Something in the 110-150mm range with a decently large image circle would do well for architecture and landscape. If you can afford one, or find one used, something like a Schneider Super Symmar 110mm XL. You could do all kinds of work with that one lens.
Easily my most-used lens in this format.
Massive image circle, so perfect for Architecture.
If you mainly use wide angles on your current camera, it's pointless gettin either a 150mm or a 210mm. That's like getting a 50mm or 85mm for 35mm camera. Why would you get one of these if you shoot wide?
Also, if you're considering a 90mm (pretty wide), consider the f5.6/f4.5 versions over the f8 ones. Whilst they're more expensive (actually, compared to modern DSLR lenses, that probably should be written as "not quite as cheap"), they'll make focusing easier in lower light, especially in the outer areas of the shot. This will be important if/when you shoot interiors and/or with lots of rise/shift.
Most people (including me) will recommend a "normal" focal length for your first lens. A "normal" focal length for 4x5 is considered 135mm to 180mm. A 210mm is considered a long "normal". The 210 is probably your most versatile lens for 4x5. It's a great focal length and most 210's have lots of coverage. They are also dirt cheap right now.
Most landscape photographers prefer a normal focal length and a wide focal length. Some also like a long lens. The 90mm is the most popular wide lens and will fit on your Toyo camera with a flat lens board.
When I bought my Tachihara I purchased a 75mm wide angle because I loved my 25mm Zeiss on my Contax 35mm camera. Three times 25 is 75, right? Well I found the 75mm seemed more like a 20mm to me so I sold it and bought a 90mm which I am very happy with.
Large format is a different animal than 35mm. What you like in 35mm may not be what you like in 4x5. Fortunately, if you buy right used you can resell and get at least most of your money back. I would start with a 135 to 210 lens. Some recommend the 150 over the 135 because of more coverage. Go out and shoot and learn what you like before purchasing any more lenses. After shooting a while you will learn what you like and don't like.
A lot depends on what/where you're shooting, here in the UK I find I tend to need a wider lens, I'd be hard pushed to use a 210mm lens as my sole lens, it's like using a 75mm on a 35mm camera.
Originally Posted by Alan Gales
Thanks to all who have replied to this post you have gave a new boy to LF a lot to think about.
I have a leaning towards around 135mm as a 35mm lens is my go to for 35mm format.
many thanks again to all.
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A 210mm is equivalent to a 63mm in 35mm format.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
And Graham, a 135mm is nearer 40mm than 35mm equivalent in 35mm.
An interesting discussion, especially what people think of as a landscape lens. I'm from the school that thinks any lens is a landscape lens, not just a wide lens that gets as much in the shot as is possible.
'Course, any lens could be used to take a photo of a landscape.
But, when I think "landscape" I tend to envision images with 1m to infinity in the frame, so it's not so much "how much width you can fit in a frame" but more like "how much DoF you can squeeze in a frame" that I go after; hence, the wider lenses.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
Yes, Ian you are correct. A lot does depend on what/where you are shooting. It also depends upon your vision as a photographer.
I actually prefer long lenses for landscape over wides. I use wides for getting in close. Maybe I'm weird!
I feel normal lenses make great first lenses because they are easier to use and have more coverage for learning camera movements.
Graham, if you are thinking about a 135mm, I have a very decent Nikkor-W 135/5.6 in Copal 0 that is seeing zero usage. Let me know if you're interested :-)
Last edited by rawhead; 03-12-2013 at 08:12 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I agree, Steve!
Originally Posted by 250swb
I'm also from the school that thinks any lens is a portrait lens. Not just a long lens for head shots.