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Thread: 210mm or 240mm for Portraits?

  1. #31

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    Re: 210mm or 240mm for Portraits?

    IMO, Tessar/Plasmat. Dagor and .... ALL must be evaluated individually by the image maker to see if the results meet their image making goals. Some of these view camera lenses have been around for over 100 years with their optical and mechanical condition unknown until individually evaluated-tested.

    IMO, it is absurd to judge any lens by it's formulation, reputation and stuff written on the web about any given lens alone as there are very real possible variations to any individual vintage and modern lens in question.

    All of this adds much confusion and difficulty for a new to LF image maker with very limited real world-real time experience with all this LF stuff. It is also why the recommendation for those new to LF to get a modern Plasmat in a proven Good-Relaible shutter as a starting point. There are SO many potential variables to add to all
    possible confusion. Lenses such as Kodak Ektar (yes, it is one of my all time faves) still have the potential problem of iffy shutters and all that comes with neglected shutters adding to the difficulty of evaluating an individual lens personality as a keeper or passing it on to another home.

    Basically, pick a modern 210mm or 240mm f5.6 for now, make portraits and see if the image results meet your image goal needs. If the 210mm or 240mm f5.6 plasmat does NOT meet your image goals, then it is time to consider and decided on why and what could be different to meet your image goal needs.

    There is no absolute correct or wrong to this, just meeting your image goal needs.



    Bernice




    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    Tessars have been made in tremendous variations, and they come with different shutters... I've seen some with good out-of-focus rending, but others have quite a bit of squirelliness.

  2. #32
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: 210mm or 240mm for Portraits?

    I agree with Bernice. How a lens is used will also affect it's out-of-focus rendering, which changes with how close one is to the subject, f stop, distance to background, lighting...

    I have a really nice 240 Wollensak Raptar, but I don't use it very much, as I don't like the shutter. A Copal shutter has a big slider to open the lens for focusing. It's very easy to tell if the lens is open or not. With the Raptar, you have to use 'T" setting on the shutter. But if the plunger cable of the shutter release goes too far, the shutter will hang up. So I think it is closed when it's not. That kind of thing is a huge pain when photographing people. So I don't use the lens. If I did use it for portraiture, I'd use it with my Sinar shutter to avoid those issues, but that's not a "just getting started" solution.
    May tomorrow be a better day.

  3. #33

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    Re: 210mm or 240mm for Portraits?

    Well, basically I agree with Bernice. . . if you were doing anything but portraits. Everyone has a default, and his is plasmats--there's nothing "neutral" about that recommendation, either.. Mine is anything but plasmats, and the last one of those I bought was when I bought my first Tessar, so there you go. I do agree with Peter, though, and that is that they are all different. And that goes for plasmats, too.

    But lens families have commonalities in general that can get you pointed at least in the right direction. Ultimately you have to choose one, and when you said Karsh is your guy, then I think the logical thing to do is start with what he chose as the best lens for what he wanted to see.

    I wish people filled out their profiles. For all you know you live next to someone here who would be happy to lend you things to compare so you can see for yourself.
    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

  4. #34

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    Re: 210mm or 240mm for Portraits?

    Thanks very much. I am leaning toward the more modern lens.

  5. #35

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    Re: 210mm or 240mm for Portraits?

    Just completed my profile. Sorry about that.

  6. #36

    Re: 210mm or 240mm for Portraits?

    The 210mm and 240mm Xenars are lovely lenses if in good condition and very underrated. If you like the "look" of your 150 Xenar they might be great choices............
    The secret of getting ahead is getting started.
    ― Mark Twain

  7. #37
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: 210mm or 240mm for Portraits?

    I think getting the shot is most important

    Meaning a sitter won't wait forever

    Have everything ready, lights, backdrop, chair. camera, focus almost right tested on a dummy

    Test the whole system way before sitter arrives

    I talk too much when nervous, as with a sitter

    If any element fails your sitter is gone and the capture

    shutter must work when you need it

    get a shutter you trust

    then worry about glass
    sin eater

  8. #38

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    Re: 210mm or 240mm for Portraits?

    Suggestion, place FAR more concern with lighting, pose and being able to capture an expressive moment with your portrait sitter than obsessing over 210mm or 240mm lens and which lens brand, type and all that to purchase.

    Think finished print and what that might be.


    Bernice

  9. #39

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    Re: 210mm or 240mm for Portraits?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    Suggestion, place FAR more concern with lighting, pose and being able to capture an expressive moment with your portrait sitter than obsessing over 210mm or 240mm lens and which lens brand, type and all that to purchase.

    Think finished print and what that might be.


    Bernice
    Good point. Im trying to focus on all of that.

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