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Thread: 90mm and 300mm, what great focal lengths (4x5)

  1. #1

    90mm and 300mm, what great focal lengths (4x5)

    So far for my 4x5 kit I have a 90, 120, 150, 210, 300, and a 360. I have a few more to get to complete the lens lineup but so far I can definitely tell the 90 and 300 will get used a lot from about a year of shooting(I'm new to LF). Besides shooting, I use a Visualizer when I am hiking or backcountry snowboarding and take notes, the 90 or 300 get written down a lot as the lens I will need when I come back.

    The 90 is a perfect wide angle, not too wide but not too long on the wide scale, just right. Most 90 lenses have plenty of movements so if needed running out of coverage is not a problem. Does not push back things such a mountains that are at infinity too far back thus losing some detail in them. Love it for full frame or 1:1.6, 1:2, and the occasional 1:1.8 crops.

    The 300 fits longer compositions just perfect. I'm anal about little stuff at the edges and the 300 almost always just fits what I want at the edges and what I don't. Can do crazy movements at this focal length with a large image circle. Very nice for full frame but love it for 1:2 crops.

    I need all my lenses and have many and will take many shots that would not be possible without then, but my 90 and 300 get too much attention. My lenses are Rodenstock 90 6.8 and Fuji 300c 8.5

  2. #2
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: 90mm and 300mm, what great focal lengths (4x5)

    Different strokes for different folks. For the 10 or 15 years I used a 4x5 as my main camera (the other was a Rolleiflex), I had and used only one lens...a Caltar IIN 150/5.6. And never felt the need to pick up another focal length.

    But I understand your concern for the edges of the image -- after all, the edges define what is in the middle.

    For 8x10 I went with just a 300mm/5.6 for the longest time. Now I have a 159, 210, 300, 480 and a borrowed 610. But still use the 300 the most, but the 480 (19" RD Artar) is a sweet little lens, too.

    Vaughn

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    Re: 90mm and 300mm, what great focal lengths (4x5)

    I agree about the 300mm, I love mine and use it a lot. My 90mm annoys me a bit, probably because it's the Nikkor f/4.5 and is way heavy. Most of the time I find the 90mm a bit too wide for me, I'd love a 110mm but just need to come up with a money making scheme so I can afford one!

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    IanG's Avatar
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    Re: 90mm and 300mm, what great focal lengths (4x5)

    I thought I'd use a 300mm so bought a Nikon M about 20 years ago, I've probably used it 2-3 times since then. My 10x8 came with a spare lensboard that had been used with the same lens so it's with that outfit for when I need flash sync.

    A 210 is a long lens to me but then I mainly use a 150mm, 90mm and when tight a 65mm

    Ian

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    Re: 90mm and 300mm, what great focal lengths (4x5)

    I bought and sold a couple of kits before getting to my preferred option of: 90;135;200;300.

    I've come to realise that kit selection is very subjective. Thankfully there are lots of great options for lens kits.

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    Re: 90mm and 300mm, what great focal lengths (4x5)

    I agree with Ron. I would probably add a 58 SA XL to his list though because I like WA and that kit will cover just about any shooting scenario you're likely to encounter... mm... maybe add a Fuji 450-C too. Lenses are just like tools. You may not always use one of a particular FL but you'll be disappointed if you don't have one in your tool kit when you need it. That said, I do separate my FL's enough so that I'm not carrying a giant 50 pound bag of lenses either. The 1.4x to 1.6x factors work nicely for me though I do make small exceptions. So... 58, 90, 135, 200, 300, 450 would be my choice for 4x5. Oh... and if you ever shoot roll film and if you love WA as I do then I would suggest adding a 38 SA XL. With reference to the latter statement you could substitute a 47 SA XL for the 38 and 58 but this makes quite quite a jump from 47 to 90 and also 47 isn't exactly ultra-wide on 6x9cm.

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    Re: 90mm and 300mm, what great focal lengths (4x5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Marshall View Post
    ... my preferred option of: 90;135;200;300.
    I was fortunate and didn't have to buy and sell to get to this "perfect option" for me.

    Only difference is that I have a 210 rather than a 200... and also a 250 soft focus for portrait work.

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    Re: 90mm and 300mm, what great focal lengths (4x5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1234 View Post
    I agree with Ron. I would probably add a 58 SA XL to his list though because I like WA and that kit will cover just about any shooting scenario you're likely to encounter... mm... maybe add a Fuji 450-C too.
    I do have a 55 and that 450, but they don't get anywhere near the use of the four workhorses.

  9. #9

    Re: 90mm and 300mm, what great focal lengths (4x5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Marshall View Post
    I bought and sold a couple of kits before getting to my preferred option of: 90;135;200;300.

    I've come to realize that kit selection is very subjective. Thankfully there are lots of great options for lens kits.
    Looks like your core is very close to what I have decided on. If I were to do a 3 lens trip backpacking or day hiking a new area I would do 90;150;300 or 90;210;300 and take the Visualizer to take notes of compositions that I run across that I don't have a lens for and come back at a later date.

    The 135mm is a focal length that I don't get. It fits this weird gap between 120 and the popular 150 focal lengths. I don't think I would ever use one if I had one, but that is what is so cool about a lens kit selection, like Ron said it is very subjective. We all see compositions differently and all have different things we want to include/exclude.

    I agree about the great options for lenses but sadly over time the options will probably get worse with Nikon getting out of the business and Fuji discontinued some of it's lenses. The cool ones too like the 65 5.6 and the smaller 90 8. I hope I am wrong. Hopefully the remaining big three have plans on staying in the lens business let alone coming out with cool stuff in the future.

  10. #10

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    Re: 90mm and 300mm, what great focal lengths (4x5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rust Never Sleeps View Post
    The 135mm is a focal length that I don't get. It fits this weird gap between 120 and the popular 150 focal lengths.
    That is what I initially thought. I began with 110-180, but was continually wishing for something in the middle and something shorter than the 90. Then I went 90-150.

    The 90 was perfect, but I still wanted something in the middle. I knew 120 would be too close to the 110, a wonderful lens but not a focal length that fit my preferred subjects.

    The first time I shot the 135 was a revelation, I cursed myself for not buying/borrowing/renting one sooner. But I was surprised that it felt that much different than the 150 had!

    The great thing about buying used LF lenses is, for not much more than the cost of shipping, one can try a great variety.

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