Quote Originally Posted by frednewman
A good inexpensive lens is the Nikkor 300 f/9 - it covers 7x17 and 8x20.
It might illuminate these formats, but if you demand optimal sharpness, you should not use it beyond 5x7". What you suggest is MUCH larger than what the lens was designed for. Of course, if all you want is contact prints, you might not need 20 or 40 lp/mm.

It would make a very good "long" lens for 4x5".