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Thread: First and second lenses for new 4x5 shooter

  1. #11
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: First and second lenses for new 4x5 shooter

    Quote Originally Posted by lassethomas View Post
    I think that is way too much for a first lens.

    This looks much more appropriate

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/EXC-5-Optic...c5f74ab7e61553
    Thanks for the recommendation. Is a 98.9% rating good enough from Japan? Also, the only thing they says is: "“Appearance: Excellent+++++.Optical:MINT.” Nothing else. Others tell you about dust fungus etc. How do you handle buying these old lenses?

  2. #12
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: First and second lenses for new 4x5 shooter

    Lasse: Here's a similar lens where the seller describes it better. It double the price but then.... Are both these lenses Copal 0 and coated?
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Top-Mint-Sc...75.c100623.m-1

  3. #13
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: First and second lenses for new 4x5 shooter

    The seller is also 100%

  4. #14

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    Re: First and second lenses for new 4x5 shooter

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    Thanks for the recommendation. Is a 98.9% rating good enough from Japan? Also, the only thing they says is: "“Appearance: Excellent+++++.Optical:MINT.” Nothing else. Others tell you about dust fungus etc. How do you handle buying these old lenses?
    OK. I didn't check the seller. 98.9 is perhaps in the lower span of acceptable I think.

    But the description is descriptive
    There is no fog.
    There is no fungus.
    There is no scratches.
    There is no separation.


    Nothing about the shutter performance though, more that it works properly. You could ask about that.

  5. #15

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    Re: First and second lenses for new 4x5 shooter

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    Lasse: Here's a similar lens where the seller describes it better. It double the price but then.... Are both these lenses Copal 0 and coated?
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Top-Mint-Sc...75.c100623.m-1
    Both are multicoated, that's what the MC stands for.
    And both are Copal 0.

    And the first link had a similar description.
    I would go with the cheaper one, but that's me

  6. #16
    Foamer
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    Re: First and second lenses for new 4x5 shooter

    I've bought several moderately expensive things from Japan, including a pristine Nikon F3T. I've never been disappointed. As for lens selection I started with 90/180/300mm. The idea was to double up focal length. Since I bought the original trio I've returned to shooting interiors of abandoned houses and for that I bought a Nikon 75mm f4.5. I also found I had to choose between 90mm and 180mm often so I bought a Rodenstock 135mm f5.6. That one might be my most used lens now.


    Kent in SD
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    miserere nobis.

  7. #17

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    Re: First and second lenses for new 4x5 shooter

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    Merg, I bought your book in 2017, Beyond Casual Vision. It's wonderful. I appreciate you including a note hoping to give me "pleasure and inspiration". It may be the incentive I needed to give LF a chance. Which BW film would you suggest for me to start on? I'm really into beautiful mid-tones and transitions of tones throughout the range. Your Mono Lake 2003 and Agave California, 2015 are examples. And I'm not afraid of dark shadows either. They add mystery and there's usually not much of interest in them anyways.
    Alan, thank you for mentioning my note and book. You sound inspired, and I'm sure the pleasure will follow (likely after some frustration). Take your time, ask a lot of questions, and you will be rewarded!

    As to the film I used for the two photographs referenced in my book, both were on Ilford FP4+. It would be my choice, and has been for several decades. By the way, the Mono Lake photograph was made with the longest lens I own for 4x5, namely a Schneider G-Claron f.9/270mm. I would give serious thought to making your first lens a 150mm. From there, you can decide if you want to go longer or wider; the 150mm will be useful much of the time. You likely will end up with three lenses. Enjoy!

  8. #18
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: First and second lenses for new 4x5 shooter

    I'd check the sales section here. This tends to be much more of a community where people won't cheat or gouge you. Ebay can be a shark tank. KEH also has a good reputation and prices.

    Most any modern "name brand" lens will have great performance. Shutter consistency and reliability are the most important. Coatings are important vs uncoated, but an old single-coating will have 98% of the performance of the newest multi-coating.

    These would be a great two-lens combination:

    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...-N-0-0-shutter

    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...r-N-180mm-Lens!
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  9. #19
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: First and second lenses for new 4x5 shooter

    Quote Originally Posted by Merg Ross View Post
    Alan, thank you for mentioning my note and book. You sound inspired, and I'm sure the pleasure will follow (likely after some frustration). Take your time, ask a lot of questions, and you will be rewarded!

    As to the film I used for the two photographs referenced in my book, both were on Ilford FP4+. It would be my choice, and has been for several decades. By the way, the Mono Lake photograph was made with the longest lens I own for 4x5, namely a Schneider G-Claron f.9/270mm. I would give serious thought to making your first lens a 150mm. From there, you can decide if you want to go longer or wider; the 150mm will be useful much of the time. You likely will end up with three lenses. Enjoy!
    Thanks. The 4x5 camera Chamonix 45H-1 has been shipped. It's a gift for myself. I'll be 75 in February. I'm looking at a Schneider APO SYMMAR 150mm F5.6 MC for my first lens. Made in 1996 or so. What do you think?

    What about a dark cloth. Everyone's got their opinion as to which one is best. I have no idea.

    Ditto with cable release - length, type, locking???

    What do others think too?

  10. #20

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    Re: First and second lenses for new 4x5 shooter

    Alan, you and AdamD seem to be on the same search at the same time! Merg's advice is (as you would expect) spot on. But you don't need a Rodenstock App 150, any 150 from the "big 4" (Schneider, Rodenstock, Nikon, Fuji) will be an excellent first lens. (The problem with the 135, as I posted to AdamD, is the smaller image circle which will severely limit your use of view camera movements.) Then, again as Merg writes, your second lens depends entirely on your vision and most common uses. If you often find that you want to pull your subject closer to you (but can't simply walk forwards), or you like to isolate elements in the scene, your next lens would be longer, the 210. If you find that you usually want more "territory" in the image and can't simply move backwards, or you are working a lot in restricted spaces, such as indoors, your second lens would be wider, the 90 (my own is an 80mm). But really use the 150 for a while so that you have a basis for picking a second lens. (Ultimately you may well end up as many of us have, with a bunch of lenses from wide to long; my own collection goes 80, 120, 150, 180, 210, 300 and each has a "best use" either in terms of focal length or compactness of the lens for backpacking.)

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