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  1. #1
    photobizzz's Avatar
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    12" Red Dot APO Artar - Buy it?

    Does anyone have an opinion on this lens? I am currently looking for a tele lens to round out my kit before I stop buying equipment for a while. (promised my wife) I currently have a 90/8 SA, 140/4.5 Ilex Paragon Anastigmat, and wanted a telephoto lens to use primarily for landscape work. I live in Alaska and while my 90mm Super Angulon will be great for the wide angle stuff up close a lot of times the better shot is farther away since I live right in the mountains. There are so many to choose from in the $300-400 range.

    Thanks for you opinions, and any ideas for lenses if you think the Artar isn't a good choice. Also what shutter does this lens come in? I will need to buy a lens board and would prefer to buy them together. Here is the one I am eying at KEH.
    "A picture is a poem without words"
    ~Horace~

  2. #2
    dpurdy's Avatar
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    I have the 14 inch Red dot Artar for my 8x10 and it is great. Very sharp at close up and very sharp at distance as well. I use it for still life and for portraits. My main lens.

  3. #3

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    It should work fine. Make sure it is in a working shutter and not a barrel lens or it could be a surprise you didn't want. There are many faster 300mm lenses from a variety of manufactures in your price range. Maybe put a wanted add in the classified section and see what you get. I had one of the 12" RDA's and it was perfectly fine, but there are certainly any number of 12"er's that are much faster (larger also).
    regards
    erik

  4. #4
    photobizzz's Avatar
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    I will be using this lens (or other of similar focal length) on my Toyo 45A field camera (4X5) and although I know most (if not all) 12" lenses will cover 8X10 I want it for it's telephoto ability. I would definitely want it in a shutter and was looking to stay light rather than get a longer, heavier lens since I will be humping my camera in a backpack around Alaska while hiking. I was also looking at a Schenider Xenar 300mm f5.6 in Copal 3 for the same price. It looks like it isn't super big and I have been reading good reviews about it on the net.

    http://www.keh.com/Product-Details/1...0/LF06/FE.aspx

    Thoughts?
    "A picture is a poem without words"
    ~Horace~

  5. #5

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    I own the 360 tele-xenar and it is a fine lens. Bellows draw is only about 8 inches at infinity. A 300 will give you more bellows in reserve for closer shots. The tele lenses almost have more air between elements than there are elements, so they are pretty light.

    Peter Gomena

  6. #6
    photobizzz's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info Peter, I am pretty much a newbie when it comes to these longer lenses having never owned one. I take it that the 360 & 300 share the same lens design? I just sold my next to last 35mm lens so I have the cash to get one now. What to buy, what to buy... I hate making these decisions when there are so many choices, LOL. Guess at the worst if I don't like it I can trade or sell it here.
    "A picture is a poem without words"
    ~Horace~

  7. #7
    photobizzz's Avatar
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    Ok I think I have found my lens - a 360mm Schneider Symmar-S MC

    http://www.keh.com/Product-Details/1...N/LF06/FE.aspx

    I looked for some shots from it and they were unbelievable! One on Flickr was a portrait of a brunette from an 8X10 camera. So sharp!

    Any reasons I shouldn't go for it? Especially at $310!
    "A picture is a poem without words"
    ~Horace~

  8. #8
    photobizzz's Avatar
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    I just was reading about the 360mm Symmar-S and the thing is a beast - weighs over 3 lbs and uses a 120mm filter! Uh dont think it qualifies as good for hiking!
    "A picture is a poem without words"
    ~Horace~

  9. #9
    photobizzz's Avatar
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    Ok thanks all for the help, I went with the Schneider 300/5.6 Xenar in Copal 3. Still a bit heavy but they all are in this focal length unless you spend big bucks.
    "A picture is a poem without words"
    ~Horace~

  10. #10
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    It may be too late, but for what its worth:
    Be mindful of the max bellows draw of a camera. I could not find any info on the 45a, but this is for the 45aii:

    <b>"full 324mm extension " ... "standard design 300mm can be focused to ten feet for complete versatility in landscape work."</b>

    In large format, there is a big difference between a 'long focal length' lens and a true 'telephoto' lens.
    A 'normal' 300mm lens will need about 300mm of bellows draw focused at infinity. It will need more extension for portrait shots and much more for close-ups. Up to 600mm for 1:1.

    A true 'telephoto' requires less bellows draw. So a 300mm tele only requires 200mm bellows draw. (for example) Tele's have some drawbacks though. Using movements are harder to use. They are heavier and have less coverage.

    So if your camera matches the specs of the toyo 45aii, you will only be able to focus as close as about 10 feet with a normal 300mm lens. Also, at this extention, the bellows may be fully extended, which could cause some spring back while focusing and limiting movements.

    I would recommend instead something like a 250mm commercial ektar or 240mm g-claron.

    One thing I would like to add is that I find focusing with a dimmer lens just fine in the longer focal lengths. I have a 360mm Artar that I adore and is a breeze to use.
    The artar is not a tele btw. Large format lenses will usually explicitly state if they are tele.

    In any case, the 300mm Xenar is a good lens if it works out for you, all the better. Since you want to use it for landscapes the bellows extention issue will not be a factor.
    Last edited by darinwc; 04-01-2010 at 01:01 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no.

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