View Full Version : Looking for lens in shutter that won't cover 4x5

Steve Williams_812
22-Feb-2004, 07:43
I am looking for a lens that will not cover 4x5 to use on my Ebony camera. I am not looking for a circular image, but something where the circle of illumination is just falling short of the corners. I want to be able to make a negative with the camera in the zero position that finds all the edges optically "deficient".

I have been looking at 100 and 105 Kodak Ektars on the web but am not sure what image circle they produce and have not been able to find them for sale.



David A. Goldfarb
22-Feb-2004, 08:03
I suspect a Tessar-type or triplet from an old folder in the 100mm range should work just fine. You could look for some old no-name 6x9 folders and just cannibalize the lens/shutter unit if you don't find one, but some dealers like Olden Camera in New York who sell lots of old cameras should have a box of these lenses lying around.

James Phillips
22-Feb-2004, 08:18

I believe that the Rodenstock 100mm Sironar will do what you are looking for. This lens pops up on Ebay frequently.

Kind Regards,

Dan Fromm
22-Feb-2004, 08:18
Steve, the 101/4.5 and 105/3.7 Ektars cover 2.25" x 3.25" with minimal movements, as does the 101/4.5 Raptar. If anything, the 105 has a little less coverage than the 101; different designs.

If you want to be a little more sure of getting fuzzy/dim edges, try a 90/3.5 Mamiya as was sold for Mamiya Press cameras.

Steve Williams_812
22-Feb-2004, 08:51
Thanks for all the help!

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
22-Feb-2004, 10:15

There are a few things to consider other than image circle. Most older lenses, especially Tessar-types will start to fuzz-out long before the image circle is gone, so the edges of your pictures will be blurry. Newer lenses, such as modern plasmats (like the Sironar mentioned above by James) are designed so that their image circle is vignetted before reaching the point where the designers decieded it was not usable. So, lets pretend a 100mm Sironar has about 150mm of image circle, but all of it is sharp. On the other hand a 100mm Tessar may also have 150mm of circle, but only 110mm of it will be sharp. Which would you prefer?

I have had nice results using a 150mm Xenotar on 5x7, the entire 165mm of image is sharp, and it cuts out very suddenly. At the same time, I recall liking Emmet Gowin's pictures in which (as I recall) he used a 90mm Angulon on 8x10, which created a big circle on the film, and about 3/4 of it was sharp... How about trying a 65mm f/6.8 Angulon or a 100mm f/2.8 Xenotar? These might be interesting (although the Xenotars tend to be expensive).

Michael Mutmansky
22-Feb-2004, 11:08

You may want to get one with a little more coverage than is ideal, so the image will be reasonably sharp out towards the edges. Then, you can put a filter ring or two on the front to restrict the coverage to that amount you want.

I don't have specific experience with a lens for 4x5, but on 8x10 the 90mm Angulon will cover the sheet, but will miss the corners considerably. Some people like having a full round image on the film, and that can be achieved using a filter ring to restrict the coverage a little more, thus making a round image.

The same could be done with a lens that is just barely able to cover a 4x5 negative.


Jim Galli
22-Feb-2004, 11:17
100 or 105 f2.8 Xenotar would be a good choice. The little Tominon 105mm in the Copal industrial shutter would do exactly what you're looking for, and the 90 and 100 f3.5 Mamiya Universal lenses in the little Seikosha shutters would also do the trick. On EBAY, any of the antique folders (http://electronics.listings.ebay.com/Cameras_Folding_W0QQfromZR11QQsacategoryZ11717QQsocmdZListingItemListQQsocolumnlayoutZ3) that go very cheaply with 120 roll backs would have lenses that would do what you want. The Voiogtlander Bergheil with the Heliar (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2988868042&category=11717) lenses of 12cm or less should be very pretty for that. How come I never pick projects with lots of good lens choices that are cheap?

Frank Filippone
22-Feb-2004, 12:26
Michael had a good idea, which I would like to expound on.... If you use ANY lens that covers the format, then use filter rings or lens shades to vignette the image, you get the best of both worlds. A sharp lens when you want it, and a diffued at the edges round image when you want it. I use a lot of 35mm hoods on my LF lenses. They fit very well. But I usually buy the ones that do not vignette. In your case, a telephoto shade is the ticket. Look at your local camera swap meet, or, and especially in my case, your personal photographic junque boxe for the right shade. Looking through the rear of the camera, pick the shade that gives you the type of effect you are looking for.

Should cost you a lot less than a lens.....

Peter Witkop
22-Feb-2004, 13:41
Similar to Michael's suggestion of using filters, etc. to cause vingetting, and buy or make a vinette tool pretty easily out of black matt board, the thinner the easier to work with. I've made them by drawing a circle a bit smaller than the lens diameter (experiment with the diamter depending on your lens and how much vinette you want), and make teeth in a 'v' shape that come out from that circle a couple inches or so, spaced about 1/4" apart. This works well attached to a compendium shade, but I've also held one infront of the lens with a c-stand too. The only caveat to theses is that they only work well shooting near wide open, when you stop down you start to see the teeth. That might differ from the look of an older lens though (I'm pretty sure it would), and might or might not be what you're looking for. Cheap enough to be worth checking out though.


Michael S. Briggs
22-Feb-2004, 13:44
I expect that any 100 to 105 mm Tessar-type lens will produce images that are soft in the corners of a 4x5 film. I did some tests on 4x5 of a 105 mm f3.5 Nikkor-M -- my results are described at http://www.largeformatphotography.info/lfforum/topic/494534.html. The 105 mm Nikkor-M lens is close to rare, but I think the results are characteristic of the Tessar design, so other more common Tessar-type lenses should give similar results.

Sam Crater
22-Feb-2004, 16:09
I use a 100mm Sironar N for 4x5 at infinity all the time. When using no movements, only the faintest sign that coverage is running out is visible in the corners, so I expect you need to go with something with less coverage for what you want.

CP Goerz
22-Feb-2004, 19:34
Zeiss TEssars never seem to fail in their ability to fall short of coverage and they give you the bonus of softening extremities, thankfully this extends only to the film and not the user.

CP Goerz

David G. Gagnon
22-Feb-2004, 20:26
"Zeiss Tessars never seem to fail in their ability to fall short of coverage and they give you the bonus of softening extremities, thankfully this extends only to the film and not the user. "

I was wondering what the new film called Viagrachrome was for.

Thanks for a good laugh Andrew!


Steve Williams_812
24-Feb-2004, 09:50
I ordered a 105mm Zeiss Tessar from Brooklyn Camera Exchange after considering everyone's advice. I will let you know if the softening of the extremities does extend to the user!

Michael's idea about using filters to vignette is something I am going to pursue. I've worked under such a strick "no vignetting" construct for so long that things like that just don't occur to me.....

thanks again for all your help.

Steve Williams_812
1-Mar-2004, 14:18
The 105mm f4.5 Zeiss Tessar arrived. Clean but no cable relase socket, have to trip the thing with my finger. No way to keep the lens open to focus other than to wrap a rubber band around the shutter to hold the relase down. But that's ok....

Now the bad news. Despite the fact that literature I read on the lens says it produces a 130mm image circle, the damn thing covers wide open... go figure....

I acquired a Kodak 75mm lens last night in an Alpax shutter (a lens for an oscilloscope I think). Works fine but no retaining ring. I taped it into a cardboard lensboard and it definitely does NOT cover, not quite a full circle. Not sure what the optical fall off will look like on film.....


Philippe Grunchec
7-Mar-2010, 07:47
A 4.5/105 Heliar?

7-Mar-2010, 08:10
A 105mm Rodenstock Trinar fits the bill perfectly.


Gem Singer
7-Mar-2010, 08:43
Did anyone notice the date that this post originated?

Steve Williams located the lens he was seeking six years ago.

BTW, a Nikkor f5.6 105W will also fit the bill very nicely.

Tom Monego
7-Mar-2010, 12:17
I wanted a circle on 4x5 and bought a 4x4 Yashica and took it apart, mounted the lens on a recessed board I made from black foam core. The lens didn't have a cable release socket so I from Steve Grimes and epoxied it to the board. He thought I was crazy BTW, why a circle??? This was mounted on a Speed Graphic that the front hinge had broken, worked well, looked great with Kodak 4x5 Infrared.