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Thread: Recommendations: Small 135mm with good coverage for 4x5 portraits?

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  1. #1

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    Recommendations: Small 135mm with good coverage for 4x5 portraits?

    I use just one lens on my 4x5 Tachihara field camera at present, a 210mm Komura, but am thinking about a slightly wide lens for certain images. 135mm appeals to me as about the widest I would want, though there may be more choice in 120s. I don't know if there are any between 135 and 150, which latter would be a bit long. My work is essentially natural light portraiture on location, B&W, interior and exterior. I find the Komura fine for my work; I don't need or desire greater sharpness or contrast, and the lens is fairly compact in its Copal 1. The f/6.3 max aperture is workable; faster would naturally be a boon. I'd like a multicoated lens if possible; a working shutter is necessary.

    Images for which I would use the wider lens would tend to situate the figure smaller in the frame, rarely, if ever, closer than 6-7 feet/2 meters. (I prefer my subjects' bodies to retain natural proportions as much as possible (and please, let's save the debate about minimum distances for another thread).

    I have looked through the lens guides on the home page and elsewhere, from which I infer that most available 135mm lenses tend to have just-adequate coverage for 4x5 -- at least, without investing more than I can manage. I frequently have my front standard dropped 1-1 1/2 inches (24-38mm), with the 210; probably less would be needed for a 135, but I would like some leeway, so I'm leery of what I infer about Xenars.

    Perhaps someone can suggest a few lenses that might fit my needs, if any there be, so that I can keep an eye out for any that might come along in the coming year or so.

    Thank you!
    Philip U.

    Sine scientia ars nihil est. (Without science/knowledge, art is nothing.)
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/156933346@N07/

  2. #2
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Recommendations: Small 135mm with good coverage for 4x5 portraits?

    Fuji W 135/5.6. Superb lens, sufficient coverage, and can often be obtained used in clean condition quite affordably - NOT the newest CMW version, which will be costly and needs a bigger filter.

  3. #3

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    Re: Recommendations: Small 135mm with good coverage for 4x5 portraits?

    A Nikkor W 135mm f/5.6 would also serve you well.

  4. #4

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    Re: Recommendations: Small 135mm with good coverage for 4x5 portraits?

    Coverage is generally stated for infinity distance. Even lenses with modest coverage provide abundant coverage when shooting at closer distances.

  5. #5

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    Re: Recommendations: Small 135mm with good coverage for 4x5 portraits?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Lee View Post
    Coverage is generally stated for infinity distance. Even lenses with modest coverage provide abundant coverage when shooting at closer distances.
    Ken, yes. One more thing I had forgotten. Thanks!
    Philip U.

    Sine scientia ars nihil est. (Without science/knowledge, art is nothing.)
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/156933346@N07/

  6. #6

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    Re: Recommendations: Small 135mm with good coverage for 4x5 portraits?

    Apo Sironar S

  7. #7
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations: Small 135mm with good coverage for 4x5 portraits?

    Tessars/Xenars are very small with 4.5-4.7 aperture but have less coverage than the suggestions above which are plasmats.

  8. #8
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendations: Small 135mm with good coverage for 4x5 portraits?

    A Wide Field Ektar would also work.
    “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

  9. #9

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    Re: Recommendations: Small 135mm with good coverage for 4x5 portraits?

    Your 210 is a far better FL for portraits on4x5, than is a 135.

  10. #10

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    Re: Recommendations: Small 135mm with good coverage for 4x5 portraits?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Noel View Post
    Your 210 is a far better FL for portraits on4x5, than is a 135.
    Jim, thanks for your comment. As I tried to indicate, perhaps inadequately, the 135 would be for portraits in which a smaller figure would occupy much less of a more "environmental" composition. In interior settings, one doesn't always have the room, for such compositions, to back up sufficiently with the 210; outdoors, the perspective and depth-of-field of the shorter lens may suit some ideas better than the 210 would. I have tried for decades to abide by the advice of Walter Rosenblum, who once told me that the key to using a wide-angle lens (back in my early 35mm days in the late '60s) was to avoid the appearance that a wide-angle lens had been used.
    Philip U.

    Sine scientia ars nihil est. (Without science/knowledge, art is nothing.)
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/156933346@N07/

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