4x5 LFers, what lens focal length do you favor for stil life photography?

Discussion in 'Still life' started by CPorter, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    Just taking a survey from those LFers who engage in still lifes, what focal length works best for you. I have a 210 f5.6 Rodenstock Sironar N and a 120 f8 Nikkor SW, any images would be cool. Thanks

    Chuck
     
  2. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    It all depends on my mood, and the image I'm trying to portray. It also depends on the size of the subject. I favor a 105mm, 127mm, 10", and a lens thats only marked "5x7". I have several other lenses, but those are my favorites.
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    For 4x5", 210mm.
     
  4. fotch

    fotch Member

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    4x5 = 203mm Optar
     
  5. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    Not only for still life, but for almost everything I reach first for my trusty 210. I have a 150 when I need to go wider, a 305 when I need to reach out and touch something, and a 90 for extreme situations. But my first instinct is always the 210, which I find very interesting since my overwhelming favorite medium format lens was a 150, for all intents and purposes the corollary lens in MF. My unscientific hypothesis is that everyone "sees" most naturally at a certain perspective.
     
  6. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    I like 210mm myself, as it provides a reasonable working distance (5') which does not interfere as much with lighting the subject or set, yet lets me frame a 24" x 31" area. You'd need to be about 3.5' if you tried to do the same shot with 150mm.
     
  7. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    thanks all for your thoughts
     
  8. ronlamarsh

    ronlamarsh Member

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  9. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Depends on the desired field of view and magnification... anything from 90 to 360.
     
  10. Perry Way

    Perry Way Member

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    Nikkor W 210 f5.6. I love that lens!
     
  11. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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  12. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    210 would be my choice.
     
  13. johnielvis

    johnielvis Member

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    yeesh.....now that's a question GUARANTEED to get you every possible answer....

    what you want to do is figure out what magnification you're working with and what distance you want to be when working at that magnification...that will determine the focal length.

    for example--if you need like 5' to get enought distance to put in lights...and you need say 1/4 lifesized, then you want (1+1/(1/4))f = 5' or f=1' = 12" = 305mm. but this will require a bellows draw of (1+1/4)*1' = 1.25' = 15" = 381mm. If you have the bellows draw then go for the 12" lens, if you don't, then you have to do some compromising such as have to work at 4' distance or something like that.

    just use the formulas (1 + 1/M)*f = working distance and (1 + M)*f = bellows draw.

    note--you MAY want to us a shorter lens for more depth of field or a longer lens for less depth of field also--there are a million ways to pick'em.

    just figure out what's important to you looks wise or setupwise, etc....and see what that gets you.
     
  14. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    hehe yeah, which is why I listed the full range of focal lengths in my possession :wink:
     
  15. benveniste

    benveniste Subscriber

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    135mm and 180mm f/5.6 Nikkor-W. If I ever find the right subject, I'll give the 120mm Nikkor-AM a try.
     
  16. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    The 120 AMED is very nice but sometimes it's hard to bring light in with such a short focal length. That said, sometimes I even use the 120 with a diopter.
     
  17. mark

    mark Member

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    For me it all depends on what I am looking for in the final image. I generally use a 210, but the 180, 150, and 300 have been used.
     
  18. JohnArs

    JohnArs Subscriber

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    1. 210mm
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