What is a good Portrait lens for a Speed Graphic

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by dwdmguy, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. dwdmguy

    dwdmguy Member

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    Thanks....
    I'm going to use my old speed graphic for fun now, she has a 135mm lens which I think may be a bit wide for portraits??

    I can't really afford at this time anything fancy.
    Any advice please?
    THANKS
     
  2. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    You're going to want something in the 180-240mm range. I know there were telephoto lenses commonly made for press cameras, but I'm not familiar with type and focal length. There is a Graflex group out there somewhere that can point you in the right direction.

    You also might investigate getting a rollfilm back for your Graflex. A 6x7 (2-1/4 - 2-3/4) back would make your 135mm lens the equivalent of a portrait focal length for that format. It may be cheaper and easier than finding a bigger lens.

    Peter Gomena
     
  3. dwdmguy

    dwdmguy Member

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    Thank you Peter. But I can shoot my RB67 then. I wanted to try a big neg on my son.
    Thanks again.
     
  4. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi tom

    if you can find a 10" teleoptar grab it!
    it is a wonderful portrait lens on a speed --
    they come in barrel as well as in a shutter ..

    have fun
    john
     
  5. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I'd say use the 135. Plenty of newspaper photographers used it, as well as the earlier 127mm.

    Longer lenses are usually recommended for normal 4x5 cameras on a tripod - the idea is to keep the larger camera from invading the subject's personal space. The Speed is made for getting closer, hand-held. Try it that way and see if you like the results.
    juan
     
  6. tessar

    tessar Subscriber

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    What jnanian said. With a little searching, the 10" (250mm) Tele-Optar is not that hard to find. The ones in barrel go for a lot cheaper than the ones in shutter, and can be used with the rear shutter on a Speed. You won't be able to use a speed slower than 1/30, but I haven't found that much of a drawback -- for portraits I like to use the larger f-stops. Very nice bokeh.
     
  7. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    A 10" Kodak Commercial Ektar lens would be fine.
     
  8. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    A 210mm Ektar is a beautiful lens
     
  9. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    200-250mm is a popular focal length on 4x5, but 250mm may be pushing the limits of bellows when close to the subjct. Hence the suggestion of the 10" tele's.
    The commercial Ektars are Tessar types, but partially because they have a modest max aperture of f6.3, they tend to perform better than the Tessars. I highly reccomend them.
    Dagors are slightly soft wide open, (great for portraits) and bleeding sharp stopped down a bit. They are a very versitile lens, but expensive.
    The convertable Symmars inexpensive.

    Really I would suggest you try the 135 first to get a feel for it. I bet you will be surprised how nice it is for portraits.
     
  10. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    A coated 203 Ektar would be a good choice though longer might be more appropriate for closer portraits. It's much smaller than the Commercial Ektar... some would even call it tiny... and it's a proven design loved by many. It's also a very nice jump in focal length from your 135.
     
  11. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I have a 210 symmar used for portraits that will 'just' fit into my crown graphic to allow the camera to close when folded up. The bellows with this lens and rails will extend just far enough to allow the image to fill the frame at 5-6 feet. Not sure if the speed with its rear curtain has as much room to fit my lens.
     
  12. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    The 127mm Ektar was used for a lot of "newspaper" portraits of famous and infamous people :wink:
     
  13. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    To second Mike1234, but offer a lower cost alternative, the Kodak Anastigmat 203mm f7.7 is the same design as the Ektar but uncoated. They go much cheaper. It's one of the main lenses I use on my Speed and Graphic View - it also offers 5x7 coverage so you can get plenty of movements with it. Another option might be the Kodak Anastigmat 33 (it's 7 1/2", and usually goes fairly inexpensively in barrel - it was the lens on the 4x5 RB Graflex Series D). There's also the Anastigmat #34, which I think is even a bit longer.

    Dan
     
  14. photobum

    photobum Member

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    Here's a third with Mike and Foto for a 203 Ektar. If you fine one with an Epsilon shutter it is a direct screw in with a #0 Copal if you wanted to update. Wollensak/Optar also made one and they go for less money.
    Since it's a non tele you can use the sports finder.

    I used my 203 a lot on the buildings in Asbury for detail shots.
     
  15. dwdmguy

    dwdmguy Member

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    Thank you all for taking your time and helping me figure this out. I'll try the existing 135 first for a portrait, develop and see and then go from there and post my results.
    Thank you again.
    Tom
     
  16. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    One thing you will want to know about it what is called a 'bellows extention factor"
    This is an effect where less light falls on the film when a lens is extended farther away from the 'infinity' position.

    This effect will not be a problem for a human subject at full-length or half-length. But close for headshots or closer, you may need a bit more exposure.

    search for bellows extention factor or calcuilator to find out more
     
  17. Bosaiya

    Bosaiya Member

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    To offer advice on what will make a good portrait lens for you it's nice to know before-hand what you consider to be a good portrait. Super sharp and unflinching or soft and dreamy? Advice without qualifying information isn't worth much.