Lens for 8x10

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Fotoguy20d, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    I recently bought my first 8x10 camera (an Eastman 2-D) last week on craigslist and my second (a ROC Universal) through the classifieds here yesterday but still have no lenses really able to cover the size. I have a 7" Darlot Petzval that rolls off heavily into the corners (vignettes really) and an 8"-9" Voigtlander which is not quite as bad but close. I tried a 5"x7" Wollensak Symmetrical in all three configurations with similar results to the Voigtlander. I have a couple of old B&L RRs that are marked as 5x7 but I don't expect them to be any different.

    Any suggestions for a budget lens so I can start playing around with the format? I'll probably try the Voiigtlander or the Symmetrical for portraits - I think the roll off into the corners will work okay there - but I'd like something to try a landscape or portrait wihtout the vignette. Since neither of those cameras has much in the way of movements, having much more coverage than 8x10 is not very important.

    I've heard the 168mm Dagor covers 8x10 - any truth to that? - although I don't think it fits my idea of budget.

    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  2. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    If you are not set on a wide angle then 300mm lenses (11" to 13") in #3 shutters should all cover. They are not that expensive.
     
  3. Doc W

    Doc W Subscriber

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    "Budget" means different things to different people. I think the best buy for people starting out in LF is the Commercial Ektar. In fact, they are good enough that you don't need to change even when you can afford it. You can get a 14 inch Commercial Ektar in an Ilex shutter in very good condition for about $500, sometimes much less if you don't mind minor imperfections like cleaning marks.
     
  4. mjs

    mjs Member

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    Ilex Paragon lenses often sell for less than the "brand" names of the era. They were mostly copies of Kodak's Ektar lenses, with less stringent quality controls applied during manufacturing so quality can vary a bit. Still, pretty good lenses. Caltar lenses may also be had for less -- they were made by different manufacturers and even when made by big names such as Rodenstock or Schneider often sell for less because they have the "Caltar" name on them.
     
  5. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

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    You surely can't get any cheaper than the Russian 300mm lens fitted to the FKD cameras?! I'm pleased with mine, but as usual with Russian gear, I'm led to believe the quality can be variable.
     
  6. John R.

    John R. Member

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    I agree, the Commercial Ektars are very nice optics and are a bargain in the 8x10 class. I've seen the 360mm (14inch) sell for as low as $350 on Ebay. Most will be in the $450 -550 range, the shutter has a lot to do with the price as well. The Universal Synchro is the preferred shutter.
     
  7. Doc W

    Doc W Subscriber

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    John, yes, you are quite right. They don't usually come in Ilex's, if at all. Brain fart on my part.
     
  8. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    I'm now looking at Comm Ektars (many of which are in Ilex Acme shutters) although they don't quite meet my current, for this exercise, definition of budget. A 300mm Russian FKD might work. I'd like something in the Bausch RR style for right now, but I don't know what one of those would run in the 8x10 size (if they even come that big)
     
  9. mark

    mark Member

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    You should probably get a different definition of budget. When I moved to 8x10 I realized my definition of budget would have to change or I would have to give up the format. I changed my definition of budget based on a newly discovered idea of priority, and patience(sp). In other words: what was I going to be shooting, what did I need to shoot it, and finally what was available. Then I saved my money until I could afford what I needed. Hard to save money though. Too many things to buy.
     
  10. MenacingTourist

    MenacingTourist Member

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    For portraits I enjoyed using Wollensak Velostigmat 12" (not the expensive version) for a couple of years but once I purchased a Kodak Commercial Ektar 14" I really fell in love.

    For landscapes I haven't hit on any revelation like that Ektar, but I'm trying.
     
  11. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    I got a Fujinon 300 f5.6 from a fellow Ape Hugger for a very reasonable price. It's in a #3 shutter and from the few sheets I've done so far, works great. Good lenses can be had for a good price but like anything else it takes patience and 'right place/right time'.
     
  12. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

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    There are quite a lot of symmars available and they are not very expensive either.
    If you choose the older 5.6 versions you get two focal lengths for the price of one.
    The 240, 300 and 360 cover 8x10, and they are easy to find.
    If you need a wide angle it is not impossible to find a angulon 165/8 (the angulon 210 is usually expensive).

    If you need anything small I can recommend Nikon 300/9
     
  13. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    240 G-Claron in the barrel. Nice wide field and sharp corner to corner.
     
  14. coriana6jp

    coriana6jp Member

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    If I were only going to have one lens for 8x10. I would start with one of the big modern plasmats, suchas the Fuji 300mm W F/5.6 or the Nikon 300mm W F/5.6 or any of the Schneider/Rodenstocks. You get the brightest lens possible, with generally alot of movements. The smaller Fuji 300C or the Nikon 300M are great lenses, but they are a stop or more dimmer which can make focusing difficult. For learning your way around 8x10 the biggest brightest lens is not a bad way to do things. You can always sell it later and get one of the smaller lenses.

    Hope it helps.

    Gary
     
  15. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    Wow. Lots of good advice and good options here, once I find a budget. Meantime, I just remembered that I do have a 15" Tele-Optar. From a quick check, it looks like it'll cover (that's more question than statement) as long as it doesn't rip the front standard off the camera.

    Dan