Graflex.org Forum Index Graflex.org
Get help with your Graflex questions here
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Lenses for the Crown Graphic
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Graflex.org Forum Index -> Lenses Help
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1887
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jan, I was frank and open with you. Did my best to answer your questions. Sometimes the best answer to a question is a question. If I were averse to risk I'd have ignored you.

The questions you asked have been asked many times before, here and elsewhere.

I asked why you were afraid of making a mistake because you asked us to help you not make a mistake. I've made mistakes myself when buying photographic equipment and have survived. So now I'm not as worried about buying a lens that won't do what I think I need it to as I used to be. One of the things to be learned from my many mistakes is that mistakes aren't fatal.

I am puzzled about why you ask for advice about which lens(es) to get for your Crown. You have all of the information you need in front of you and you've looked at it. Its clear that you know what it means.

I suggested you ask for advice on the LF forum only after you responded positively to someone else's suggestion that you consider a wood field camera. IMO the only useful movement Graphics have is front rise (fall when inverted) and they don't have enough of that. I like my little Graphics, but they're not good cameras for shooting, e.g., tall buildings. If you want to shoot architecture, using a real LF camera was a good suggestion; so was your response to it.

Since you've let that door be opened, I'll suggest that you consider going to 5x7. Not to be obnoxious, but in his book Field Photography A. A. Blaker, who I respect greatly, makes the point that moving up in format isn't worth doing unless one doubles both linear dimensions of the film. If you're starting from 6x8, 4x5 isn't enough larger. 5x7 is. BTW, not everyone agrees with Blaker on this point, but you should be aware of his ideas.

I suggested that you should stop worrying about what's best and go and do and make your mistakes because I've read many threads on the LF forum and APUG that have made it clear to me that everyone who starts using a view camera starts with the wrong one no matter how much effort had been put into making the choice. Many of the people who went through the process were bright, thoughtful, well-informed, and good photographers. Some problems, it seems, are better solved by trial and error than by thinking hard about them.

Good luck, have fun,

Dan
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jan normandale



Joined: 13 Nov 2007
Posts: 30
Location: Toronto Canada

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Troublemaker.. FWIW I've now shortlisted two categories of lenses based on comments from forum members I've received here today.

Wides:

Wollensak 90mm f12.5, f9.0, or f6.8
Schneider Angulon 90mm f 6.8
Bausch & Lomb 88mm

Longs:
Graflex Symmar S 180mm
Wollensak Optar 203mm
Wollensak 190mm f 4.5
Kodak Ektar 203mm f7.7

I will try one from each, wide and long, provided I'm now able to get one of these at a price I can afford. I'll have to see what the market price is for these lenses. I'm now comfortable that these will provide the coverage I can use with the limited movements on the Crown. Actual use will show me if I need to change or adjust accordingly. This selection should enable me to get going since my Crown has a Schneider Kreuzenach Xenar 137mm f4.7 for mid use. I think I'll stay put with that for a while before considering some additional 135mm +/- glass like your Optar.

Your comment that 'all vintage lenses were not created equal' was one reason I posted my original request I realize that lenses can be idiosyncratic. Dan's comments that I can sell my "mistakes" is understandable however I'm still paying a mortgage, car loan, helping a daughter, schooling a son, buying groceries and trying to keep my wife happy. So I don't want to start 'trading' lenses unless I buy something totally unworkable. I'm trying to avoid those costs.

Your comment about the TLR.. I've a very old beater of a Rolleicord, it does wonderful things and I've about 175$ into it. The Contax is a G1 which no one wants today. Camera and 45mm lens cost about $350 all in from people like KEH where I got it. I shoot glass first, convenience is secondary to me.

The reason I want 4x5 is for the larger prints, I want more film for more image detail than I get from my 120 TLR. Vintage is kind of fun but I'm not looking for that, if it turns out that the images look that way, I'll see if I like it. If I do I'll probably incorporate it into my composition.

The link to Kerry Thalman's lens tests is one I visited. However I was unable to read the tests because there's no key for some of the columns relating to "cnt/mdl/edge". I was unable to determine what was being measured and the significance of the numbers.. ie is a high or low number signifying better or poorer performance? Can you throw light on that?

Re Holga's LoL.. I have one and it cost all of 20$ along with a few other 'crappy or vintage cameras' I own for recreational photography and the look they provide. I've an Argus C3 and a Yashica GSN. So I'm okay on that front. Thanks again for the thoughts and insights.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jan normandale



Joined: 13 Nov 2007
Posts: 30
Location: Toronto Canada

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan, I appreciate your clarification. I've got the help you noted (see the post above this one) and I'll be working on it. Regarding changing equipment ... I totally agree. I don't doubt that I will evolve and so will my equipment. For now I'm on the path you noted in one of your posts above .. trial and error and taking advice. I have enough figurative "scar tissue" to know that advice is worth taking.

I take advice and I've got some good advice in this specific thread. Regarding using the camera I'll probably be around checking FAQ's here at Graflex. I like a lot of the features of this camera such as 120 roll backs, polaroid inserts and Grafmatic film holders. I think this is a brilliant camera capable of a lot of things. Perhaps I'm overly optimistic but that's what I think. That's why I purchased the Crown 4x5.

Regarding LF and APUG.. I'll probably show up there too. But that will be later. There's a ton of information at this site as you know. I'm only starting. I've only 5 posts hopefully I will end up with as many as you and also being helpful to new entrants. Thanks again.

Cheers, Jan
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
troublemaker



Joined: 24 Nov 2003
Posts: 715
Location: So Cal

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have time to respond to your list this minute, but will shortly.
But two question that will guide my and other's thoughts.
How large do you intend to print, what type, and viewing distance etc...?
And what budget are you trying to keep within?
(I'm thinking large prints can cost more than any one of the lenses you listed. The cost of B&W done myself, and the bills for large color prints for a landscape showing I planned wiped me out pretty good.)
Also, the tone of your first couple posts made it sound like you had a time frame or deadline.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jan normandale



Joined: 13 Nov 2007
Posts: 30
Location: Toronto Canada

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Troublemaker.. I'm fading fast here it's 1.30 am.. Take your time on your response.

Here's mine

• large prints 22"x30" pulled silk screen prints, some lab prints 16"x20"

• I'm planning on a max of 3 silk screen prints pulled by myself and 3 lab prints.

• Price is unavoidable.. so I'll just pay, it'd be nice to win a lottery though.

• Timing: I'm planning on being ready winter / March 2008. (Hopefully I'll have about 12 images on the 4x5 that are worthy contenders for printing.)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1442
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jan, check your private messages.

Henry
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Bruce Curtis



Joined: 26 Nov 2008
Posts: 5
Location: Jeffersonville, Vermont

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:18 pm    Post subject: Lens selection for Crown Graphic Reply with quote

Hi Jan, I realize this info might be a year too late, but here is my two cents worth of sugestions. First if you are going to go for a semi vintage lens, Ektars had much better quality control than Optars (Optars are hit or mis) and Ektars always have been more desireable. I own quite a few of both, and Ektars always seem to perform better. 203mm F/7.7 Ektars, if you can find a clean one, is very sharp, and has an image circle of aprox 215mm, that may seem small by todays standards. This lens was designed specificaly for the Kodak 5x7 view camera (taken from their sales literature) and can be shot wide open with very good results. These were real sleepers 20 years ago, when every body wanted the Commercial Ektars (the commercial Ektars need to be stopped down about a third of the way before they are really sharp when doing closeup work, etc). Due to someone letting out the secret on e-bay the 203mm F/7.7's are now hot items, and climbing in price. They are nice and small and will allow you to close up you Crown without the hassel of removing the lens. Can't do that with a 210 Symmar S.
135 Optars on a 4x5 will not have enough coverage to cover the corners (ok for rollbacks), press photographers didn't care because they used the center portion of the negative, and the 135 gave them some fudge facter. The 127 Ektars were designed for 3x4 format (same for optars).
As you probably know 90 Super Angulons are still pricey, and better than regular Angulons. You may be able to find a nice Nikon SW for less than a Super Angulon and they are just as good. Happy Shooting.
_________________
Bruce Curtis
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jan normandale



Joined: 13 Nov 2007
Posts: 30
Location: Toronto Canada

PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Bruce, thanks for the response. Due to us living in the 'age of computers' nothing slips past the threshold. I have been looking for an Ekatar 203/7.7 since I posted and they do seem to go high. I just keep waiting however I have a feeling I may have to wait. Regarding the 90mm I'm also still looking but had not considered a Nikon due to my "lack of knowledge" I'm sure Nikon glass is good so I will check that out.

thanks again, Jan
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Bruce Curtis



Joined: 26 Nov 2008
Posts: 5
Location: Jeffersonville, Vermont

PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 4:00 pm    Post subject: Lens selection Reply with quote

Hi Jan, just a little more info. Sometimes you can get a camera (usually mounted on Graphic View II's) with a 203mm f/7.7 mounted on it for the same price range as a lens sold separately. People that break up cameras and lenses do that to get more money for them. I've gotten the 203's for less than $75 years back, and $175 two years ago on ebay. I bought a Graphic View II (Graflok back and 203mm Ektar) about 6 months ago for around $175. I have 4 to use on different cameras, so that shows how much I like them (all have different lensboards).
Watch out for Schneider lenes made in the mid 50's to late 60's as their quality control wasn't very good, especially watch out for the convertable Schneiders (good paper weights). Also consider Fujinon view camera lenses. They have a good reputation.
Bruce
_________________
Bruce Curtis
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
speedtrials



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 10
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 1:58 am    Post subject: Re: Lens selection Reply with quote

Jan,
I dunno what Bruce is talking about with 135mm optars not covering 4x5. They seem to do it just fine for me, wide open on chrome.

Also heres my particular experience with wide angle Nikons on a pacemaker crown graphic:

The 90mm f/8 can be used without dropping the bed. The 65mm f/4 can be used but you have to drop the bed. With the 65mm, the front standard will sit on the back rails. The thing I like about these 2 lenses is that they both work well with a reversed front standard. With the front standard reversed, you get forward tilt which is invaluable when doing landscapes (whereas with the front standard in the normal configuration, you do not get front tilt unless you drop the bed and the standard is on the front rails). With a 75mm, I'm guessing you will have to drop the bed and have the lens on the front rails so a reversed front standard is out of the question.

Cheers,
Nick
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Bruce Curtis



Joined: 26 Nov 2008
Posts: 5
Location: Jeffersonville, Vermont

PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jan, in response to Nick's reply, 135mm f/4.7 Optars are a Tessar-type design that covers aproximately 55 degrees or 140mm image circle at infinity. A standard 4x5 sheet film holders diagonal measurement (Graflex manufactured in this case ) is about 155mm in the film gate. Tessar designs are sharpest in the center, and the resolution falls off as you approach the edges of the image circle. Check out http://graflex.org/speed-graphic/lenses.html if you havent already. A good variety of info in one spot.
You'll notice the falloff in the corners (with a 127 or 135) if you photograph a deep blue north sky about 45 degrees above the horizon. On a hazy or light overcast day it may not be noticeable. There is a reason why Kodak produced 152mm f/4.5 Ektars and Wollensak produced 162mm f/4.7 Optars. I have three 152's and one 162 that I have shot with.
If you Google topics about Graphics you sometimes find threads that link you to Graflex.org topics that you may not find in their own search engine.
Bruce
_________________
Bruce Curtis
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jan normandale



Joined: 13 Nov 2007
Posts: 30
Location: Toronto Canada

PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Brian and Speedtrial, I'm no expert but I do understand the need for appropriate coverage of the film by the lens. Some lenses just don't give coverage with movement but are adequate without movement.

My Crown Graphic came with a 127mm lens which is 'adequate' I'm exploring something in the 150mm range and the 200mm range. I've also considered something in the 90mm range however I've not put my money down because I've not been able to find some indicative images with these lenses on a 4x5 Graflex.

If either of you have something appropriately illustrative of these focal lenghts I'd really like to see. You can send me a link here or jpgs thru my contact info at the bottom of my signature / or directly to jan at ntropy dot us

thanks to both of you.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1887
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jan, don't fall into the trap of using only original issue lenses.

Somewhat more modern lenses, for example convertible Symmars, aren't much more expensive, have more coverage, and are probably a bit better. And don't worry too much about whether a lens with focal length 150 - 200 mm will fit on a 4x5 Graphic. Just about all modern and, for that matter, ancient lenses of those focal lengths will fit.

If you want to get a 90 mm lens, don't fall into the trap of buying a lens contemporary with your camera. The original issue 90s (f/6.8s from B&L, Schneider, and Wollensak) just barely cover 4x5 and, IMO (others disagree), aren't that good. 100/6.3 Wide Field Ektars are much better, so are Super Angulons and Fuji and Nikon 90 wide angles.

Good luck, have fun, don't be afraid of making a mistake,

Dan
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Bruce Curtis



Joined: 26 Nov 2008
Posts: 5
Location: Jeffersonville, Vermont

PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:38 pm    Post subject: Lens specifications Reply with quote

Hi Jan, here is a link for specifications on all sorts of lenses that are semi modern to modern. This will give you coverage specs and lots of other data on lots of used lenses you may see ******* used, rather than just going on hearsay. http://www.largeformatphotography.info/lenses/
Bruce
_________________
Bruce Curtis
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
speedtrials



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 10
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 10:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Lens specifications Reply with quote

Doesn't include the 135mm optar so i guess we can still argue about that one

Ok seriously maybe you're right about the coverage....i just don't see it in the photos I take and I also can't seem to find a good clear source on the internet about the optars image circle. Do you have a link?

You know
Bruce Curtis wrote:
Hi Jan, here is a link for specifications on all sorts of lenses that are semi modern to modern. This will give you coverage specs and lots of other data on lots of used lenses you may see ******* used, rather than just going on hearsay. http://www.largeformatphotography.info/lenses/
Bruce
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Graflex.org Forum Index -> Lenses Help All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
Page 2 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group