Portrait lens for 8x10
I'm looking to round out my kit of LF lenses with a lens in the tele / portrait length. This would be to compliment my G-Clarons 210 & 355. The lens should be single coated at least, and in a modern shutter with flash sync. And hopefully in the $400-$700 range.
you might look for a 14" portrait veritar.
they were made by wollensak in the 50's
alphax shutter - bipost sync. some say it is a modern version
of the verito.
i picked one up for about $300 ...
FWIW, I shoot portraits on 8x10 with a 240mm lens and I wouldn't want anything else. I just love the feeling it gives. I use a 240mm Process Nikkor that's been mounted into a shutter, but any 240mm lens would work.
Among more modern lenses, something like an earlier Symmar of around 360mm ought to do well and fit your price range. 360mm may seem short for a portrait lens, but I rather like it, and it's been a fairly common focal length for 8x10" portraits historically. Another good possibility might be a 14" Commercial Ektar (Karsh used one), which will be in an Ilex shutter with bipost sync.
If you don't have a lot of extension, the 360/5.5 Tele-Arton will cover 8x10" at portrait distances, but not at infinity. I have one, but I find it a little too clinical for portraits.
Veritos are usually in studio shutters, so you would have to add sync to them, but they are beautiful portrait lenses. The 360 Heliar is usually in barrel, but it's another favorite of mine. Generally, anything that is 360 or longer/f:4.0 or 4.5--i.e., most of the classic portrait lenses--is going to be in a primitive shutter.
Last edited by David A. Goldfarb; 06-08-2004 at 04:56 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Brian, Either of the G-Claron's is useable as a convertible by removing the front group. The 210 becomes a 370, and the 355 a 615 or so. Much of the correction is diminished with only one group which can be a bonus for portraits. Of course the aperture scale changes by about 1 2/3 stops or actually more like 2 full stops for the increased bellows at portrait distances. Give it a try. Won't cost you more than a few sheets of film. Polaroid even better.
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Wow, I didn't know that! I will check it out.
Originally Posted by jimgalli
Blast from the past post...
Originally Posted by jimgalli
Any idea what happens if you try this with 270 or 305 G-Clarons?
just tossing in another bid for the 14" Commercial Ektar, or if you can find one, the 12" Professional Ektar F4.5. Very fast lens for the format. nice bokeh from the Ilex shutter's multi-multi blade diaphragm.
My suggestion, Brian, would be to get some padding first.
I think I'm permanently bruised from all the flipping and flopping I've done in search of my ideal portrait lens for 8x10.
I've come to the tentative conclusion that portrait lens choice depends first on the style of portaits one prefers, and how strongly one wishes to avoid the foreshortening associated with using too short a lens at too close a distance. Personally, I prefer to maintain more camera-to-subject distance, combined with tighter head shots. So, preferring at least 2x "normal" focal length, I've been on the lookout for a nice Nikkor T (for the shorter bellows extension) in the 720mm range. Interestingly, I've found the 360T I have will cover 8x10 for tight head shots, but it's just too close (intimidating) for subject comfort.
On the flip (or is it the flop?) I like the look of some of the older portrait lenses like those Jim has been experimenting with. Unfortunately, they mostly lack modern shutters with flash sync, making them a bit more problematic for use with studio strobes.
So, I'm still undecided. I wish you better luck in making a choice.
[COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]
Rio Rancho, NM
The 'classic' portrai length has always been 18" - 20" ( 450 - 500 ).
Originally Posted by bmac
I think you'll find the 14 - 16 range TOO short... and a 24 too long.
[SIZE=5][COLOR=Red]The 19 Artar is perfect.[/COLOR][/SIZE]
Readily available in shutter. Not dirt cheap, but it is the right answer.
"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"