for a few weeks) and I'll be happy to lend you mine if you promise to be nice to it and pay shipping both ways.

Clayton Tume
6-Oct-2003, 17:42

I admire what you're doing here, hope the shot is successful! I do large group photos for a living, I've just done a school of 800 and you can see every face clearly. While I don't use the equipment you intend to use I can offer some advice, most of my groups are shot with rotation cameras.

If you have the room, the best lens to use is somewhere around standard or slightly longer for the format, so I'd suggest the lens you have will work fine if you can get back far enough. Also if you can, a shutter would help, even a packard would do, somewhere around 1/15 - 1/30s will work fine, just match your film to suit.

The problem with wide angle lenses is edge distortion, you will find every one out on the ends will have eliptical faces, the ones in the corners will be extreme. This is actually not an optical problem but a result of photographing a 3D object onto a 2D medium, the lens will see more of the side of the head out at the edges and this accounts for the odd shape.

If you get back far enough with a wide angle lens you will achieve the same result as a standard lens but of course waste a lot of film area. All of this tells you that lens to subject distance is important, don't get too close.

Bob Salomon
6-Oct-2003, 17:48
"I'm e-mailing different places"

No call them and explain what you are doing and what you need.

Bill Kantor
6-Oct-2003, 17:55

If I were in your position, I'd ask the school if they can help fund your project. You also might find some luck with the rental folks in NY to give you a break on the weekly-rate in consideration of this being a not for profit/educational use. If you can deliver on it, maybe you can even offer them an acknowledgment in the publication. (Yearbook?)

BTW, while the prospect of picking up a used process lens on ebay for about the cost a rental might be appealing, I suspect that you will want a less-than 1 second exposure. I'd get something in a shutter.

Best of luck.


James Driscoll
6-Oct-2003, 18:19

Call Fred Blake at Fotocare 212-741-2990.

He is the Rental Manager and my former Boss.

He is a fellow NJ resident, and loves to help young photographers.

Explain everything to him (your age and everything...he loves that stuff). Don't tell him I said this....but he will either give you the lens for free (but someone will have to come up with a 50% deposit on a credit card- either your parents or the school) or only charge you for one day.

Just be nice, and stress the fact that you are

1.From NJ 2.Under 18 3.This is a "non profit" gig....

Offer him a copy of the print also.....or small credit (they love stuff like "Thanks Fotocare For the equipment, etc....)

Hope This Helps

PS: MAKE SURE YOU CALL!!! If you send email to most of these places, you get an answer a week later. Plus, we (I used to be rental agent) prefer to "size" someone up on the phone, when they are asking for a freebie.

Be nice to Fred, and he will always help you out.......

7-Oct-2003, 14:12

Maybe I wasn't clear. I'm doing an architectural shot of the school itself, not the students.

Thanks to all for the advice, I'm going to check around later this week once I know what the deadline will be, and what I'll be shooting (color or B&W).


7-Oct-2003, 14:52

As long as it's not something that's absolutely unheard of in a shutter, I will NOT buy another process lens for use on a camera.

7-Oct-2003, 18:44

James Driscoll and Bob Salomon have this precisely right. Although NY is sometimes perceived to be on another planet, people are going to go out of their way to help out a 16 year old who is trying out 8x10 and who is, judging from your posts, both focused and articulate. Bob said that you should phone. He is dead right about that. E-mail is not the way to do this. Provided that you don't push it, you will find that there are lots of people who will be more than happy to assist you both with advice and equipment.