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  1. #1
    dwdmguy's Avatar
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    What is a good Portrait lens for a Speed Graphic

    Thanks....
    I'm going to use my old speed graphic for fun now, she has a 135mm lens which I think may be a bit wide for portraits??

    I can't really afford at this time anything fancy.
    Any advice please?
    THANKS

  2. #2

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    You're going to want something in the 180-240mm range. I know there were telephoto lenses commonly made for press cameras, but I'm not familiar with type and focal length. There is a Graflex group out there somewhere that can point you in the right direction.

    You also might investigate getting a rollfilm back for your Graflex. A 6x7 (2-1/4 - 2-3/4) back would make your 135mm lens the equivalent of a portrait focal length for that format. It may be cheaper and easier than finding a bigger lens.

    Peter Gomena

  3. #3
    dwdmguy's Avatar
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    Thank you Peter. But I can shoot my RB67 then. I wanted to try a big neg on my son.
    Thanks again.

  4. #4

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    hi tom

    if you can find a 10" teleoptar grab it!
    it is a wonderful portrait lens on a speed --
    they come in barrel as well as in a shutter ..

    have fun
    john

  5. #5
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    I'd say use the 135. Plenty of newspaper photographers used it, as well as the earlier 127mm.

    Longer lenses are usually recommended for normal 4x5 cameras on a tripod - the idea is to keep the larger camera from invading the subject's personal space. The Speed is made for getting closer, hand-held. Try it that way and see if you like the results.
    juan

  6. #6

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    What jnanian said. With a little searching, the 10" (250mm) Tele-Optar is not that hard to find. The ones in barrel go for a lot cheaper than the ones in shutter, and can be used with the rear shutter on a Speed. You won't be able to use a speed slower than 1/30, but I haven't found that much of a drawback -- for portraits I like to use the larger f-stops. Very nice bokeh.

  7. #7
    Curt's Avatar
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    A 10" Kodak Commercial Ektar lens would be fine.
    Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand

  8. #8
    EASmithV's Avatar
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    A 210mm Ektar is a beautiful lens
    www.EASmithV.com

    "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."— Dorothea Lange
    http://www.flickr.com/easmithv/
    RIP Kodachrome

  9. #9
    darinwc's Avatar
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    200-250mm is a popular focal length on 4x5, but 250mm may be pushing the limits of bellows when close to the subjct. Hence the suggestion of the 10" tele's.
    The commercial Ektars are Tessar types, but partially because they have a modest max aperture of f6.3, they tend to perform better than the Tessars. I highly reccomend them.
    Dagors are slightly soft wide open, (great for portraits) and bleeding sharp stopped down a bit. They are a very versitile lens, but expensive.
    The convertable Symmars inexpensive.

    Really I would suggest you try the 135 first to get a feel for it. I bet you will be surprised how nice it is for portraits.

  10. #10

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    A coated 203 Ektar would be a good choice though longer might be more appropriate for closer portraits. It's much smaller than the Commercial Ektar... some would even call it tiny... and it's a proven design loved by many. It's also a very nice jump in focal length from your 135.

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