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  1. #1
    gbenaim's Avatar
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    How dark are the f8 wide angles?

    Hello,

    I'm putting together a 4x5 kit, and have read about the difficulty in composing w the f8 sa's and grandagons, so wanted some user feedback. I often shoot around twilight and under bridges and jungle canopies (i.e. dark places), less so in full sun. Would you reccomend against an f8 wide angle, or not? What's a reasonable price for the faster 90 and 75mm lenses? Is the 65/8 sa impossible to compose with? Thanks a lot.
    Last edited by gbenaim; 07-22-2005 at 01:34 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: mis-spellings

  2. #2
    roteague's Avatar
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    I found my Nikkor 90mm F8 lens quite difficult to use; I got to the point I didn't use it very much even though I love that focal length. I just replaced it with an 80mm F4.5 lens, which is a pure pleasure to use - although the 80 I bought is an expensive lens, $1600, plus $325 for a center filter. Like you, I often shoot in low light; primarily around sunset and sunrise. I would go for something faster.
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  3. #3
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    It's easy to state the reason for the f8 designs, smaller, lighter, easier to manufacture ansd so much cheaper. Hence why the f4.5 /f5-6 lenses are so much more expensive.

    The 65mm f8 SA is not that bright and does take a bit of getting used to but it is a superb WA on a 5"x4" camera. Luckily while it's not so easy to focus it does have far better DOF than a 90mm and this helps immensely.

    If you buy a 90mm then the Grandagon's are slightly faster than the SA's and even the f6.8 is easy to use on a 5x4. However the Grandagons are much rarer secondhand and always go for much higher prices (here in the UK).

    Ian

  4. #4
    Ole
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    I have had no problems (well - no real difficulties) when using a 90/8 to photograph details in shadow with the camera in full sun, on 5x7" film...
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  5. #5
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    I have no problems with my 90mm f/8 SA in normal daylight but I suspect you may run in to difficulties in under-bridge or generally dark situations. The best you can probably do then is to get hold of a brighter ground glass (I mention no names )...

    As said above, the wider aperture lenses are both heavier and more expensive, but if you do a lot of low-light work then that may be your only way. Try to borrow or hire an f/8 lens and see how it goes.

    Cheers, Bob.

  6. #6
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Different people have different degrees of tolerance for this sort of thing. It will depend on your low-light vision, your groundglass/fresnel, your darkcloth, your loupe, and whether you have the patience to wait a moment or two under the cloth for your eyes to adjust.

    I'm fine with a 65/8 on 4x5" or even my 120/14 on 8x10". A groundglass with clipped corners helps for checking for vignetting when you really can't see the corners. Some experience will help in learning to tell what should be in focus when it may not be so obvious from the screen. A Silvestri tilting loupe is handy for ultrawide lenses.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  7. #7

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    My Fujinon 90 f/8 was too dark at the corners to check focus - even after I replaced the ground glass with the brighter Satin Snow. I have since replaced that lens with a Grandagon N 90 f/6.8 which is a compromise between the dark f/8 and the heavier but faster f/4.5 or f/5.6. The Grandagon was harder to find and commanded a higher price than the Fujinon, but sometimes you get what you pay for.

  8. #8

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    I find my 90mm f8 Nikkor OK even in low light - not bright but workable even in the UK weather! My 65 F8 Super Angulon was very tough. My 65 f4.5 grandagon was wonderful. A truly great lens. Personally, I would not recommend anything shorter than 90mm as an F8. I think the 65/75s really need to be f5.6 or faster. I would imagine a 75 f6.8 Grandagon would be similar to a 90mm f8...????

  9. #9
    Frank Petronio's Avatar
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    It's hard to beat a 90/4.5 Grandagon for when you want to see the image on ground glass. It is also twice the size of the 90/6.8. When using the slower wide angles you have to learn to size up the image by louping the edges and looking at the actual scene, going back and forth. The 90/4.5 allows you to see the entire scene on the gg like a normal lens. It also produces a more even exposure in the sky or smooth areas - if you can afford the price and weight, go faster.

  10. #10
    darinwc's Avatar
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    Composing with a 90mm f8 lens is pretty easy in the daylight. I havent used mine at night yet so I cant comment. A good dark cloth helps immensely.

    However, focusing with a 90mm f8 is a royal pain. The corners go dim very quickly and you have to tilt the loupe at odd angles to be able to see anything.

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