Much existance of fast lens past 4.5?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by kb244, Jan 5, 2007.

  1. kb244

    kb244 Member

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    Only one I found that would be 2.8 was a Schneider Xenotar 80mm and 100mm , and a Xenar 100mm at 3.5, are there any known lens even rather old ones that were faster than 4.5 than the ones above? I was curious because even if the lens would be kinda "meh" quality at their fastest aperture might be rather spiffy for focusing. I'm kind of curious for curiosity sakes, because I know if I ever did find one, its highly unlikely I'd be able to afford it.

    Also are all the longer lens rarely faster than 5.6, right now I got a Graflex Optar 135mm f/4.5, and a Optar 90mm f/6.3, and kinda feeling like I'd like to get a longer lens say slightly more portrait range ( like an 80mm would be on 35mm ), but kinda wondering if lens in that range if 5.6 is the norm.
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    The longer the lens the brighter they tend to be at the same F/stop. Something about the angle of the light hitting the ground glass. Wide slow lenses are much harder to focus then slow long lenses.
     
  3. Terence

    Terence Member

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    There's the F/2.5 178mm Aero Ektar, a cultish portrait lens, and a host of other aerial lenses.

    I have a British monster that's F/1.8 but it makes a better doorstop or ship anchor than carry-around lens.
     
  4. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    You could go with the 135/150/165mm f/3.5 lenses which aren't too expensive (in comparison to the 150mm f/2.8), but these aren't really in the "portrait" range for 4x5. I'd probably say that in the 210mm - 300mm that f/5.6 is the norm "fast" lens, but you can find the 9" verito which is f/4 and portraitish length on 4x5--really soft wide open, though (*really soft!*).
     
  5. ReallyBigCameras

    ReallyBigCameras Advertiser Advertiser

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    There have been several examples over the years, some rare and expensive, some not.

    Here's a few off the top of my head:

    135mm f3.8 Schneider Press Xenar
    135mm f3.5 Schneider Xenotar
    150mm f2.8 Schneider Xenotar

    135mm f3.5 Zeiss Planar

    A whole slew of f3.5 Tessars in various focal lengths and even a few f2.7 Tessars

    152mm f2.8 and 152mm f3.5 Komura

    65mm f4 Nikkor SW

    All the Petzval type portrait lenses, most Veritos and a huge assortment of other old, soft focus portrait lenses.

    There's more, but that should give you some idea what's out there.

    Kerry
     
  6. kb244

    kb244 Member

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    Was my understanding that a 180mm on a 4x5 was around the same perspective as a normal 50mm on a 35mm. But I guess that would be true that 210mm would be more portrait, like a 80mm on a 35mm.

    Also far as being soft wide open, I was more curious at the sake of focusing and viewing, but I guess if its soft on film wide open it will be soft on the ground glass as such doesn't help for focusing either.
     
  7. ReallyBigCameras

    ReallyBigCameras Advertiser Advertiser

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    Think about the definition of f-stop and you'll see why longer, fast lenses are problematic.

    f-stop = focal length/iris diameter

    So, as focal length increases faster maximum apertures esult in lenses that are enourmous in diameter, expensive to make and too big around to fit on many cameras. Also, most current/modern lenses are designed to fit in standard shutters. The largest currently made is a Copal No. 3 with a maximum iris opening of about 56mm. For a 300mm lens:

    focal length/f-stop = iris diameter
    300mm/5.6 = 53mm
    300mm/4.5 = 67mm

    So, f5.6 is the maximum aperture possible for a 300mm lens to fit in a Copal No. 3 shutter.

    This gets worse as the focal length increases. For a 360mm lens, f6.8 is about the fastest you can fit in a Copal No. 3 shutter. For 480mm it goes up to f8.4 and my 600mm Fujinon-C has a max. aperture of f11.5.

    Of course, these are limitaions imposed by the size of the Copal No. 3 shutter. If you're willing to live without a central shutter, faster maximum apertures are possible, but result in lenses that are large, heavy and expensive. I have a 48cm (480mm) Voightlander Universal Heliar with a max. aperure of f4.5. It's a huge lens that weighs between 13 and 14 lbs.

    If you're looking for reasonably fast, affordable long lenses and can live without a built-in shutter, look for the barrel mount Tessars made by VEB Carl Zeiss Jena prior to the reunification of Germany. These are fairly plentiful on the German eBay site. Late samples are excellent in both optical and mechanical quality. In barrel mount, they have f4.5 max. apertures and come in focal lengths up to 360mm.

    Kerry
     
  8. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Zero d-o-f at bigger apertures. My standard portrait lens on 8x10 is a 21 inch (533mm) f/7.7 Ross, and for large head portraits the d-o-f at full aperture is maybe an inch or two. For small formats a 300mm on 4x5 inch is roughly equivalent to 85mm on 35mm. My 300/3.5 Tessar is interesting, but almost useless at full bore. Even my 100/2.8 Planars (I have had two) for roll-film were marginal.

    Cheers,

    R. (www.rogerandfrances.com)
     
  9. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    karl

    the vitax (petzval) is a 3.8
    you might look for olde folders
    and harvest lenses off of them
    some are meniscus lenses, soft and fast ..

    meniscus lens can be hard to focus
    because everything seems focus and soft
     
  10. kb244

    kb244 Member

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    I just rememebered about iris diameters and what not, and my mind was thinking say 300mm coverage on say a 35mm, but then once I got it thru my head what a 300mm lens for a 4x5 would be stuck onto a 35mm area, then I was like "ohhh..." in terms of how big the lens would have to be for the diameter required lol. So ya I did not think about that, and something of that diameter would be slim to none to fit on my 4x5 crown graphic.

    That lens might be *unique* to try then. I thought about getting myself some kind of pneumatic shutter or some other kind of shutter-only assembly, so I could randomly just start slapping lens on the front that didn't have shutters built in just to see what kind of look I could get.
     
  11. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I doubt it has the kind of coverage you're after but I sometimes forward- or reverse-mount my Nikkor-EL 63mm f/2.8 in a press shutter :D
     
  12. JG Motamedi

    JG Motamedi Member

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    There are dozens of posts about fast lenses. Basically, if you want relatively sharp open wide your only real choices are a Xenotar or a Planar. There are a few other sharp and fast lenses out there however they are relatively rare.

    If you don't mind flare and weird bokeh your choices are much broader. Any of the 150-240mm f3.5 Tessars are acceptable (the more recent the sharper and larger coverage), and the 8" f2.9 Pentacs are decent (but quality of the ex-Air Ministry lenses is quite variable). There are a dozen other relatively uncommon speed lenses out there, many of them British made. Some, like the Dallmeyer Super-6, are apparently quite good (or so I hear, Dan) while others, like the Lee Speedic are just terrible, assuming that you don't believe that coma and other optical defects are nice "bokeh".
     
  13. kb244

    kb244 Member

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    Hrm could not find "Petzval" or "Vitax" on ebay...

    On a side note, I like my 135mm f/4.7 Optar, but sometimes it just seems too wide, also I've never shot anything different on a 4x5 other than the slower 90mm f/6.3 optar, so I would not know if my optar is what some may consider 'sub-par', or if its 'above average' compared to what most of you folks are listing off as 'sharp', or as 'ewww'.
     
  14. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    karl --
    ditch the crown graphic, get a speed graphic. the focal plane shutters
    are great for doing just that ... either that, or get a packard shutter
    ... some can get a flash sync but the downside is 1 shutter speed ...
    sometimes you can find fast lenses at jay tepper's site ..
     
  15. kb244

    kb244 Member

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    I was lucky to even afford the crown graphic....
     
  16. Wayne R. Scott

    Wayne R. Scott Member

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    The last Vitax 16" that I watched close on the bay ended up at a little over $1300. They are fast at f3.8, but are just a little bit shorter in length than a VW bug and I think they weigh just a little bit more than the VW.

    I don't think they were designed with Crown Graphics in mind.

    Don't ditch the Crown, just add the Speed Graphic.

    Wayne
     
  17. ineffablething

    ineffablething Member

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    There's a whole shitload of fast lenses out there. Plaubel Anticomar 180mm f2.9, Cooke f2.9,f2.5, and even f2 lenses. Series IX, X and 0, I believe.. I think the Cooke Series went up to 10" in focal length. Some of them are really nice. I've got a Zeiss Planar 250mm f4 lens that is awesome wide open that is about to go on Ebay. Bausch and Lomb f2.5 aerial lenses..I could go on and on and usually do....Some people say they aren't sharp wide open, but that's rubbish. Some of them are mushy, but some of them are awesome! Especially if you are only making 11x14 enlargements from 3 1/4x4 1/4 or 4x5 negatives. Good bokeh is in the eye (or mind) of the beholder. I believe the literal translation of bokeh is "I think the out of focus areas in this picture are awesome!" I've seen any number of attempts to quantify good or bad bokeh and they all make me laugh so hard I almost spill my scotch. Do what I did and read all the old texts you can find and buy/borrow/steal all the old lenses you can find and shoot as much film as you can afford with each lens and figure out what you like.

    Or go on the internet and listen to what other people have to say....:wink:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 6, 2007
  18. spongeboy

    spongeboy Member

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    If pic quality is perhaps of lesser concern (but why bother with LF then?) there are some huge TV- and other- Projection lenses out there, that MAY be useable: I have a monstrous Fujinon TV-Projection lens 145mm, f1.2 (yes, one-point-two) somewhere that covers 6x12cm at infinity, 4x5" if you go closer, or don't mind dark corners. It's about the same size as a medium Jobo print drum.
    As others have said: No DOF there, i.e. pretty useless unless you're taking pics of 2D only and/or are after that elusive "special" bokeh; projection lenses usually don't have aperture diaphragms either. Two additional problems for my particular lens are of course the lack of a shutter (again, being a projection lens) and its rear element sits as close as about an inch from the film plane at infinity, a challenge even for focal-plane shuttered cameras, like the Speed Graphic. Therefore, MF or smaller format SLRs can't be used either with this particular lens. So, I'm actually not sure what to do with this one..."Dreamy" night photography anyone? Massive 4x5 slide projector?....now, where to find Anti-Newton 4x5 slide mounts :wink:.....but I digress....
     
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