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Thread: What new things would you like to see in LF lenses?

  1. #1

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    What new things would you like to see in LF lenses?

    On a serious note, 35mm lenses get most of the cutting edge technology. Which of these would you like to see in large format lenses?

    Here's my list:

    1. Ultra-low dispersion glass like Sigma's new FLD that has made them produce very high quality wide-ish lenses recently. And CaF2 when possible.
    2. More aspherical lenses and surfaces. Even if it means old base designs (e.g. Tessar) with aspherical surfaces.
    3. Floating elements that can be moved via a ring.
    4. Sub-wavelength coatings (http://www.canon.com/technology/s_la...ht/003/03.html)
    5. ~135-degree lenses for 4x5 and 8x10
    6. Apodisation elements (variable if possible!)

  2. #2

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    Re: What new things would you like to see in LF lenses?

    I'd like to see a company repeat Kodak's strategy of the 1940s - take existing designs (Tessar, Heliar, Dialyte) and refine them as far as possible using the latest technology. In Kodak's case it was new thoriated glass types, new adhesives, coating etc.

    An aspherical triplet would be nice to see, revive the old TT&H classics but with updated designs.

    The new glass types don't hold much if any advantage in most cases, it has taken a while to overcome the difficulties imposed by the ban on lead. Schott have been campaigning for years to be allowed to produce the old glass types rather than be forced to make everything lead-free. Also, the old thoriated glasses and lanthanum glasses were excellent and more modern exotic glass types like the fluorite elements Canon use are not necessarily better, but they do fit into modern health and safety guidelines whereas production of thorium and lanthanum glass is banned.

    So even if you were to make a modern Tessar or Heliar with modern glass, it might not be any better than an old Ektar with old thoriated glass, you could apply better coatings but advanced multi-coating is of little benefit with simple lens designs.

    A lot of the modern technologies are needed due to the obsession with zoom lenses. They are still trying (and usually failing) to produce zoom lenses that reach the quality level of old primes lenses. There are very, very few modern zoom lenses that can match the good primes of yesteryear. The same technologies are less needed in a prime lens and in a fairly simple prime design, they are even less necessary.

  3. #3

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    Re: What new things would you like to see in LF lenses?

    Autofocus!

  4. #4

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    Re: What new things would you like to see in LF lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by vinny View Post
    Autofocus!
    Phase detect or contrast?
    Søren Nielsen

    Send from my Electronic Data Management Device using TWOFingerTexting

  5. #5
    kevingm
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    Re: What new things would you like to see in LF lenses?

    You don't have autofocus? On my camera, you just turn a little knob and the lens automatically focuses.

  6. #6

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    Re: What new things would you like to see in LF lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by vinny View Post
    Autofocus!
    On what? With movements or without?

    And this would not be new! A camera company that tried to start a new view camera system about 20 years ago showed a prototype of this idea at Photokina. The camera was made in 2x3, 4x5, 5x7, 8x10 and 11x14 sizes. Sensors were in the rails and the standards and you could add as much or as little automation as you needed. It could also compute the required Scheimpflug and position the standards for the required DOF, if desired.

    It was never produced.

    Sinar also had an electronic version of the P2 for a couple of years and Linhof had an IR rangefinder/viewfinder for the Technika 2000. Neither worked as planned.

  7. #7

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    Re: What new things would you like to see in LF lenses?

    Yep, +1 on Vinny's request for autofocus!

    ...Of course, that includes auto perspective control and Scheimpflug principle application for the new "Auto-Focus View Camera"!

  8. #8

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    Re: What new things would you like to see in LF lenses?

    Interesting question. Are there any manufacturers of lenses that cover 4x5 and larger formats left?

  9. #9

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    Re: What new things would you like to see in LF lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cletus View Post
    Yep, +1 on Vinny's request for autofocus!

    ...Of course, that includes auto perspective control and Scheimpflug principle application for the new "Auto-Focus View Camera"!
    So that makes it a system solution and not a lens solution ... has been tried before as Bob pointed out at a cost few wanted to buy at.

  10. #10

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    Re: What new things would you like to see in LF lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon - HP Marketing View Post
    On what? With movements or without?

    And this would not be new! A camera company that tried to start a new view camera system about 20 years ago showed a prototype of this idea at Photokina. The camera was made in 2x3, 4x5, 5x7, 8x10 and 11x14 sizes. Sensors were in the rails and the standards and you could add as much or as little automation as you needed. It could also compute the required Scheimpflug and position the standards for the required DOF, if desired.

    It was never produced.

    Sinar also had an electronic version of the P2 for a couple of years and Linhof had an IR rangefinder/viewfinder for the Technika 2000. Neither worked as planned.
    joking bob

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