Process lenses for still life?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Dave Dawson, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. Dave Dawson

    Dave Dawson Member

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    Before everyone tells me that process lenses are designed for 'flat' objects and they have a maximum aperture of typical f9:tongue:

    How many of this gang have tryed process lenses in the studio?

    Comments appreciated.........Cheers Dave
     
  2. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Lots and lots of people (myself included) use "process" lenses for standard photography, including still-life. A good lens is a good lens. I would say almost "every" serious large-format photographer has used "Process" lenses at one time or another.

    As they are found, they are often in barrel mount, which means using an external shutter, or having them custom "fit" into a standard leaf shutter. Myself, I use the Packard type behind-the-lensboard shutters with the Process lenses I have.
     
  3. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    My favorite 8x10 lens is a 355 red dot artar that I got off a process camera. It was a barrel lens that I had custom fit to a shutter. I use it primarily for still life but it is great for portraits or nudes. I am not sure how it does with fine detail at infinite because I have never used it for that kind of photography. In studio it is perfect and with a diopter on it is great for larger than 1-1 still life as well.
     
  4. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    One of the better aspects of this type of lens, is usually the number of blades in the iris.

    I have a 150 sitting on my desk as I write this; it has 13 blades and gives a wonderful out of focus effect which I mainly attribute to the amount of blades, almost like a perfect circle.

    I also have a 55 Micro Nikkor for my Nikon cameras, it does wonderfully with flat copy, but is a pearl of a lens for general photography as well.

    Both of these lenses are excellent over the whole range of subjects that you would shoot, but their ability at infinity isn't as good as a standard 55/50 in 135 or 150 in LF. At least my two aren't.

    Basically I see that the resolution, or whatever you would like to call it at infinity, is not as good as a normal lens, I cannot describe it any other way.

    Mick.
     
  5. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    They are really good for still life pix because they generally have excellent quality at high magnification, and large image circles, which grants you a lot of freedom of movement; important for table top pix. If you are using flash, no need to worry about not having a shutter. If not, you are best off with long exposures, so whatever you are covering the lens with (film box, lens cap, hat, etc.) does not show up in the pic. With my shutterless 5x7, I use ND filters outside to get speeds slow enough to get my film box out of the way without showing up.

    I have used my 540mm f/11 Kodak Copying Ektanon for portraits and one still life pic on 5x7 film, and the pix look very good to me.
     
  6. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    I sure hope so since I just bought a Nikor 420/f9 for my 8x10 Deardorff . I will have to see if:
    1.) It will work with the rather small Packards I have...

    or

    2.) It might fit in a Acme 4 that I now have mounted with some 5x7 Wolly radar lens. It does need a CLA but what the hey...


    tim in san jose
     
  7. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    The only disadvantage I see to using a process lens is that it may not be very sharp at its widest aperture. I have a 305 G-Claron in a shutter that is not very sharp at f/9 (maximum aperture), but at f/16-22, it's amazing. This can be a bit of a problem in lighting situations where you want it sharp at f/9 or f/11 and it ain't quite there.

    Peter Gomena