4x5" Lenses on the Cheap - medium wides...

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by holmburgers, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Hi all,

    If you couldn't tell from my 'Polaroid lens' thread, I'm looking for a medium wide on my 4x5.

    I currently have a 135mm Raptar which is honestly a great lens for what I do, but it is limited in movements and has no semblance of a modern coating. My other lens is a 180mm Symmar convertible which I really like, and for me, that's modern enough.

    So if you guys could help me compile a list of affordable (≈$150) lenses in the 100-135mm range, it would be really helpful.

    The SK Angulon 6.8 120mm would be perfect, but the price is a little above where I'd like to be.

    Is there such a lens, or am I dreaming?
     
  2. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Kodak had the Ektars. I have the 127 and I am most certainly wrong on this but I believe they also made a 109? They made a wider version. Might be worth looking into if you can find it on a good shutter like a Super Flashmatic or some such.
     
  3. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I have a 127mm Ysarex salvaged from a Polaroid 110a that covers 4x5 with plenty of movement. It came mounted on a Prontor SVS shutter, its my favorite LF lens for landscapes.
     
  4. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

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    The 120/6.8 is a nice lens and you could be lucky.
    I paid about $70 for the one I have (lens only, no lens board).
     
  5. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    $70 sounds awesome.. and a board is just a board afterall :wink:
     
  6. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Holmburgers, this isn't the best site for information on LF gear. The US LF site http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/ is better. So, if you read French, is the French LF site http://www.galerie-photo.info/forum/

    Look for f/6.8 Leitmeyr Weitwinkel lenses. 90s and 105s aren't that rare on eBay. They're not highly regarded, are relatively inexpensive. I have a 105, it is a 4/4 double Gauss type like the 90/6.8 Raptar/Optar (might be in your price range), the very highly regarded 100/6.3 Wide Field Ektar (probably out of your price range, but not always), and the 100/6.3 (also f/9) Meyer Aristostigmat. Beware of lenses in barrel, some of these things won't go directly into standard shutters and even standard shutters aren't as inexpensive as one would like. Prime example, my 100/6.3 Aristostigmat in barrel.

    If you want good image quality on the corners no 127 mm Tessar type will suit you. That includes Rainphot's prized 127 Ysarex.

    There are two coverage concepts floating around. "Puts light in the corners," "puts good image in the corners." Impossible to know which anyone uses without asking.
     
  7. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2010
  8. TimmyMac

    TimmyMac Subscriber

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    You might be able to snag a 120mm Symmar-S for $150. My 150mm cost around that.
     
  9. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Look around. I just picked up a Caltar 90 f5.6 from KEH in a modern black shutter. Slight separation brought the price to $90. I bought it as a beater that I would not mind falling in the mud or snow, but can't see any issues in my negatives to lead me to get a 'better' one.
     
  10. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    At 90mm I would reccomend holding out for a super-angulon. You should be able to find an older one for $150 or so. The problem with the 90mm angulon or wide-raptar is that you dont have much coverage.

    At 120mm the Angulon is your best bet. The older ones should be available.

    The 127mm Ektars, Ysarons (from polaroid cams), raptars and xenars are all Tessar types and will be sharp out to the corners, but wont offer much coverage for movements.

    100mm and 135mm wide-field ektars are great but can be over-priced.

    At 150mm you have many options. Xenars are pretty easy to find at this length.
    But the convertible Symmars are probably the best bang for the buck.
     
  11. jmcd

    jmcd Member

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    A 125mm Fuji is a fine modern lens, but I don't know about its current price.
     
  12. FiatluX

    FiatluX Member

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    There´s several Symmar 5,6/135s around 150$ on the german bay, if thats wide enough for ya!
     
  13. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    The 135mm nikkors and symmars are widely available too. But the prices can vary quite a bit. For some reason they demand a premium over the 150's.
     
  14. r1ma

    r1ma Member

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    One thing to look out for is that the oldest 90/8 Super angulons are that they are in a #00 shutter. Obsolete, and an added expense to get it in a board, if you're not making your own boards.

    IIRC only the silver body ones are #00. But I've seen them go in the $90-120 range recently.
     
  15. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Lot's of great stuff everybody, thanks! 120mm seems like the perfect FL to me, as it'll contain all that 135mm has, so cropping to that coverage would be an option, and yet it's just a tad wider for when I need it.

    Thanks... now hopefully I'll get some Christmas money to do this! :wink:
     
  16. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

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    I loved the little 127 Ektar I used to have. It was right up there with the sharpest lenses. They are very cheap but you will probably need to get whatever shutter it is in cleaned. The coverage isn't great but it is still a good lens.
    dennis
     
  17. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Funny you should say that... my 135mm is in an old Rapax shutter and when I got it it fired great at all speeds. My Synchro-Compur on the other hand was sticky, and has actually gone back to broken since it's been fixed. The Rapax was left in a cardboard box in some tech school somewhere, completely neglected and yet it worked great.

    They don't make 'em like they used to I guess! :laugh:
     
  18. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I have one of these too. I have a lens board for it to fit my home made 5x4 camera and I am also modifying the 110A it came from to take 5x4 film holders. However, I have not yet taken a photograph with it!

    My Speed Graphic is almost back together again so I think it may get some use on that.

    It's interesting to hear that it has plenty of movement as I thought it only just covered 5x4 (or 4x5 if you prefer!).


    Steve.