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  1. #1

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    Lenses for Ultra Large Format

    I apologize up front if this has been beaten to death, I tried the search function, and could not find a thread for it.

    My question is; What lenses are available that are Wide Angle, and normal for the following formats please?

    12x20
    16x20
    20x24

    I have been told that a 480mm lens is a "normal" lens for 16x20, is this true?

  2. #2
    garysamson's Avatar
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    The Schneider G Claron 355mm lens is a popular choice for the 12x20 format along with the Nikon 450 M. these lenses are often available used at reasonable prices. I would consider 600mm the normal lens for the 16x20 format.

  3. #3

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    I only shoot up to 12x20 and a couple of lenses that I find work very well in addition to the 355 G Claron are the Fuji 600MM and the 24",30" and 35" Red Dot. The longer focal length Dagors are very rare and exceedingly expensive.

    If I was shooting 16x20 and 20x24 the Schneider 550 XXL would be a fabulous choice because I hear that they cover like a big dog right to the edge and are very contrasty. The 122mm filter size of this lens would likely induce migration to an external compendium possibly affixed to the camera and large square filters. Everything operating within this unique domain is costly, but what else is new?

  4. #4

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    For ULF the only two true lenses currently being produced are the big buck Schneider XXLs one is 550mm and the other is 1100 if my memory is working correctly.

    I only use 12x20, like Michael. I use a Fuji 600C, a Fuji 450mm CMW (not the little 450mm C), and a Schneider 355mm G-Claron. I am lusting for a 210mm Schneider Super Symmar XL which covers 12x20 and some say up to 16x20, also am after a 30 inch or 35 inch RD Artar.

    Hope it helps.

    Gary
    Build a man a fire and he will be warm for hours.
    Set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.

    Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc.

  5. #5

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    if you want an older lens ...
    the wollensak triple ( 13/20/25 ) covers 11x14 with ease
    ( i use it on a 11x14 camera )
    it might cover a few of those formats you mention
    in the 20" + 25" configurations.
    the lens come in a betax shutter and usually don't cost much money.
    silver magnets, trickle tanks sold
    artwork often times sold for charity
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    if you want an older lens ...
    the wollensak triple ( 13/20/25 ) covers 11x14 with ease
    ( i use it on a 11x14 camera )
    it might cover a few of those formats you mention
    in the 20" + 25" configurations.
    the lens come in a betax shutter and usually don't cost much money.
    I owned at one time a Wollensak Raptar 13/20/25 convertible and the combined elements did not cover 11X14". Almost, but there was some vignetting on the corners. I don't remember about the single elements but generally the coverage of the single elements is not more than that of the combined elements. You have a longer focal length but the actual angle of coverage is much less.

    My understanding was that the Raptar is the coated version of the older Wollensak triple convertible.

    Sandy King

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by sanking View Post
    I owned at one time a Wollensak Raptar 13/20/25 convertible and the combined elements did not cover 11X14". Almost, but there was some vignetting on the corners. I don't remember about the single elements but generally the coverage of the single elements is not more than that of the combined elements. You have a longer focal length but the actual angle of coverage is much less.

    My understanding was that the Raptar is the coated version of the older Wollensak triple convertible.

    Sandy King

    hi sandy

    mine is a velostigmat 1a ..
    and it is on a 11x14 portrait camera that i use pretty often.
    i have never had vignetting or coverage issues.
    maybe they changed something between the change of names ?

    in any case it is a great and inexpensive lens

    john
    silver magnets, trickle tanks sold
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  8. #8
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    I have a Turner-Reich triple, 12/19/25 that I can put on my 14x17 and see the coverage. I'll assume for now that the 12" combo will only cover 11x14, but the single cells may hit 14x17. That was snagged when things were still cheap on shopgoodwill - got it in an Ilex #4 for around $100, if memory serves correctly. Another TC I've got at home I have to make an adapter lensboard for is a turn-of-the-19th century/early 20th century Wollensak Rapid Rectigraphic 19/29/39 in a pneumatic shutter. I've never seen another one so I have to assume they're rare, but maybe not valuable. It's marked as an 11x14 lens, but it probably covers my 14x17, and maybe even something bigger. In the longer range, there's a 600 Apo-Germinar I'm saving my pennies to have put in a Copal 3.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    hi sandy

    mine is a velostigmat 1a ..
    and it is on a 11x14 portrait camera that i use pretty often.
    i have never had vignetting or coverage issues.
    maybe they changed something between the change of names ?

    in any case it is a great and inexpensive lens

    john
    The one I had was a Raptar 1a. I don't believe they changed anything but the coating. But mine was not in a Betax but a #4 Compound as best I recall.

    But have you used the camera for landscapes at infinity focus? I am pretty sure that the lens I had would have covered fine for portraits, but it just missed for landscape work.

    Sandy

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by sanking View Post
    The one I had was a Raptar 1a. I don't believe they changed anything but the coating. But mine was not in a Betax but a #4 Compound as best I recall.

    But have you used the camera for landscapes at infinity focus? I am pretty sure that the lens I had would have covered fine for portraits, but it just missed for landscape work.

    Sandy

    nope, never took the camera outside of the shooting space.
    its one of those huge century cameras on a semi centennial stand ...
    i have thought of it though ... but a little voice inside my head
    told me it probably wasn't the best thing to do

    john
    silver magnets, trickle tanks sold
    artwork often times sold for charity
    PM me for details

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