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Thread: New here and looking for lens advice

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2022
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    200

    New here and looking for lens advice

    Hey guys name is Michael and just signed up. Was into 4x5 photography many many years ago in and after playing with digital, and medium format film i have returned to 4X5. Looking for some advice, got myself a camera now i need lenses. I like landscape and portraits so think i want to start off with a 210mm 5.6, the question is what brand ?. I know there are many, i have my eye on a Caltar HD 210mm f5.6 is this any good ? or should i stick with Rodenstock, Nikkor, Fuji etc.

    Again thanks for all replies and look foward to being a part of this forum.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Madisonville, LA
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    2,404

    Re: New here and looking for advice

    Any 210 f 5.6 will do. I doubt you'd be able to tell any difference as long as the lens has not been damaged, dropped, abused, etc. Just make sure the shutter is accurate. Most lenses are better than most photographers.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    1,394

    Re: New here and looking for lens advice

    What Luis-F-S said. Choice will probably come down to price; the Fuji are pretty inexpensive, while a Rodenstock S series is for the fat of wallet.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    3,799

    Re: New here and looking for lens advice

    Later Calumet "Caltar" lenses were re-branded Schneider or Rodenstock.. with previous comments about the big four (Rodenstock, Niikkor, Schneider, Fujinon) applies identical.. Previous LFF discussions on these lenses:
    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...a-field-camera


    Previous "verbiage" related to lenses for "portraits"
    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...a-image-making

    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...t-do-you-think

    Much about portrait lenses for 8x10, core info applies to 4x5:\
    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...ht=kodak+ektar


    Much about what your image goals are,
    Bernice


    Quote Originally Posted by Califmike33 View Post
    Hey guys name is Michael and just signed up. Was into 4x5 photography many many years ago in and after playing with digital, and medium format film i have returned to 4X5. Looking for some advice, got myself a camera now i need lenses. I like landscape and portraits so think i want to start off with a 210mm 5.6, the question is what brand ?. I know there are many, i have my eye on a Caltar HD 210mm f5.6 is this any good ? or should i stick with Rodenstock, Nikkor, Fuji etc.

    Again thanks for all replies and look foward to being a part of this forum.

  5. #5
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    Stuck inside of Tucson with the Neverland Blues again...
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    6,137

    Re: New here and looking for lens advice

    To echo Luis-F-S, a reliable shutter is as important as the lens, and barring some sort of abuse, it would be difficult to tell much quality differences between modern (post-WWII) lenses.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  6. #6
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
    Posts
    20,091

    Re: New here and looking for lens advice

    I usually buy from Japan

    and buy the best shutter

    Mint or better
    Tin Can

  7. #7

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    Jun 2017
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    West Coast
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    1,539

    Re: New here and looking for lens advice

    There are so many great lenses in this focal length category that it doesn't matter a whole lot which one you buy (as long as its in a working shutter). You'd be smart to take a few minutes to read this article posted elsewhere on this forum: https://www.largeformatphotography.info/lenses-primer/ and this one: https://www.largeformatphotography.info/lenses4x5.html

    I own a Symmar 210, f5.6 and its a great lens. I also own several very old Kodak Anastigmats, and those are very useful also. If I could own just one, I would stay with my 203mm Kodak Ektar, which is considered by many one of the best lenses ever made in this category.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Nov 2022
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    200

    Re: New here and looking for lens advice

    Thanks a million guys loads of responces, but they all have one theme, dont seem to matter much who makes the lens as long as its a known brand. Im interested in that Caltar HD 210mm, understand its Calumet from the old days , i surely remember them. I heard its a probally a Rodenstock renamed. Anyways ok lots of great information here, cant wait to get started. I think i will start off with some portraits since i can stay close to home vs driving 400 miles for some good landscape. I use to know how to use the 4x5 very well but its been a long time and will need to shake off alot of rust.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Sheridan, Colorado
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    1,912

    Re: New here and looking for lens advice

    Welcome back into the fold. What took you so long?

    Keep in mind that you've single-handedly just driven up the price of 4x5" film for all the rest of us.

    We'll try not to hold it against you!

    http://www.subclub.org/fujinon/

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Nov 2022
    Posts
    200

    Re: New here and looking for lens advice

    Thanks great to be back, i really dont know what took me so long, but its great to be back and have to the chance to shoot 4x5 again. Sorry for driving up the price its already wayyyyy over the top priced.

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