Noob question... how much coverage is MUCH coverage on 4x5?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by timeUnit, Jun 4, 2006.

  1. timeUnit

    timeUnit Member

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    Looking into LF getting my first LF (4x5) setup, I'm getting unsure of what lens to choose, and what to avoid.

    In particular, I'm unsure about how much coverage is needed for the front movements. I used the old Pythagora formula and found out that the diagonal of 4x5 film is about 160 mm. I need at least 160 mm of coverage then. But 160 mm allows for no movements, focus only at infinity and f/22.

    How much is much, and how much is OK? How much is not enough?

    Thanks! (I did a search on this... to no avail)

    Henning
     
  2. morkolv

    morkolv Member

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    What are Your subjects ?? e.g. portrait, landscape, closeup, product, buildings.. This will define requirements for movements and larger than minimum coverage.
    (other will transform this to numbers, I'm quite sure)


    Best regards and happy LF'ing Morten :smile:
     
  3. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    My old 203mm Ektar, made for 5x7, has enough coverage for most front movements. Where it won't do, my 165mm Angulon certainly will.
     
  4. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    An image circle of 230mm or so will give you a fair amount of wiggle room, but more is better. As noted, how much more is really a function of what you're shooting, and how. Another consideration is whether you might eventually migrate to a larger format. If that's a potential, buy for the larger format now, rather than replace lenses later.
     
  5. Capocheny

    Capocheny Member

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  6. timeUnit

    timeUnit Member

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    I'm looking at a Schneider Symmar 135/5.6. It's a convertible, so it could double up as a 235 f/12 portrait lens. Image circle 190 mm. Maybe I should hunt for a 150 Symmar instead? 210 mm IC, and becomes a 265 mm without the front element...

    Looking through the specs on different lenses, there are only a few of the wider lenses that exceed 210 mm IC. Are all "vintage" wide angle lenses, like S-A 75 / 5.6 etc out of the question?

    *h
     
  7. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Nothing is out of the question.

    If I feel I'll need lots of movements I'll pick a lens which covers "one size up" - a 5x7" lens for 4x5"; a 8x10" lens for 5x7" and so on. Having a 210mm image circle to play with on 4x5" is - usually sufficient.

    150 or 180 Symmar, 210 Xenar, 90/8 Super-Angulon, 360 Tele-Xenar - all of these have plenty of image circle. If you "need" even more, there's old things like the 165/6.8 Angulon, the 240 Symmar (both of which came in #2 shutter and cover 8x10") which can be fun to play with without costing an arm and a leg.

    Don't be afraid of older lenses. The main differences between a 1950's lens and a brand new one is in the coating. Keep the sun from shining on the glass, and you'll never notice the difference.
     
  8. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    How much is enough ?

    Are you going to take pictures,
    or play with the camera ?

    You don't need much movement to make good pictures.

    Still, it isn't hard to get a lens with more covering power than you'll ever need.

    In the Golden Age, we often chose a Dagor/Angulon type design for a shorter lens ( eg 120 ) and a Tessar / Artar design for a longer lens ( 180 - 210 ).

    In World Cup chronology, this spans the time between Uruguay's win over Brazil, and Germany over Holland !

    A Schneider Angulon 120 and 210 Xenar will cover a larger area than anybody will need, and make images of the highest quality. These are representative of the lenses Schneider and Rodenstock has made since the '50s and ( in good working compur or copal shutters ) should be easy to find near home.
     
  9. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Yes but focussed closer lenses cover more. Some times stopped further down then cover more.

    Enough depends on the subjects.
     
  10. timeUnit

    timeUnit Member

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    Nah, it just for fun: I'll wiggle the standards every now and then, say between posts on APUG... :wink:

    Seriously though, what I'll use the camera for is portraits and urban landscapes. At least for a start.

    But the main thing I want to use is movements. Correcting perspectives, yes, but also the opposite. Playing with focus plane, etc.

    I think now that the 135 mm Symmar is a tad bit short. I'll go with a 150 or 180. If I want short I can always get a 75 SA, or something.
     
  11. MichaelBriggs

    MichaelBriggs Member

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    It depends. Some 4x5 photographers use little movements, perhaps some front tilt, which others use movements boldly, perhaps using large amounts of front rise. The mm of front rise that you might want to use will probably also depend on the focal length of the lens.

    After accounting for the filmholder rails, the actual usable dimensons of a 4x5 film are about 95 x 120 mm, for a diagonal of about 153 mm.

    I use a 180 mm lens as my "normal". I consider myself I fairly bold user of movements -- for another question, I searched my notes, and found that I have never used more than 53 mm of front rise with my 180 mm lens. This implies I've only used a circle of coverage of 245 mm diameter. Maybe a little more if I used some front tilt at the same time.

    The definition that "normal" = "diagonal" would have 150 mm be the normal focal length for 4x5. 210 mm has also been popular as a standard/normal lens for 4x5, probably because it offers essentially unlimited movements. If you don't want to go quite so long, 180 mm also does the same.