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Thread: My perfect fixed lens LF camera - decision 1, the lens.

  1. #11
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: My perfect fixed lens LF camera - decision 1, the lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by adrianlambert View Post
    I’m new here so firstly a big hi to all!

    I’d like to build what to me would be the perfect large format camera. Lightweight, compact, rangefinder, wide-standard lens.
    Thanks
    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #12

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    Re: My perfect fixed lens LF camera - decision 1, the lens.

    I’d like to build what to me would be the perfect large format camera.
    Buying good enough will cost less than designing and making the best possible.

    Lightweight, compact, rangefinder, wide-standard lens.
    Y'r rangefinder requirement is a killer, especially if you want to use more than one lens. I take it that you want to use a coupled rangefinder. Have you looked into rangefinder designs and thought about how to make one?

    What I’m searching for as a starting point though is a 95mm - 105mm lens in a helicoid, that covers 4x5 without movements.
    Why a helicoid? There are good reasons why nearly all 4x5 cameras with coupled rangefinders focus by moving the front standard. Their RFs convert the standard's displacement forwards from the lens' infinity position into focused distance.

    Maybe the Mamiya Press 100mm? Anyone know this lenses circle?
    As has already been pointed out, the Mamiya press system has two 100 mm lenses. The f/2.8 is a fast double Gauss type that won't cover 4x5. The f/3.5 is a tessar type that won't cover 4x5. You've already been told that a 100 or 105 f/5.6 plasmat type from, in alphabetical order, Fuji, Nikon or Rodenstock will just cover 4x5. Schneider's 100/5.6 Symmar-S won't. You'd be better off with a 90 mm ultrawide.

    I hear the 75mm and 127mm both cover the 160mm but the 100 is faster so I’m guessing it might be too small.
    Have your hearing checked.

    Any others that might, say from old 2x3 press cameras that could still record a decent image on modern film - ie good contrast and resolution?
    Normal lenses from 2x3 press cameras can still record a decent image on modern film, but not on 4x5. None was made to cover 6x12, let alone 4x5, and none will.

    If you want to make a 4x5 Leica, by all means go ahead. But don't underestimate how much you'll have to learn to do the job and don't expect to do it on the cheap. And understand that the camera with focusing apparatus and couple RF is the big problem. Choosing a lens or lenses to use on it is trivial.

  3. #13

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    Re: My perfect fixed lens LF camera - decision 1, the lens.

    I sort of agree.

    You could make an inexpensive 4x5 "street machine" with a 105mm lens fixed at the hyperfocal distance. No focusing needed because basically everything will be in focus. You don't even need a viewfinder.

    Want more sophistication? Just add a simple viewfinder -- quick, easy, cheap.

    Want closer focusing capability for some odd reason? Put the lens in a helicoid mount and add an UNcoupled rangefinder -- quick, easy, cheap -- but I don't know why you would want to complicate a simple, easy "street machine". You would be able to drop the simple viewfinder, but you would need to figure out and mark the helicoid for the distance that the rangefinder produces. The whole process goes against the idea of a "street machine" -- but it would work OK. Just don't be surprised when your subject has disappeared.

    Perhaps a better idea would be to drop the rangefinder and just add one mark in the middle of the helicoid for "group". For distance shots, set the helicoid for infinity. For close-ups, set it to maximum.

  4. #14
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: My perfect fixed lens LF camera - decision 1, the lens.

    I use my Travelwide for this purpose. 2 or 3 film holders. One in camera, 2 in pocket. No GG. I use the wire 'sportsfinder' it came with. Tiny lens.

    I have the helicoid marked with tape at 3 and 5 ft. I use flashbulbs in a pocketable Heiland Foto-Mite. Guide numbers.

    No tripod, no lightmeter, no rangefinder, no tape measure. Quick and easy. The camera is well protected and invisible in a kids soft sided lunch box.

  5. #15
    adelorenzo's Avatar
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    Re: My perfect fixed lens LF camera - decision 1, the lens.

    Check out the Mercury Camera if you haven't already, that should help give you some ideas for your build.

  6. #16
    Randy's Avatar
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    Re: My perfect fixed lens LF camera - decision 1, the lens.

    Here was my attempt - cigar box camera.
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/52893762/bigger4b.jpg

  7. #17

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    Re: My perfect fixed lens LF camera - decision 1, the lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pfsor View Post
    Care to say which Mamiya Press 100mm lens you speak about? The f2.8 or f3.5? Google is your friend.
    Iím not bothered which, just looking for any with an image circle large enough for 4x5.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  8. #18

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    Re: My perfect fixed lens LF camera - decision 1, the lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by xkaes View Post
    I currently use the Fujinon CM-W 105mm, after I sold my NW 105mm. I only sold the NW because the CM-W has a LITTLE bit more movement. I need that -- you don't. The one thing I DON'T like about the CM-W is the LARGE, built-in lenshade/67mm filter holder. It doesn't increase the weight of the lens, but it nearly doubles the size. I guess Fuji thought it made the tiny lens "look" better. Otherwise, they are the same lens -- both multi-coated, etc. -- but the NW will probably be less expensive, and perhaps easier to find. So the filter size -- assuming you plan on using filters -- might be a concern for you.

    http://www.subclub.org/fujinon/byfl.htm
    Ah ok. Iíve found 2 cm-w lenses but no NW lenses. Iíve read through sub club. I was working on the premise that edge falloff and sharpness would be better on newer version. The size difference hadnít gone unnoticed though.


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  9. #19

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    Re: My perfect fixed lens LF camera - decision 1, the lens.

    If you can find a NW you won't be disappointed.

  10. #20

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    Re: My perfect fixed lens LF camera - decision 1, the lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by adrianlambert View Post
    Ah ok. Iíve found 2 cm-w lenses but no NW lenses. Iíve read through sub club.
    I'm glad you mentioned this. The photo of the NW was not showing up on the SUBCLUB, but I've corrected that, and they both show up now. The two pictures make the difference in the lenses more clear.

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