Are you Wide Angle? Normal? Tele?
What's your style?
What proportion of your LF or ULF photographs are Wide Angle?
How many are "normal" (focal length same as film diagonal)?
What about "long" and/or telephoto photo's?
I suppose it somewhat depends on what kind of subjects you "focus" on...
If it's landscapes do you prefer wide? normal? Tele?
If it's portraits, do you reach for the long lens first?
If you crawl around on your hands and knees, is it the wide or "normal" lens?
Are you a bit of a magpie, and carry five or six focal lengths "just in case"?
(I fell victim to the siren call of ULF 8x20, and carried everything from super wide 210 mm, to a long tele 1200 mm before my bones stared to complain).
I'm not looking for advise, just interested in what others prefer...
Reinhold (a magpie).
Last edited by Reinhold; 01-11-2011 at 02:36 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I generally use whatever frames the subject correctly.
However, I have a terrible time making ultra-wide shots that are interesting.
Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no.
I carry three lenses for 4x5: 125mm, 210mm and 300mm. I haven't used the 300mm for quite a while but it's a Nikkor M and weighs very little, so I continue to carry it knowing that as soon as I leave it home I'll see nothing but scenes which demand that lens and no other. Last year I used the 125mm probably twice as often as the 210mm; the year before, probably the other way around.
For 8x10 I carry 420mm and 210mm. Again, last year I probably used the 210mm twice as often as the 420mm; the year before I probably used the 420mm twice as often as the 210mm. However, over the years I have been using shorter focal lengths much more often than I used to, so the wide angle usage is growing.
I photograph mostly landscapes and townscapes, in one way or another. All B&W.
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming– “Wow! What a Ride!”
— Hunter S. Thompson
I shoot 2x3, have more lenses than I can carry. I probably use lenses shorter than normal most often, but that's in part because I do much of my shooting in areas with no broad vistas. Using a long lens makes little sense when edge of the world is perhaps 40' away.
I couldn't make myself use any lens but my 38/4.5 Biogon for several months after it came back from Steve Grimes remounted in a Copal #0. Used it on a Century Graphic, and it doesn't cover 2x3. 84 mm is it. Now I have a 35/4.5 Apo Grandagon for the Century and the Biogon languishes in the closet. The Apo Grandy covers 2x3 and then some.
This isn't to say that I'm opposed to long lenses, in fact I have a "baby Bertha" made of a 2x3 RB Series B Graflex and a 2x3 Cambo. Baby is a long lens camera, can't focus anything shorter than 210 mm to infinity. She's still teething; when she gets through that I hope to find situations in which I can use my 900/10 Apo Saphir on her.
I don't even think about it. Use the lens that is appropriate for the image.
My lens bag contains focal lengths from 120mm to 1200mm (8x10 format). They all get used.
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Most of time I go out with my 4x5 I find myself wondering why I bring any lenses except for the 210.
That said, I'm starting to really like the WA I recently got for the MF camera.
I carry too many lenses but when I look at the keepers they are usually taken with moderate wide angle to normal.
For the 8x10: 121mm f8 Super Angulon, 300mm f5.6 Fujinon-w, 740mm Achromat in Copal#3.
For the Mamiya RB67: 37mm Fisheye, 50mm f4.5, 127mm F3.8, 360mm f6.3.
The bias is always toward the wide-angle end because of the way the Australian landscape unfolds. It's broad, flat, ancient and even. You can drive 1000 kilometres and the place you arrive at looks just like the place you left. There are few stunning and eloquent forms like grand mountain peaks or canyons. What gems there are may be brilliant but widely spaced. By working in really close with a wide-angle lens I try to make the "good" bits look big. The rest is just necessary context.
Photography, the word itself, invented and defined by its author Sir John.F.W.Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society, Somerset House, London. Quote "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..". unquote.
If I take two lenses it will be the 19" and the 240mm. If I can only take one lens it will usually be
the 14" unless I think the 159mm is more suitable(but that is rare) For aerials I'll use 12"/300mm. This is for 8x10 format.
My vision is shockingly normal. My 150 and 210mm lenses are my most-used on 4x5. Oddly, on my Hasselblad, my 120 is the lens I use most, followed by the 80. So I guess I'm normal to normal-plus. When I was a photojournalist, my wide-angle lenses were used most because I often photographed people indoors and space is always tight there.