What is the Holy Trinity for 5x7?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by j-dogg, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    The best 3-lens combo for LF? I got a Meyer Gorlitz Trioplan 13.5cm 4,5 which looks lovely through the ground glass. Was looking at the Schneider Super Angulon 65 or 90. Whatever ultra-wide I get I want minimum f/64 and the 90 does that. I would need a standard and a tele for portraits.

    I planned on spending 200-300 each lens/shutter combo. What's this I hear about Petzval glass? Does it cover 5x7? (probably a dumb question I know)

    I jumped headfirst into large format coming from a primarily 135 background with some 645 and 36x24 d*****l so I got a bunch of questions :laugh:
     
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  2. FredW

    FredW Member

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    Well, that depends, I would probably start with a similar focal length to what you would normally use in 35mm. So if you like the 50mm lens, which is normal, then the equivalent lens in 5x7 would be a 210 mm.

    I do not know if the super-angulons will cover the 5x7 format, you will need to check the image circle specs, you will need an image circle of at least 210 mm, to avoid vignetting.

    Also as you move into the longer focal length lenses, you will also need to consider if you will have enough bellows draw on the camera to focus at you normal working distances. Probably something in the 300 - 360 mm focal length may be usable for portraiture.
     
  3. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    120, 210, 300. That Trioplan will be strained to cover 4x5, I believe it was meant for 9x12cm. For 120 you can find an Angulon pretty reasonably, 210 Plasmats are cheap, 300mm Plasmats might strain your camera fatally so look for a slower process type lens or one of the f:6.3 Tessar types. A 300mm Dagor is a nice small lens. So is a 210 Dagor, and an Angulon is a "reverse" Dagor - if you're patient you can find uncoated Dagors at very good prices.
    When looking for lenses at a good price, chance favors the prepared mind - so educate yourself as to lens types, their coverage, and the various names they are sold under
     
  4. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    I don't believe in Holy lenses. There are many sets that work well for different people. I like more modern lenses for general use. 110mm super symmar xl, 180mm Nikon W, 300mm Nikon M is what I like and am currently using. I spent less than $350 on each of them. The super symmar is only marked for f/45, but goes about 2/3 of a stop more than that.

    I like to space the lenses around an approximate 1.5 multiplier. I start with a lens with the equivalent filed of view of a 35mm lens in 35mm. This is roughly a 180mm for 5x7. So ideally I would have a 120mm and a 270mm, but it's close enough.
     
  5. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    A 210, a 210, and a 210. :smile:

    That's what I've got anyway.
     
  6. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    You're doing tricolor separations then?:smile:
     
  7. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    The Trioplan could be a nice lens on a smaller format. I have a 210 and use it for 4x5. It's a smooth bokeh-licious lens rather than a sharp lens.

    For portraits, the Kodak 305 portrait was made for 5x7. It's sharp stopped down, and soft wide open. But it's focus is different that what's visible. It's a bit of a cult lens and won't be in your price range.

    A Kodak Ektar/Commercial Ektar would be a generally nice general purpose tessar to own.

    For wide, you won't get something really nice for that price range. I have a Nikkor 90/4.5 SW and it's very nice. Some 90/8's are available but probably need work or might not have coverage.

    Petzval coverage is pretty subjective; we use them for wider coverage than they were designed for, because people like swirl. The cheapest petzvals won't have an aperture, since they were made for projection.

    Another option for old inexpensive lenses is a rapid rectilinear, which is simple and small and good and will be in your price range. I bought a Bausch & Lomb one with a good working shutter for <$100.
     
  8. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    That's correct. :smile: I just like the 210 focal length, and never really bothered to look beyond it.
     
  9. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    thomas is right...get one lens and learn to use it...you would be really suprised how well one can do to take that mantra seriously
    have a great day everyone!!
     
  10. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Truer words were never spoken. I'll add, stick with one film and one developer as well. This is about as different from miniature and medium formats as can be.
    But the OP did ask for the Holy Trinity... Dagors, of course.:smile:
     
  11. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    There are a lot of options out there in the 210 mm range. For a long time I was using a 210/4.5 Tessar type made by Fuji; it's a perfectly good lens but bulky, and it's sort of been displaced as my "normal normal" by a 215/4.8 Ilex convertible that covers 8x10. (Come to think of it, drop me a PM if you want to try to work out a deal for that Fuji lens.) KEH is always overflowing with 210/5.6 plasmats, which for some reason they advertise as covering 4x5.

    I actually end up shooting almost as much with a 270mm G-Claron. It's a long-normal on 5x7 and a wide-normal on 8x10, it's little, and it's ridiculously sharp. I assume the other focal lengths are the same, but someone with actual experience of them may have more nuanced information.

    It's probably worth sticking with one or two lenses for a while, but to me anyway, much of the fun of LF is in the smorgasbord of interesting lenses. Brass convertibles with confusing names and funny aperture scales, process lenses abused for pictorial purposes, junk-box rescues---it's just plain *fun*. But I'm an engineer and my sense of "fun" doesn't always translate to other people's worlds. :smile:

    -NT
     
  12. ROL

    ROL Member

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    There is no best set of focal lengths (or maybe even manufacturer) for any format. Your unique "seeing" will, or should, be different as you move among them. A "normal" 35 image should not be aesthetically the same as a "normal" 120, a "normal" 4x5, a "normal" 5x7, and so on, even though you can certainly find technical equivalence between lenses in published comparative focal length tables – and this is not solely because of differing aspect ratios.

    FWIW, and intended only anecdotally, my three lens 5x7 kit consists of 110mm, 180mm, and 300mm. These choices were made based mainly on bellows draw, weight considerations, and availability. The 110mm, however, was a specific, and at the time expensive, choice for a wide angle, a comparable focal length I used frequently in smaller formats to establish important near–far relationships. I rarely use it! I have found that my 5x7 tastes lean more heavily to the 180 and 300 ...and longer – having somewhat recently added a fourth, 450mm, to the quill. The 110 may in fact eventually be dropped from my carry in favor of the new longer three, when weight considerations are paramount.
     
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  13. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    geez, I have around 80 modern lenses and a slough of vintage lenses. I know them all and pick the best one for the scene.
     
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  15. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    Meh, I dont mind paying for good glass if the price is right.

    The Trioplan appears to cover the full 5x7 with minimal vignette if any I've already played with it a little. I planned on probably keeping it anyway
     
  16. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Here is lesson number one regarding large format lenses: Circle of illumination and circle of sharp coverage are two different items entirely.
     
  17. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    I have an old New Yorker cartoon on my fridge that shows the Holy Trinity to be Butter, Sugar and Salt... Never really gotten past that, I'm afraid.

    As for lenses: Try whatever you've got, then try lenses people will lend you. Figure out what you like. find one and buy it. No magic involved, just personal tastes.
     
  18. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Cooke XV and XVa , Ektar , Wollensak and Protar
     
  19. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    If I had that many lenses to choose from I think my brain would explode. :D

    I checked out your photography and the 80+ lenses obviously work for you!
     
  20. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    Yep, the 120, 210, 300 combo will do it. 120 Super Angulon, 210 Symmar-S or equivalent from Nikon or Rodenstock, and a Schneider 305 G-Claron. (Saves a lot of weight over a 300 Symmar of equivalent. Less glass, smaller shutter, very sharp.)

    Spend any left-over money on film!
     
  21. Keith Pitman

    Keith Pitman Subscriber

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    I carry a 165 Angulon, 240 GC, 300 Fuji, and 450 Fuji. I used to carry a 110 SS, but didn't use it often. I've tried a few other focal lengths, but keep coming back to the same four lenses.
     
  22. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    Trinities...
    Celery, peppers, onions...
    Scotch, Bourbon, beer...
    Scotland, New Zealand, Montana...

    tim in san jose
     
  23. LJH

    LJH Member

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    I find it hard to believe that you bought the 110mm for "…less than $350…"
     
  24. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    You are right, I just dug out the receipt and I actually paid $355. I guess my memory is off a bit.

    The coating on the outer edge of the inner element on the front group has a scuff like the aperture blades touched the glass. It's covered up by the time the lens is closed down to f/11. I think this scared most buyers away. Even wide open I see no issues in the few images I have shot this way. But I almost always stop down to f/11 or more, so I'm very happy with the deal.
     
  25. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    That's my collection for 5x7 (a very sharp Computar Symmetrigon 210/f6.3). But my 5x7 use is not very high these days as I tend to grab the 8x10 for most of my work, and the 11x14 when I am feeling crazed. Backpacking tends to call for the Rolleiflex, or the 4x5 if I am feeling brave. So the 5x7 just sits there, waiting patiently. I do have a 159mm/f12.5 that is suppose to cover 8x10, but refuses to do so sharply or cover the corners brightly, so that may be introduced to the 5x7 when it sees some daylight. Do not feel the need to go longer.
     
  26. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    75mm SA XL, 90mm SA, 120mm Angulon, 165mm Angulon, 210mm Xenar, 360mm Symmar, and a good casket set for when you need 750mm.

    Or just a casket set.