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Thread: 360, 450 Portrait Lenses for 8x10 - Recommendations!

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    360, 450 Portrait Lenses for 8x10 - Recommendations!

    Hi Large Format Community!

    I've been testing focal lengths for a portrait documentary series I've been working on - 300mm Fuji W, 360 Sinaron-S, 450 Nikor M and 600 Fuji C so far. I've also built a small outdoor portrait studio for my series (12x12 sun-bounce cage on a 16x16 stage with a set-wall as a backdrop.) My set-up and consideration: Calumet C1 on a Gitzo R4 Head with Gitzo 504R Tele Studex Giant Tripod. Weight is not an issue. Bellow extension doesn't seem to be an issue either because the 8x10 C1 has generous and rigid bellow extensions. I'm really aiming for three types of portraits:

    a. 3/4 Body Portraits --> to see a similar composition:

    https://3.bp.blogspot.com/_hBqdPD_7M...00/avedon3.jpg

    b. Head & Shoulders --> to see a similar composition:

    http://www.fazalsheikh.org/images/acamelfortheson.jpg

    c. Macro Work - Abstracts on Hands. It turns out that the compositionally my photographs of 'hands' are similarly set-up to Head & Shoulders shots. Similar bellow extensions etc...--> to see a similar composition:

    http://www.artnouveau.com.gr/wp-cont...-exhibit04.jpg

    I decided that I like two focal lengths so far: 360mm & 450mm. Both seemed appropriate for both types of portraits as well. Now I'm interested in purchasing lenses. What would you guys recommend? I've been renting so far and have read lots of literature pertaining to large format lenses, but much of it related more so to 4x5.

    My thoughts:

    Will the 360mm Sinaron S be sharp/have good contrast at both 3/4 Body Portraits and Head Shot portraits? How about the 450mm Nikon M? I will test more, but did not have time to finish. Furthermore, what other lenses at similar focal lengths would be suitable for these types of portraits? I am asking because I'd like to purchase lenses ASAP, but may not find the lenses I've tested due to scarcity.

    Thanks for reading. Hope to hear back from you all!

  2. #2
    Dave Karp
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    Los Angeles, CA
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    Re: 360, 450 Portrait Lenses for 8x10 - Recommendations!

    I will leave the advice on selection to the portraitists. However, if you decide to go with the 360mm Sinaron S, that lens is available under other names and may be less expensive. The lens is made by Rodenstock and is identical to the 360mm Sironar-N or 360mm APO-Sironar-N. The lens was also sold under the Caltar brand, so a 360mm Caltar II-N will be the same as the Sinaron S you are using. Caltar II-N versions of these Rodenstock lenses often sell at a significantly lower price than the Rodenstock or Sinaron branded versions.

  3. #3

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    Jan 2013
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    Re: 360, 450 Portrait Lenses for 8x10 - Recommendations!

    The 360 Plasmats are beasts! I'd be looking at 1 14" & 16 1/2 Artars...............L

  4. #4

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    48

    Re: 360, 450 Portrait Lenses for 8x10 - Recommendations!

    Thanks for getting back to me. Just to confirm - the 360mm Sinaron S = 360mm Sironar - N = 360mm APO-Sironar-N = 360 Caltar II-N.

    However, the Caltar II-S = Schneider Symmar? Also, how is the 360 Symmar then? Would suitable alternatives include:

    1. FUJIFILM FUJINON W 360mm F6.3 COPAL
    2. Nikon Nikkor W 360mm F/6.5 Lens
    3. Fujifilm CM Fujinon W 360mm f/6.5
    4. Schneider lens APO SYMMAR 360mm f6.8
    5. Schneider APO-ARTAR 360mm F/9.0

    Also, what would be considered market prices for these lenses? How would you rate a Tessar or a Plasmat at both infinity work and close-up/macro work? Thanks!

  5. #5
    Dave Karp
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    Re: 360, 450 Portrait Lenses for 8x10 - Recommendations!

    "Just to confirm - the 360mm Sinaron S = 360mm Sironar - N = 360mm APO-Sironar-N = 360 Caltar II-N." - Yes.

    "However, the Caltar II-S = Schneider Symmar?" No. The Caltar II-S is a Symmar-S. The Symmar was an older design.

  6. #6

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    Re: 360, 450 Portrait Lenses for 8x10 - Recommendations!

    Isn't it the Caltar-S II?

  7. #7
    Dave Karp
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    Re: 360, 450 Portrait Lenses for 8x10 - Recommendations!

    Actually, yes!

  8. #8
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: 360, 450 Portrait Lenses for 8x10 - Recommendations!

    Here are some lens comparisons, including a 360 Symmars-shttp://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?129912-Lens-Comparison-on-4x5-Symmar-Imagon-Aviar&highlight=Veritar
    Please stop feeding the trolls.

  9. #9

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    Re: 360, 450 Portrait Lenses for 8x10 - Recommendations!

    I've found the Symmar S to be nicer for portraits than the equivalent Sironar N series (including Apo Sironar N) in any length including 360

    The Apo Sironar S is a different story but for portraits I still think the Symmar S is friendlier and a lot cheaper

  10. #10
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: 360, 450 Portrait Lenses for 8x10 - Recommendations!

    If you're after plastmats and don't care about weight but do care about price, I too would concur the old Symmar S lenses render a bit gentler look in portraits than the newer ultra-sharp Fujis and Rodenstocks. Nikkor M's are multicoated tessars, so exceptionally good with microtonality in black and white work, or very accurate hue rendition in color. Only the 14 inch multicoated Kern Dagors are better in the latter respect, though in my opinion way too contrasty for typical portrait duty (I prefer the single-coated version for that). None of these lenses have good "bokeh", so work best with the sitter in front of a blended background, rather than one with a visible linear detail. Old Fuji single-coated L series tessars are affordable yet prized by portrait photographers, and are in older multi-bladed Copal 3S apertures which give rounder out-of-focus highlights than newer lenses. Heavy. Soft-focus lenses are a completely different category.

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