Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15

Thread: Looking for some recommendations, portraits and 1:1 macros

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    37

    Looking for some recommendations, portraits and 1:1 macros

    My first post here, I've spent the last week admiring the photos on the various portraits threads.

    I had a brief fling with LF in the past. I had nice Shen Hao with a 150mm Caltar lens. My attempts at developing 4x5 film in a Yankee tank were not so great, and I sold the whole kit around the time Polaroid 55 was discontinued.

    Now, I'd like to have another go at it. This time around, I think I'd like to get a monorail style camera as I'd like more positive locks on the movement and a more solid feel overall than a wooden field camera. I intend to use it indoors or around the house 75% of the time. A used Sinar F2 is in my budget, and I may hold out for a P if I can find one.

    My questions: What focal length should I get that would work good for both portraits and 1:1 macros? Will the cameras I mentioned above have enough belows extension for macro? Any other factors I should consider?

    I'll attach a photo below which represent about as close as I could get with the Shen Hao/150mm combination. I'd like to be able to get a little closer in this time around.

    Thanks!


  2. #2
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Stuck inside of Tucson with the Eastern Seaboard Blues again...
    Posts
    5,688

    Re: Looking for some recommendations, portraits and 1:1 macros

    For a traditional portrait lens, you want a longer focal length, about 180mm to 240mm for 4x5. Unfortunately, for macro work you need a shorter lens due to the long bellows extension required. so you'll need two different lenses.

    On the bright side, there are pretty good inexpensive alternatives for both. I'd suggest an enlarger lens, small process lens, or copy lens (like the Tominon) for macro/close-up work. These are optimized for close distances, and you may not need a shutter as you'll likely be working at small stops for depth of field, (very shallow at short range). Be sure you get a lens that will stop down quite a ways, which may be an issue with enlarger lenses. Probably something in the 90mm to 130mm range.

    For portraits, I'd just start watching for a conventional 210mm-ish lens, one of the most common sizes.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    38
    Hi,
    I started out with a 150mm Nikkor. It is ok for 1:1 reproduction since you need roughly twice the length of bellows, than the focal length, making 150 barely fitting on my view camera with 360 mm bellows draw max. For portraits 150mm is starting to be okay-ish, but it did not take me long before I gave in and bought a 210mm ...

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    8,290

    Re: Looking for some recommendations, portraits and 1:1 macros

    A Sinar is an excellent choice: being a modular design, you can add extension and bellows ad infinitum - and the gear is readily available on the used market.

    I have a Sinar P and use a 210mm Macro Sinaron. It's an older design, no longer made, and available used. It's very sharp, and opens to f/5.6 which helps when making macro or close photos.

    Officially, it is corrected for anything from 1:3 to 3:1, but unofficially, I have found it to be extremely sharp even at infinity. Even within the official range (or close to it) a 1:3 subject is around 12 x 15 inches in size. If we allow 1:5, then we're dealing with "portrait" sized subjects.

    As you probably know, the neighborhood of 210mm is popular on 4x5 for portraits: long enough to give a flattering perspective, but not so long that we struggle for adequate depth of field.

    Another option is a 240mm Fujinon A, which is optimized for 1:5 and works very well at close distance as well as infinity. It opens to f/9 which can be dark at 1:1, because then the lens effectively becomes f/18 due to the bellows draw being 2x normal. It's a very popular lens because it's small, light, takes small filters (52mm) and is a superb performer at all distances.

    If you put a Sinar Copal Shutter on your camera, you can get cheaper lenses that are offered without shutters. You can get a very sharp APO Nikkor or Ronar for close work, and a softer Tessar or Heliar or a vintage lens for portraits.

    You might find it helpful to see http://www.kenleegallery.com/html/tech/index.php for more information and sample photos made with a variety of lenses, including the ones mentioned here.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    37

    Re: Looking for some recommendations, portraits and 1:1 macros

    Great, thanks for the feedback, guys!

    Ken, I've been to your website before. For many of the nature shots, did you use your Sinar P? How is it for field use?

    Thanks

  6. #6
    Michael Alpert
    Guest

    Re: Looking for some recommendations, portraits and 1:1 macros

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Lee View Post
    It opens to f/9 which can be dark at 1:1, because then the lens effectively becomes f/18 due to the bellows draw being 2x normal.
    Ken,

    I don't think you mean to suggest that the aperture would become, in effect, f/18. With the Fuji lens fully open, the bellows draw would be one f-stop below f/9, which would be somewhere around f/12 or f/13. Yes?

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Tucson AZ
    Posts
    1,504

    Re: Looking for some recommendations, portraits and 1:1 macros

    I believe there is a 2 stop compensation required for 1:1 thus f/18

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Southland, New Zealand
    Posts
    2,081

    Re: Looking for some recommendations, portraits and 1:1 macros

    A 180mm Fujinon A is much less expensive than a 240mm which is used by deep pocketed 8x10 people. A 240mm Ronar might be the ticket if you have enough bellows, very sharp for macro and excellent for portraits too, also inexpensive.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    8,290

    Re: Looking for some recommendations, portraits and 1:1 macros

    Quote Originally Posted by okcomputer View Post
    For many of the nature shots, did you use your Sinar P? How is it for field use?
    Walking a moderate distance from the car or residence, for me the Sinar is ideal because when arriving at the scene, all movements and options are possible and it's solid, rigid, and resistant to damage from the elements. If it weighed nothing, I'd only use the Sinar P for all purposes.

    I have walked with the Sinar P for several miles, carrying it in a canvas tote-bag, but that can get tiresome. I don't use a backpack, but cheap solutions like beverage coolers. For real field use - walking long distances - a smaller and lighter kit is often preferable, so I now use a Tachihara Field Camera. There are other field cameras with greater bellows draw and movements, but the Tachihara has been lucky, so I went back to if after shooting with others.

  10. #10
    bob carnie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario,
    Posts
    4,508

    Re: Looking for some recommendations, portraits and 1:1 macros

    Can I ask of the lens Gurus what lens length or type would be needed for a Century 8x10 studio.
    It has lots of bellows draw , currently I have a 480mm on it and I would like to do larger magnifications of small objects.
    Also who here on this site would be the right person to ask about purchase??

Similar Threads

  1. GG recommendations?
    By Ben Syverson in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 17-Jun-2010, 10:19
  2. Recommendations to buy 4x5 in UK?
    By matd in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 10-Apr-2008, 03:30
  3. CRT recommendations
    By paulr in forum Digital Hardware
    Replies: 44
    Last Post: 24-Apr-2007, 07:35
  4. UK E6 lab - recommendations?
    By fw in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 21-May-2001, 18:07

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •