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Thread: Portrait Lens for Graphic View II?

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Portrait Lens for Graphic View II?

    Just purchased a Graphic View II. I've been doing a lot of research but there's still a few thing's I'm unsure about. One of them is what type of lens would be good for portraits. I heard that 300mm's are normal portrait lens for 4x5 view cameras but I also read somewhere that you have to make sure the lens for the view is greater than 90mm and less than 300mm. Any help on what would be a good portrait lens? I heard the Rodenstock Sironar 240mm f/5.6 lens is good for large format but would I be able to focus considering the length of my bellows?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Chicago
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    Re: Portrait Lens for Graphic View II?

    In my opinion, around 210mm. The GVII that I have stood duty in a commercial portrait studio through the 50s, 60s, and 70s, with a 210/4.5 Ilex Paragon, which I still have. I recently bought another Paragon, a 300/6.3, and it's waaaaay too long for anything but heads at a reasonable range, though the bellows will reach, mostly. I bought it for my 5x7, not 4x5.

    The traditional measure for a portrait lens was film length + width, which makes 9" for 4x5 and 12" for 5x7, which I think is about just right. If you're stuck on having a long lens, depending on what you do, the 240 probably wouldn't be horrible.

    If you discover that your new camera changes focus as you tighten things up (you can see the standards move as you tighten the locks), I have a strategy to fix that, easily . . . just ask and I'll take some how-to pix.

    At first I wasn't too impressed with mine, but once I got it tuned up, it turns out to be quite a nice camera for its age, and easy to pack, as monorails go, and durable. I got more into it when I learned that the Graphic View is the camera Karsh used for on-the-road jobs that didn't require 8x10!
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

  3. #3

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    Dec 2012
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    Northern Plains
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    Re: Portrait Lens for Graphic View II?

    The Velostigmat, a Tessar design, is very nice and smooth at wider apertatures. As a bonus they are still reasonably priced. I agree with the 8-9 inch length for portraits.

    I should add the the pre-war lens is called the Velostigmat, and the post war is called the Raptar. Same lens, just that the Raptar is coated. It will have the CW (W inside a C) logo to show "Wolly Coated." I like the olde uncoated lenses but both are very nice.

    I've been using a 150mm Heliar with good success for family portraits.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails KarynHeliarM.jpg  

  4. #4

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    Jul 2014
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    Re: Portrait Lens for Graphic View II?

    Thank you for all the great answers. I'll probably go for a 210mm then and get used to that. I'd also like to experiment with wet plate collodion, and for this I know I will require a bright camera, around f/3. Any lens recommendations for a lens that's bright and soft? The Graphic view is a copal #0, not sure if #1 and #2 can work also. So for this I think I'm very limited with a selection on lenses.

  5. #5

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    Sep 2008
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    Re: Portrait Lens for Graphic View II?

    Hi

    I have a 210mm f4.5 Zeiss Tessar, a fairly old one, dispenses some lovely bokeh and if considered, produces some terrific close up/still life etc images

    good luck

    andrew

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    46

    Re: Portrait Lens for Graphic View II?

    That would be pretty a pretty good focal length for doing wet plate. And yes i'd love to do close up portraits. Bokeh would be great for the portraits background. What copal # is it?

  7. #7
    multi format
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    local
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    Re: Portrait Lens for Graphic View II?

    look for a 10" tele optar .. the often times can be found in an alphax shutter
    and thet are a sleeper of a lens. pleasing wide open and contrasty+sharp if you like that stopped down if you enjoy thst sort of thing.
    ive one in a barrel and use it on a speeder .. ... and the barrels are cheaper if you want to pony up a shutter ...

    john
    enjoy your coffee

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    46

    Re: Portrait Lens for Graphic View II?

    I've been searching online for one of the zeiss tessars, and a lot of them appear to be barrel lenses without shutters. If I didn't purchase a packard shutter and decided I wanted to use a lens cap or hat for exposing my images how would I go about doing that to take an actual picture? Is there something for the barrel lenses to attach a cable release?

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Northern Plains
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    Re: Portrait Lens for Graphic View II?

    If you go for wet plate, you have to use a Petzval. It's required by federal law.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    46

    Re: Portrait Lens for Graphic View II?

    I have been looking at some online. They seem very inexpensive and they were made specifically for wet plate hm? What type of images do the lenses produce? Softness? Would a 210 give me some good bokeh for portraits?

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