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Thread: 90mm 4x5 lens advice needed

  1. #1

    90mm 4x5 lens advice needed

    Dear LFPF friends,

    I need your advice.
    I am looking into acquiring a 90mm lens for Sinar P2 to do interior architecture photography.
    My aim is to have highest possible overall and detail quality with room to shift with a lens that is bright enough to see an image in the ground glass before stopping down.

    I really want to work with Super Angulon XL 90mm f/5.6, but it needs a center filter, which, I have learnt, is extremely rare nowadays.
    I have read some people recommend to overexpose and edit the negative later on. I also found a center filter for 72mm Super Angulon XL is the same thread size, which is a bit denser and I might end up with having a neg with bright edges.

    I feel like it is not worthwhile investing in such a lens if it won't bring best results without the CF, or am I wrong?

    Yet I feel these lenses might be still excellent, though with smaller IC:
    Sinar 90mm f4.5
    Rodenstock 90mm f4.5 Grandagon
    Schneider 90mm f5.6 Super-Angulon Multicoating

    but how do I calculate what center filters they need? Can I purchase contemporary CFs with the right density and thread size? I am very confused.

    Any advice would be so much appreciated.

  2. #2
    the Docter is in Arne Croell's Avatar
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    Re: 90mm 4x5 lens advice needed

    You said „negative“. Are we talking b/w or color?. A center filter is most important for slide film, and a modern 90mm is not that extreme in the corners. I do b/w exclusively and do own a few center filters, but practically never use them. In b/w printing, most people do some „edge burning“ anyway.

  3. #3

    Re: 90mm 4x5 lens advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Arne Croell View Post
    You said „negative“. Are we talking b/w or color?
    Color negative

  4. #4

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    Re: 90mm 4x5 lens advice needed

    Re which CF for which lens, see http://www.galerie-photo.com/center-...at-lenses.html

    You may have to buy used. FWIW, I have four, all bought used. Much less expensive than new.

    Depending on how much you move the lens off center (vertically, horizontally) you may not need a CF. There's a widely accepted rule of thumb that lenses no shorter than 90 mm (corners down 1.5 stops from the center with no decentering movements) can be used safely without a CF. I suggest that you buy a lens and try it before you buy a CF to fit it.

    When you shop for lenses, don't neglect Fujinon and Nikon 90 mm lenses. My article (link above) suggests which CFs to use with them.

    Lastly, since you're a new arrival here you may not be aware of this site's resources. In particular, the list of links linked to in the first post in this https://www.largeformatphotography.i...mainly)-lenses discussion.

  5. #5

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    Re: 90mm 4x5 lens advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    Re which CF for which lens, see http://www.galerie-photo.com/center-...at-lenses.html

    You may have to buy used. FWIW, I have four, all bought used. Much less expensive than new.

    Depending on how much you move the lens off center (vertically, horizontally) you may not need a CF. There's a widely accepted rule of thumb that lenses no shorter than 90 mm (corners down 1.5 stops from the center with no decentering movements) can be used safely without a CF. I suggest that you buy a lens and try it before you buy a CF to fit it.

    When you shop for lenses, don't neglect Fujinon and Nikon 90 mm lenses. My article (link above) suggests which CFs to use with them.

    Lastly, since you're a new arrival here you may not be aware of this site's resources. In particular, the list of links linked to in the first post in this https://www.largeformatphotography.i...mainly)-lenses discussion.
    New? Not hardly. Join date is closer to 3 years then recent!

  6. #6

    Re: 90mm 4x5 lens advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    Re which CF for which lens, see http://www.galerie-photo.com/center-...at-lenses.html

    Lastly, since you're a new arrival here you may not be aware of this site's resources. In particular, the list of links linked to in the first post in this https://www.largeformatphotography.i...mainly)-lenses discussion.
    Dear Dan,
    thank you for your advice, it is very helpful and much appreciated. And thank you for being so welcoming to a newbie

  7. #7

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    Re: 90mm 4x5 lens advice needed

    I have both Super Angulons XLs 72mm and 90mm with their proper filters for my Canham 5x7. I claim that the filters are not that different from each other, and you will not see an improper negative density from using the wrong filter.

    Best wishes --- Allen

  8. #8
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: 90mm 4x5 lens advice needed

    Question

    If after film capture is 'scan' to digital, is a Photoshop digital center filter mask good enough?
    sin eater

  9. #9

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    Re: 90mm 4x5 lens advice needed

    First, any 90mm lens will have the fall-off issue; it's simply the laws of physics. IOW, there's not a 90mm lens out there that doesn't "need" a center filter; it's just that some manufacturers simply didn't offer them (e.g., Nikkor). If I were shooting transparencies, I'd definitely be looking for a center filter.

    With negative materials, however, you may find that you can do without a center filter. You can deal with the fall-off at the printing stage (or in post if your workflow is hybrid). For me, images from 90mm lenses are just on the edge of being acceptable without a center filter (or some other kind of compensation for fall-off, e.g., overexposing and then edge-dodging when printing or filtering in post). So, since the center filter is a bit of a hassle and robs me of 1.5 stops, I prefer to shoot without one and deal with the fall-off at the printing stage if necessary.

    Overexposing the film to compensate for the fall-off is no different than the compensation for the center filter except that one can often get away with less exposure when the edges of the image aren't all that important. Often I just don't bother compensating at all, and deal with the "underexposed" edges later. I usually have plenty of detail there anyway. Remember, with architectural work, which requires frequent use of lots of rise, it's just the top of the image that really suffers from the fall-off and often there's sky or some other less-important element there which may even benefit from the fall-off (think built-in graduated ND filter...)

    That said, I work only in black-and-white; color may be a bit more complicated. Still, I find that the fall-off with the lens often reduces or eliminates the amount of edge and corner burning I normally have to do (enlargers have fall off too...) and that many images are just fine without dealing directly with the fall-off. When the center of the image is really disturbingly brighter than the edges, I simply start my print exposure with a hole in a card close to the print (directly over the optical center of the image, which can be off-center if shift or rise was used when taking) and raise it slowly to the lens over 25% or so of the total base exposure time, effectively edge-dodging the print. A pretty easy way to counter the fall-off from the lens.

    Best,

    Doremus

  10. #10

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    Re: 90mm 4x5 lens advice needed

    Are you planning to do professional work for clients, or will this be a personal project? Or put another way, will you be lighting these interiors?
    If you will be using lights, they can do a lot to help with lens falloff. That said, I shot interiors for architects for over ten years using 4x5 and a 90/8 Nikkor-W as my main lens. I never used, or needed, a center filter.

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