View Full Version : you average min. focal length 8x10 lens

14-Aug-2012, 10:32
What is your average minimum (infinity) focal length on an 8x10? I know that some wide angles can get down to 4". But, what is your normal lens measurement?

Kevin Crisp
14-Aug-2012, 10:39
Not sure what you are asking. Focal length at infinity does not equal how close you can focus. Do you want to know the shortest lens that can be used on 8X10? Don't know what "normal lens measurement" means. How close you can get will depend on how long your bellows is. Are you asking what a "normal" lens is for 8X10?

Bob Salomon
14-Aug-2012, 10:43
Do you mean the shortest focal length that covers 810 at infinity? Like a 155mm Grandagon-N? Or do you mean how close can you get with a lens and still cover 810? For instance a 120mm Apo Macro Sironar fully covers 810 at 1:1.

Rodenstock currently makes analog view camera lenses as short as 35mm and digital ones as short as 23mm but neither would cover close to 810 and an 810 camera would not be able to focus them at infinity without a very, very deeply recessed board and a bag bellows.

14-Aug-2012, 10:45
Asking distance lens to film surface at infinity or your normal landscape shoot when you go out in the field. Less than 9"(230mm)? 7"(180)?

E. von Hoegh
14-Aug-2012, 10:47
Asking distance lens to film surface at infinity or your normal landscape shoot when you go out in the field. Less than 9"? 7"?

My most used focal lengths are 240, 300, and 360mm. Rarely 210mm, that's usually too wide for me. Also, my 210 leaves dark corners on 8x10 so I have to choose the scene carefully.

14-Aug-2012, 10:54
I have used a 6.25" lens at infinity on 8x10, but have had better luck with it focusing closer for better coverage. I have to tilt the front standard back (and tilt the lens board forward) to get t he lens close enough to the film (Zone VI).

The lens should cover 8x10 easily, but does not -- perhaps someone messed with the lens elements. It covers 5x7 nicely, so I am using it for that format now. I have a 210mm ( a touch over 8") that covers well and I use it in the close environment of the forests.

Jay DeFehr
14-Aug-2012, 11:07
Since I switched to a Sinar monorail, I've been using longer lenses, like my 15" Turner/ Reich. I like the roundness I get with this FL at head and shoulders distances.

Kevin Crisp
14-Aug-2012, 12:44
If you are asking what is the usual distance from the film to the lens board on an 8X10 camera focused at infinity, then obviously it depends on the focal length of the lens, and the answer would be the same (almost...) as the focal length of the lens. Most commonly used lenses would be in the 210 to 330 range, though many people go longer and shorter.

14-Aug-2012, 13:44
My Nikkor-SW 150mm f/8 provides a 400mm IC @ infinity, more than adequate to cover 8x10 with modest movements.

- Leigh

Dan Dozer
16-Aug-2012, 10:16
My "wide angle" lens for the 8 x 10 is half of a petzval projection lens used as a single meniscus lens. It's focal length is about 7" or so.

16-Aug-2012, 10:28
I think the OP is asking because he's a camera builder, and needs to know how much an 8x10 camera should be able to compress for short wide angles. The widest and shortest are probably Zeiss or B&L Protar V and Wollensak Ex Wide Angles. If you go to the catalogs on Cameraeccentric, look at the tables for those lenses for the focal lengths they recommend for 8x10. That will be your minimum.

neil poulsen
16-Aug-2012, 10:51
My guess would be 250mm, on average. For example, the f6.7 Fuji or a 250mm Wide Field Ektar.

Below that, costs and/or weight start to climb.

I have the 250mm Fuji f6.7; it was quite reasonably priced. Someday, it would be nice to have the Super Symmar XL. ;) Or, maybe the 210mm Angulon. :)

Jim Andrada
17-Aug-2012, 02:26
159mm Wollensak

17-Aug-2012, 03:03
My wides are a 210 G-Claron which barely covers but is light; and a 210 Apo-Sironar-W which has good coverage but is beastly large.

David A. Goldfarb
17-Aug-2012, 03:30
My widest 8x10 lens is a 120mm Berthiot Perigraphe.

17-Aug-2012, 06:06
120mm f/8 Nikkor...

17-Aug-2012, 06:46
Thanks all, I got a bit worried after talking with a buddy in CA about his WA lens he uses. My project, though mostly aimed at wet plate and dags will handle 210mm easily. Can handle less by tilting front standard back and adjusting lens board as someone mentioned earlier. I am a camera builder and am working on a modern wet plate camera that will look and act like a contemporary field camera. Just trying to make sure my min F.L. will handle at least some of the modern lenses. The really old brass ones (Petzvals & RR's) are what I am familiar with.

Leonard Alecu
17-Aug-2012, 13:05
150mm and 180mm Zeiss Dagor f9

Daniel Stone
17-Aug-2012, 13:32
Symmar Triple convertible 210mm(dagor clone)

covers 8x10 quite nicely :)


17-Aug-2012, 16:37
not sure whether this will be a serious design consideration to you but...
one of the things that makes an 8x10 camera interesting to me is that the large lensboards open more options for mounting old brass lenses than smaller boards like the technika boards, graflex boards or 4x4~ish wood boards. Some of the old brass optics I'd consider trying were really only designed for plates equivalent to 5x7 so I've tracked down an 8x10 to 5x7 reducing back.
If that was a common useage you might want to consider whether your design would accommodate even shorter focal lengths than would be usual for 8x10???

Q. are many people out there doing this or something like this?

17-Aug-2012, 16:53
T...Can handle less by tilting front standard back and adjusting lens board as someone mentioned earlier....

When I do this, any other movements become difficult (lots of bellows on a Zone VI 8 x10). Just something to consider. Can be worked around by have less bellows, a bag bellows, or perhaps other design considerations. Since it seems wet-platers tend to shoot fairly wide open, adaquate movements might come in handy to compensate for not closing down.