Wide angles for 4x5
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?
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.
Thank you, what is a good lens for 90mm or a 65mm?
With the wider selection, you might have problems with coverage.
"Photography, like surfing, is an infinite process, a constantly evolving exploration of life."
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.
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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
There is no such thing as taking too much time, because your soul is in that picture. -Ruth Bernhard
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 ..
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.
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.
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...nses/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.