Wide angles for 4x5

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Clemtography, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. Clemtography

    Clemtography Member

    Messages:
    15
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2013
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Hi im new to the Forum and I am moving into 4x5.

    I would like to ask why is 90mm the standard wide?

    and will lenses like 70mm or 65mm or less have distortions?
     
  2. thegman

    thegman Member

    Messages:
    623
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    90mm is a standard wide on 4x5 for the same reason 28mm is on a 35mm SLR. It just is, it's historic, there is no real reason.

    Depends on the lens, usually longer lenses have less distortion, so like for like, a 90mm *should* have less than a 65mm, but in reality, it just depends on the lens.
     
  3. Clemtography

    Clemtography Member

    Messages:
    15
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2013
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Thank you, what is a good lens for 90mm or a 65mm?
     
  4. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,052
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    With the wider selection, you might have problems with coverage.
     
  5. Mark_S

    Mark_S Member

    Messages:
    543
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    When I shoot with 35mm, I rarely use anything longer than 50mm, and am generally gravitating towards much wider lenses. I now shoot mostly 4x5 and my lens kit consists of a 75, 90, 150 and 210mm lenses. I use the 150 more than any other, followed closely by the 90. I rarely feel that I need something as wide as the 75, and when I do use it, it is often difficult because of coverage and the fact that movements are quite restricted.

    Distortion in LF is a complicated question. If I am taking a photo of a building and I use some front rise to keep the sides parallel to one another, is that introducing distortion, or removing it? Some wide lenses will map straight lines to curves, but then most of my images with LF are landscapes, where you would be hard pressed to find a straight line.

    My advice as you move into LF is to get a single lens - which isn't at any extreme. If you are doing 4x5, get something in the range of 90 to 150mm, and become comfortable with using that lens. This will help guide you to know where you want to go to next.
     
  6. JOSarff

    JOSarff Member

    Messages:
    203
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Clem:

    the 90mm, 75mm and 65mm 4X5 lenses coorespond roughly to 28mm, 24mm and 20mm in 35mm. The 90mm will give the most movements (swings and tilts), 75 and 65 less. As to your distortion question, each lens will have some distrotion, some of which can be corrected with camera movements. Remember, there are very few straigt lines in nature.

    As Mark said get one lens and get to know it well before looking for a bagful. My first was a Schneider 90/f8. Great lens. I had it for a year before I bought a 210/f5.6
     
  7. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    20,248
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    they all have distortion ...
    if you divide the LF focal length by around 3-ish you get the 35mm equivalent ..

    the problem with using ultra wide lenses ( shorter than 90mm ) is that often times
    they require a center filter to even out the light cast on the film so it doesn't vignette ...
    and often times these center filters cost an arm and leg ... ( not to mention they eat 1-2 stops of light )

    as for "good" lenses, you might look for schneider super angulons they have big coverage ..
    but rodenstock and fuji and ilex and wollensak and kodak are all OK lenses too
    but it is good to know the specifics ( image circle &c ) so you don't get a 2x3 lens by mistake ..

    http://www.largeformatphotography.info/lenses-wide.html
    http://www.largeformatphotography.info/lenses/

    have fun
    john
     
  8. ac12

    ac12 Member

    Messages:
    373
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    SF Bay Area,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I got a 90 for my Toyo for a few reasons:
    #1 COST, shorter lenses are much more expensive.
    #2 As John mentioned, the shorter lens need an expensive center filter, making the lens even more expensive.
    #3 Not all cameras can use the short lenses. I have to use a recessed lensboard on my Toyo for the 90. I don't know if I even could use a shorter lens.
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,144
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    LF lenses don't suffer from the same distortions as most 35mm and MF wide angles because they are purer designs. Wide angle lenses for SLPs are a compromise as they have to be retrofucus to allow room for the mirror, lenses for rangefinder cameras are generally much better.

    The best examples of this are the Hasselblad SWC which has a far better lens than the equivalent Zeiss lens for the normal Hasselblads.

    I use 90mm, 75mm and 65mm lenses and all have their place, used well and people don't realise you've even used a wide angle lens.

    Ian
     
  10. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Messages:
    4,203
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hmm. The word coverage has been used three times so far in this discussion, never pointedly enough.

    Clem, most , modern w/a lenses (from, in alphabetical order, Fuji, Nikon, Schneider and Rodenstock) all have ample coverage for their intended formats. Some relatively modern w/a lenses, e.g., 65 mm Super Angulons, just cover 4x5. Not all older w/a lenses for 4x5 have coverage to spare; in particular 90 mm Angulons and Wollensak Raptars, also sold by Graflex as Optars.

    Go here https://www.schneideroptics.com/info/vintage_lens_data/large_format_lenses/index.htm to see Schneider's coverage claims. Go here http://www.graflex.org/lenses/lens-spec.html for a larger but somewhat incomplete and out-of-date list. 4x5 needs lenses that cover at least 150 mm.

    About distortion. As has been pointed out, w/a lenses for large format cameras have low distortion. The standard w/a lens effect -- objects near the lens are much larger on the negative than distant objects; think big nose, small ears -- is sometimes called distortion. T'ain't so, failure to render straight lines as straight lines is distortion.
     
  11. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    20,248
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    ... i was referring to barrel distortion ( big nose small ears ) ..
     
  12. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Messages:
    4,203
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That's not barrel distortion. Barrel distortion converts this || into this ()
     
  13. Clemtography

    Clemtography Member

    Messages:
    15
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2013
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Thank you for all your great insights, I am delighted that I joined this forum its a great motivation to keep taking photos and especially film photography. :smile:
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

    Messages:
    4,970
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    90 is kinda the middle of the wide-angle pack and relatively versatile. There was a time when photo
    schools, given the general poverty of students in general, recommended that the first lenses to be
    purchased for 4x5 would be a 210 (good image circle and tight enough for head and shoulders portraiture) and a 90 (interiors, studio setups). This simple combination allowed most bases to be covered, at least at a teaching level. Only relatively recently have lenses shorter than 90 been available
    with significant wiggle room for movements. That is always a primary concern.
     
  16. Clemtography

    Clemtography Member

    Messages:
    15
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2013
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    One of the reason to start this thread is so I can understand wide angle lenses more because I dont use them even in 35mm.

    But the other one is because of this Unique camera that I have acquired.

    Will post a new thread

    here a sneek peak _MG_1338.jpg
     
  17. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,086
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Location:
    St. Louis, M
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    One of my favorite lenses on my 35mm Contax was my 25mm wide angle. After I purchased my Tachihara 4x5 I picked up a 75mm lens since I read that you take the focal length you like for your 35mm camera and multiply it by three and it will give you a rough equivalent. Well, the 75mm lens felt too wide for me, more like a 20mm lens on 35. I replaced it with a 90mm and have been very happy.

    What focal lengths you end up using on your 4x5 camera may not be the mathematical equivalents of the lenses you now use on your 35mm camera. With me it took a little trial and error to find what I like. Fortunately you can buy used lenses, try them out, and them resell them for close to what you originally paid. I just figured the little money I lost as a cheap rental fee. :smile:
     
  18. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

    Messages:
    2,002
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    Location:
    rAdelaide
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Some thing that always bugs me (especially these days when people talk about 4/3 digital sensors have a "2x" crop factor to FF), is that there's no *easy* calculation between format sizes when they're a different shape.

    Take a 4x5 frame, actual image size is 94x120mm (numbers I got from a bit of googling) and a 35mm frame size of 24x36 (may be optomistic for film, but it's the size of digital FF at least).
    The 4x5 has a ratio of 1.27:1 (near enough a 5:4 ratio), the 35mm has a 1.33:1 (6:4 or 3:2 ratio).

    So what do you want your output image ratio to be?
    Take the 4x5 and crop it to a 3:2 ratio (or anything 'longer'), then the image is 120x80mm. Then compare lens sizes to get the exact same framing and DOF your SuperAngulon 65mm f/8 is the same as putting a 19.5mm f/2.4 lens on your 1DX. 90mm f/8 is the same as 27mm f/2.4. That's a "divide by 3.3" rule of thumb.

    But what if you want a 4:5 print size? (or 8X10, 16x20, or anything 'squarer'). Then you have to crop the 35mm frame to 30x24mm (and the 4x5 frame to 94x117, but near enough). To get exactly the same framing and DOF, your 90mm f/8 Super Angulon will give the same image as a 23mm f/2.0 on a 35mm. Your 65mm f/8 will give the same as 16.6mm f/2.0 on FF. That's a "divide by 4" rule of thumb.

    Anyway, most of that is beside the point. Freaking wide is Freaking wide. (and that's wide, I've got the sigma 8-16mm on my digital-crop, widest it gets until they make a <43mm on 4x5). It's already been said, but "distortion" in the true sense is Barrel Distortion, think of what a fisheye lens does, that's barrel distortion. "Wide-angle" distortions are the "big-nose-small-ears", as well as "falling over buildings" phenomena (if your lens is not 100% horizontal). Both are made worse by barrel distortion, and both tend to happen together on the widest lenses because they're pushing the extremes of lens design to get that wide (especially on SLRs). Google the Samyang 14mm, or EFs 15-85 at 15mm, or EF 28-300 at 28mm for sample pictures of extreme barrel distortions.

    As has been said, on SLRs they're all Retrofocus designs to clear the mirror box. Focal lengths of 12-35mm are less than flange distances of 40-50mm.
    Luckily on LF (and rangefinders), you can get away with Biogon designs, symmetrical (or almost), not much room between the lens and film but doesn't have to be, and very very low distortion. I haven't got numbers, but I'm guessing that the Super Angulons of today do better than all but the best SLR designs.

    Back to the OP, why is 90mm the 'standard'? Because lens designs back in the day of "angulons" could only get so wide in terms of degrees of coverage, and 90mm just happened to be the length that covered 4x5 nicely (wide open and/or with movements, whatever the market thought was 'good enough'). Flash forward and "super angulons" can cover a wider image circle, so 65mm can now cover what was only possible with 90mm before. It's even wider now, Super Angulon XL covers 4x5 and then some at 47mm focal length.
     
  19. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Messages:
    4,203
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Only so wide? Is that so? See http://trichromie.free.fr/trichromie/index.php?post/2011/01/27/PERIGRAPHE ; http://www.cameraeccentric.com/html/info/zeiss_3.html , p. 36; http://www.cameraeccentric.com/html/info/cooke_2.html , p. 9. Re the Cooke Anglic, at 100 degrees the 2.5 incher covers more than 4x5. And let's not forget the widest of them all, see http://www.cameraeccentric.com/html/info/goerz_2.html , p. 35

    You shouldn't make things up.
     
  20. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

    Messages:
    2,002
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    Location:
    rAdelaide
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well, I didn't mean that they were the widest technically possible at the time, but what the 'market' can tolerate in terms of manufacture, affordability, even mass appeal for their 'look' is always a while behind the 'bleeding edge' that is technically possible.
    Take SLR lenses today. From sigma you can get 8-16mm on crop and 12-24 on FF, but they're not the best IQ at the widest ends, and not very big sellers compared to the widest that the big boys go, 14mm from Canon and Nikon and 15 from Zeiss. And even then, zooms like 16-x and 17-x (on FF) are a lot more popular, from price or portability or whatever reason, a lot of people might just think it's "too wide", but tastes change. And again, it wasn't that long ago that 16, 17, 18mm was 'available', but 24mm was the 'standard'; before that were the days when 28mm was 'standard wide' even if wider was available.
    If anything, I reckon the market is pushing the manufacturers to go wider and wider (I know i can't ever seem to get wide enough), soon enough we'll have zoom lenses going to 13mm or wider, and primes maybe to 10 or 11mm. Doesn't mean it'll ever be 'standard' in everyone's kit though...
     
  21. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Messages:
    4,203
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Interesting. You made a false statement re coverage attainable with "old" technology and then denied you meant it. And then you rambled about what's coming to market for small chip digicams. Why didn't you bring up the use (or abuse) of really short cine lenses on micro 4/3 digicams? Why didn't you mention fisheye lenses? I mean, if you're going to muddy the water, muddy it thoroughly.

    Lessee now. The APS-C chip's dimensions are 24.1 x 16.7 mm, its diagonal is 30.1 mm. An 8 mm lens that covers 30.1 mm has to cover 124 degrees. The Goerz Hypergons I directed you to cover 135 degrees.

    Ultrawides aren't generally useful, in LF they've been used mainly for specialized applications. I like 'em, my widest is a modern lens that covers 120 degrees, is rectilinear and gives good image quality. It isn't the lens I use most. In truth, the larger the format the more useful utrawides are 'cos the larger the format the more fine detail can be captured. In olden times they weren't used a lot, so weren't sold in large numbers, because of lack of demand.

    Zoom lenses aren't used on LF. Too big, too heavy, and until very recently too flary. Why did you bring them up in an LF forum?
     
  22. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    20,248
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    i love that lens ... especially the fun-fun-spinning-fan .. talk about cool !
     
  23. Clemtography

    Clemtography Member

    Messages:
    15
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2013
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I have another question whats the specialty of modern (super) wide angles and the old classic wides or legendary wides.
    (actually had apo lanthar and Sironar-S, modern Plasmats, in mind.)

    Mainly asking about new type vs old type.
     
  24. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

    Messages:
    3,921
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The Apo-Lanthar is most closely related to the Heliar, it is not a Plasmat or anywhere near one. Also, neither the Lanthar/Heliar nor the Plasmats are wide-angle lenses.

    The old wide angle lenses such as the Angulon (a "reverse" Dagor type) usually just covered their format, and needed to be stopped down for good sharpness over the entire frame. Newer lenses such as the Super Angulon allow for movements, and will work at a wider aperture.
     
  25. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,561
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    Location:
    SF Bay area
    Shooter:
    Medium Format


    A different way to look at 'equivalent FL' is to merely compare the FL to the frame dimension. Using the short dimension of the frame as the baseline, then 24mm FL on 135 format would be equivalent to 94mm FL on 4x5 format. After all, you fit the short dimension of the frame into the short dimension of any print size, so the print is the great format ratio equalizer!

    Comparing the 'normal', 50mm FL is 2.1x the short dimension of 135 format, and 200mm FL is about 2.1x the short dimension of the 4x5 format. Or, to put it differently, 150mm FL is 1.6x the short dimension of 4x5, so you really need 38mm FL on 135 to frame the same amount of vertical area.

    So in 'really wide angle' land, 75mm FL on 4x5 is like using 20mm on 135 format.
     
  26. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Messages:
    4,203
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    E., we're partially in small format land. There Apo-Lanthar is a trade name, as is Heliar, and both names (neither 5/3 lenses) include wide angles.

    About the old types, agree about the need to stop ancient types down to get full coverage, but modern types also gain coverage on stopping down.

    Disagree strongly about the old types' limited coverage. Consider, if you will, f/18 Protars, Ross' f/16 versions, f/14 Perigraphes and f/8 and f/9 Wide Angle Dagors. I have a tiny 45/9 CZJ Goerz Dagor that covers 2x3. It isn't cataloged, I have no idea what its intended format is.

    Disagree too that some of the modern types have lots of coverage. My little 38/4.5 Biogon covers a hair more than its intended format; has to cover 80 mm, puts good image in an 84 mm circle (huge difference there, eh?) and the illumination vanishes at 86 mm.

    IMO -- not everyone agrees -- the significant differences are that modern w/a types in general are faster than the ancients, therefore easier to focus; that the ones that take advantage of Roosinov's tilting pupil trick have more even illumination than the ancients; and that the modern ones don't have to be stopped as far down as the ancients for good results. On this last point, for example, Rodenstock says that Apo Grandagons are best used between f/8 and f/11.

    Cheers,

    Dan