Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
Clem, we've been wrangling, to some extent, about points that really aren't relevant to you.

90 mm lenses are often used on 4x5. So are shorter ones. You probably won't know which short focal length(s) is(are) best for you until you try several.

These days it is hard to lose a lot of money on used LF lenses, although at the moment prices of older 90s with limited coverage (Angulons, Wolly Optars/Raptars) may be on the high side because of a small craze for a new hand-holdable 4x5 camera that's designed around them. If I were you, depending on budget, I'd get a 90/8 Super Angulon and use it. I have an early one in #00 shutter; it is in terrible condition, I use it as a paperweight. Hold out for a newer one in #0 shutter. Same optics, shutter that's much easier to live with.

There are other similar lenses from Fuji, Nikon, and Rodenstock. I just took a look at keh.com, who have two 90/8 Fujinons at quite reasonable prices for that sort of thing. I buy most of my gear through eBay but keh is safer to deal with than sellers on eBay.

How you like it will guide you to what you'll like best. I'm sorry, but imagination and trying to reason from what you like on smaller formats aren't as good guides as one would think. You really have to get a lens, nearly any lens, and try it out. If it doesn't suit, sell it.

The ancient lenses I've mentioned in this discussion are either hard to use (90/14 Perigraphe, dim and in barrel, can be stuffed in the front on a Ilex or Alphax #3 but ...) or cult items (90/18 Protar, dimmer, usually in barrel) and horribly expensive. They're good, but aren't for everyone.

Good luck, have fun, and remember that everything you do will be wrong,


E., I brought up f/14 Perigraphes and f/18 Protars because they have enormous coverage. Pre-WWI designs, too. There's more junk out there than the common crap we're all familiar with.
Hey Dan thanks for bringing the post back on topic. It is quite interesting to hear all of your opinions this post has help me more than enough. I hope more people can chip in so that new starters can look at this post.