Lenses of that angle of view can be great for portraits, as can wides. A portrait does not by definition involve a tightly framed head shot or head and shoulders shot. A portrait is simply a picture about a person. (And I would personally argue that if it isn't about the person, but is simply about what they look like, then it is not a portrait either; it is "glamor," but that is a topic for another thread.)
So, while you may want a longer lens for the work you have in mind, don't discount the 150! The idea that all successful portraits "are" tightly framed and free of background elements could not be farther from the truth IMO.
If you want to have a press camera with the option of using a variety of lenses with the rangefinder, try selling the Crown and investing an a Super Graphic or Super Speed Graphic. They are the poor man's Linhof III, and are truly great cameras, especially when you consider how little they cost. Pacemakers and the like are not designed such that constantly changing lenses and also maintaining rangefinder use is practical.
Do you know for a fact that this is the case? My 4x5 Crown Graphic had its original lens (supposedly), and that was a 5" Ektar. (127mm). Were there different versions, maybe? Or was I made a fool of? :blink:
Originally Posted by Sirius Glass
I'm pleased to see that my original questions had lots of interesting replies with helpful information, thanks to all.
I think I'll stick with this camera/lens combination for now, now that I know that the bellow can be extended past the infinity stops, that will fix my close focus distance issue. Maybe in the meantime I'll save up for a nice Linhof to keep the Crown company ;)
a sort of easy way to think about 35mm lens equiv's in 4x5 format is take he focal length
and multiply it by 3 and you will get around the same thing in 4x5 ... ( for ex, a 50mm on a 35mm is around a 150mm on a 4x5 ).
if you are used to using longer lenses try longer tele-design lenses like the 10" tele raptar, sometimes mounted in an alphax shutter.
don't forget if you use your current lens for close-work you might need to add extra light / time to compensate for bellows extension :)
have fun !
There may be metal stops on the rails which are preventing it from focusing closer.
For 210-ish mm you have lots of choices, though 150 is also quite useful.
I have these choices for $200ish each (what I paid, I'm not selling them)
203mm graflex optar which is very smooth and has a nice background bokeh; physically small like the ektar. Uses a special bi-pin cord for flash sync. Compact and original looking.
210mm Fujinar - a Fuji made tessar. Tessars are great all purpose lenses with nice bokeh, especially good for portraits. Normal pc flash sync.
210mm Nikkor - biggest and newest of the bunch. I bought it for a good deal and haven't actually needed it yet as I am pleased with the Fujinar. Normal pc flash sync.
A tessar style will have the nicest bokeh (my subjective opinion), while a planar style will look almost as nice and be a lot brighter.
This morning I had a close look at the bellows extension on my Crown, turns out it was just a simple matter of lowering the infinity stops on the rails, which then allows the bellows to extend much further. Doing this I was able to focus as close as approximately 1 metre. Much better!
Originally Posted by jnanian
As to your comment on compensation for the extra bellows extension, that is a new issue that I wasn't aware of. A quick google search shows a bunch of resources about the calculations involved, I'll now go and study it :)
In the 200mm range, there are a lot of options. What sort of lens are you looking for? Old, new, coated, not, convertible?
As someone mentioned, the 203mm Ektar is a joy - I have the 203mm f7.7 Kodak Anastigmat, which is an early, uncoated version of the Ektar (its a dialyte type lens, and is actually at its sharpest wide open). That lens, in an old rimset Compur, lives on my speed graphic. A cheap option is the Ilex Acutar (you might find it in a Copal 1) - 215mm f6.3, Tessar type. There are newer, Caltar versions as well. Nikkor lenses are beauties (I sold my 150 to raise cash but kept the 90 in Copal zero). Dagors have a distinctive look, tons of coverage for their length, and are convertible - I use a 5" on my Speed for landscape work and a 9 1/2" on my 8x10 for everything from landscape to portrait. Turner-Reich convertibles are a favorite of mine in all formats - they're triple convertibles - I use a 6"-ish lens on 4x5 and the 12-21-28 on 8x10. Protars are another nice convertible. Then there are the oldies - Aplanats, Rapid Rectilinears, etc - nice old look for portraits but most dont have working shutters (or came in barrel) so are better suited for a Speed rather than a Crown.
As you mentioned, play with the Xenar for a bit and see where you want to go from there. You may find yourself hampered by the shortish bellows on the Crown and want something with some more draw. Or, you may want the focal plane shutter to use barrel lenses. I wouldn't rush to do anything yet. The Xenar is a nice lens.
Steve, thank you for the clarification.
I was under the impression that Crown Graphics were made by Graflex. That's what I remembered from my own camera years ago.
Originally Posted by Sirius Glass
The Crown Graphic is a Pacemaker Speed Graphic without the focal plane shutter. When you see a reference to Graflex, it can be the company itself, or it can be the non-Graphic models they built. For example, the RB Graflex Series D (RB means "rotating back"). These were the SLR type camera which Graflex produced - because of the swinging 4x5 mirror, the bodies were big boxes, and, to clear the mirror, a longer lens was needed. Common on these was the Kodak #34 Anastigmat at around 190mm, where the normal lens for the Pacemaker Graphics was either the 127mm Ektar or 135mm Optar.