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Thread: Caltar 508/f:7

  1. #1
    Helcio Tagliolatto's Avatar
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    Caltar 508/f:7

    I'm thinking about this Caltar 507mm, in Ilex n. 5:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._f_7_Lens.html

    I'm searching for a portrait lens for my 8x10. Would this lens be a good choice? Thakks. Helcio

  2. #2
    wilsonneal's Avatar
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    I've seen that lens in person at B&H. It's clean and a good value. That focal length is very long for portraits. It translates to a length we'd associate with portraits in 35mm or medium format, but in my experience working with something this long with 8x10 results in incredibly thin depth of field (and frequent, expensive focus misses). Personally I have more success with a 360 or 14 inch for half-body portraits, and although I have 165mm, 240mm, 360mm and 480mm lenses, I almost always find myself using the 240 for people, to the point that I am on the verge of selling the rest. YMMV. That 507 is a nice lens though, and you can make good images with it.

    Neal

  3. #3
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    On 8x10", a head and shoulders portrait is in the macro range--about 3:1 or 4:1 magnification--so DOF will be about the same for the same composition and aperture with any focal length lens.

    I also use about a 14" lens for portraits on 8x10" usually. A 20" will give you a little more working room, but requires more bellows extension.

    To get the focus right with thin DOF, I usually tie a string with a knot on the end to the camera mount or tripod, focus with the subject holding the knot to his/her nose, and then I can check the focus again before taking the shot using the string while there is a filmholder in the back. This can feel a little silly, but it's quite reliable.

    Another way to check focus is to pay close attention to the shadows on the subject's face when you focus. I usually look at the nose shadow. As long as the subject doesn't move too much, you can usually adjust the head so that the shadow falls in the same place as it did when you focused, and the image should be in focus.
    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

  4. #4
    JLP
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    David, that's a great tip there with the string. Will try that next time i get a chance.

    Helcio, i have very resently aquired one of those 508/7 seems to be a great lens, i really like it but it is BIG. Not as heavy as it looks due to it's triplet design wich means less glass than in more modern lenses.


    jan

  5. #5
    Helcio Tagliolatto's Avatar
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    Wilson and Jan

    thank you very much!!

    Helcio



 

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