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Thread: Choice of 180mm for 8x10

  1. #1

    Choice of 180mm for 8x10

    I have noticed that my subjects tend to lead more and more to wider lenses for 8x10-deep woods shots, for example. So I am using a 150 or a 240 more and more.

    Does anybody have experience with the Rodenstock's apo macro S 180mm f 5.6? Bob salomon says it has "just enough" coverage for infinity. Since it is designed as a macro, the image circle at 1:1 is 415mm, whopping big coverage for 8x10. My small Rodenstock 180 does not have enough coverage for 8x10. I forgot that and ruined a really good shot last month.

    I have a Nikon SW 150, which is a really good lens, but it requires a Sherpa to bring it along.

    Any lens that has a really small aperature is a real problem for us geezers. My f 12.5 Wollensak I call the Prince of Darkness. They are ok in bright sun, but very difficult in deep shade.

    Any other lens choices in this focal length would also be appreciated.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2001

    Choice of 180mm for 8x10

    Herb, a lens that covers 415 mm at 1:1 will cover only 208 mm at infinity. 5x7 with no moves, not 8x10.



  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Knoxville, Tennessee

    Choice of 180mm for 8x10


    For some reason the 180 mm focal length is particularly sparse in 8x10-covering lenses and unfortunately you won't find a small, light, bright, coated lens in this focal length. If you have to have bright, I'd try the (uncoated) 7" f/6.8 Berlin Dagor and use a good lens shade. If you can stand f/8, a coated 6-1/2" WA Dagor is probably your lens.

    The macro won't work; 415 mm at 1:1 equals about 207 mm at infinity. The regular Apo Sironar-S should have more coverage at any given distance.

    The typical choices are a 7" f/6.8 Berlin Dagor (tiny, mine seems to cover but it's a "new" lens still being tested) or Series III Dagor, a 190mm WF Ektar (not exactly a lightweight - I'd rather carry the 150 SW), or a 6-1/2" f/8 WA Dagor (also tiny and covers at smaller stops). A Series VII Protar with the 13-3/4" and 11-3/16" cells will give you a 7" f/7 lens, and two 13-3/4 cells will give you an 8" lens.

    If you can go 210 mm, you have a lot more choices, 210mm G-Claron f/9, 8-1/4" f/6.8 Dagor, etc.


  4. #4
    All metric sizes to 24x30 Ole Tjugen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002

    Choice of 180mm for 8x10

    A Fujinon-W 180mm should just cover. So does a Schneider Angulon 165mm f:6.8, which is one of my most used lenses on 5x7" and 18x24cm (sorry, no 8x10" - yet).

  5. #5

    Choice of 180mm for 8x10

    Ole, I tested my 165 Angulon against my 159 Wollensak EWA on 8x10 and as a result the Angulon, while very sharp, went into the 5x7 bag and the Wollensak stayed with the 8x10. The Angulon ran out of steam about 3/4 inch (whoops, 18mm) from the corners. YMMV.


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Orange, CA

    Choice of 180mm for 8x10

    You could save two thirds of a pound by replacing your SW150 with a used SS150XL f5.6. The SSXL shouldn't need a center filter if you shoot B&W or color neg film. It will run you roughly $400-500 more versus what you could likely get for your SW150 on the used market, though.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Mar 1999

    Choice of 180mm for 8x10

    One othe roption is the 183 mm Protar series V. Bags of coverage for 8x10 and very small and light. Unfortunately at f/18 it is a little slow and makes focussing tricky in dim light but if you work outdoors in good light, that should not be a problem. Cheers, DJ

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Portland, OR

    Choice of 180mm for 8x10

    If you don't mind using really old lenses, try a 183mm Baush and Lomb f/18 Series V Protar in shutter (mine are mounted in Supermatic #0's). They are plenty sharp for many kinds of subject at f/22, f/32 or f/45. There's plenty of room for movements with these lenses.

    Additionally, the aforementioned 165mm Angulon f/6.8 are nice too.

    Kodak's 190mm WideFieldEktar hits the corners of 8x10.

    In modern lenses I think you'd be left to 150SuperSymmar XL (hugely expensive), 150Nikkor SW (hugely heavy), or Schneider's 210mm Super Symmar HM or XL (cost? what matters cost?).

  9. #9
    Photo Dilettante Donald Brewster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Malibu, CA

    Choice of 180mm for 8x10

    Take a look at

    My suggestion would be the 190mm Wide Field Ektar.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Baraboo, Wisconsin

    Choice of 180mm for 8x10

    I haven't used the 159mm Wollensak F12.5 but I've owned two of the 9.5 versions and even with my fairly poor vision had no trouble seeing things on a plain 8x10 ground glass. The 9.5s come up on ebay fairly often and sell in the $250-$300 range. Mine were excellent for contact prints, I don't know about enlargements. Wide angle lenses for 8x10 are problematical, once you get shorter than the 210 G Claron they tend to be either very big or very expensive or both. I thought the F9.5 159mm Wollensak was a real bargain with it's good coverage, reasonably bright image on the ground glass, and tiny size, weight, and price. You might also consider the F9 210 G Claron. I've owned two of those also. It's a little longer than what you're looking at but it covers 8x10 when you stop down to F22 and coverage increases with ample room for movements as you stop down further. It's also sharp, small, light, and relatively inexpensive.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

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