Wide angle lens for infinity focus, long exposures
So I got this awesome new 4x5 camera and I'm thinking "Man! I've gotta get some chrome and shoot the aurora borealis with this thing!"
Then I consider exposures... I normally shoot 20-30 seconds using Provia 400X and an F3.5 lens. Considering I can only get Provia 100 in sheet film, and most LF lenses are 5.6 at best, then I'm looking at 4.5 stops so now it's like an 7.5-10 MINUTE exposure and that's before I even look up whether there are reciprocity considerations. I guess I could push the film a couple stops... So then I am looking at a 60-90 second exposure.
With a longer exposure like that I won't capture a lot of the aurora detail but it will still be cool, hopefully. I sure as heck won't need a shutter which means it opens up my options for different lenses. Normally you get the best results from ultra wide angles and all I have right now is a 150mm. so I'm looking at my options...
- Use an enlarger lens. I have 50mm and 80mm options but the internet tells me I might not get enough image circle at infinity focus, but hey, it's free to try for the cost of a sheet of film.
- Use a barrel lens and save money not buying a lens with a shutter. This seems like a brilliant idea until I visit eBay and see that barrel lenses seem to cost far more than lenses in shutters. Why this is I shall never understand.
- Just get an actual wide angle lens with shutter. I have been looking at something like a Fujinon 65mm or 75mm which can be had for a decent price (seems like $300-500 on eBay).
Anyone have suggestions for an inexpensive lens to try this out? Or should I just bite the bullet and buy a real ultra-wide with shutter etc.?
Perhaps get a Nikkor 90mm f4.5 as a start? Or, perhaps look at something like an Aero Ektar or a Pentac lens (not wide angle, though).
Second, have a look at Kodak Portra 400. Not positive film; however, today's scanners easily handle colour neg.
Remember to drop the front for the 90mm lens.
Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!
Nothing beats a great piece of glass!
I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.
1) enlarger lens? Ain't no wide angle enlarger lenses. And because enlarging lenses are optimized for moderate magnifications (seen as taking lenses, 1:10) they're not great at infinity.
2) barrel lens? There are very few fast w/a lenses in barrel for 4x5 and larger formats. Slow ones, yeah, sure. Fast ones, very few. 3"/4.5 Biogons, ex-USAF, yeah, but they're not common. Make an unrefusable offer for the one in my closet. And before you do that, price 75/4.5 Biogons in shutter. They seem to be a little more common than the ex-USAF ones these days.
3) actual w/a lens in shutter. There are f/4.5ers, at least one f/4er. But what format are you shooting? The 53/4 Super Angulon covers 2x3, no more, same is true of the 53/4.5 Biogon.
If you're shooting 4x5 choices at f/4.5 include 65/4.5, 75/4.5 and 90/4.5 Apo Grandagons and the same focal lengths and maximum aperture from Nikon. All more expensive than f/5.6ers and slower.
Use C-41 film and push it as far as you can. Good luck, aurorae are tough with any camera.
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Just an FYI, I have a 65mm 4.5 Grandagon that requires a center ND filter for exposure evenness that holds back 1.5 stops. That is effectively an F/8 lens on the conservative side so maybe a 90mm 4.5 Grandagon won't need one? My 90mm 6.8 does not...