# which lens to get started?

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• 03-20-2011, 02:01 PM
2F/2F
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dan Fromm
1:1, with feathers now ruffled, wrote:

Standard? Really? (120/36)*50 = 167. (180/120)*36 = 75. Check your arithmetic before posting and remember that the long side of the 4x5 gate is 120 mm. (210/120)*50 = 87.5. That's more than twice normal (43 mm) for 35 mm still. More than a rch long, I think.

If you use a pseudonym for a screen name and use a real name in your tag line you must expect a little confusion about who you are.

Did you even read what I wrote? A 180 lens on large format has the same horizontal AOV of a 50 lens on small format. Both are close to 40 degrees. A 210 has a horizontal AOV close to that of a 58 lens (33-34 degrees). Again, I was attempting to equate the 50mm lens specifically with a 4x5 equivalent by using horizontal AOV, not to define what a normal lens for 4x5 is.

"Standard" is decidedly different than the technical photographic definition of "normal." When I say standard lens, I mean your default, commonly used lens for the format, that is generally within a certain range of "normal." Standard lenses can vary. 150 is certainly one of them, but 210 is more commonly used as a standard lens for 4x5. Neither one of them are "normal." But 210 is the most common standard lens for 4x5. 50mm is a standard lens for 35mm format, not a normal lens. 80mm is standard on 6x6 cm, but it is not normal. So what is your beef? My posts have not only been accurate, but very carefully stated to avoid the confusion that you are introducing.

I used standard conventions for quoting Tyner. Quotation marks around the statement, followed by a break, then a dash with the writer's name following. If I was the one who wrote the statement, I wouldn't need to use quotations or name the author. So, I "must" not have expected any confusion, though I do not hold it against anyone. I just find odd the idea that I must have expected it. Regardless, my screen name is clearly 2F/2F, so that or 2F is the obvious way to address me if you don't know my name, not by the name of the guy I quoted.

Additionally, to prevent any further snarky mathematical "reduction" or "restatement" of "2F/2F" (except by Tim; that's ok :D), I should say that it is not a ratio, but a port/starboard division. It's main coolant pump orientation in a submarine nuclear power plant; two MCPs at fast speed on the port side, and two at fast speed on the starboard side. Seriously, Dan; do I call you D'Afro or something similarly silly and snarky when I disagree with you?
• 03-20-2011, 04:21 PM
vpwphoto
Schneider Tele-Arton, Schneider 180, f 4. \$250.

Technika Tele-Arton, Schneider 240 mm f 5.6, \$250.

And offer \$200 for either. That 210 is good if you can afford it.
• 03-20-2011, 04:49 PM
Ole
A Tele-Arton 180mm is NOT a good choise for 4x5". Any tele-anything at all is NOT a good choise for a first LF lens, since you will get headaches immediately on trying to use movements.

A simple good "standard" Plasmat-type lens, in focal length from 150mm to 210mm, is a much better start. The Schneider Symmar is one such.
Longer Plasmats, like a 210mm, are big and heavy. Get a 150mm if you find one for below \$200. They provide sufficient coverage to play with movements, sufficient speed that you can see what you are doing on the ground glass, and give very decent performance for very little muney - usually LESS than the shutter would cost on its own.
• 03-21-2011, 10:16 AM
jbbooks
Quote:

Originally Posted by jono
just getting my first 4x5!, and need to select a lens.....

I am being offered the following:

65 mm lens, Calumet f 8. \$125

75 mm lens Fujinon SW, f 5.6. , \$450.

Schneider Tele-Arton, Schneider 180, f 4. \$250.

Technika Tele-Arton, Schneider 240 mm f 5.6, \$250.

Fujinon L, 210 mm f5.6, with \$350.

Schneider Technika Symmar 150 mm / 265 mm (convertable), f 5.6, \$350.

What would you get started with (and does the price seem fair?)? I perhaps will get two lenses. I plan on mostly shooting landscapes and city scapes. Too bad \$\$ is always a limited commodity! Thank you, APUG community! Hope to post pics soon enough!

I would not comment on specific lenses, you can use KEH as a standard for the upper end for price comparisons and check the completed listings on eBay for more comparisons and the current listings for what is on offer.

As to focal lengths, for 4x5, you will, probably, end up with some combination of 90mm, 150mm and 210mm lenses. You will, probably, also, end up using the 150mm the least, with one or the other of the other two lenses used most of the time. For me, also primarily interested in architecture and landscapes, the 90mm and 210mm lenses are used 80 to 90 percent of the time. For the 90mm, a Super-Angulon XL or a Grandagon-N and, for the 210mm, either an APO Symmar L or the Rodenstock APO-Sironar-S are the current high end versions of these two focal lengths. I like keeping the same manufacturer for both, but I am partial to the Super-Angulon XL for the 90mm. The problem with it is that not all view cameras have movements sufficient to take advantage of its full movement capability and some, that do have sufficient movement, will not accept its large rear element or will interfere with its being moved, fully, when mounted on the camera. The faster Grandagon-N has a real advantage in terms of size and speed, but has a slightly smaller image circle than the Super-Angulon XL

As to cost, paying less may get you less capability, but it does not mean that you cannot find some version of any focal length that will more than do the job for a lot less money. Just know what you are getting and what the reasons are as to why it costs less.
• 03-21-2011, 10:45 AM
k_jupiter
The OP picked out a 210. Not a bad choice if the objective is learning portraiture, architectural detail, or just product shooting. I think they will find it too long for landscape and most general architecture. But... you have to start somewhere. Everyone views the world different, even through the groundglass of a LF camera. I have used a 150 Fuji lens for most of my 4x5 landscape work, it shoots what I see, as I see it. I also use a 300 for my 8x10 with no real difficulties except overrunning the movements on the Deardorff. But then again, my 30 YO FM2 has only had two lens on it in it's long and happy life, a 35mm and a 105. It's how I see.

Good luck OP, ask many questions and revel when you get two titans of the board to discuss matters of technical import. You will learn much here on APUG.

tim in san jose
• 03-21-2011, 02:23 PM
Dan Fromm
2f, t'isn't brillig now and t'wasn't brillig yesterday. There are no snarks in the neighborhood, although I do have a jar of boojum jelly in the pantry. The boojum isn't as dangerous as Carroll reported.

2f/2f has a little significance in photography. The minimum film-to-subject distance is 4f plus the lens' internodal distance, which is usually neglected. 2f from film to the lens' rear node, 2 f from the lens' front node to subject at 1:1. Thanks for explaining that you were being cute in a submersible, not a close-up, way.

I quoted you. Why do you think I didn't?

And where is it written that 210 mm is the standard focal length for 4x5? I think you made it up.
• 03-22-2011, 07:35 AM
vpwphoto
Agreeed... on the tele... my bad... I talk too much.
• 03-24-2011, 03:44 PM
djacobox372
I own the 75 mm lens Fujinon SW, f 5.6--probably my favorite lens, the focal length is wide, but not so wide as to be overly specialized. Similar to a 20mm lens on 35mm.

That said, all those prices are high--you'd be better off passing on them and looking on ebay for a better deal.

You also may want to stay in the 135-200mm range for your first lens, which is closer to "normal" for 4x5.
• 03-25-2011, 04:23 PM
John Kasaian
This arguement on what is normal is hilarious. You guys should be on television!
Lots of folks have a 210 as their only lens. Does that make it normal?
Nope, only normal enough.
Stop this before you confuse the OP and he goes digital on us!
• 03-25-2011, 04:59 PM
2F/2F
Quote:

Originally Posted by John Kasaian
This arguement on what is normal is hilarious. You guys should be on television!
Lots of folks have a 210 as their only lens. Does that make it normal?
Nope, only normal enough.
Stop this before you confuse the OP and he goes digital on us!

Only one of us is arguing what is "normal" for the format. I am arguing that though to a beginner a 210 may sound too much longer than normal to use as a standard/default lens, it is actually closer to the angle of view given by the 50mm FL on SF (that we have come to use as the overwhelmingly-standard lens on 35mm cameras) than is a 150mm; The 210 actually offers some advantages over the normal lens, and it is used by many, many large format photographers as a standard lens – an easy plurality IME.

So, how could that have confused the OP, until someone started arguing with me about something that I did not state?

210 is not a strange focal length to have as your standard 4x5 lens; in fact, it is the most common IME.
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