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Thread: Do I need to worry about really heavy lenses causing damage?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Do I need to worry about really heavy lenses causing damage?

    I hope this is not a silly question.

    I bought a Dallmeyer 8 f2.9 Pentac in a Betax #5 on a Sinar board. The lens weigh 3.4 pounds. After the CLA I shot a few sheets with an Ebony SLW 8x10 a light weight camera to test the lens and the coverage. It covers a full body environmental head to toe shot with reasonable sharpness in the center at f5.6 The lens weigh half as much as the camera and when I mounted it I feared something might give. I only used a bit of rise and fall.

    Am I taking a risk using such a heavy lens on a light weight camera?

  2. #2
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: Do I need to worry about really heavy lenses causing damage?

    My 4x5 is a little Wista-made Zone-VI. I used to havea ;argish Wollensak 15" f/5.6 telephoto that I mounted to a Wista lens board. It would work on the little ca,era, but the front standard was wobbly. It was always an iffy exercise for me and I sold it off.
    Drew Bedo
    www.quietlightphoto.com
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  3. #3

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    Re: Do I need to worry about really heavy lenses causing damage?

    Yes - really heavy lenses can ruin you camera. Years ago I put a heavy 12" Velostigmat (in a #5 Betax shutter) lens on a old wooden 8x10. After using it for a while it broke the front standard of the camera.

  4. #4

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    Aug 2013
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    Re: Do I need to worry about really heavy lenses causing damage?

    Based on what I see of pix of the camera, your most likely chance of damage is ripping the track covers off the bed. Because of the WA configuration of the camera, and the possibility that you'll be using a lot of extension, that's the place where the lens is going to exert the most leverage. It probably won't happen all at once, but it could. I've put some pretty heavy lenses on old cameras that have secure glue joints (because I redid them myself!) without problems, but this kind of leverage situation didn't exist. It's all speculation until the moment it happens, but I don't think I'd do it.
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

  5. #5

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    Re: Do I need to worry about really heavy lenses causing damage?

    Goes back to deciding on the lenses needed to meet the finished image goals before deciding on any camera.

    Seems too many are driven to choose a camera then decide to or find a lens they want to use only to discover the camera they have placed top priority on as their choice is not suitable for the lens they want to use... which these days seems to be camera must be as lightweight and compact as possible.

    Not only is there a risk of camera damage from using a lens that is too heavy for that camera, the set up cannot be stable complete with the risk of having the lens fall off the camera.


    Bernice

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    Re: Do I need to worry about really heavy lenses causing damage?

    Bernice is correct! if the lens is something you intend on using, invest in a second camera more suited to the weight.
    I use a number of very heavy lenses (I like fast glass) along with more conservative glass and keep several 8x10 cameras appropriate for the given lenses.
    You will be glad you did in the long run.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    Goes back to deciding on the lenses needed to meet the finished image goals before deciding on any camera.

    Seems too many are driven to choose a camera then decide to or find a lens they want to use only to discover the camera they have placed top priority on as their choice is not suitable for the lens they want to use... which these days seems to be camera must be as lightweight and compact as possible.

    Not only is there a risk of camera damage from using a lens that is too heavy for that camera, the set up cannot be stable complete with the risk of having the lens fall off the camera.


    Bernice

  7. #7

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    Re: Do I need to worry about really heavy lenses causing damage?

    Quote Originally Posted by gypsydog View Post
    Bernice is correct! if the lens is something you intend on using, invest in a second camera more suited to the weight.
    I use a number of very heavy lenses (I like fast glass) along with more conservative glass and keep several 8x10 cameras appropriate for the given lenses.
    You will be glad you did in the long run.
    What 8x10 camera (s) do you find best suited for your heavy lenses?
    Thanks!

  8. #8

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    Re: Do I need to worry about really heavy lenses causing damage?

    IMO and this is a perpetual plug... Sinar as a system. Interchangeable like Lego to meet the needs of virtually any image goals and lenses required.

    In the case of BIG lenses, Sinar P does good. Previously posted image of Sinar P with a Schneider 480mm f4.5 Xenar in barrel with a Sinar shutter. Had and used this combo for years with zero problems.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	480mm Xenar, Sinar P2.jpg 
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ID:	204880


    Bernice

  9. #9

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    Re: Do I need to worry about really heavy lenses causing damage?

    Rayt, Hi

    Any LF lens which covers up to 10 x 8 and is faster than f3 always smacks of being on the heavier side........

    Bernice's advice is always spot on, a Sinar, preferably a 10 x 8 version can 'take'/accept that sort of weight and the Sinar P series (apart from the Graflex Speed's) is probably the only 4 x 5 model that can handle, for instance, the less than light 178mm f2.5 Aero-Ektar

    Any solidly built 10 x 8, say one of the Toyo's should be able to handle a weighty lens, also, say the Calumet C-1 series (correct me if I'm wrong anyone) would probably work, there's also the Kodak 2D which might be another choice

    A 'Light and compact' Camera automatically means 'light and compact lenses' and with that you loose the extra 'speed stops'.............

    I've found (and I'm not the only one) that you probably end up with more than one Camera in the same format to be able to accommodate the different weight(s) but YMMV

    Good luck and regards

    Andrew

  10. #10

    Re: Do I need to worry about really heavy lenses causing damage?

    Honestly, an 8" Pentac on a Betax shutter is not that heavy, I have used one on 5x7 Canham. Your Ebony (no swings or shifts, right?) should be easily able to carry it. If you are worried, use a piece of wood or other support between the bed and the bottom of the standard to hold it in place.

    Not what you asked, but there is no way an 8" Pentac is going to cover 8x10, except at macro distances. The 8" Pentac is a 4x5 lens, and vignettes on 5x7. If you can find one (good luck!) a 12" Pentac might cover 8x10, but that lens won't even fit on your Ebony.

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