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  1. #1

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    Sort of a noob question

    What is the ideal focal length to take advantage of movements? I have a craving to learn how to use them and, conincidentally, also have my eye on a Calumet C400. Any insight appreciated.

    Kenny

  2. #2
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Do you mean camera movements, or movement of the subject?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  3. #3

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    Sorry, camera movements. Wasn't clear, was I?

  4. #4

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    hi there

    a 150mm lens is one of the lenses people refer to as "normal" focal length
    the bellows won't be too tight or stretched out ... about 6" at infinity ..

    have fun!
    john
    silver magnets, trickle tanks sold
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  5. #5

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    Thanks. I'm already having fun with my Crown Graphic. My wallet, on the other hand, thinks I'm daft.

    Kenny

  6. #6

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    I don't know that there is an "ideal" FL. What's ideal really depends on the camera, and whether the lens has sufficient coverage for the movements you want to use. Not to mention what sort of image size you'd like.
    In the case of a Graflex, there is barely any movement available, and not a lot of bellows length. There are few lenses that would not be up to a Speed or Crown's limits.

    The Calumet, OTH, has enough movement to get to edge of almost any image circle.

    My favorite 4x5 view camera lens is a 210, in the case of a Symmar 210 it has enough coverage for 5x7, in 4x5 you can get pretty much as extreme as you like with movements.

    IMHO the a 210 is the ideal FL for 4x5, but it really depends on the specifics of what you'd like to do.

  7. #7

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    I recommend going with a 150. It is easy, expecially in the corners and edges, to see the effects. Beware a wide angle when starting out...the light drops off dramatically at the edges and makes it hard to see. Once you get the idea of the movements and what they look like, a wide angle is much easier to use (sure is easier to see something when you know what you are looking for). And for large format, the price is right for a 150mm. Learn to ignore your wallet. Mine stopped respecting me the minute I started with this business.

  8. #8

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    Thanks for the replies, one and all. I find that, at the moment, I'm partial to the old county courthouses in TX. I'm trying to get around to the ones I enjoy looking at and make images of them. My Crown does a creditable job; at least, I think it does. This is what I call a standoff shot.


    Gonzales County TX courthouse by kenj8246, on Flickr

    I'm just looking to explore a little more. I know only what I've read about movements but would like to be able to go further.

    Kenny

  9. #9

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    Howz 'bout a 150/265 convertible Symmar?
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  10. #10
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    Anything's ideal, as long as:
    a) the lens has enough of an image circle to cover the format with a decent amount of movements (I'd say at least 30mm is nice) and
    b) the lens isn't so short that movement is severely restricted by the bellow (unless you've got a bag bellows).

    To satisfy these (on 4x5), I'd be looking at least at a 100-degree wide (Super Angulon/XL, Fuji SW/D, Grandagon N) at 90mm+, or a 70-degree normal (Symmar, Fuji W, Sironar) of about 150-180mm+.
    In short, just look here for something that has at least 210-230mm Image Circle (more is better, of course), and 100mm Film-Flange (more is better, up to a point, depends on your bellows)
    An awful lot of electrons were terribly inconvenienced in the making of this post.

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