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  1. #1
    kb244's Avatar
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    Much existance of fast lens past 4.5?

    Only one I found that would be 2.8 was a Schneider Xenotar 80mm and 100mm , and a Xenar 100mm at 3.5, are there any known lens even rather old ones that were faster than 4.5 than the ones above? I was curious because even if the lens would be kinda "meh" quality at their fastest aperture might be rather spiffy for focusing. I'm kind of curious for curiosity sakes, because I know if I ever did find one, its highly unlikely I'd be able to afford it.

    Also are all the longer lens rarely faster than 5.6, right now I got a Graflex Optar 135mm f/4.5, and a Optar 90mm f/6.3, and kinda feeling like I'd like to get a longer lens say slightly more portrait range ( like an 80mm would be on 35mm ), but kinda wondering if lens in that range if 5.6 is the norm.
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  2. #2

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    The longer the lens the brighter they tend to be at the same F/stop. Something about the angle of the light hitting the ground glass. Wide slow lenses are much harder to focus then slow long lenses.

  3. #3

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    There's the F/2.5 178mm Aero Ektar, a cultish portrait lens, and a host of other aerial lenses.

    I have a British monster that's F/1.8 but it makes a better doorstop or ship anchor than carry-around lens.

  4. #4
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    You could go with the 135/150/165mm f/3.5 lenses which aren't too expensive (in comparison to the 150mm f/2.8), but these aren't really in the "portrait" range for 4x5. I'd probably say that in the 210mm - 300mm that f/5.6 is the norm "fast" lens, but you can find the 9" verito which is f/4 and portraitish length on 4x5--really soft wide open, though (*really soft!*).
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    There have been several examples over the years, some rare and expensive, some not.

    Here's a few off the top of my head:

    135mm f3.8 Schneider Press Xenar
    135mm f3.5 Schneider Xenotar
    150mm f2.8 Schneider Xenotar

    135mm f3.5 Zeiss Planar

    A whole slew of f3.5 Tessars in various focal lengths and even a few f2.7 Tessars

    152mm f2.8 and 152mm f3.5 Komura

    65mm f4 Nikkor SW

    All the Petzval type portrait lenses, most Veritos and a huge assortment of other old, soft focus portrait lenses.

    There's more, but that should give you some idea what's out there.

    Kerry

  6. #6
    kb244's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Moore View Post
    You could go with the 135/150/165mm f/3.5 lenses which aren't too expensive (in comparison to the 150mm f/2.8), but these aren't really in the "portrait" range for 4x5. I'd probably say that in the 210mm - 300mm that f/5.6 is the norm "fast" lens, but you can find the 9" verito which is f/4 and portraitish length on 4x5--really soft wide open, though (*really soft!*).
    Was my understanding that a 180mm on a 4x5 was around the same perspective as a normal 50mm on a 35mm. But I guess that would be true that 210mm would be more portrait, like a 80mm on a 35mm.

    Also far as being soft wide open, I was more curious at the sake of focusing and viewing, but I guess if its soft on film wide open it will be soft on the ground glass as such doesn't help for focusing either.
    -Karl Blessing
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by kb244 View Post
    Also are all the longer lens rarely faster than 5.6
    Think about the definition of f-stop and you'll see why longer, fast lenses are problematic.

    f-stop = focal length/iris diameter

    So, as focal length increases faster maximum apertures esult in lenses that are enourmous in diameter, expensive to make and too big around to fit on many cameras. Also, most current/modern lenses are designed to fit in standard shutters. The largest currently made is a Copal No. 3 with a maximum iris opening of about 56mm. For a 300mm lens:

    focal length/f-stop = iris diameter
    300mm/5.6 = 53mm
    300mm/4.5 = 67mm

    So, f5.6 is the maximum aperture possible for a 300mm lens to fit in a Copal No. 3 shutter.

    This gets worse as the focal length increases. For a 360mm lens, f6.8 is about the fastest you can fit in a Copal No. 3 shutter. For 480mm it goes up to f8.4 and my 600mm Fujinon-C has a max. aperture of f11.5.

    Of course, these are limitaions imposed by the size of the Copal No. 3 shutter. If you're willing to live without a central shutter, faster maximum apertures are possible, but result in lenses that are large, heavy and expensive. I have a 48cm (480mm) Voightlander Universal Heliar with a max. aperure of f4.5. It's a huge lens that weighs between 13 and 14 lbs.

    If you're looking for reasonably fast, affordable long lenses and can live without a built-in shutter, look for the barrel mount Tessars made by VEB Carl Zeiss Jena prior to the reunification of Germany. These are fairly plentiful on the German eBay site. Late samples are excellent in both optical and mechanical quality. In barrel mount, they have f4.5 max. apertures and come in focal lengths up to 360mm.

    Kerry

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by kb244 View Post
    Only one I found that would be 2.8 was a Schneider Xenotar 80mm and 100mm , and a Xenar 100mm at 3.5, are there any known lens even rather old ones that were faster than 4.5 than the ones above? I was curious because even if the lens would be kinda "meh" quality at their fastest aperture might be rather spiffy for focusing. I'm kind of curious for curiosity sakes, because I know if I ever did find one, its highly unlikely I'd be able to afford it.

    Also are all the longer lens rarely faster than 5.6, right now I got a Graflex Optar 135mm f/4.5, and a Optar 90mm f/6.3, and kinda feeling like I'd like to get a longer lens say slightly more portrait range .
    Zero d-o-f at bigger apertures. My standard portrait lens on 8x10 is a 21 inch (533mm) f/7.7 Ross, and for large head portraits the d-o-f at full aperture is maybe an inch or two. For small formats a 300mm on 4x5 inch is roughly equivalent to 85mm on 35mm. My 300/3.5 Tessar is interesting, but almost useless at full bore. Even my 100/2.8 Planars (I have had two) for roll-film were marginal.

    Cheers,

    R. (www.rogerandfrances.com)

  9. #9

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    karl

    the vitax (petzval) is a 3.8
    you might look for olde folders
    and harvest lenses off of them
    some are meniscus lenses, soft and fast ..

    meniscus lens can be hard to focus
    because everything seems focus and soft
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  10. #10
    kb244's Avatar
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    I just rememebered about iris diameters and what not, and my mind was thinking say 300mm coverage on say a 35mm, but then once I got it thru my head what a 300mm lens for a 4x5 would be stuck onto a 35mm area, then I was like "ohhh..." in terms of how big the lens would have to be for the diameter required lol. So ya I did not think about that, and something of that diameter would be slim to none to fit on my 4x5 crown graphic.

    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    karl

    the vitax (petzval) is a 3.8
    you might look for olde folders
    and harvest lenses off of them
    some are meniscus lenses, soft and fast ..

    meniscus lens can be hard to focus
    because everything seems focus and soft
    That lens might be *unique* to try then. I thought about getting myself some kind of pneumatic shutter or some other kind of shutter-only assembly, so I could randomly just start slapping lens on the front that didn't have shutters built in just to see what kind of look I could get.
    -Karl Blessing
    Karl Blessing.com
    The Bokeh
    Color Film always existed. It's just the world was always black and white till recently.

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