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Keith Corlass
7-Jul-2012, 05:39
Having secured my first LF camera (Thanks Paul!! :)), I'm now looking for glass to go with it. Could anyone suggest 300mm entry level lens suitable for 8x10? I'm looking to buy secondhand

Thanks :)

E. von Hoegh
7-Jul-2012, 06:49
12" Commercial Ektar, 300mm Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar (any of 3 versions), 300mm Rodenstock Sironar (2 or 3 versions); these are probably the most common. Virtually any 12"/300mm lens will do you to get started. Others will certainly chime in with other choices.

DKirk
7-Jul-2012, 07:15
I went with the 360mm Symmar, the early model in the larger compound shutter at f5.6 it's pretty good for portraiture on my 5x4 and has sufficent coverage when I decide on upgrading to 10x8.

E. von Hoegh
7-Jul-2012, 07:21
I went with the 360mm Symmar, the early model in the larger compound shutter at f5.6 it's pretty good for portraiture on my 5x4 and has sufficent coverage when I decide on upgrading to 10x8.

You'll be able to upgrade further, to 11x14 if you wish.

John Kasaian
7-Jul-2012, 07:48
A normal lens could be anything from a 240mm to a 360mm, so take that into consideration as well.
Which price range are you looking at?

For years my only 8x10 lens was a 14" Commercial Ektar and later I added both a 240 G Claron and a 250 Kodak WF.

But if you insist on a 300mm/12" for your first 8x10lens I'd suggest considering:
12" Commercial Ektar everything the 14" Commercial Ektar is, but with a smaller image circle
The venerable Goerz 12" Dagor, a classic in every respect
305mm G Claron, incredibly sharp, small and lightwieght & takes screw on filters
12" Velostigmat, beautiful smoothness when shot open & crisp when stopped down
Those older Symmar double convertibles and Wollensak 1A triple convertibles might interest you as well.

desertrat
7-Jul-2012, 08:18
If you're strapped for cash, a 12" Ilex f6.3 Paragon is similar in design to the Commercial Ektar and can usually be found at a lower price.

E. von Hoegh
7-Jul-2012, 08:25
Also, the many Calumet branded versions of Schneider Symmars and Rodenstock Sironars usually are bargains.

Mark Sawyer
7-Jul-2012, 11:49
Any modern (AR coated, which started post WWII) 300mm lens in a reliable shutter will be fine. There are too many options to list, and it really depends on what you run across. The biggest differences will be in coverage; stay away from Artars and Ronars unless you're going over 400mm. Other than that, any of the usual 300mm options will cover 8x10 with room to spare.

Alan Gales
7-Jul-2012, 16:48
My first lens for 8x10 was a 14" Commercial Ektar. They are getting a little pricey but so are other 360mm lenses. My second lens was a Fujinon 250mm F6,7 lens. Single coated but has a lot of coverage and the price was just below $300.00. I have since seen a few others sell on Ebay for just over $300.00 which is a real bargain.

Fotoguy20d
7-Jul-2012, 18:06
Are you trying for the vintage look? do you need a shutter? A 12-21-28 Turner Reich triple will give you three focal lengths. You can find a B&L 12" R-R, or a Gundlach 12" RR which would also be a triple. My first 8x10 lens was the T-R. My favorite might still be an early 240mm Dagor. I've recently added the 14" CE and 12" Series II Velostigmat but have yet to shoot with them.

Dan

Leigh
7-Jul-2012, 18:19
A couple to avoid due to small image circle:

Fujinon T 300/8 - only 213mm, designed for 4x5, won't come close to covering 8x10 (325mm IC min)
Nikkor M 300/9 - 325mm IC just covers 8x10 but will not allow any movements

Most of the 300mm lenses have ICs over 400mm, which allow movements for 8x10.

- Leigh

Corran
7-Jul-2012, 18:54
I can confirm that the Nikkor has more room for movements than you might expect. I have used a couple inches of rise on it no problem. Usually shooting at f/45 or f/64.

But, if you want cheap, one of the big f/5.6 lenses are probably better and cheaper. One sold for like $300 last week I think.

Leigh
7-Jul-2012, 19:40
Yes, you can use the Nikkor M 300/9 on 8x10 in a pinch, but a couple of inches movement on 8x10 is quite minimal.

I have that lens, but seldom use it for 8x10 since I have a Nikkor W 300/5.6 that's brighter with an IC almost 100mm larger.

- Leigh

Frank Petronio
7-Jul-2012, 20:22
It's probably down to deciding whether you want a smoother, portrait-friendly lens that is still sharp (Commercial Ektar, Tessar0 or something very, very sharp like the copy-flat field lenses or modern symmetrical lenses (Symmar and Sironar)?

Then which shutter? A modern Copal or Compur or a Compound or a bit of Americana. Each have their pluses and minuses.

I had a 300/5.6 Schneider Xenar in a Copal 3 that I liked a lot, worked well. I've also had Sironars and Symmars and like them a lot too.

What I wouldn't worry about is lens size, unless you are doing an ultralight outfit and really whittling. A 300 Symmar is a nice hunk of glass and it weighs the same as a big hunk of glass and metal. Toughen up!

John Kasaian
7-Jul-2012, 20:58
FWIW a 14" APO Artar is quite usable on an 8x10---mine was, anyway. Nowhere near the image circle of a Commercial Ektar however, but certainly usable. Nikkor 300 Ms seem to vary in coveage from lens to lens. I have one that covers 8x10 straight on, but others have reported differently. Go figure! But 300 M's aren't and never were "cheap." Multi coating is overkill anyway with B&W film. IMHO, vintage glass---Kodaks, Wollensaks, Ilex and old Schneiders will cost you less and offer outstanding performance to boot.

Corran
7-Jul-2012, 21:00
Both of you are of course correct. You are going to have to sacrifice somewhere, either in speed/IC or with added weight/bulk. So depends on the subject/purpose.

I'm shooting a lot of 8x10 lately working on a project of exclusively contact prints, shot along the Withlacoochee River. I have no interest in lugging the giant Symmar I've got. I bring a Nikkor 300mm f/9, 210mm f/9 Kowa, and a 120mm f/8 Nikkor. When I find a decently priced 450mm f/9 that'll be added. Not much weight but a good range of FLs and abilities. Everything fits in a small backpack and I've got the 8x10 on the tripod over my shoulder (a wooden field cam).

John Kasaian
7-Jul-2012, 21:23
A Nikkor 450 M will give you acres of coverage!
Both of you are of course correct. You are going to have to sacrifice somewhere, either in speed/IC or with added weight/bulk. So depends on the subject/purpose.

I'm shooting a lot of 8x10 lately working on a project of exclusively contact prints, shot along the Withlacoochee River. I have no interest in lugging the giant Symmar I've got. I bring a Nikkor 300mm f/9, 210mm f/9 Kowa, and a 120mm f/8 Nikkor. When I find a decently priced 450mm f/9 that'll be added. Not much weight but a good range of FLs and abilities. Everything fits in a small backpack and I've got the 8x10 on the tripod over my shoulder (a wooden field cam).

Corran
7-Jul-2012, 21:51
Of course, I meant the 300mm in regards to limited IC vs. weight/bulk.

Keith Corlass
7-Jul-2012, 22:28
Wow thanks for all the responses guys, first to all the questions

Price range $300-600 as long as its value for money
I am not worried about cosmetics in the slightest
Yes I need a shutter
Not worried about size or weight. Young and silly ;)

I shoot mainly landscape and the figure, in b&w but I'd like to shoot more colour in the future. My most used lens equivalent in 35mm and MF is 50mm so 300 seems like a good place to start in 8x10.

Cheers

Andrew
7-Jul-2012, 23:27
it might be a mistake to get hung up any specific lens...
maybe the approach could be to decide on the general type of lens you want and then grab what comes up in your price range when you see it?
if you like the format it won't be the last lens you buy and it can always be resold to subsidise something else later

premortho
8-Jul-2012, 09:50
I use a Turner-Reich Triple convertible with a Packard shutter. It works fine with black and white, and even better with green x-ray film. Green x-ray film is similar to an Orthochromatic emulsion, which was used extensivly at the time these lenses were made. I use an 80 speed film, and a 2 1/2 X yellow filter. That's about a speed of 10, or 1/10th of a second on a bright sunny low humidity day of a bright colored subject, between 10 am and 3pm normal time. Since I never shoot scenes that meet those criteria, I end up with 1-10 second exposures. Nice thing about x-ray film, as all Ortho fim is, you can develope under a red safelight. If you want to use Panchromatic film, I reccomend Tri-x with a stronger filter.

premortho
8-Jul-2012, 10:01
Tri-x is a more contrasty film than many other films available today. I know 320asa Tri-x is multicoated (with different speed emulsions) and shoot it at 200 on my light meter which helps contrast even more. Have to develope it in the dark, though:mad:. I don't know if 400 asa tri-x is made the same way, as I've never used it. Two films, one ortho, one panchro is enough to keep straight in my somewhat limited brain. The good news is green x-ray film is 34 cents a sheet. The bad news is Tri-x is more than 10 times as expensive.

Greg Davis
12-Jul-2012, 08:23
When I first started with 8x10, I called Quality Camera in Atlanta, maybe it was Midwest Photo in Colombus, and told them what I had to spend and what focal length I needed. They helped me with a lens that fit those criteria. I have since replaced it, but it got me started.

John Kasaian
14-Jul-2012, 15:11
Jim at Midwest can certainly steer you in the right direction.