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

  1. #11
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Recommendations: Small 135mm with good coverage for 4x5 portraits?

    The 125/5.6 W is revered among landscape photographers for its small size and very high image quality. The 135/5.6 has a little bigger image circle. These are modern plasmats. Not ideal for architectural work where a lot of rise might be involved, but generous enough image circles for lots of things. I can't imagine any tessar that focal length adequately covering 4x5. I have a 100 Nikkor M tessar that is adequate for 6x9 roll film, but useless for 4X5; and it's from the very latest series of tessars engineered for view camera use, which logically jumps clear up to 200mm for 4x5 recommendation. I can't imagine using a 150 Xenar for 4x5 except on a press camera where movements are often minimal anyway. 120 Super Angulons are nice if you want a solid rock to sit on when fiddling with your other camera gear.

  2. #12

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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/

  3. #13

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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/

  4. #14

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulophot View Post
    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.
    Using a shorter, or longer, lens can not change perspective. Only changing the angle of the camera to the subject can change the perspective.
    You probably are confusing foreshortening with perspective.

    As you noted, the shorter lens will give you a smaller subject size as the 210 at the same distance and more DOF at the same aperture.

  5. #15

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

    Emmanuel, thank you for your very informative run-down. Much appreciated!
    Philip U.

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

  6. #16

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    Using a shorter, or longer, lens can not change perspective. Only changing the angle of the camera to the subject can change the perspective.
    You probably are confusing foreshortening with perspective.

    As you noted, the shorter lens will give you a smaller subject size as the 210 at the same distance and more DOF at the same aperture.
    Hi, Bob. Thanks for your comment. The principle you cite is an important one, clearly illustrated in Ansel Adams's book series and many of the others in my photographic library, and was an important lesson to learn on the road to a professional career long ago. The context for Walter's remark was the increasing use of wide-angle lenses, such as, especially, 28 to fisheye in parallel with the psychedelic counter-culture. The "xtreme" use of wide-angle lenses is, in my view, more prevalent than ever now in the media; a quick an easy way to get an effect, at the expense of other factors I consider more important. I had said something about my newly purchased 28mm for my Nikkormat which prompted his remark.
    Philip U.

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

  7. #17

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

    i'll agree with Mr. De Smidt; the Kodak 135/6.3 Wide Field Ektar is an excellent lens, well-suited to your requirements.
    My own example has been a favorite for thirty years now.
    The WFE will not have the contrast of a modern multicoated optic, but it is very sharp, renders subjects beautifully, and has more coverage than most of the plasmats mentioned here.

  8. #18
    Between here and there
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    Re: Recommendations: Small 135mm with good coverage for 4x5 portraits?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    I can't imagine any tessar that focal length adequately covering 4x5. I have a 100 Nikkor M tessar that is adequate for 6x9 roll film, but useless for 4X5; and it's from the very latest series of tessars engineered for view camera use, which logically jumps clear up to 200mm for 4x5 recommendation.
    Are you sure you mean Nikkor M? The Nikkor M series, weren't these designed to be Macro lenses?

    And what is "adequate coverage" for a given lens? It depends on a lot of factors. And thus it is a bit of a stretch taking the axe to all Tessars ever made, in all focal lengths, for 4x5. But as has been said, a more recent Plasmat (Nikkor-W 135 comes to mind) would be a good bet.

  9. #19

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

    The Nikkor M lenses was intended as compact lenses. The macro lenses are the AM lenses.

  10. #20
    Between here and there
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    Re: Recommendations: Small 135mm with good coverage for 4x5 portraits?

    Thanks, Per - good to know. Always learning something new. I've never seen a Nikkor M 100, but I knew of the 100/105 W.

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