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

  1. #11
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Wide Lenses for 4x5 & 8x10: 90mm to 165mm

    It's risky to go with generalizations. Not all CN films are the same in terms of contrast. For example, Ektar gives one about one stop more latitude either way versus most chrome films, but not anywhere near the latitude of Portra "portrait" films. But as I have already hinted, that's not the real problem because density shifts at the extremes of the usable contrast range are not neutral like with black and white film, but often exhibit dye curve crossover issues. Then there's the additional problem of potential unsymmetrical falloff due to camera movements. Mere density changes might be fixable, but unequal crossover could be a real bear to fix. It's just so much easier to instantly correct the shot, if needed, with a CF right from the start. I'm not implying they're always needed. It all depends. But having one on hand is certainly wise if one can realistically afford it.

  2. #12

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    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.
    You know perfectly well from earlier discussions that I know how this works. I get it Dan. You wrote an article about centre filters several years ago and you can't resist an opportunity to interject whenever the subject comes up, including explaining that 1+1=2. Now, if you don't mind, I'm more interested in Bernice's response to my questions. I'm thinking that maybe I should discuss this with her offline so that the thread can stay on topic rather than get derailed and turned into yet another discussion about centre filters.

  3. #13

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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".
    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...
    Thanks very much. I'll do some research on the Ektar and Wollensak, and also have a second look at the 120mm Super-Angulon.


    Quote Originally Posted by Michael E View Post
    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.
    Thanks to you as well. I'll revisit the 121mm as well as the 120mm.

  4. #14
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Wide Lenses for 4x5 & 8x10: 90mm to 165mm

    Quote Originally Posted by r.e. View Post
    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.
    Hi Rory,
    I saw that, and as I have both the 210 and a 250, I thought it somewhat relevant to mention.
    You mentioned urban landscape and environmental portraiture, so my mind went naturally to a 210.
    One man's wide angle is another man's normal lens. In my case, my 210 is my normal lens.

    I have a 210 which is quite compact, it folds into the camera's clamshell and covers 8x10 well enough for me to do most of what I need with it.
    When some extra "presence" is needed, out comes the 250. 210 and 250 are not nearly as close as the FLs will have you believe.
    They're brothers from different mothers.

  5. #15

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Ari View Post
    Hi Rory,
    I saw that, and as I have both the 210 and a 250, I thought it somewhat relevant to mention.
    You mentioned urban landscape and environmental portraiture, so my mind went naturally to a 210.
    One man's wide angle is another man's normal lens. In my case, my 210 is my normal lens.

    I have a 210 which is quite compact, it folds into the camera's clamshell and covers 8x10 well enough for me to do most of what I need with it.
    When some extra "presence" is needed, out comes the 250. 210 and 250 are not nearly as close as the FLs will have you believe.
    They're brothers from different mothers.
    Which 210mm do you have? What do you use as normal in 35mm? 28mm?

    I've never used a Leica Q with its fixed 28mm lens, but a lot of people apparently love it.

  6. #16
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Wide Lenses for 4x5 & 8x10: 90mm to 165mm

    It's very much a matter of one's preference. On FF digital, I like 24mm lenses. When I had a Contax G, the 21mm was my go-to.
    My 210 is a Rodenstock Ysarex. Sharp and contrasty enough, and allows for some movement on 8x10.
    Essentially, a slightly smaller version of the Fujinon-W 210 in a Compound shutter.
    This is with about 1.5 inches of front rise:



    I should have moved in a bit closer, but it was the first shot of spring, a relatively new lens, and I was pretty excited.

  7. #17

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Ari View Post
    It's very much a matter of one's preference. On FF digital, I like 24mm lenses. When I had a Contax G, the 21mm was my go-to.
    My 210 is a Rodenstock Ysarex. Sharp and contrasty enough, and allows for some movement on 8x10.
    I looked at your website a short while ago. Your lens choices really fit. Very nice work. The fact that I know several of the locations made it fun, too.

  8. #18

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

    As I understand it, Schneider re-designated their 121/8 Super-Angulon as a 120/8 when that lens became multi-coated in the 1970s. Of course I may have read that on this forum, or another, and I can't back up the assertion.
    For your purposes, though, one millimeter more or less shouldn't make any difference.
    I will admit that I've owned and used a 1957 121/8 SA since the mid-'90s, and it's a fine lens on 4x5. When I had an 8x10 camera, I never thought of a picture that required such a wide view, so never tried the 121 on 8x10.
    However, on the job we had a 165/8 SA, and I used it a few times on an 8x10 camera when an assignment called for it. Also a very good lens, if very large and heavy. However, that wasn't really an issue for the industrial and studio work we did.

  9. #19

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sampson View Post
    As I understand it, Schneider re-designated their 121/8 Super-Angulon as a 120/8 when that lens became multi-coated in the 1970s. Of course I may have read that on this forum, or another, and I can't back up the assertion.
    For your purposes, though, one millimeter more or less shouldn't make any difference.
    I will admit that I've owned and used a 1957 121/8 SA since the mid-'90s, and it's a fine lens on 4x5. When I had an 8x10 camera, I never thought of a picture that required such a wide view, so never tried the 121 on 8x10.
    However, on the job we had a 165/8 SA, and I used it a few times on an 8x10 camera when an assignment called for it. Also a very good lens, if very large and heavy. However, that wasn't really an issue for the industrial and studio work we did.
    Thanks. The Super-Angulon f/8 165mm is on the chart in post #1. It's the heaviest of the lot, but I'm not particularly concerned about that. The idea of using a lens of about 120mm on 8x10 doesn't appeal to me either. I'd use one as a 4x5 lens.
    Last edited by r.e.; 19-Oct-2021 at 05:06.

  10. #20

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

    Quote Originally Posted by r.e. View Post
    The idea of using a lens of about 120mm on 8x10 doesn't appeal to me either. I'd use one as a 4x5 lens.
    In post #1, I said that I may also want to use the 4x10 format. Unsurprisingly, Kerry Thalmann says in a 2004 thread called Which Lenses Would You Have for 4x10 and Why? that a 110mm/120mm lens has the same look in 4x10 as in 8x10. Looking at threads on 4x10, it appears that even owners of those focal lengths use them for 4x10 very sparingly, if at all.

    For me, what this comes down to is that I don't regard coverage of 8x10 or 4x10 as a consideration when it comes to choosing a lens in the 110mm to 120mm range, including the following lenses on my shortlist chart in post #1:

    110mm Schneider Super-Symmar XL f5.6
    115mm Rodenstock Grandagon-N f6.8
    120mm Schneider Super-Symmar HM f5.6
    120mm Nikon Nikkor SW f8

    There are a lot of posts on the forum that point out that three of those lenses cover, or sort of cover, 8x10. Some, with different taste than than me, may see it differently, but my reaction is So what? It just isn't a reason for me to choose one of those lenses over another. I'm more interested in price, maximum aperture, range of movement for 4x5, filter size, centre filter requirement and, although secondary for me, weight.

    Thalmann was responding to another post. See the second last paragraph:

    As everybody knows 4x10 needs at least 273.56 mm.

    The actual image diagonal is a little bit less. It will vary slightly depending on which holders you're using, but should be somewhere in the 266 - 267mm range.

    I have my eye for Nikkor 120 SW lens. It is 105 Deg, filter size 77mm, circle coverage 310 mm - little movement possible. No center filter needed. Price is very acceptable.

    The 120mm Nikkor SW is a great lens and offers the most coverage of the modern wide angles in this focal length range. But, why don't you think a center filter will be necessary? I think the Nikkor SW series are some of the truly great wide angles ever made, but they have to obey the same laws of physics as lenses from Schneider, Rodenstock and Fuji. The fall-off will be comparable to other brands of similar focal length and design. For most standard (non wide angle) large format lenses, illumination closely follows the theoretical ideal cos^4 function. Most modern wide angles (Nikkor SW, Grandagon-N, Super Angulon, Fujinon SW) use a tilting entrance pupil design that results in less iluumination fall-off. In this case, the fall-off of these lenses closely follows the cos^3 function. I've seen illumnation curves for Schneider and Rodenstock lenses, and the illumination does indeed come fairly close to the theoretical ideals (cos^4 for standard designs and cos^3 for tilting entrance designs). I haven't seen any illumination curves for Nikon or Fujinon lenses, but based on my experience with the 90mm f8 Nikkor SW and the 75mm f4.5 Nikkor SW, I'd say they have not been granted an excemption from following the same laws of physics as everybody else.

    I'm not saying you will definitely NEED a center filter with the Nikkor SW. It will depend on several variables (your own personal sensitivity to fall-off, your materials and printing methods, etc.). However, you are no less likely to need a center filter with the 120mm f8 Nikkor SW than comparable lenses from Schneider, Fujinon or Rodenstock. Of course, the Nikkor does have other advantages (coverage, size/weight, cost) over most of the competitors.

    You also seem to be confusing the terms angle of view and angle of coverage. 120m will be very wide on 4x10. In fact, it's a focal length I like a lot on 6x12cm and 6x17cm (but then, I'm not a huge ultra wide angle user). On 4x5, something in the 150mm - 165mm range is usually considered "normal". Since you're familiar with the 35mm format... a 150mm lens on 4x10 will have the same angle of view in the vertical direction as a 37mm lens in the 35mm format and the same angle of view in the horizontal direction as a 21mm lens on 35mm. So, you can see even the "normal", for 4x5, 150mm lens becomes quite wide on 4x10. For a 120mm lens, the 35mm equivalents become 30mm vertical and 17mm horizontal - extremely wide.

    You also mention you need fast lenses for your work. I'm curous why this is a requirement? Do you plan to shoot handheld? Do you want minimal depth of field? Is it a focusing issue? Also, keep in mind that lens coverage specs are usually given at infinity. If you're shooting substantially closer than infinity, the coverage will be larger, possibly significantly, than the published specs.
    Last edited by r.e.; 19-Oct-2021 at 07:45.

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