12" Red Dot APO Artar - Buy it?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by photobizzz, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. photobizzz

    photobizzz Member

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    Does anyone have an opinion on this lens? I am currently looking for a tele lens to round out my kit before I stop buying equipment for a while. (promised my wife) I currently have a 90/8 SA, 140/4.5 Ilex Paragon Anastigmat, and wanted a telephoto lens to use primarily for landscape work. I live in Alaska and while my 90mm Super Angulon will be great for the wide angle stuff up close a lot of times the better shot is farther away since I live right in the mountains. There are so many to choose from in the $300-400 range.

    Thanks for you opinions, and any ideas for lenses if you think the Artar isn't a good choice. Also what shutter does this lens come in? I will need to buy a lens board and would prefer to buy them together. Here is the one I am eying at KEH.
     
  2. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

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    I have the 14 inch Red dot Artar for my 8x10 and it is great. Very sharp at close up and very sharp at distance as well. I use it for still life and for portraits. My main lens.
     
  3. Erik L

    Erik L Subscriber

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    It should work fine. Make sure it is in a working shutter and not a barrel lens or it could be a surprise you didn't want. There are many faster 300mm lenses from a variety of manufactures in your price range. Maybe put a wanted add in the classified section and see what you get. I had one of the 12" RDA's and it was perfectly fine, but there are certainly any number of 12"er's that are much faster (larger also).
    regards
    erik
     
  4. photobizzz

    photobizzz Member

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    I will be using this lens (or other of similar focal length) on my Toyo 45A field camera (4X5) and although I know most (if not all) 12" lenses will cover 8X10 I want it for it's telephoto ability. I would definitely want it in a shutter and was looking to stay light rather than get a longer, heavier lens since I will be humping my camera in a backpack around Alaska while hiking. I was also looking at a Schenider Xenar 300mm f5.6 in Copal 3 for the same price. It looks like it isn't super big and I have been reading good reviews about it on the net.

    http://www.keh.com/Product-Details/1/LF060090113320/LF06/FE.aspx

    Thoughts?
     
  5. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    I own the 360 tele-xenar and it is a fine lens. Bellows draw is only about 8 inches at infinity. A 300 will give you more bellows in reserve for closer shots. The tele lenses almost have more air between elements than there are elements, so they are pretty light.

    Peter Gomena
     
  6. photobizzz

    photobizzz Member

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    Thanks for the info Peter, I am pretty much a newbie when it comes to these longer lenses having never owned one. I take it that the 360 & 300 share the same lens design? I just sold my next to last 35mm lens so I have the cash to get one now. What to buy, what to buy... I hate making these decisions when there are so many choices, LOL. Guess at the worst if I don't like it I can trade or sell it here.
     
  7. photobizzz

    photobizzz Member

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  8. photobizzz

    photobizzz Member

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    I just was reading about the 360mm Symmar-S and the thing is a beast - weighs over 3 lbs and uses a 120mm filter! Uh dont think it qualifies as good for hiking!
     
  9. photobizzz

    photobizzz Member

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    Ok thanks all for the help, I went with the Schneider 300/5.6 Xenar in Copal 3. Still a bit heavy but they all are in this focal length unless you spend big bucks.
     
  10. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    It may be too late, but for what its worth:
    Be mindful of the max bellows draw of a camera. I could not find any info on the 45a, but this is for the 45aii:

    <b>"full 324mm extension " ... "standard design 300mm can be focused to ten feet for complete versatility in landscape work."</b>

    In large format, there is a big difference between a 'long focal length' lens and a true 'telephoto' lens.
    A 'normal' 300mm lens will need about 300mm of bellows draw focused at infinity. It will need more extension for portrait shots and much more for close-ups. Up to 600mm for 1:1.

    A true 'telephoto' requires less bellows draw. So a 300mm tele only requires 200mm bellows draw. (for example) Tele's have some drawbacks though. Using movements are harder to use. They are heavier and have less coverage.

    So if your camera matches the specs of the toyo 45aii, you will only be able to focus as close as about 10 feet with a normal 300mm lens. Also, at this extention, the bellows may be fully extended, which could cause some spring back while focusing and limiting movements.

    I would recommend instead something like a 250mm commercial ektar or 240mm g-claron.

    One thing I would like to add is that I find focusing with a dimmer lens just fine in the longer focal lengths. I have a 360mm Artar that I adore and is a breeze to use.
    The artar is not a tele btw. Large format lenses will usually explicitly state if they are tele.

    In any case, the 300mm Xenar is a good lens if it works out for you, all the better. Since you want to use it for landscapes the bellows extention issue will not be a factor.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2010
  11. photobizzz

    photobizzz Member

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    I checked this out before I bought it and the 45A can focus up to a 400mm lens, I plan on using this for landscape. Being here in Alaska a lot of the time I have been out hiking I have wanted to take shots where I can take out the area right in front of me. If I want to use a lens for portraits I have a "normal" lens the 140mm Ilex Paragon Anastigmat. I guess if I need to focus up closer and and the bellows or focus track limit me I will just have to use a different lens. Thanks for the info.
     
  12. Huub

    Huub Member

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    You're shure about that? Mine has only about 300 mm maximum bellows draw. Be aware that in large format "tele lens" has a different meaning than in 35 mm. The designation "tele" is used for lenses that need less bellows draw for focussing compared to the non-tele designs of the same focal length. A non-teledesign 400 mm like a symmar won't focus with a Toyo 45A and a 300 mm only at almost infinity. The 360 mm tele-xenar needs about 210 mm bellowsdraw at infinity and is the perfect longer lens for this camera.
     
  13. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    I've seen quite a few ads for view cameras stating that they 'support lenses up to 400mm' and in the fine print they specify 400mm tele.
     
  14. photobizzz

    photobizzz Member

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    This is the same camera just newer model as my 45A and will take up to 300mm / 400mm tele

    http://www.toyoview.com/Products/45AII/45AII.html

    and I bought a 300mm, so it should work fine, it is only the minimum focus that needs the maximum bellows draw, not for infinity focus right?
     
  15. photobizzz

    photobizzz Member

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    Oh, and here is a discussion on the large format photography forum discussing the exact issue and more than one person has said they are able to focus a 300mm on a 45A for portraits, if need be I will order the 100mm extension box for the rear. But hope not as they are ridiculously expensive ($549!) Probably cheaper to sell the lens and get a different one.

    http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?p=572849

    I just measured the bellows from the film plane to the approximate aperture position and without any swings but with full rise and fall available the Toyo 45A has 310mm of bellows extension and it wasn't "stretched" to the point I was worried about messing the bellows up. My lens and two boards I ordered from KEH are shipping today so I guess actually trying it out will tell if I bought the "wrong" lens. I will be able to use it for landscape anyway although it will be disappointing if I cant use it at the min focusing distance for portraits.

    BTW: If anyone here uses KEH I just found out that they no longer ship by UPS, the only option available was FEDEX. It cost me $30 for FEDEX 2nd day air which since I live in Alaska is cheaper than FEDEX ground.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2010
  16. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    Much cheaper than a rear extention you can get a 'top hat' lens board.. the opposite of a recessed lens board.. I'm not sure about your model, but reversing a recessed lensboard may be the equivilent.

    But it may not even be an issue if you can focus as close as you want to.
     
  17. photobizzz

    photobizzz Member

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    I was looking for one of those, anyone have a line on where to buy one that will work? My board is 110X110mm. I didn't see one after about 20 min of looking on the net. I did email skgrimes to ask if they could fabricate one or a cheaper extension for me, waiting to hear back.
     
  18. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    If you don't have the bellows to support a 14" Artar then a tele would be the way to go in a longer focal length. That said---
    I hate teles on LF!
    But my preferred tele is the Wollensak yellow dot 15 incher( if someone was pointin a gun to my head and makin' me use one!)
    At least they're cheap.
     
  19. photobizzz

    photobizzz Member

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    Originally I was looking at a 12" not 14" and 12" is the same as a 300mm, and I have 310mm of bellows draw, so I can focus a 300mm lens. I was primarily asking people who has a preference, not someone who hates telephoto lenses.
     
  20. richard ide

    richard ide Member

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    I have made a couple of lens board extensions out of ABS drain pipe. Not the neatest, but they work.
     
  21. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    The 360/14" Artars are super lenses, no doubt about it. I've got a 14" and a 19"---super sharp and great for landscapes.
    OTOH, should you wind up with a tele (gulp!) tell us what you think about them after dialing in some tilts, shifts or swings and getting it all focused (bwa-ha-ha-ha!)
     
  22. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    He already mentioned that he ordered a 300mm f5.6 xenar (non-tele)
     
  23. photobizzz

    photobizzz Member

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    Now that I have a Gundlach 4X5 Korona type wooden field camera with about 500mm of bellows (thanks Richard!) I will have no problem focusing the 300mm Xenar for portraits. Don't plan on taking it out too much since I have the Toyo but I am planning on finding a nice older lens for the Gundlach, to match for asthetics. I guess something in the 135mm range. Maybe a Dagor in an old compound shutter.
     
  24. Matthew P

    Matthew P Member

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    Apochromat 19 inch lens on e-bay really cheap

    I was reading all the comments and there is a 19 inch on e-bay posted today March 31st 2011 for $49.00. That is a heck of a deal if anyone is interested. I would purchase myself but am out of work is money is tight.
    Matthew