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Thread: 8x10 Lenses Most Used, Most Desired

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Forest Grove, Ore.

    8x10 Lenses Most Used, Most Desired

    I hope I"m not treading too much familiar territory with this inquiry. The nice thing about 4x5 is the variety of lenses that are available at reasonable cost, or at least, are available.

    But, 8x10 is a different ballgame. Need lots of movement on a moderate wide-angle, and a SW 120mm or 121mm can be found for under $400. But for 8x10, an equivalent cost can exceed $1500.

    Need a 300mm for 4x5 that doesn't weigh a lot? It's pretty easy to find a 300mm Nikon M at a reasonable price. But for an equivalent lens on 8x10, prepare to weight months (or years?) and spend upwards of $2000 for a Fijinon, 600mm C.

    So, this prompts me to inquire, what lens focal lengths/model (W, SW, T, G-Claron, M, etc.) for 8x10 do your use regularly? Also, what focal lengths/model would come in most handy, if one could either find and afford?


    What kinds of photography do you do in 8x10, versus what you might do in other, smaller formats?
    Last edited by neil poulsen; 30-Nov-2016 at 22:12.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Stevens Point, WI

    Re: 8x10 Lenses Most Used, Most Desired

    I used a 210 Sironar-W, 300 Nikon M, 450 mm Fujinon C, and 600 mm Fujinon C. I paid the piper.

    Going wider than 210 you have limited options. There is an old Schnieder SA 165 that covered 8x10 - I forget the exact designation.

    I don't think you will get a lot of movement flexibility with a 120 mm. Plus you should verify that your bellows are compressible enough for such a short draw. I had a Wehman 8x10 with a 4x5 reducing back. But it was almost unusable with a 90 mm lens because the bellows were so compressed.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Tonopah, Nevada, USA

    Re: 8x10 Lenses Most Used, Most Desired

    There are some inexpensive solutions that are wonderful. If you like 120 on the 4X5, consider a 240mm G-Claron on the 8X10. 135mm on 4X5? Look for a 270mm G-Claron. A little harder to find but a really wonderful lens and the darn thing will cover an 11X14. 210 G-Claron covers 8X10 with modest movements. Yes, longer focus is more $$$ but there are worthy choices that are less than the modern Fuji. Red Dot ARtar in shutters are around. 19" and 24" are affordable. About 1/4 of the price of a Fuji 600. 300 and 355 G-Clarons in shutter are spectacular 8X10 lenses. 450 Nikkor is affordable and although heavier than the Fuji, it's also faster and having owned both, I like the Nikkor just as well.

    Once you get comfy in your shoes you may want to experiment with some of the thousands of older lenses still floating around. I bought a convertible Wollensak 13" Series 1a from 1915 or so for $110 the other day. It's a marvelous old lens. Turner Reichs by the boat load. The sky's the limit and it seems to be a buyers market these days. Be curious. Have fun.

    I've made some incredible images with a 45CM f9 Reproduction Tessar that I couldn't get 60 bucks for if I sold it. There's tons of stuff out there.

  4. #4
    Angus Parker angusparker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    San Francisco, USA

    8x10 Lenses Most Used, Most Desired

    Most used and desired is the Fujinon A 360/10 - light for the focal length and large IC. The G-Claron 355/9 is a great but heavier alternative as mentioned above. Fujinon W 210/5.6 with lettering inside filter ring is a great sleeper wide lens and does not cost too much. Tried the Nikon SW 120/8 and it worked barely on my 8x10 - very wide of course. The SSXL 110/5.6 apparently almost covers, but the SSXL 150/5.6 definitely does. Artars, Rodenstock APO Ronan CL lenses, and lots of old Kodak glass as well.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2015
    SooooCal/LA USA

    Re: 8x10 Lenses Most Used, Most Desired

    The other thing to bear in mind is which lenses do you use most on your 4X5??? Remember that your smaller camera will be able to use more FL's than your 8X10 due to bellows compression + extension issues, so maybe it's time to go "back to your roots" and choose the FL that matches your "vision" and go back to the old "one lens" rule for a duration, then decide what is lacking, then fulfilling that need...

    Then maybe you can avoid the "GAS" bling-bling syndrome, before you start lusting over stuff you don't need, and concentrate on shooting with something that you have already developed a deep relationship working with, and stay focused on completing your vision cycle...

    Keep it simple!!!

    Steve K

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2010
    St. Louis, Mo.

    Re: 8x10 Lenses Most Used, Most Desired

    My most used lens is my 14" Kodak Commercial Ektar. For a wider lens I own a Fujinon 250mm f/6.7 (lettering on the inside) lens and for a longer lens I own a 19" Red Dot Artar. You don't have to spend a fortune for 8x10 lenses.

    I wouldn't mind having a 14" Dagor and a 14" Heliar for a different look but they are too pricey for me.

  7. #7
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Fond du Lac, WI, USA

    Re: 8x10 Lenses Most Used, Most Desired

    It also depends a lot on what you shoot. For instance, I have a book of Upper Michigan water falls taken by a gentleman with an 8x10. He said that for his work he never needed a shutter, as the exposures were all long enough to time manually. If so, that opens up a lot of options, especially on the long end. Apo Nikkors, Ronars and other process lenses in barrels are very high quality and not that expensive. And don't discount 120mm wide angle lenses. I recently did a shot with a 120mm SA with my 8x10 Sinar. I was focused 20 feet away, and there was nothing important in the corners. The lens covered just fine, as in as seen with a 3000 spi scan at 100% on screen. G-glarons, Graphic Kowas, Fujinon Ls, APO Germinars.....there are a lot of good choices that aren't hellishly expensive.
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing You Don't Already Know

  8. #8
    IanG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Aegean (Turkey & UK)

    Re: 8x10 Lenses Most Used, Most Desired

    My most used lens is a 12" Goerz Am Opt Dagor, although made in 1940 te original owner had it coated after the war. I have a Nikon 300 M bought initially for my 5x4 Wista with an eye to moving to 10x8 later on, but my first camera came with the Dagor essentially just thrown in for nothing, the second owner never used it.

    I have a 165mm f8 Super Angulon a great lens but a huge beast covers 15"x12" stopped downto f22, so plenty of room for movements, not practical for backpacking. Last year I bought a 240mm Nikon W on this Forum from another UK member it's a nice moderate WA on my Agfa Ansco 10x8s and also quite nice to ue on my Wista 45DX as wella s my Seneca 7x5 (one is converted to take Wista/Linhof lens board).

    I have a pair of 159mm Wollensak EWA lenses which I've not tested yet (one has separation - I was sold it for the shutter), if the best one performs well then it would be ideal for backpacking with the Agfa Ansco Commercial view, and I've a Turner Reich triple convertible to test as wel. Really I'm looking for the equivalent of my light weight 5x4 kit which is a 90mm f8 Angulon, 150mm Xenar or Tessar, and a 203mm f7.7 Ektar. Teh 12" DAgor is a relatively small light lens compared to 300mm Symmar etc.


  9. #9

    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Re: 8x10 Lenses Most Used, Most Desired

    I do mainly portraits, and look towards older Tessar-type lenses in the 12-16" focal lengths. There are plenty of Ektars, Caltars, Paragons, and Raptars out there, excellent lenses and often incredibly cheap, especially if you can handle a Packard shutter. I've come to prefer synched Packards in the studio in preference to anything else, because they're very fast to work with.
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format:
    Mostly 35mm:
    You want digital, color, etc?:

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Oct 2015

    Re: 8x10 Lenses Most Used, Most Desired

    My most used lens is a Fuji CM-W 360mm (when backpacking) and/or my Schneider 360mm Symmar-S when working from the car. I've taken some of my best images with the Schneider and really like that lens, but it's a beast! Most used wide angle is a Fuji A 240mm with occasional use of a Kodak 190mm Wide Field Ektar. The Kodak lens is nice, but it just barely covers 8x10. For longer focal length it's a 19" Schneider Apo-Artar. I'd like to have a wider lens than the 190mm, but then coverage becomes an issue. I've looked at the Schneider 165mm SA, but, again, that's a beast of a lens!

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