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  1. #1
    stradibarrius's Avatar
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    What is a "normal" focal length for a 4x5 view camera?

    Someone wants to trade me a Calumet 4x5 CC40 gray camera with a 180mm f/5.6 lens.
    I do not know anything about LF so I was curious if 180mm is a "normal" focal length? Or another way to ask the question is if I only had one lens and it was 180mm is that a versatile focal length?
    "Generalizations are made because they are generally true"
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  2. #2

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    Hmm, try this: http://photo.net/photo/lens-table

    The second table might help.

  3. #3
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    180 might be a smidge shy of normaln like say a 45mm lens on a 45mm lens on a 35mm SLR. But definitely close enough. It's on the wide edge of normal I would think.
    Thank you.
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  4. #4
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    It's roughly a 150mm lens for a 4x5.

  5. #5
    holmburgers's Avatar
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  6. #6

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    hey barry

    if divide any 4x5 lens' focal length by 3
    you will get an idea what it is like ( sort of ) on a 35mm camera.

    normal is relative ...
    i use a 210 as a normal on my graflex slr ...

    as for versatility ...
    it depends if you like long lenses, short lenses
    or mid-length lenses .. the 180 isn't wide or long
    and the calumet has enough bellows that you can use it as
    macro lens and do nice close-ups on your instruments
    just make sure you look at jason brunner's video series
    and bellows factor with bacon will help you figure out
    bellows compensation
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwfRA...eature=related

    have fun !
    john
    im empty, good luck

  7. #7
    wiltw's Avatar
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    • If 'normal' is the diagonal of the frame, then 43mm is the 'normal' for 135 (24x36)format -- but 50mm is the one usually sold for 135 format cameras, but anywhere from 40mm - 58mm have been found as standard lenses for the format.
    • If 'normal' is the diagonal of the frame, then 70mm should be the 'normal' for 645 (43x55) format -- but 75mm is the one sold for 645 format cameras.
    • If 'normal' is the diagonal of the frame, then 148mm is the 'normal' for 4x5 (92x117 to 93x118mm) format -- and 150mm is one most sold for 4x5 format cameras, although some photographers have preferred as long as 210mm.


    Note that the last two formats have ratio of FL:[short dimension of frame] of about 1.7x ...which would yield 40mm as normal, based upon that criteria, for 135 format.
    Last edited by wiltw; 02-10-2011 at 04:35 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #8
    johnnywalker's Avatar
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    I believe a rule of thumb is to go with the length of the hypotenuse for "normal". The hypotenuse of 4" by 5" inches is 6.4 inches, or 163 mm. By that measure, 180 mm would be a trifle on the long side.
    If I had been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better arrangement of the Universe.
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  9. #9
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    150mm is deemed Normal for 5"X4" cameras, some prefer a 135mm as Normal others a 180mm, and a far smaller percentage a 210mm but for studio work - not general use.

    Ian

  10. #10
    stradibarrius's Avatar
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    So 180 would be a focal length that would be usable in a lot of situations?

    If I do this trade, what else will I have to buy to be able to use it other than film? I have B&W chemistry. I guess I need either a 4x5 enlarger or scanner than will scan a 4x5 negative and a film box/tank to process the film... what else am i missing? I have a 670 enlarger and my scanner will do 6x12cm but I don't think it will do 4x5.
    "Generalizations are made because they are generally true"
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    Barry
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