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Thread: How much dimmer on the ground glass is an f/9 lens vs a f/5.6? Or f/5.6 vs f/4.5?

  1. #1

    How much dimmer on the ground glass is an f/9 lens vs a f/5.6? Or f/5.6 vs f/4.5?

    Hello!

    I know that the technical answer to my quiestion is "about a stop dimmer" but, practically speaking, how much of a difference is there?

    I'm looking at getting a Chamonix 45N-2 for shooting nature and landscapes on 6x9 and occasionally 4x5. This will be my first view camera and I know that a dimmer image on the ground glass will be harder to focus, but how much harder?

    Lenses with smaller maximum apertures are typically cheaper and lighter which is attractive but I worry that the image will be too dim?

  2. #2

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    Re: How much dimmer on the ground glass is an f/9 lens vs a f/5.6? Or f/5.6 vs f/4.5?

    It should not impact your focusing on the subjects you say you photograph.

  3. #3
    Eric Woodbury
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    Re: How much dimmer on the ground glass is an f/9 lens vs a f/5.6? Or f/5.6 vs f/4.5?

    It isn't hard to focus if you have a good darkcloth. Small aperture is more an issue with wide angle lenses, but not worth f/4.5 in my opinion. If your vision is wonky, as mine is, then a loupe can help.

    I just bought a 90mm Angulon. Not a fast lens, but it weighs nothing. Therefore, it will get used more often than my 90mm f/5.6 Nikkor.

  4. #4

    Re: How much dimmer on the ground glass is an f/9 lens vs a f/5.6? Or f/5.6 vs f/4.5?

    Thank you!

    I wanted to do outdoor macro/close-up work with a 180mm f/9, would I have to worry? I know that lots of bellows extension also results in a dimmer ground

  5. #5
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: How much dimmer on the ground glass is an f/9 lens vs a f/5.6? Or f/5.6 vs f/4.5?

    Not much dimmer, it should not be a factor in deciding whether to buy an f/5.6 or f/9.

  6. #6

    Re: How much dimmer on the ground glass is an f/9 lens vs a f/5.6? Or f/5.6 vs f/4.5?

    Great. Thank you!

  7. #7

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    Re: How much dimmer on the ground glass is an f/9 lens vs a f/5.6? Or f/5.6 vs f/4.5?

    What lens focal length?

    A light weight field folder camera has limited ability to support a long focal length, large full aperture lens. Essentially, the camera choice has decided what lenses can be used.

    Large aperture wide angles lenses like a 90mm f4.5 full aperture will be big yet not as bright as normal_ish focal length 210mm f4.5 full aperture lens. As for viewing aids like a fresnel lens, they are a mixed baggie of trade offs.

    Given this is a light weight field folder, suggestion would be to use smaller full aperture lenses, like 90mm f8 wide angle, 135mm to 150mm f2.8 <-> f5.6 full aperture as moderate wide to normal should be ok, longer than normal focal length lens from 240mm to 360mm should be f9 full aperture.

    Focusing should not be the deciding factor, image goals, image rendition and a long list of other factor should be the deciding factor. There will often be times when the lens needs to be stopped down to the taking aperture to evaluate what the film captured image would be. This means learning how to see and deal with the dim image produced by a lens stopped down to f16 or smaller, if that is the taking aperture. At times, full aperture of the lens can and will be used depending on image goals.

    Camera is merely a light tight box that is flexi in the center with one end for the lens, other end for the film holder. Lenses that can be used is highly dependent on the capabilities of this light tight box.



    Bernice

  8. #8

    Re: How much dimmer on the ground glass is an f/9 lens vs a f/5.6? Or f/5.6 vs f/4.5?

    Thanks, Bernice!

    My planned lineup of lenses is currently as follows:

    75mm f/5.6 (Fujinon or Schneider)
    180mm f/9 (Fujinon)
    300mm f/9 (Nikkor)

    Since I'll mostly be shooting 6x9, I'll probably acquire the 75mm first.

    This is also brings me to a second question: How close can I focus a 300mm lens with 395mm of bellows draw? I know I'll be fine at infinity.

  9. #9

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    Re: How much dimmer on the ground glass is an f/9 lens vs a f/5.6? Or f/5.6 vs f/4.5?

    Depends on lens... Some of my f10 process lenses "snap" into focus due to increased contrast, color saturation etc when focused, as well as a "sparkle" on specular highlights...

    Wides are different, but longer lenses easier...

    Steve K

  10. #10

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    Re: How much dimmer on the ground glass is an f/9 lens vs a f/5.6? Or f/5.6 vs f/4.5?

    Quote Originally Posted by Schuster_Shots View Post
    Thanks, Bernice!

    My planned lineup of lenses is currently as follows:

    75mm f/5.6 (Fujinon or Schneider)
    180mm f/9 (Fujinon)
    300mm f/9 (Nikkor)

    Since I'll mostly be shooting 6x9, I'll probably acquire the 75mm first.

    This is also brings me to a second question: How close can I focus a 300mm lens with 395mm of bellows draw? I know I'll be fine at infinity.
    75mm 4x5 lenses are not particularly easy to use. I have a Schneider 75mm 5.6 Super Angulon, it projects quite a dim image on the ground glass of my Wista 45DX. You have to look at the edges of the frame at an angle to see them clearly. This will be less of a problem if you are shooting 6x9, but still worth considering. If you are a beginner I would always recommend an easy as possible path to producing your first images. I would start in the 120-180 range as these lenses are easy to use, small and light.

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