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Thread: Wide Lenses for 4x5 & 8x10: 90mm to 165mm

  1. #1

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    Wide Lenses for 4x5 & 8x10: 90mm to 165mm

    I use 4x5 and 8x10 cameras and I'm considering the purchase of a lens in the range of 90mm to 165mm. This thread is mostly a vehicle to post the attached chart, which shows some of the characteristics of the lenses on my shortlist. Some people, now or later, may find the chart, and the explanation below, useful. Except on one issue, I'm not really looking for advice.

    I would, however, appreciate comments on the following question. My shortlist only includes modern lenses by Nikon, Rodenstock and Schneider (Fujinon didn't make the cut). The cost of some of the options, particularly of the 150mm to 165mm lenses for 8x10, may well be more than I'm prepared to pay. I know little about other brands. I wonder whether there are lenses by, for example, Kodak or Wollensak, that are solid alternatives but less expensive.

    I'd love to get two lenses, one for 4x5 and one for 8x10, but that is not an option financially.

    So, there are two basic considerations behind my shortlist and the resulting chart.

    1. I use an Arca-Swiss F-Line monorail for 4x5 and 8x10, with 171mm lens boards, standard bellows capacity up to 700mm and a leather bag bellows for 4x5. I have a 5x7 camera (a Linhof Kardan Bi), but it's doubtful that I'll use it going forward. Consequently, 5x7 format is not a major consideration for me. I am considering 4x10 for some purposes, which means either masking an 8x10 sheet of film or composing with the intention of cropping.

    2. For the foreseeable future, my focus is on urban landscape, environmental portraiture and occasional macrophotography. I need to be able to get closer to subjects than a "standard" lens will allow; for example, photographing a storefront without trying to do it from the middle of the street. Hence the interest in wide lenses.


    I've also taken into account my current lenses that cover 4x5:

    Rodenstock Grandagon-N 75mm f/4.5 (note to self: do I really need a 90mm lens?)
    Nikon Nikkor AM ED 120mm f/5.6 (only for macrophotography)
    Rodenstock APO-Sironar-N 150mm f/5.6
    Docter Optic 210mm f/4.5
    Wollensak Portrait Veritar 10"/254mm f/6

    And my current lenses that cover both 4x5 and 8x10:

    Nikon Nikkor AM ED 210mm f/5.6 (only for macrophotography)
    Nikon Nikkor W 240mm f/5.6
    Nikon Nikkor W 360mm f/6.5
    Fujinon C 600mm f/11.5 (think photographing Manhattan from the Brooklyn/Queens side of the Hudson River)

    The cost of an additional centre filter is a consideration. Currently, I have Rodenstock's E67/86, which fits lenses that take 67mm filters.

    So is the cost of standard filters. I don't have screw-in filters larger than 95mm or rectangular filters larger than 100mm˛.

    Notes to the Chart's Column Headings

    Street Price New: I've taken the street prices from this forum's lens comparison charts. I see those prices as a very rough guide. For example, there's a thread in this forum that says that Badger Graphic, at least, was offering Schneider's Super-Symmar XL 110mm for significantly less than $1,670.

    Centre Filter: The ✓ means that my Rodenstock E67/86 will work with the lens.

    Coverage in 35mm Equivalent: Also from the forum's lens comparison charts. As I'm sure everyone knows, different methods yield different numbers. I use "~8x10" in two cases to signify that the lens barely covers 8x10, or doesn't quite, at least without stopping down beyond f22. I'm not keen to go as wide as 110mm to 120mm for 8x10 or 4x10 anyway (EDIT: See post #20).

    Weight: I place this column last because it's a secondary consideration for me. Some may place it first


    I should also note that the chart does not contain information on lens design. That's a potentially significant consideration when I get the list narrowed further.

    Perhaps some people will find the foregoing discussion, and the chart, useful in making their own decisions about lens choice.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by r.e.; 21-Oct-2021 at 17:23. Reason: Fixed "List" layout

  2. #2

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    Re: Wide Lenses for 4x5 & 8x10: 90mm to 165mm

    Keep in mind the baked in light fall off of any LF wide angle lens as exampled by this 8x10 Agfachrom 100 image made using a 155mm f6.8 Grandagon at f22.
    Could be ok, could be not ok.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Bernice

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    Re: Wide Lenses for 4x5 & 8x10: 90mm to 165mm

    I picked up a 120mm Super-Angulon this weekend and it covers the 8x10".
    You miss out on the 190mm wide field ektar, but I suppose it's as expensive as a modern lens.
    The 159mm wollensak is good for 8x10", but only rivals a 165mm S-A in the corners at f32 to f45
    But the weight difference makes a 165mm stay at home anyway...


    Sent fra min SM-G975F via Tapatalk

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    Re: Wide Lenses for 4x5 & 8x10: 90mm to 165mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Oslolens View Post
    I picked up a 120mm Super-Angulon this weekend and it covers the 8x10".
    I just wanted to suggest the Super Angulon 121mm. I love that lens: A moderate wide angle on 4x5", a strong wide angle on 5x7", an extreme wide angle on 8x10" (which it barely covers). Very versatile and not very expensive.

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    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Wide Lenses for 4x5 & 8x10: 90mm to 165mm

    A good 210 for 8x10 is indispensable, but expensive.
    A decent option is the older Fuji W-210.

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    Re: Wide Lenses for 4x5 & 8x10: 90mm to 165mm

    I think I remember you talking about using the Artist’s Viewfinder App, and I understand you’re not really looking for focal length advice. I’ve used it as a visual to weigh a lens’ position in my lineup before, so thought it worth noting here.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7

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    Re: Wide Lenses for 4x5 & 8x10: 90mm to 165mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Ari View Post
    A good 210 for 8x10 is indispensable, but expensive.
    A decent option is the older Fuji W-210.
    Hi Ari. There's a Nikkor W 240mm f/5.6 in my post under "current lenses that cover both 4x5 and 8x10". In 8x10, I don't think that there's enough difference between 240mm and 210mm for me to get a 210.

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    Re: Wide Lenses for 4x5 & 8x10: 90mm to 165mm

    Quote Originally Posted by alan_b View Post
    I think I remember you talking about using the Artist’s Viewfinder App, and I understand you’re not really looking for focal length advice. I’ve used it as a visual to weigh a lens’ position in my lineup before, so thought it worth noting here.
    Yes, I use Artist's Viewfinder and talked about it in a thread called What Scouting/Planning Apps Are You Using in 2021?

    That app helped me decide to get the Rodenstock Grandagon-N 75mm f/4.5 mentioned in the first post in this thread.

  9. #9

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    Re: Wide Lenses for 4x5 & 8x10: 90mm to 165mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    Keep in mind the baked in light fall off of any LF wide angle lens as exampled by this 8x10 Agfachrom 100 image made using a 155mm f6.8 Grandagon at f22.
    Could be ok, could be not ok.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	155_Grandagon_LFO001.jpg 
Views:	104 
Size:	59.7 KB 
ID:	220513
    On my screen, the falloff is quite pronounced in the top third of the image, but not obvious in the bottom third. Is that true of the original? If so, the reason? Does this lens also result in noticeable falloff with negative colour and black and white film?

    I included Rodenstock's E105/127 Centre Filter for this lens in the Chart attached to post #1. Haven't checked yet to see what it costs, assuming that I can even find one. According to the forum's lens comparison chart, street price was US$1,040.
    Last edited by r.e.; 18-Oct-2021 at 15:42.

  10. #10

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    Re: Wide Lenses for 4x5 & 8x10: 90mm to 165mm

    Quote Originally Posted by r.e. View Post
    On my screen, the falloff is quite pronounced in the top third of the image, but not obvious in the bottom third. Is that true of the original? If so, the reason? Does this lens also result in noticeable falloff with negative colour and black and white film?
    Falloff is a property of the lens, not of the film. However, negative films have broader exposure latitude than reversal films so with them falloff can somewhat be dealt with when printing. On the whole, it is better to use a CF with color film.

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