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  1. #1

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    Beginners first wide angle 4x5 lens

    What would be a good first 4x5 wide angle with some movements, that would do semi-ok stopped down on 5x7? My other three lenses are all Symmar convertables. I'm more of a 105/135mm on a 35mm camera sort of guy, but looking to get my feet wet with some landscapes with the 4x5, and learning a bit about the wide side of B&W photography

  2. #2
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    What lenses do you have for 5x7 right now? You may find, once you go out and start shooting landscapes, that wide-angle lenses have a lot less utility than you might think for landscape photos.

    So, if you have a lens already, I'd try to work with it to find out what it does well, and how much wider, if any, you need to go. Wider may sound better in your head, but not be so much better on the ground glass.

    IME, I find 121 to be too wide for my taste on 5x7. Seems to be in the area of a 20 - 24 mm on 35mm film. I would probably pick a 150 or 180 as a moderate wide for the format.
    2F/2F

    "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."

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  3. #3

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    My 150 and 210 will cover 5x7 already, I was looking for something along the 35mm/35mm for the 4x5 that would still be useable on the 5x7. I don't have the 5x7 running yet, still working on lens boards and all that sort of thing, just trying to keep my future options open. So, what does a 120 mm work out to on 4x5?

    I've got a 20 somthing, a 26mm and a 35mm for my Nikon F, only use the 35mm, just never find the RoungTuit for the wider stuff even when I say I'm going out to shoot one lens. Somehow the 135 ends up in my pocket "just in case", and it's another example of a tight cropped short tele day.

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    if it is a wide lens you want,
    then a 90mm SUPER angulon would cover your 5x7 sheet
    as would a 3 1/2 inch exwa ( wollensak ) stopped down.
    both lenses cover 4x5 with ease ... not quite a 105mm but way
    less money down. used both these lenses are inexpensive ...

    ( your 35mm fl x 3 is the aprox focal length in a 4x5
    i am not sure what the equiv in 5x7 would be,
    but a 90mm on a 5x7 is pretty wide ... )

    good luck
    john
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  5. #5
    Ole
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    For 4x5", a 90mm Angulon offers mniimal movements but can be surprisingly good. A Super Angulon offers more coverage, enough to cover 5x7" too. And a 120mm Angulon will do a good job on both. Since you have Symmars already, these lenses will "feel" familiar and match what you already have quite well.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grif View Post
    My 150 and 210 will cover 5x7 already, I was looking for something along the 35mm/35mm for the 4x5 that would still be useable on the 5x7. I don't have the 5x7 running yet, still working on lens boards and all that sort of thing, just trying to keep my future options open. So, what does a 120 mm work out to on 4x5?

    I've got a 20 somthing, a 26mm and a 35mm for my Nikon F, only use the 35mm, just never find the RoungTuit for the wider stuff even when I say I'm going out to shoot one lens. Somehow the 135 ends up in my pocket "just in case", and it's another example of a tight cropped short tele day.
    You are comparing three different aspect ratios, so you need to be aware that you cannot directly convert one to another. However, if you keep in mind that a normal lens on a 35mm is wider than a normal lens in a 5x7 and even more "wide" then a normal lens in a 4x5, then comparing a normal lens in one to a normal lens in another should get you close. If a normal lens in 35mm is a 50, then, on a 4x5, with a normal lens of 150mm, the 35mm equivalent would be a 105mm and on a 5x7, with a normal lens of 210mm, it would be a 150.

    Since you lean toward the longer focal lengths, I would think that a 120mm would be a good start. Slightly longer than a 110mm S-A XL and a whole lot cheaper, but more like a 40mm focal length in a 35mm camera. Which 120mm you pick depends on how you balance out coverage, speed, weight and bulk, multi-coated or not

    On the other hand, look at your 150mm on the 5x7 camera and think about a 90mm on a 4x5. The 4x5 has the least "wide" aspect ratio of the three and a slightly wider lens for it may be closer to the look you want. For me, mostly buildings and landscape, the two 4x5 lenses I use the most are the 210mm and the 90mm.

  7. #7
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    The Angulon 6.8 lenses are cheap and easy to find.
    They are also small, easy to use and surprisingly good (If you like single coated lenses it is easy to find these as SC).
    Try one 90 and one 120. The latter will cover your 5x7 as well, and the 90 is very useful on a 4x5.

    If you want something modern you could try Nikon SW 90 (should cover 5x7 as well)

  8. #8
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grif View Post
    My 150 and 210 will cover 5x7 already, I was looking for something along the 35mm/35mm for the 4x5 that would still be useable on the 5x7. I don't have the 5x7 running yet, still working on lens boards and all that sort of thing, just trying to keep my future options open. So, what does a 120 mm work out to on 4x5?

    I've got a 20 somthing, a 26mm and a 35mm for my Nikon F, only use the 35mm, just never find the RoungTuit for the wider stuff even when I say I'm going out to shoot one lens. Somehow the 135 ends up in my pocket "just in case", and it's another example of a tight cropped short tele day.
    I'm not quite clear what sort of angle of view you want (I think there may have been a typo on the "35mm/35mm" phrase.), but based on the context, I am assuming that you are saying you want a lens for 4x5 that feels similar to a 35mm lens on a small format camera (24x36mm format; your standard 35mm film frame).

    I personally call 180mm normal for 4x5. It closely matches the horizontal angle of view (AOV) of a 50mm lens on 24x36mm format (though it has a wider vertical AOV). Thus, on 4x5, a 90mm (half of 180mm) is very close to what a 24mm lens (about half of 50mm) is like on a small format camera. A 35mm lens is approximately half way in between 50mm and 24mm. So, a lens with the same AOV on 4x5 would be about half way in between 90mm and 180mm: 135mm.

    Other people call 150mm normal for 4x5, based on a diagonal instead of the wide dimension. In that case, 75mm would be close to a 24mm, and halfway in between 75mm and 150mm would be about 112mm. Since the 110mm Schneider XL is so expensive, that leaves you mostly with 105s, 115s, and 120/121s to consider.

    As I mentioned a few posts back, 120/121s are quite wide on 5x7 film; not similar to a 35mm lens on small format at all. A 135 would be a little less extreme of a wide, though I haven't used on on 5x7, so I can't tell you what it "feels" like.

    Now, if you want this same AOV for 5x7, here is one way to go about figuring it:

    You know what 4x5 lens is closest to a 35mm lens on small format on the horizontal dimension: a 135mm. To get this same horizontal dimension on 5x7 is easy. You just scale up the dimensions of 4x5 to either the horizontal (7 inches) or the vertical (5 inches) dimensions of 5x7 format, and then multiply 135mm by the factor you used to do the scaling.

    For instance, for matching the horizontal dimension, I figure it like this: What must I multiply 5 in. by to get 7 in.? The difference is 2 in., so what portion of 5 in. is 2 in.? The answer is 2/5, or 40 percent. So, 140% of 5 in. equals 7 in. Therefore, you can multiply 135mm by 1.4 to get the focal length that will give you the same horizontal AOV on 5x7 film. 135mm x 1.4 = 189 mm. Your common choices are a 180 if you want to go a little wider, or a 210 if you want to go a little narrower.

    For the vertical AOV, you can follow the same procedure. It is easy head math to figure out that your factor in this case is 1.25. (4 in. is multiplied by 1.25 to get to 5 in.) So, you need a 169mm lens to match the vertical AOV of the 135mm lens on 4x5 format. Go down to a 150 or up to a 180.

    Almost exactly halfway in between 189mm and 169mm is 180mm, a commonly available focal length. It would look like a 35mm small format lens when used on 5x7 film, and would look like a 50mm small format lens when used on 4x5 film.

    This being said, I would say that since you already have a 150 and a 210, getting a 180 might be silly.

    I'd go for a 135mm based on what you want. I can't name one off the top of my head that will work on 5x7, but I am sure that someone here can.

    P.S. Two helpful Webpages:

    1. AOV calculator (open the same page up in two different tabs to compare angles of view between formats): http://www.mat.uc.pt/~rps/photos/angles.html
    2. List of many large format lens specifications posted at Graflex.org: http://www.graflex.org/lenses/lens-spec.html
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 08-17-2010 at 02:53 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

    "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."

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  9. #9

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    Not a typo,,, just brain lock trying to describe exactly what you thought I meant. (wow,,, I think I need a day off).

    Anyway, really appreciate all the info, I think I'll start looking for a 90 Super Angulon to play with. Seems to be a lot of them on FleaBay in varous states of preservation. Even if that's a bit much, it'll keep me out of the bar and the cute little truckstop hottie for a year or so, while I drift off on another hobby ;-)


    the "35mm/35mm" phrase.), but based on the context, I am assuming that you are saying you want a lens for 4x5 that feels similar to a 35mm lens on a small format camera (24x36mm format; your standard 35mm film frame).

  10. #10
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that a 90 mm lens is quite wide on 4x5, and extremely wide on 5x7; neither of which you said you are looking for. (I am correct in thinking that you wanted a moderately wide lens on 4x5 format, am I not?)
    2F/2F

    "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)

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