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  1. #1

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    4x5 300mm Distortion

    I've looked through a few past threads on similar topics, but didn't find a satisfactory answer. I do mostly landscape/architectural work, so I'm looking for a 300mm 4x5 lens that will allow coverage for good movement, great sharpness edge to edge, and as little distortion as possible above all. I like the compact size of the nikon 300mm f/9, but I hear the distortion can be pretty bad. I want to be able to shoot pretty close if necessary (~6-8ft or closer). God, I hope I can avoid filter sizes exceeding 82mm. Interested to hear your input.

  2. #2

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    Fujinon C 300mm f8.5 is a fine choice. Love mine.

  3. #3
    wildbill's Avatar
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    cite examples of this "distortion" you speak of.
    nikkor, rodenstock 305mm or fuji, can't go wrong.
    www.vinnywalsh.com

    I know what I want but I just don't know how to go about gettin' it.-Hendrix

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by wildbill View Post
    cite examples of this "distortion" you speak of.
    nikkor, rodenstock 305mm or fuji, can't go wrong.

    I'm talking about barrel distortion that causes verticals/horizontals to bow or bend. I've read that some 300mm lenses do exhibit some barrel distortion, and given that I shoot a lot of subjects with strong vertical/horizontal lines, I want to be sure that I'm getting the lens with least distortion.

  5. #5

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    Nikkor M 300 mm - this lens has enough coverage for 8 x 10... so the little bit you need in the middle will be pretty good. This is a stunning lens in my humble opinion. Been using it for years and years... it is a lens preferred by people reproducing artworks.

  6. #6
    LJH
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    305mm G Claron for B&W work. It has a massive image circle (covers 7x17" stopped down), and is also corrected for closer work. It is a flat field lens, so shouldn't have much (if any discernible) distortion in the small part of the IC you'll use on a 4x5.

    I've also used my 240mm G Claron and 355mm G Claron for coloured work, and found it to be a fine performer.

  7. #7
    LJH
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    Oh, and is should be a lot cheaper than the 300mm Nikkor...

  8. #8
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    I've used the Nikkor 300/9 for twelve years now without having any trouble barrel distortion. You can safely use that one, or one of the others suggested in this thread.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander Fischer View Post
    I'm talking about barrel distortion that causes verticals/horizontals to bow or bend. I've read that some 300mm lenses do exhibit some barrel distortion, and given that I shoot a lot of subjects with strong vertical/horizontal lines, I want to be sure that I'm getting the lens with least distortion.
    Be careful what/where you read. I've used and owned 300s from turn-of-the-last century Goerz Double Anastigmats to modern Symmar-S Schneiders, and have yet to see noticeable barrel distortion from any of them.

    Also, be wary of lenses with huge image circles, they can cause bellows flare. A 12" Red Dot Artar would be very sharp, distortion free, with superb color balance and still have a large enough image circle for movements on 4x5.

  10. #10
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    In any case, any 300mm (non-telephoto) lens will have enough coverage that you won't run into the distortion (if it exists) before you run out of camera movements. Any of the modern (Schneider, Rodenstock, Nikon, Fuji) 300mm lenses will be just fine, but if you want a more traditional lens option without spending a fortune, a 12" Kodak Commercial Ektar would be a great choice. If your budget will allow more headroom, then a nice Goerz Dagor 12" would fit the bill. The G-Claron mentioned before is a great lens, but it will not be that cheap - they're known for their massive coverage and as such are sought after by th Ultra-Large Format crowd.

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