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Thread: Compatibility of 4x5 lens boards between manufactures.

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Aug 2018

    Re: Compatibility of 4x5 lens boards between manufactures.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones View Post
    Mamu -- The 135mm Xenar doesn't have enough coverage to make full use of the front movements. You may eventually want a 135mm lens that does have greater coverage, although it may be too bulky for the Crown. If you do, having each on an appropriate lens board is cheap enough. A longer lens like the ancient, but good, Ektar 203mm f/7.7 will fit the Crown and have enough coverage for some view camera front movements.

    Thanks! Good to know that up front. I was actually asking to see if I could go ahead and get a camera and use the board and the lens from the Crown while I save up for glass. Looks like lens first would be the best option in my case if I don't get both at the same time. I want to be able to go crazy with movements. I'm primarily shooting landscapes and close up work lately. I wouldn't expect to be doing any windy day work, but I'm looking at a Calumet SCII....something geared with lots of movement and enough rail to get right up on my tiny subject.
    I have to minimize my cost as much as possible. Right now I'm still in the research / shopping stage (primarily the former). I'd rather be patient now and completely satisfied latter than get in a hurry.

    These look interesting: Astragon 210mm f/6.3 Commercial(42)
    Fuji 210mm f/5.6 Fujinon-W Seiko B (48 MT)

    I like the idea of having full use of movements and being able to bump up the 5x7 if I get a chance. (A good deal on a 5x7 with a 4x5 adapted back might be a good option if one is available when the timing works).

    I've looked at some of the old threads on them here. I realize in those mount sizes they are likely pretty heavy, but when that becomes an issuse I'll join the MFT club. If your use to hauling around a Mamiya C330, the bigger glass isn't a problem. I wouldn't anticipate using them in the Crown if that's even possible. The Astragon is only $105 bargain grade at KEH and if the grading for the large format gear is consistent with their grading of medium format and DSLR gear I've purchased over the years that works for me. I wonder if you could tell them apart in a 16x20 print? I'm really doubtful at f/22. Would the Fuji have overall better contrast or just maintain sharpness until you opened up a bit more than the Astragon I wonder? I suspect the newer seiko shutter and coatings would be worth another $50 for the Fuji. I realize that I'd definitely want newer glass for color, but I've got my Pentax K5 for that.

    Thanks again for the info,


  2. #12

    Join Date
    Dec 2001

    Re: Compatibility of 4x5 lens boards between manufactures.

    The Astragon is most likely a Yamasaki (their own brand is Congo) made f/6.3 tessar type. These can be good and have more than enough coverage for 4x5 but quality control was inconsistent. On the whole, the Fuji has more coverage and is the better bet at $50 more.

  3. #13
    Jim Jones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Chillicothe Missouri USA

    Re: Compatibility of 4x5 lens boards between manufactures.

    If you are considering 5x7 in the future, there should be plenty of 5x7 B&J flatbeds on ebay and elsewhere. One was my primary LF camera for many years. The body weighs 6 or 7 lbs. If you do get a flatbed, make sure you also get the extension rail to enable you to use longer lenses and do macro work. Of course there are many other cameras that work as well or better. B&J was a long-time moderately priced brand, and thus popular in its time and plentiful now. A flatbed is more portable in the field than a monorail, but many monorails have an advantage for studio and macro work. Having both lets you keep a studio set-up ready to go at a moment's notice, and another kit ready to go in the field. You also have back-up bodies. A 4x5 back salvaged from a junked press camera and adapted to B&J gave me an inexpensive smaller back.

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