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Thread: 4x5 lens kit

  1. #1

    4x5 lens kit

    There is a site on the Net that tested a LARGE number of current and classic lenses and had test results posted. I seem to have lost the link and can't find the site again. Does anybody know the site I am talking about? How about posting the link?

    I bought a Schneider convertable (210mm I think?) before I started building my first 4x5 . It was poorly rated on the above site but was inexpensive and seems just fine for the work I have been doing.

    Money is in short supply since I got into LF photography, started gearing up the darkroom toward colour printing, and ventured off into tintypes and P.O.P. printing but I'd like to add a short lens and a long lens to my 4x5 kit. Since this hobby is now keeping me broke, economy is more important than top-quality images for now - I'm not printing anything larger than 8x10 in the forseeable future.

    Any recommendations on bargain lenses for 4x5?

  2. #2

    4x5 lens kit

    Hi Jane,

    Perhaps you're thinking of Chris Perez's site?

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    4x5 lens kit

    Calamity,

    This is probably the site:

    http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/testing.html

    Anything late enough to be multicoated and in a Copal shutter is very likely to be just fine.

    Old lenses generally have two problems; shutters that need cleaning and glass that needs cleaning. Glass gets hazy over 20-40 years and shutters get sticky. If you can get lenses at a price point where you can deal with the cleaning costs or do it youself, go for it. You should factor an extra $100 into the "old lens price" as most, if not all I've bought needed one or both cleaned.

    Otherwise, the best bargain is a current model used lens. Used current Caltars are Rodenstocks and available at very reasonable prices.

    Steve

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    4x5 lens kit

    "Schneider convertable"

    Convert it and it'll be your long lens. Can't get cheaper then that.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
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    4x5 lens kit

    What is short? 150mm is significantly shorter than your 210mm convertable. Two bargains in this focal length are the 150mm f/9 G Claron mounted in a Copal Press Shutter, and a Fujinon 150mm f/6.3. If you don't use much in the way of movements, the 127mm f/4.7 Ysaron can be had for about $40. I have made good landscape prints with mine.

    http://gallery.photo.net/photo/2911759-md.jpg

    http://gallery.photo.net/photo/845817-md.jpg

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Gulfport, MS, USA
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    4x5 lens kit

    I recently bought a nice 135mm Optar in a good shutter on eBay for about $35.00 (my second one because the other is mounted in a board for my Cambo) to go on my Super Graphic. Its coverage is not overwelming, but it works as a slightly wide lens on a 4x5 if you don't need alot of movement. Nick nailed it on the 210mm...the rear element by itself gives you a nice long lens. By the way, when you use any convertable lens with only one element remember to refocus after stopping down since its not at all uncommon to have a slight focus-shift on convertables, one of the reasons alot of folks think convertable lenses are of inferior quality.

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    4x5 lens kit

    I have 150, 210 and 360 convertible Symmars. I love to gawp at modern glass, but I dont' think the lenses are limiting my photography and every time I get tempted to replace one of them I think of how much film I could buy and stop fussing.

    How short do you want to get? A mild wide angle like a 120 or 135 could be found very cheaply, and would give a good gap to your 210, but if you want wider than that with room for movements, you'll start having to spend some money. Lots of 135-ish press camera lenses will work pretty well with a little movement, and the classic wide angles like the 120 angulon can be had for a song. The longer Tominons in copal press shutters are also usable at infinity. Personally, I have bumbled along with a 121 Super angulon as my widest lens for a couple of years now, but recently went wider to 90 as my 'anchor' lens is the 150 Symmar.

    How long is long? The big plasmats from the 60s like the Symmars are cheap these days, despite the resurgence in 8x10, but think about how you'll carry it. My 360 Symmar does come on treks with me, but the bulk of it, plus the 5" floppy disk case I carry it in, is off-putting so my standard hiking lens kit jumps straight from 150 to 18". I have a 18" process lens that cost me under $100. It's in barrel, but I'm usually photographing after the kids are in bed, so that's not an issue for me, and I can also mount a Sinar shutter if I really need to. Avoid the prestigious process lenses from Schneider and Rodenstock and the prices drop enormously. Mine is a Wray Lustrar, but Boyer Saphirs, Staeble Ultragons etc etc will do the job just as well.

    PS: skinflint's tip: I told myself I was only going to get a single lens (a 150) and live with it for a while, but I ended up unable to pass up a bargain on a whole outfit. If you have the discipline to sell on the things you don't need, buying a kit and splitting it up is a good way to go. I tell myself - and my wife - that I'm still in my shakedown period and that I will sell off the excess Real Soon (tm).

  8. #8

    Join Date
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    Berkeley CA
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    4x5 lens kit

    Check out the 135mm wide field ektar, covers 5/7 and has the old look. Mine does very nicely. The 90mm angulon also looks old, but needs to be stopped way down. Both inexpensive, both will probably need shutter cleaning which you can probably do yourself, I do.

  9. #9
    All metric sizes to 24x30 Ole Tjugen's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
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    4x5 lens kit

    Anyone have any experience with Dallmeyer Serrac lenses? I have a few 6" f:4.5 ones I picked up as a lot... The shutters will be CLA'd over the next few weeks, and I then intend to get rid of most of them. Cheap 6" lenses coming up - but I don't know how cheap or how good yet.

  10. #10

    4x5 lens kit

    Thanks for the link to the C. Perez site - that's the one I was looking for! I now have it bookmarked. (DUH!)

    The lens I have is a 150/265. I have been using only the front element alone as my general all-round lense - it seems to be about 180mm. The rear element alone seems to be about 300mm. Both elements together seem to be about 150mm. Hummm, this lens seems to be a lot more versitile than I thought! I've never heard of a convertable being used 3 ways ("ignorance is bliss"?) but image quality seems to be good in any combination.

    I guess that leaves only a very long lens or "telephoto" for those shots where I don't want to get close to what I am shooting :-)

    Thanks for the feedback gang!

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