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Thread: Which are the fancy lenses??

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2019
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    Which are the fancy lenses??

    Hi all, Happy New Year.

    Question about pretty much all LF lenses. Which are the fancy ones that just seems to cost a bit more or a lot more than others?

    Here's an example of what I'm getting at....

    Of the big 4, in the 75mm and 90mm focal lengths, there's really nothing "fancy" or too special. But if you look at 80mm BOOM!! THERE GOES THE CHECKBOOK!! Also, the 115mm seems like a jump in cost.

    So, why is that and what are some examples of the high cost, "fancy" lenses in the 4x5 world? Fancy can mean they just cost a lot because not many were made and they are collectables or maybe there's something about them that is, well, fancy.

    Here's where I'm going with this....

    Say I want to build a kit around my one and only 150mm (which I do). I can go as wide as a 90mm (for now), but that would kind of defeat the point of getting a 115mm (so close). BUT, what if the 115nm is really special and I just don't know it! I could have instead gone with a 115mm and a 75mm and skip the 90mm.

    So it's hard to build a kit when you don't know what the really special lenses are and where you can skimp and where you should bust out the checkbook....

    Thoughts?

    Adam
    Anything in life worth having is worth sharing.

  2. #2

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    Re: Which are the fancy lenses??

    Once you really get to understand and appreciate whatever lens you're using, then you make it special.
    Having a good working shutter helps.

    As far which lens to start with (I'm assuming for 4x5) there are plenty of used lenses on the market made by Schneider, Rodenstock, Fuji and Nikon that won't cost an arm and a leg.
    For these modern lenses, look for good multi coated glass and a reliable, accurate Copal shutter.
    And use it.
    It may be the only lens you'll ever need, or it will point you towards a different focal length/lens
    but you won't know until you start making pictures, lots of pictures, with it.

    If you're only shooting B&W there are many classic lenses from Kodak, Goerz, Wollensak. etc... in older shutters that are certainly options for you.
    But vintage or newer, you're the one who coaxes success out of your equipment.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  3. #3
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Which are the fancy lenses??

    One of the factors is the shutter...bigger shutters cost more. How many pieces of glass they are made of and if they are coated or not. Widest aperture for viewing ease...and all that stuff.

    Just buy it, try it and if you don't like it, sell it. Or go for a 125 and a 90.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  4. #4

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    Aug 2018
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    181

    Re: Which are the fancy lenses??

    I find the condition of a lens more important than what lens to buy. My 120mm super symmar was included in the price of the camera, and it's my most used lens. The 115 grandagon- as well as 120 super angulon are ment for 5x7", they are too dim and too big in my opinion.

    Sent fra min SM-G975F via Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Which are the fancy lenses??

    For some of the more knowledgeable users, the shutter is as important as the lens...
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  6. #6

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    Re: Which are the fancy lenses??

    Fancy schmancy. Adam, you overthink everything. This site has resources that you can use to help yourself. To get to the FAQs, click of the LF Home Page button at the top of the screen.

    There's another resource that's not as easy to find. The first post in this https://www.largeformatphotography.i...mainly)-lenses discussion has a link to a list of links to sources of information on (ahem) lenses and other items that may be of interest to LF photographers. Explore what it offers.

  7. #7
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Which are the fancy lenses??

    There's nothing special about focal length.

    Now there are "special" lenses that are expensive and are different than other lenses. Take a look at:

    75mm Biogon
    150mm (and others) APO Lanthar
    150mm Xenotar
    Any Petzval lens
    Anything with an aperture of f/4 or faster that works on 4x5 or larger
    etc.

    There is more talk on the internet than you could possibly read about all the less available LF lenses out there like these. I have a number of them. Doesn't make my photos better but sometimes I might get something a bit different than other more typical lenses...but I certainly didn't know about any of these lenses before I shot at least 100 sheets of film. Get to shooting man!
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram | Portfolio
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  8. #8

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    Re: Which are the fancy lenses??

    Historically, there were few if any "hobbyist" grade view camera lenses as historically a view camera was used and intended by Foto folks that were relatively serious about making images. That said, optics designs for view camera lenses are made to a different standards for a market that once were majority photography knowledgeable folks. View camera lenses do not have back focus compensation and similar added optical complexities that roll film mirror reflex viewing cameras are required to have.


    This said, question again what are your image goals knowing lens or camera or film or print making as a single factor will NOT make any magical images on their own. What might be best for now (as been said numerous times previously) would be pick a modern 150mm to 210mm f5.6 Plasmat and a 90mm f? from any of the big four view camera lens brands in a proven and verified good shutter. Burn film, make images. Differences in lenses at this point in the learning curve is IMO, simply not relevant, making images using a view camera to develop the skills required IS what's important.


    Bernice

  9. #9

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    Re: Which are the fancy lenses??

    Or they could generally move the camera forward or back a few steps!

  10. #10

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    Re: Which are the fancy lenses??

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    Historically, there were few if any "hobbyist" grade view camera lenses as historically a view camera was used and intended by Foto folks that were relatively serious about making images. That said, optics designs for view camera lenses are made to a different standards for a market that once were majority photography knowledgeable folks. View camera lenses do not have back focus compensation and similar added optical complexities that roll film mirror reflex viewing cameras are required to have.


    This said, question again what are your image goals knowing lens or camera or film or print making as a single factor will NOT make any magical images on their own. What might be best for now (as been said numerous times previously) would be pick a modern 150mm to 210mm f5.6 Plasmat and a 90mm f? from any of the big four view camera lens brands in a proven and verified good shutter. Burn film, make images. Differences in lenses at this point in the learning curve is IMO, simply not relevant, making images using a view camera to develop the skills required IS what's important.


    Bernice
    Rodenstock made a series of 150, 210 and 300mm Geronar lenses and a 90mm Geronar-WA as basic student, budget lenses, as an option to Sironar N MM and Apo Sironar N, S and W lenses and Grandagon N M C lenses. They were budget lenses and were promoted as such.

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