Thanks everyone for your help. Its at least pointing me in the right direction now.
With 35mm I tend to use are 35mm, 50mm and 85mm a lot of the time.
Same goes for my medium format stuff, my ETRS has the 75mm and the 150mm though I do toy with getting a 40mm for it. That covers pretty much everything I shoot.
We have some beautiful countryside in the Peak district that I'd really like to do justice of with a larger format neg. I'm guessing that the jump to 4x5 will be like the jump from 35mm to medium format.
Cheers Ian, I might just have to take you up on that offer :)
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
That kinda suggests you'd be happy with 110-135mm, 150-180mm and 270-300mm - My standard kit to go consists of a 135mm, 180mm, and a 300mm. Sometimes a 90mm get packed, but rarely gets used.
Originally Posted by Matthew Wagg
Your lens selection for large format may end up being quite different then what you use now in 35mm and medium format. Everyone is different. Your first lens may not even end up being one that you keep. Don't worry about it. You can always sell it later for around what you paid if it's not for you.
But one lens and go out and shoot it a lot. Eventually, you will learn what focal lengths you like and don't like.
Take Ian up on his generous offer. He can help you with your first choice of lens.
For 4x5, my main lens is a 127mm, occasionally I use a 150mm, I also pack a 210mm which sees more use that the 150. I also own a 105mm, a 135mm, an 8 1/4" (labeled 5x7), and assorted experimental lenses for play time.
I'd suggest getting a copy of Steve Simmon's book (see here).
I think that this will help not only with your question, but with others that will probably come up.
Just to underline what everybody else has said. Everybody's preferences are different.
I shoot landscapes only and my lens kit is all Nikon - 65, 90, 135 and 210 mm
Note that if you start with the 65, each next bigger lens is about 1.5 the focal length of the previous smaller lens.
I'm missing a 300mm out of that set but I'm keeping an eye on for-sale classifieds.
This is great advice.
Originally Posted by Alan Gales
I own two lenses, a 6"(150mm) Petzval and a 150/265 convertable Schnieder. I was surprised to find that this has been plenty and that I rarely even convert to 265.
The good point of LF is that you seldom buy new - and if you buy used, you can usually sell for the similar price. So you can try some lenses until you find the best set for you.
A few people already recommended you an old Symmar 150mm f/5.6, convertible to 270mm f/12 - it's a very good lens for reasonable money at 150mm, but don't even try it at 270mm.
From my experience one cannot transfer ones shooting customs from small or medium formats to large one. Even if you usually shoot wide angle using your (D)SLR, it may be quite otherwise using a view camera. Only aspect that remained unchanged in my case was inability to take good pictures...
As for Petzvals - they usually don't have a shutter, so you have to solve this somehow:
- stick to slow films or wet plate and use a hat as they did in the 19th century
- stick to orthochromatic or blue-sensitive materials, shoot with flashes or light painting and use safe-light in the otherwise dark studio
- install the lens behind or before a shutter (a big 'modern' one, or a kind of Packard)
- buy a Sinar with behind-the-lens shutter
- buy a Speed Graphic or any other camera with focal plane shutter (you may have much less movements than you would like)
Originally Posted by pasiasty
Actually Thornton Pickard made shutters that can be used with Petzvals, either front or rear (beween lens and lensboard), they vcan be bought quite cheaply.
Originally Posted by pasiasty