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Thread: What's the next 8x10 lens to buy?

  1. #1
    Craig T
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    What's the next 8x10 lens to buy?

    I've just taken the plunge after some time using 4x5 and purchased an 8x10 Chamonix from Andy Biggs on the forum (great guy and a gorgeous camera). I also contacted Hugo and have ordered the rotating 4x5 reducing back...just to keep a little loyal to my familiar 4x5. I have only one (perhaps two) lenses that will suit the larger format - a Nikkor f5.6 240mm and a 9" Petzval I bought from Eddie that I'm going to give a run to see how much fall-off and swirl I can create on 8x10. I want to contact print and Bromoil (when I learn how) with my main work being portraits, but enjoying the odd landscape as well.

    I know that I've got some freedom with soft focus barrel lenses for my portrait work (thanks to reading many of Jim Galli's posts ), but I'm trying to get the best and most sensible focal length lenses to cover a range of subjects/styles...I'll collect more barrel lenses along the way as I learn more about them.

    I figure my next lens after the 240mm should be a 360mm (the Nikkor f6.5 looks nice) and any suggestions about and beyond this would be really appreciated.

  2. #2

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    Re: What's the next 8x10 lens to buy?

    "...lenses to cover a range of subjects/styles"

    I think it would be helpful to narrow this part down to something a little more concrete. Can you be more specific? What were you shooting in 4x5?

  3. #3

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    Re: What's the next 8x10 lens to buy?

    I find a 14" Commercial Ektar very useful, and a 19" Artar as well. Either of these, or the same focal lengths in a Dagor should have you well covered, Another alternative to consider might be a triple convertable (the Wollensak 1a, for example---less $$ than a Cooke and seems to age better than Turner Reichs.)
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
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  4. #4
    Craig T
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    Re: What's the next 8x10 lens to buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darryl Baird View Post
    "...lenses to cover a range of subjects/styles"

    I think it would be helpful to narrow this part down to something a little more concrete. Can you be more specific? What were you shooting in 4x5?
    I mentioned my work is primarily portraits...more specifically 'street' portraits of drug-addicts and homeless. However I still want to be able to photograph landscapes without owning a plethora of lenses (or buying them right now after spending so much on a new camera).

    Some wide open work, but also some stopping down for sharpness right through the shot.

    Thanks John for your input. What do you recommend in regards to shutters? A Cooke would be nice but I'd have to sell a kidney right now to afford one

  5. #5

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    Re: What's the next 8x10 lens to buy?

    If you already have and use 4x5 you can answer your question yourself:
    Look at the lenses that you use and love right now and multiply their focal lengh with 2 and you will come up with the lenses for your 8x10, if you want to make the same type of shots that is.

    Peter

  6. #6
    Craig T
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    Re: What's the next 8x10 lens to buy?

    Ok, it seems I need to clarify.

    I get your point about focal lengths can be a multiple of my 4x5 lens FL. The issue I suppose is that I'm unfamiliar with the particular makes of lenses that have the image circles that provide room for lots of movements etc. against sharpness, best price or value for money etc. suitable for 8x10. Should I get the Nikkor 360mm as opposed to the ......360mm because it's sharper, has a larger image circle than the .......yet only costs $......?

    I know a lot of this is personal choice but I need somewhere to start and would prefer to have an idea before I buy.

    I use 4x5 but I'm no expert and would value some opinions from those who know more than me and have worked with lenses I've never touched.

  7. #7

    Re: What's the next 8x10 lens to buy?

    Craig,

    I agree with John, the 14" or 12" Commercial Ektars are truly fine, they came in Ilex shutters.

    "I mentioned my work is primarily portraits...more specifically 'street' portraits of drug-addicts and homeless."

    The Chamonix takes 5.5" Sinar boards so:

    Goerz Dogmar 420/5.5
    Gundlach Radar 10x12 (400/4.5)
    Voigtlander Heliar 36cm/4.5
    Schnieder Xenar 360/4.5

    can all fit trimming the flange ring for clearance, all need a Packard shutter.

    Have fun with the new toy.

  8. #8
    Wayne venchka's Avatar
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    Re: What's the next 8x10 lens to buy?

    The Fuji "A" and "C" lenses always get high praise from LFPF members. Search this forum for information. I don't know for sure if the 240mm Fuji A lens covers 8x10, but the longer ones will.

    Fuji lens specs:

    http://www.willwilson.com/fujinon.html
    Wayne
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  9. #9

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    Re: What's the next 8x10 lens to buy?

    The 300 A covers with tons of movements. I heard the 240 barely covers 8x10.

  10. #10

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    Re: What's the next 8x10 lens to buy?

    I really liked the 14" Ektar when I shot 8x10 portraits -- sharp yet smooth, nice wide open, plenty of coverage. I imagine the modern 5.6 lenses might be a tad sharper and the modern Copal shutters are much more accurate than the big Ilexes, but so long as you are shooting negative film and not going for 10" tall ultra-sharp prints I'd pick the Ektar first. The Ilexes also have nice circular apertures.

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