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Thread: How to decide for a set of three lenses for a Linhof Technika IV

  1. #21
    Corran's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    North GA Mountains

    Re: How to decide for a set of three lenses for a Linhof Technika IV

    Most lenses wider than 90mm are a pain to use on the Linhof. You can do it, of course, with some effort, but if you want to shoot wide-angle architecture with lots of movements, the Linhof IV is not the right tool - any monorail with bag bellows will work better.
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    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  2. #22

    Join Date
    May 2011

    Re: How to decide for a set of three lenses for a Linhof Technika IV

    Hello Neil,

    Thank you for your message : ) !!!

    It looks like I'll be leaning at first
    towards the 90mm. lens.

    The website I thought I may be
    getting the 120mm. has sold it.
    I need to find another one or
    go for the 135mm.

    Thank you again, kind regards!

  3. #23

    Join Date
    May 2011

    Re: How to decide for a set of three lenses for a Linhof Technika IV

    Hello Bryan,

    Thank you for your message : ) !!!

    To be honest, not interested in many movements.
    I am happy with the lens plane parallel to the film
    plane, just as if you were shooting in 35mm. or
    medium format.

    Because my interest is to document, just like the
    early photographers did it with their early large
    format cameras, my camera will not need to do
    movements, except focusing, just like the cameras
    of those early photographers.

    Would the 75mm. still be ok?

    Thank you again, kind regards!

  4. #24

    Join Date
    May 2011

    Re: How to decide for a set of three lenses for a Linhof Technika IV

    Hello Bob,

    Thank you for your message : ) !!!

    Yes, unfortunately the 105mm. is
    not a large format lens for 4"x5"!

    It'll have to be the 90mm. or the
    75mm. lens. Which one would
    you choose?

    Is it possible to use the lens
    without any movements?
    I am a beginner. To do any
    movements may be quite complicated
    for me.

    Thank you again, kind regards!

  5. #25

    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    Re: How to decide for a set of three lenses for a Linhof Technika IV

    It's next to impossible to determine lenses for someone else. Slowly I'm gravitating towards 75/125/250 when leaving home with 3 lenses. I have a 90 and 180 but they stay more and more at home unless I really know what I'll find that day.

    I find that for buildings I'm too often running out of subject distance when using a 90, or out of movement because of it. Ok, with the 75 I'll have to crop but cropping is easier than stitching. It could be just as well that I'm going to the 75 because the 90/5.6 is such a lump to lug around. But that also depends on where you like to shoot. In old towns in europe there isn't that much space. If you like to shoot old farm buildings in the US plains that is probably a different story.

    I like the 125 as general purpose lens but then again, that's me. It's small, light and close to the 35mm I prefer on 24x36.

    And the 250 is the same reasoning as with the wide. It is easier to crop a wider lens a bit than to run out of distance or focal length.
    Expert in non-working solutions.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2013

    Re: How to decide for a set of three lenses for a Linhof Technika IV

    There is a Fuji 105mm f8 that does cover 4x5 and allows for plenty of movement. You could also consider the 110mm f5.6 super symmar XL, which allows for even more movement. The Schneider lens is a bit sharper and more contrasty, but more expensive as well. From personal experience i can tell you that the 75mm - 110mm set pairs nicely, also because i often found the 90mm either to wide or not wide enough for the work i wanted to do.

    What might help when choosing a set of lenses is to look at the progression of focal lenghts. In a 80mm - 120mm - 180mm set there is a 50% progression between the lenses, where as with a 90mm - 135mm - 180mm you might find that the 135 is much closer to the 180mm then to the 90mm - leaving you wanting something between the 90mm and the 135mm. But also keep in mind that working with 4x5 is different form MF or 35mm camera's and preferences in focal lengths might shift quite a bit between formats. When i shoot 35mm i often work with 21mm and 28mm lenses, while in large format i tend to prefer longer lenses from 110mm upward.

  7. #27

    Join Date
    Jul 2016

    Re: How to decide for a set of three lenses for a Linhof Technika IV

    Quote Originally Posted by Ig Nacio View Post

    Having shot 35mm. and some medium format,
    the 180mm. is equivalent to a 60 mm. in 35mm.
    format, and the 210mm. is equivalent to a 70mm.
    in 35mm. format.

    It is the middle and the wide angle lens that I am not
    too sure about.

    Well, LF vs 35mm has no exact equivalents for two reasons:

    1) Different aspect ratio: 3:2 vs 5:4. A LF focal has 3 equivalent 35mm focals: for the diagonal, for the long side and for short side. For example, for landscape you may consider more the long side equivalent to take the same mountains.

    2) LF lenses have Unit Focus, or "focus breath", as you focus close you extend bellows and the image circle dilates, so the LF effective focal is longer for portraits. This also happens in a Mamiya RB/RZ 67...

    In portraiture, Yousuf Karsh most loved focal for 8x10 was the 14", which is 180mm in 4x5...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ig Nacio View Post
    Then, there is the 75mm. and 90mm. lenses for
    the option of a wide angle lens.

    Which focal length would you choose as a wide, middle and long lens?
    Which focal lengths do you like best?

    You may want a kit that grows a 50% from focal to focal, so one focal links to the other. We don't use zooms, some LF shooters never crop (a sacrilege ) but we always can crop if wanting a composition, the 150mm takes more than the 180mm, but you always can crop a bit without noticeable quality loss.

    Some people having a 90mm and a 65mm replaced both by a single 75mm (less total weight)... A 75mm is a great choice, you may crop to have the 90mm framing and, at the end, the 65mm had too much fall off in the corners, but you may want the extra field of the 65mm, YMMW. Also if you shot architecture you may want a 90mm because it's easier to get a big circle for translational movements.


    You don't say if you want to mainly shot architecture, landscape, portraits or objects, perhaps you have that open. your priority now is to spend the least possible in glass until you know what you want, me I'm still a learner so I can speak about my big big mistakes in glass acquisition. You may make mistakes, but avoid expensive mistakes

    LF glass has an impressive richness in glass nuances, IMHO much more than in small formats, as a example see this article about portraiture glass https://www.largeformatphotography.i...rtrait-lenses/ that covers a tiny share of what LF portraiture glass can be.

    My (weird) recommendation to start:

    It is convertible, a 150mm, but if you unscreew the front cell and you have a 265 f/12 that's very good for portraits, you have to stop a lot (/22 or /32) the conversion (265mm) for better corners but for portraits corners are irrelevant, two focals for $150.

    Single coated, so you'll learn to control flare.

    Shot say some 100 sheets, learn very well what you want and later invest in a competent kit. Later you can sell that 150mm or you may keep the spare shutter, or you my love it, a single coated lens may be better for portraits. The important thing is that you will learn cheap what focal you want an what image circle, still you may want to learn what bokeh: tessar? plasmat? heliar?. Don't think that old 150 isn't a competent lens, in many situations a $2k lens may not perform better, you may have to stop for DOF and then diffraction limits performance of the best lens you can buy to the same you have with the old symmar. Ansel Adams made most of his career with well inferior glass !

    In LF you always have lots Image Quality, many times it's more the photographer than the glass. See Sally Mann...

    Step 1: Learn, shot, develop a savvy criterion for gear.

    Step 2: Acquire gear, think that are many important things in the LF gear you'll have to purchase, including some darkroom equipment, and you also have to spend in film.

  8. #28
    the Docter is in Arne Croell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Huntsville, AL

    Re: How to decide for a set of three lenses for a Linhof Technika IV

    I agree with Huub and others here that a series using a fixed percentage increase, i.e. a factor, can be helpful. What that factor should be depends on personal taste, which focal lengths the camera can handle, which focal lengths range one wants to cover, how many lenses one is willing to buy and transport, and how much cropping one is willing to do later. Of course, rounding to the nearest available focal length is necessary, one does not need to be too anal about it (looking in the mirror here). It is also worthwhile to check the real focal length from the manufacturers data if available, since there is usually some rounding going on. A case in point is the Schneider f/6.3 210mm Xenar, which is actually 215mm, vs. the Schneider f/9 210mm G-Claron which is actually below 210mm (around 207 or 208mm if I remember correctly).

    Here are some possible ranges - not limited to 3 lenses - for different factors, using existing focal lengths covering 4x5 (except the 38mm), other starting points for each factor are of course possible:

    Factor 1.4 (i.e. close to the square root of 2): (38) - 55 - 80 - 110 - 150 - 210 - 300 - 420/450 - 600 - 800 - 1000/1080/1200
    Factor 1.5, the 50% mentioned above: 58/65 - 90 - 135 - 200/205/210 - 300 - 450 - 720 - 1000/1080
    Factor 1.7: 55 - 90 - 150 - 270 - 450 - 720/800 - 1200
    Factor 2: 47 - 90 - 180 - 355/360 - 720

    When I started out with LF (1991), I bought three lenses using a factor 2: 75 - 150 - 300 and worked with them for 2-3 years. After that time, I felt that they were spaced too far apart, and added a 120 and a 210mm focal length. The 120 was of course a bit close to the 150, so I later exchanged it for 110mm when that lens came out.

  9. #29

    Join Date
    May 2011

    Re: How to decide for a set of three lenses for a Linhof Technika IV

    Hello Havoc,

    Thank you for your message : ) !!!

    Yes, I think that is something good
    about the 75mm. I hope the
    distortion is not too bad and that
    the fall off is not too strong when
    shooting without movements.

    Do you think vignetting will be very
    strong even if I don't do any
    camera movements?

    Thank you again, kind regards!

  10. #30

    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Re: How to decide for a set of three lenses for a Linhof Technika IV

    IMO, mistake to decide and choose a LF camera first then decide on lenses. LF is not the same as smaller format camera where a given brand restricts or limits lens choices to what that given brand offers.

    *Fold up or field camera as a group can be difficult to use to not usable at all with wider angle to longer telephoto lenses due to their design and lack of versatility. Restrictions and limitations of camera movement can also be a serious limitation, lack of on camera shutter limits what lenses can be used. That said, fold up or field cameras are generally lower weight, more compact, easier to transport but not without trade-offs.

    *Monorail cameras can offer extreme camera flexibility and versatility with few to no real limitations on lens choices. Except they are often bulky, difficult to transport, not compacts, not as easy to set up and not ideal to hike with.

    ~This is why long time LF folks who do a large variety of images have both a monorail & fold up aka field camera.

    Ideally, decide on lens focal lengths and what lenses ya wanna use first based on the LF images in mind and want to produce. Then, make lens choices be they in shutter or barrel or etc... Then decide on a camera that will easily accommodate the lenses choose.

    As for focal length, four lenses is typically what is carried and used as needed, if 4x5, typical focal lengths are:

    *Wide angle- 75mm to 90mm. Most fold ups will have difficulty with 75mm and shorter focal lengths. Between dropping the bed, serious restrictions-limitations on camera movements.

    *Medium wide - 120mm to 135mm, works well with vast majority of cameras.

    *Normal - 150mm to 210mm, works well with the vast majority of cameras

    *Tele - 300mm to 450mm or more depending on what the camera will allow. On fold up aka field cameras, bellows limits max focal lengths useable. Then camera-tripod-support stability becomes very serious issues-problems to deal with. As the focal length and camera size goes up, these problems can become very-very serious as vibration and camera-camera support systems are pushed to their limits.

    In the beginning, camera movements might not be a significant consideration or need, but as one develops camera skills with a realization of just how powerful camera movements can be as a image control tool, the need for camera movements can become a prime need and value to image making.


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