Fujinon's, Rodenstock's and Scheidner's - Oh My!
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The Chamonix 045 bellows specifications state:
Maximum 395 mm; Minimum 45 mm
Does this specification directly correspond to the max/min lens focal length that can be used with the standard bellows?
Also, I have a tendency to shoot wide in 35mm format, would a 90 or 120 focal length lens be better for landscapes?
With a flat lens board, those min and max will relate more to a lenses FLANGE FOCAL LENGTH. Again this will just let you know if you can focus at infinity. If you want to focus on anything closer, you have to do the calculations or experiment.
120 is similar to 35mm lens, so you may like the 90 better. Since 4x5 is more square, you equivalent 'favorite focal lengths' may differ a little.
Realize, a wide, affordable ( read "slow") lens can be pretty dark on the corners when composing and focusing. This may take some of the fun out of getting good results when just starting out. Don't discount the 'normal' lens in this format. A 150mm with large image circle will let you practice the movements, has a bright view and can be pretty affordable. I shoot wide with 35mm, and MF, and thought 150mm would 'not be for me' in 4x5. However, after a few years of use, my 150mm is my favorite on the 4x5 camera (landsape).
How wide is wide for you on 35mm? What are your landscapes like?
Originally Posted by lilmsmaggie
In short, we can't answer these two questions, as the answers are 100% subjective. We can give you info about our experience using large format lenses, however.
A 90mm is very wide to me. For me, it is too wide for distant subjects, but useful for close subjects. It has a horizontal angle of view in between a 24mm and a 28mm lens on 35mm film, yet like all 4x5 lenses on 4x5 (or 8x10, or 6x7, etc.) format when compared to 35mm lenses, it has a larger vertical AOV (that of a lens about 22mm on small format), so seems even wider than 24mm.
The 120mm length (mine is actually 121mm) is wonderful for me. It has about the horizontal AOV of a 35mm lens on small format, and about the vertical AOV of a 28mm lens on small format. A great combination of my two favorite wides for small format.
If you need a lot of raw horizontal AOV for what you do, go for the 90. If you want a generally wide lens for landscapes, I would go for something that is not quite so wide, in the 105 - 135mm range.
This is what I am using to compare AOVs: http://www.mat.uc.pt/~rps/photos/angles.html. Choose your format and type in your lenses. It has been very slow lately, but it does work eventually, so have patience.
Last edited by 2F/2F; 04-09-2009 at 02:43 PM. Click to view previous post history.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
The rule of the thumb I have been using between 35mm and 4x5 inch lens-lengh is 50mm (35) = 150mm (4x5).
So there is a factor of 3 roughly.
So if you like a 24mm on 35, you will love a 75 Super Angulon or Grandagon.
A 115mm Grandagon = 35mm on 35.
I have both for architectural photography.
If you want to go shorter, i.e. a 58XL: it will fit your camera, esp on a recessed lensboard, but your "bed" will be in the way a bit.
With the 75mm yu should not have problems in the horizondal mode, but in the vertical mode that "bed" will be in the way again, or just leave the camera in the horizontal mode and turn the entire camera 90 degrees.
It sounds like you're just getting started with 4x5. Even though you tend to shoot wide on 35mm, I strongly recommend starting out in 4x5 with a normal for the format - that would be either 150mm or 135mm on 4x5. There are many, many reasons for this. I'll just rattle off a few that come to mind:
1) Many (most?) folks find that they "see" differently with 4x5 and larger formats than they did with 35mm. So, that even though my favorite lens on 35mm is the 28mm AIS nikor, my favorite, well, most used is a 135mm on 4x5.
2) Generally speaking, you'll get more coverage for the money from a normal focal length thna from a shorter focal length. This means that it'll be cheaper (by far) to buy a 150mm lens that will allow you to use camera movements than than a 90 or other wide that will allow the same movements. (I assume that is something you'll at least want to try - given the Chamonix's capability in this regard)
3) shorter focal lengths are harder to learn with - it has to do with focussing on the ground glass - I can 't explain why it just is so. It starts with the fact that shorter focal length, wide angle lenses tend to be slower but...there's more to it than that. Using a 90 or 75 mm with a fresnel screeen for example - it is harder than with a longer, normal focal length.
4) ....hmmm, can't think of more right now. You can always add a wider lens later though.
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Yep! - I'm just getting started and trying to get my head wrapped around this format. I have seen several references to: "using a normal lens, e.g. 150 mm" to get started in LF, as a way to learn the movements but generally speaking, the references are somewhat vague. I can only assume from the comments above as well as those, I've seen in other posts that certain camera movements become problematic depending on the subject distance and focal length used. I'm guessing this has to do with the image circle being projected by the lens onto the film plane.
I'm guessing ...
"Do, or Do Not, There is No Try" -- Jedi Master Yoda
One is always concerned with the image circle when using movements. Think of a piece of paper taped to the wall across the room and you standing on the other side of the room shining a flash light at the paper. If you point the flash light right at the paper, you can easily illuminate the whole sheet. Now...imagine moving either the paper, the flashlight or both. It's easy to see that the paper might easily fall in darkness. The paper is your film and the flashlight is your lens. Make sense? As you move the flashlight closer to the paper, the circle of light is casts on the wall gets smaller too....well, it does if you can kinda focus the beam of the flash light - like with a Maglite.
That's one of the problems with movements in general - does the lens project a big enough image to allow this much movement?
The other has to do with the geometry of your camera and its bellows. Shorter focal length lenses focus closer to the film plane - they want to be closer to to the film - they squish up the bellows. If you go too short the bellows may not squish up enough to allow the lens to get close enough to the film to pull focus...and even if it does, it may be that the bellows is so scrunched up that it is really hard to move the lens with respect to the film plane...or, some other part of the camera may bump into somebody else...some cameras just don't like those short lenses....the shorter you go the more trouble they are.
All this is much easier to do than to think about. Once you have a lens and have tried it out a few times...you laugh that you were ever concerned about these things. It is much easier to learn by doing - at least it always seems to be for me...try to find somebody local that can help you the first time or two - if even for only an hour. It'll make it all much easier.
Where are you located? If in the S.F. Bay area, I'd be happy to help.
First, about the specs of the camera and useable lenses. While I don't own a Cham. 045 a minimum bellows draw of 45mm impies that a 47mm lens should be fine on a flat lens board. You never need a shorter bellows draw than the "flange to focal plane distance" (read "focal length") for your lens.
The max bellows draw is another story. The longest (normally constructed) lens you can use depends on how close you want to get with that lens. You can focus a 360mm lens at infinity and close to infinity but nothing closer. A 300mm maybe at head & shoulders distance or so. A 210 could be used for almost 1:1. (1:1 requires a bellows draw which is 2X the focal length.)
Many recommends a "normal" 150mm lens as a starter lens when learning LF photography. I do agree with that advice. The concept of tilts and swings is soo much easier to learn and understand with a 150-210 mm lens than e.g. a 90mm lens. You get bigger movements and the front/back are more spaced apart. This makes it easier to see what you are doing. I.e it's easier to see a 15 deg tilt which may be what is needed with e.g. a 180mm lens than a 3-4 deg tilt with a 90mm.
As long as the lens is in decent shape and the shutter works OK, it doesn't matter if the lens is quite old and worn. It's very hard to tell the difference between a 40 years old single coated (or even non-coated) lens from an expensive new lens when it comes to the final print. There are plenty of good used lenses in the 150-210mm range which can be found at very nice prices.
LF photography is quite different from 35mm or MF shooting. The shifts, tilts and swings does change the way focal lenghts are choosen, so while I love a 35mm on a Leica (and even the 38mm on my 'blad SWC), I seem to prefer a 210 on a LF camera, out of the number of different lenses I have.
Hi Brad! - I lve just south of Sacramento in Elk Grove. I moved here about 20 yrs. ago from Fremont in the East Bay. I also use to live in San Jose for awhile. I love the Bay Area. Especially the penninsula areas. I'm originally from Chicago - but that's another story.
Originally Posted by BradS
I attended John Sexton's lecture about his book "Recillections," last weekend and spoke to one of the instructors at the college where the lecture was held. The college, Cosumnes River College (CRC) has a class in LF, but there are a couple of prerequisites. The LF class is only offered in the Fall, so I'm hoping I can get in the class either this fall or next. In the meantime, I'm trying to learn as much as I can and save up for the Chamonix and at least one lens.
I split my time between Pleasanton and Sonora...drop me a PM if you're interested in meeting someplace. I'd be happy to let you try out a few lenses so you can get the feel of your camera and shoot some film.
Originally Posted by lilmsmaggie