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Thread: Is f11 max practical in the field?

  1. #1

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    Is f11 max practical in the field?

    I may be able to acquire an f11 lens in a focal length useful for 8x10 (and maybe larger). But, max aperture is only f11. Most of my experience is with f5.6 lenses. I know I need a better dark cloth situation but going 4x lower light, I wonder if I will find it usable or how to focus in available light. It was a process lens used with several high wattage flood lights. One advantage of f11 is it weighs a lot less and takes up less space than my ff5.6 lenses. Thoughts comments suggestions?

  2. #2
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Is f11 max practical in the field?

    It will be fine in most cases. Under the redwoods, it will be a little dark, but I have used an f/11 lens (24" RD Artar) a few times in that situation with success...my 19" RD Artar f/9 is not all that much brighter, and I have used it a lot more. My other lenses are 5.6 to 6.7 (not much difference between them) and are much easier to focus in the darker corners of the big woods.

    But once out in the open, f/11 should be no problem. In darker situations, just give your eyes time to adjust and look along the path of the light coming from the lens for the brightest viewing. Of course, you test can it out yourself with any lens you have by closing it down to f/11 before sticking your head under the cloth. That will give you the best clue of what it will be like!
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  3. #3
    IanG's Avatar
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    Re: Is f11 max practical in the field?

    Like Vaughn I'd say yes, I have a Ross f16 wide angle, it's actually an Air Ministry unmarked Protar, very small it covers 10x8 and I found it surprisingly easy to focus. It helps having a good screen, my camera came with a Beattie screen and you may need a touch longer under the dark-cloth to let your eyes adjust but it's possible and f11 is one stop brighter,

    Ian`

  4. #4

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    Re: Is f11 max practical in the field?

    I have found that with longer, slower lenses that they are still easy to focus, as the cone of light is being more directed towards the viewer's eye after the GG, so still easy to see across the frame of the GG, esp with a Fresnel, but more trouble when using WA lenses, as the cone of light is more acute...

    Not a problem in good light, but much harder focusing in dim low contrast situations, or night photography... Stopping down to working aperture and focusing gets tricky...

    Try one!!!

    Steve K
    Last edited by LabRat; 6-Apr-2017 at 03:22.

  5. #5
    Randy's Avatar
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    Re: Is f11 max practical in the field?

    Perhaps take one of your current lenses, mount on your camera and stop down to f/11 and see how it looks under your dark cloth. May give you an approximation of what to expect from your proposed lens.
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/52893762/bigger4b.jpg

  6. #6

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    Re: Is f11 max practical in the field?

    What is the lens in question? I'm asking this...as there are a few lenses out there that actually open up wider than their "rated" maximum aperture, to make focussing/viewing easier. A 14 inch Goerz Trigor I once owned comes to mind...rated at f/11 but opened to f/8. Nice feature to have...but do be aware, especially if its an older lens - that there may be a focus shift!

  7. #7

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    Re: Is f11 max practical in the field?

    The 450mm Fujinon C is f/12.5 and I've never had a problem seeing through it. Longer lenses whose depth of field is shallow are easy to focus.

  8. #8

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    Re: Is f11 max practical in the field?

    Thanks all. It's a 450mm copy camera lens still on the monster copy camera with a 3 foot vacuum back... I should've thought to stop down one of my lenses as simulation. Good idea! With f5.6 I almost don't need a dark cloth in some situations. With f8 90SA on 5x7 in most situations I wish I had a dark tube with no light leaks or only small ones. I've been thinking that a more light tight dark cloth would bring big benefits to my photography.

    The copy camera and darkroom would be a lot of fun for certain kinds of still life and macro work. Maybe I could work out an arrangement to use it in place, it would possibly be easier than creating a darkroom in my current temporary quarters. It is still ready to use except the automatic developer in the darkroom might be dead. But they have sink space and trays etc and tons of lith film and chemicals they'd give away to be rid of it. No one has used it in maybe a dozen years. The owner said he wishes his dad were still alive---he died 6-7 years ago---and he was the last to use it. The shop has all kinds of printing equipment going back to the 1920's. They just got rid of the Linotype machine recently to a collector. There are also a couple of plate burners which I imagine could be used for alt printing...

  9. #9
    Randy's Avatar
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    Re: Is f11 max practical in the field?

    I have a 45cm Apo-Nikkor f/9. Stopped down to f/11 on 8X10 - still very easy to focus - and I have tired old eyes.
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/52893762/bigger4b.jpg

  10. #10

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    Re: Is f11 max practical in the field?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fr. Mark View Post
    Thanks all. It's a 450mm copy camera lens
    Some process lenses are not Apochromatic, so should use a color filter to perform better.

    Q-Nikkor and Process-Nikkor, for example: "Nikon does not claim that these lenses are apochromatic and does not recommend that they be used outside their usable range of magnifications."

    http://www.galerie-photo.com/apo-pro...ikkors-en.html

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