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Thread: What am I about to do?

  1. #1
    come to the dark s(l)ide..... Carsten Wolff's Avatar
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    What am I about to do?

    Ahh, the conundrum.....I think I have developed lens Angst.
    Life was easy. I started off with a nice standard line-up of lenses in my (then 4x5) kit:
    90 Grandagon, 135 Symmar-S, 210 Komura, 300 Nikkor M, 480 Apo-Artar.
    All ok glass, right? Should have looked no further; well, may be bought the 450mm Fuji I used a few times, or committed to the 110XL. Then I bought a 6x17 Canham back and more lenses and have now gone weird and vintage: After mowing into 5x7, I'm seriously thinking of just having the 75 Nikkor, 110 WA Dagor, 165 something (W.A. Raptar/Velostigmat?), keep my recently aquired and beloved 254 Conley Anastigmat and leave it at that. Have I gone potty? Apart from the substantial weight and cost savings there must be drawbacks, right? I've often said that it doesn't matter what one gets, but I'm about to commit by selling "excess"....
    I do mostly outdoorsy/trekking kinda stuff, so weight is a bit of an issue. I also keep on using 4x5 for color and will use 5x7 more for b/w (well at least until Astia comes out again in 5x7; one lives in hope)....
    http://www.jeffbridges.com/perception.html "Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you are right."

  2. #2

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    Re: What am I about to do?

    In my opinion, you can never have too many lens choices. never.

  3. #3

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    Re: What am I about to do?

    For my 4x5 personal work I have 65mm, 75mm, 90mm, 125mm, 135mm, 150mm, 210mm, 250tele, 360tele, 400tele. I still need more lenses.

  4. #4

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    Re: What am I about to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Carsten Wolff View Post
    Ahh, the conundrum.....I think I have developed lens Angst.
    Life was easy. I started off with a nice standard line-up of lenses in my (then 4x5) kit:
    90 Grandagon, 135 Symmar-S, 210 Komura, 300 Nikkor M, 480 Apo-Artar.
    All ok glass, right? Should have looked no further; well, may be bought the 450mm Fuji I used a few times, or committed to the 110XL. Then I bought a 6x17 Canham back and more lenses and have now gone weird and vintage: After mowing into 5x7, I'm seriously thinking of just having the 75 Nikkor, 110 WA Dagor, 165 something (W.A. Raptar/Velostigmat?), keep my recently aquired and beloved 254 Conley Anastigmat and leave it at that. Have I gone potty? Apart from the substantial weight and cost savings there must be drawbacks, right? I've often said that it doesn't matter what one gets, but I'm about to commit by selling "excess"....
    I do mostly outdoorsy/trekking kinda stuff, so weight is a bit of an issue. I also keep on using 4x5 for color and will use 5x7 more for b/w (well at least until Astia comes out again in 5x7; one lives in hope)....
    You haven't mentioned old brass soft focus lenses as yet so you cannot be taken seriously

    I hope you have good brakes on your billy cart as it is all down hill from here.

    But what a ride !!

    Steve

    Oh and you can never have too many lenses. Just get more cameras with different sized lens boards. I find that helps with any form of justification.

    I've got a soft focus camera -- a sharp camera -- a not so sharp camera --

  5. #5

    Re: What am I about to do?

    Well, you obviously have a gap in your line-up; the 150mm “normal” lens is not listed.

    Moreover, nothing you list will allow much movement on an 8x10 so how will you be able to take advantage of the 5x7 format? I mean, isn’t that the point of having a 5x7, you get to use 8x10 lenses for even more movement, without having to drag an 8x10 around?

    72mm, 90, 120, 120 macro, 135, 150, 210, 300, 480 and, at the least, a 600mm tele are minimal for the 4x5. For the 5x7, looking ahead, the lenses should have good coverage on an 8x10; since it won’t be long, now, before you will acquire one of those, also.

    No, it isn’t lens angst. That is what you get after you acquire a lens—for things other than what are used in photography, it is called buyer’s remorse. You definitely regret having purchased it, you realize that you have no use for it and will never get back what you spent for it.

    Lens angst is what you get after having acquired a lens. Did you really need it? Will you be able to find some situation where you will be able to use it? If you do, will it be able to allow you to do anything you couldn’t have done just as well with what you already had and will the resolution, contrast, color, bokeh and character actually be of the very best; allowing you the full freedom necessary to accommodate your artistic range? Not that lens angst won’t turn into buyer’s remorse, it is simply an intermediate step in your predestined descent into the ultimate hell where you have acquired a 4x5, a 5x7, an 8x10 and at least two ULF’s along with a panoramic with a back at least 2.83 times as wide as it is high, preferably on its own ULF camera with its own triple extension bed and not just a convertible 8x10 or something even worse, like a 5x7 with a 6x17 roll film back.

    No, what you have is not lens angst, it is GAS! This is how it all starts and is only the first stage of your addiction. You did have cameras before you started messing around in large format, didn’t you? Think about it, you are already horribly addicted. This is how it started, but, now, it isn’t just starting, you require larger and larger doses to satisfy your addiction and that is causing your craving for a larger format or a bigger lens or, better yet, both at once.

    Now, it is too late to avoid it or to short circuit the process. In the end, there will be no more decisions to make that will reasonably provide a basis for endless soul searching. There will be no more lenses, no more formats, no more worry about necessary bellows length and whether a triple extension bed is really needed. In the end, you will reach the ultimate decline into complete oblivion, looking for a new process, some new chemical or, worse, end up trying to design and build your own camera. Even Sisyphus had it better than that. And, even if you avoid those, there is always something worse; there is always the pinhole trap.

    Abandon hope, all ye that enter here!
    Last edited by Steve Barber; 11-Jun-2007 at 02:10. Reason: spelling

  6. #6
    come to the dark s(l)ide..... Carsten Wolff's Avatar
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    Re: What am I about to do?

    Thanks for that discourse, Steve .... astonishing how many truths you've touched on. Yes, I admit it, I also still have a 150mm, (but don't use it). And yes, I've also built my own camera (5x7 Hinge-rule p/s underwater!!!) still "improving" that one; great toy. I have to agree with your reasoning about image circle, however, I definitely won't go into 8x10, or larger; because (somewhat incongruently perhaps) I like my large (read 16x20+) prints from my 5x7 Durst and I enjoy doing both b/w and color. 8x10 seems more for people who like their azo-contacts (...good for them) and who don't hike much. I've also had 8x10 lenses, briefly, but have weeded most of them out already (still hanging on to my 480 Apo-Artar ... for now). So may be there is a finality in one's madness.

    I'm probably just:
    a) wondering if vintage cuts it in the color department..... so far so good.
    b) seeking confirmation that I'm a magic bullet chaser ... Check.
    c) hoping that contracting, rather than expanding, may lead to silver halide induced happiness; I hate having stuff I don't use.

    In the end, over the next few seasons and after making hundreds of images with various lenses, I will probably be coming to the conclusion I've always suspected: A 5x7 with a 110XL and a 240 Fujinon A is all I need; I will have just taken the long-winded and expensive route to get there. Life....it's all about the journey, isn't it?
    Cheers!
    http://www.jeffbridges.com/perception.html "Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you are right."

  7. #7

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    Cool Re: What am I about to do?

    Check this out:

    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...ic-bullet.html

    It is so appropriate.

  8. #8
    Terence
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    Re: What am I about to do?

    8x10 too big? Jump on the whole-plate bandwagon. 6.5x8.5. Seemingly half the weight of 8x10, but only a little heavier than 5x7 and with twice the film real estate. Also means those lenses that are a little shy of movements on 8x10 will be just right. But you'll need a couple more lenses to fill out the whole panopoly of coverage . . .

    Come on in. The water's fine . . .

  9. #9

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    Re: What am I about to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene McCluney View Post
    For my 4x5 personal work I have 65mm, 75mm, 90mm, 125mm, 135mm, 150mm, 210mm, 250tele, 360tele, 400tele. I still need more lenses.
    And just think, John Sexton owned only one lens, a 210, for years. Imagine what a great career he might have had and what fine photographs he might have made if only he had owned as many lenses as you have.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  10. #10
    All metric sizes to 24x30 Ole Tjugen's Avatar
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    Re: What am I about to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene McCluney View Post
    For my 4x5 personal work I have 65mm, 75mm, 90mm, 125mm, 135mm, 150mm, 210mm, 250tele, 360tele, 400tele. I still need more lenses.
    you have a couple of focal lengths I don't have, but...

    65, 90, 90, 120, 121, 121, 135, 135, 150, 150, 150, 6", 165, 180, 180, 210, 210, 210 240, 270, 300, 355, 360, 420, 480 and 500mm - none of them tele. and several in some focal lengths, just because they're totally different.

    so what do I use most? A 3 1/4" WA rectilinear, and a 150mm doppel-Amatar...

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