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Thread: Portrait & General purpose lens for 4x5? (Goerz vs Kodak)

  1. #1

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    Portrait & General purpose lens for 4x5? (Goerz vs Kodak)

    I've read a bunch of threads and spoken with several people.

    At the moment I've closed in on 2 potential candidates, a Goerz Red Dot Artar 356mm f9 and a Kodak Commercial Ektar 305mm f6.3.

    Both seem to get great reviews and well suited to my intentions (primarily as a portrait lens for head & shoulders shots shot at wider apertures, as well as to fill out my current lens set of 90/150/210mm for general/landscape photography, where I expect I will shoot more stopped down).

    Any thoughts or suggestions on how these two compare?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Re: Portrait & General purpose lens for 4x5? (Goerz vs Kodak)

    Quote Originally Posted by 6x6TLL View Post
    I've read a bunch of threads and spoken with several people.

    At the moment I've closed in on 2 potential candidates, a Goerz Red Dot Artar 356mm f9 and a Kodak Commercial Ektar 305mm f6.3.

    Both seem to get great reviews and well suited to my intentions (primarily as a portrait lens for head & shoulders shots shot at wider apertures, as well as to fill out my current lens set of 90/150/210mm for general/landscape photography, where I expect I will shoot more stopped down).

    Any thoughts or suggestions on how these two compare?

    Thanks!
    Well, Karsh, one of the greatest portraitist, typically used a Kodak Commercial Ektar to excellent effect.

  3. #3

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    Re: Portrait & General purpose lens for 4x5? (Goerz vs Kodak)

    f/6.3 will be easier to focus, and 305mm will be easier to use in tight spaces.

  4. #4

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    Re: Portrait & General purpose lens for 4x5? (Goerz vs Kodak)

    Kodak commercial ektar 12” is a great lens for portraits. I have used it on my 8x10 camera for portrait.

  5. #5

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    Re: Portrait & General purpose lens for 4x5? (Goerz vs Kodak)

    I recommend you the followings for 4x5 portraits:
    fast tessars, triples and similar optics between 210mm-240mm f3.5 to f4.5 with round iris aperture blades:
    heliar, zeiss tessar, schneider xenar, and cooke portrait.
    If your camera’s bellows extension allow, 300mm gives shallow dof and more flatness of face.

    Of those three brands, very late heliars and xenars are in modern shutters.

  6. #6

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    Re: Portrait & General purpose lens for 4x5? (Goerz vs Kodak)

    Image aperture needed decides between these two lens types (dialyte Goerz APO artar, Tessar Kodak C. Ektar).

    If the image requires using large apertures, the Tessar ala Kodak Commercial Ektar is the choice. Lens iris shape is a factor if in to out of focus rendition is a consideration.
    If the image requires using smaller apertures (f16 to f45) the Goerz APO artar is the choice. Lens iris shape is often not that significant given the image need of majority of the image in perceived focus.

    There is a significant size-weight difference between these two. The 12" f6.3 Commercial Ektar is significantly larger-heavier than the 300mm f9 APO ronar (same dialyte lens formula as the Goerz APO artar).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Bernice

  7. #7

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    Re: Portrait & General purpose lens for 4x5? (Goerz vs Kodak)

    Karsh & 14" f6.3 Commercial Ektar..
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Edward Weston & 14" f6.3 Commercial Ektar..
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Edward Weston, C. Ektar.jpg 
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    and many others..

    Bernice





    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Kashi View Post
    Well, Karsh, one of the greatest portraitist, typically used a Kodak Commercial Ektar to excellent effect.

  8. #8
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Portrait & General purpose lens for 4x5? (Goerz vs Kodak)

    Well, if you want that relatively "harsh Karsh" look, then an Artar or Commercial Ektar might be suitable, or any number of more modern lenses. Many portraitists prefer something less harsh like one of the f/ 4.5 tessar design Ektars instead, a more modern Fuji L series, etc. I landed with an older 360/f9 Zeiss tessar single-coated barrel process lens that seems like the best of both worlds, and was a relative bargain; but I don't have it mounted in a shutter yet. Most of my own intermittent portraiture was done with 14 inch Kern dagors, both single-coat and MC; but those are now quite pricey. I also prefer 8x10 film since it's easier to retouch if needed, and makes a nice contact print as well as serious enlargement. But I did color portraiture mostly 4x5 or something even smaller, depending.

    What you need to keep in mind logistically is that some of those classic lenses in big no. 3 over even no. 5 shutters are going to be awfully heavy and bulky at the front of a relatively long 4x5 bellows extension unless you have an especially solid front standard. It might be hard to control vibrations, if the necessary large lensboard even fits. There are plenty of 250-ish and 300 lenses in petite no.1 shutter, even a 360 if you factor in the pricey 360/10 Fuji A, but that's just too long for practical head-shoulders 4X5 use. Something in the 210 or 250 category would seem a lot more realistic for 4x5 format. Also keep in mind that EW and Karsh using 14" lenses on 8x10 cameras had an equivalent perspective to a 180 mm lens on 4x5.

  9. #9

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    Re: Portrait & General purpose lens for 4x5? (Goerz vs Kodak)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    Karsh & 14" f6.3 Commercial Ektar..
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Karsh & 14%22 C. Ektar.jpg 
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ID:	228748

    Edward Weston & 14" f6.3 Commercial Ektar..
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Edward Weston, C. Ektar.jpg 
Views:	34 
Size:	53.0 KB 
ID:	228749



    and many others..

    Bernice
    I wonder if Eastman Kodak sent that 14 inch Commercial Ektar to Edward Weston when he was shooting their 8 x 10 Ektachrome and Kodachrome, not wanting have their flagship color films subject to the vicissitudes of Weston's uncoated Turner-Reich Anastigmat.

    David

  10. #10

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    Re: Portrait & General purpose lens for 4x5? (Goerz vs Kodak)

    The first important thing is your maximum extension of your camera... A 300mm lens requires 300mm (about 12") between iris in lens to film plane to focus to infinity, while close focus (1:1) is double that...

    How much extension do you have, and how close do you expect to work at??? True teles require a little less extension, but generally big lenses, funny tilts/movements, + costs are high...

    Steve K

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