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Advice On Which Lenses For a Century 2x3 (& Tripod)

 
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Which Option.... A, B, C, or D... and Why?
A: 65 Ang, 90 Ang, 127 Ektar, 180 2x3 Topcor, 250 Tele-Optar
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B: 65 2x3 Topcor, 101 Optar (or Ektar), 165 Ilex (little one), 250 Tele-Optar
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C: Other combination of A/B
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D: Add a 47 SA to either kit (a bit price prohibitive & I don't have a 47)
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Total Votes : 1

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Mike1234



Joined: 10 Jan 2010
Posts: 12
Location: South Texas

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:57 pm    Post subject: Advice On Which Lenses For a Century 2x3 (& Tripod) Reply with quote

Hello all!!

I'm gifting a nearly mint Century Graphic to my brother. My question is regarding lenses (I ALREADY HAVE) to give him. He also needs a sturdy but lightweight tripod (any suggestions)? Everything else is bought and ready.

I chose the little Century due to weight and versatility. He'll not want to carry a very heavy kit. I don't want to give him a SG due to limited W/A lens use.

Lens kit choices (all coated & very nice):
A. 65 Ang, 90 Ang, 127 Ektar, 180 2x3 Topcor, 250 Tele-Optar
B: 65 2x3 Topcor, 101 Optar (or Ektar), 165 Ilex (little one), 250 Tele-Optar
C: Other combination of A/B
D: Add a 47 SA to either kit (a bit price prohibitive & I don't have a 47).


CAMS: I'm hoping he'll use GG focusing and not care about RF focusing. If he wants cams he'll have to make those himself because I don't have the time or energy. That said, I may upgrade the standard Graflex focus panel with a Maxwell Hi-Lux to make focusing easier.

Any advice??
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1863
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike,

If the Century has a rangefinder it is most likely a Kalart. No cams, has to be readjusted every time the lens is changed. Give him a loupe too.

My choices? 65 Topcor, 101, 180 Topcor. If anything else, the 250 Tele, but since I didn't like the one I had ...

Giving him a 47 SA would be a wonderful thing to do, I just adore mine. But they're not cheap.

Try the 65 Topcor on a 2x3 Speed if you have one ready to hand. I make this suggestion because my 2x3 Pacemaker will focus to infinity with 44/2.8 Elcan, 58/5.6 Grandagon, 60/5.6 Hexanon, and 65/8 Ilex. The 65/8 Ilex is very much like a 65/8 Super Angulon. 47 SA will not make infinity on a 2x3 Speed.

I don't know whether you want to confuse him with a focal plane shutter, but if his shortest lens is going to be a 65/7 Topcor and it will work on a Speed then he may eventually want to play with barrel lenses.

Cheers,

Dan
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1427
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I own and use all Optars in Graphex shutters: 65, 101, 135, 207 mm. I also have the 103 Graflar which was standard issue on the Century. It's a good point-and-shoot because of the self-cocking Century shutter. The Optars I use on tripod with gg focussing; the Kalart is adjusted for the Graflar. My Optars are exceptionally sharp, although the 65 is very tricky to focus (like most 65s, I suspect).

For tripod it's the Bogen Manfrotto 1001, no longer in production but equivalents available, with the Bogen Manfrotto medium geared head with quick-release plates (pricey but worth every penny; I wouldn't use any other kind of head, least of all the three-way rod type). The only thing I would change is to have quick-release leg locks on the 'pod, instead of the barrel screw type.

HTH
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1banjo



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 475
Location: kansas

PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey Mike

I have 65mm 3 1/8"(80mm) 90mm, 100mm, 101mm, 103mm, 105mm, 127mm,
135mm, 150mm, 180mm tele, 8"tele (203mm), 240mm tele, 250mm tele

what Do I use 65mm, 100mm, 8", & maybe 250mm
what would I give my bother well the ones that I don't USE AT ALL but that are
good ones

tripod Bogen/ Manfrotto 3132 [I thank thats the number] or a 3231

banjo
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Mike1234



Joined: 10 Jan 2010
Posts: 12
Location: South Texas

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for all the replies. I want to stay with the Century Graphic because I know my brother likes W/A images. Even though I can't currently afford a 47 SA, I want to leave that option open. Too, I doubt he'll ever want to dabble with barrel lenses.

I want to give him a wide variety of lens options... good lenses... not lousy ones. That stated I must keep it within reason because I can't afford to buy him the latest/greatest. All of the lenses I've listed should perform very well for landscape photos on 2x3. As Dan said though, the tele "might" be a disappointment. I've heard good and bad stories about this lens and I'm hoping I got a good example.

If he sticks with GG focusing then he can carry several lightweight lenses without worrying about cam issues. Also, with regard to total system weight, how much do each of the lenses weigh that I've listed? The biggest is the 10" Tele-Optar and he can leave that behind if doesn't want to carry it. The other lenses are tiny.

Any more thoughts/caveats?
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Mike1234



Joined: 10 Jan 2010
Posts: 12
Location: South Texas

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DAN... Regarding your advisement regarding lens choices of those I listed. Are the deciding criteria the shutters, glass, or both? Do you prefer the Optar or Ektar 101... and why?
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1863
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike, on principle I'd choose an Ektar over the equivalent Raptar/Optar. This because Richard Knoppow has reported many times on usenet (Google may still find the posts) that tessar type Raptars have fairly severe coma. This makes them, at the same aperture, less sharp toward the edges of the field than the comparable tessar type Ektar. He reports having to stop a Raptar down two stops more than an Ektar to get the same image quality in the corners.

That's why. But he could be mistaken and many people here have said (a) they like their Raptars/Optars very much and (b) to hell with the corners anyway.

But since you have the lenses you could ask them whether there's a difference between them that amounts to anything. That would be a better answer than any of us can give you.

Cheers,

Dan
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Mike1234



Joined: 10 Jan 2010
Posts: 12
Location: South Texas

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan Fromm wrote:
But since you have the lenses you could ask them whether there's a difference between them that amounts to anything. That would be a better answer than any of us can give you.


DAN... if by "asking them" (the lenses?)... you DO mean test them, I assume.

I'm REALLY short on time so I'd rather count on generalities. In that light, my bro' will receive the 101 Ektar rather than the Optar assuming I decide against the 90 Ang. The 65 (Ang. or Topcor), 90 Ang., 127 Ektar, 180 (Topcor), 250 Tele Optar grouping gives him a very wide range of optics from which to choose especially if I can find a way to add a 47 SA to the mix. The 47 SA, 65 Topcor, 101 Ektar, 180 Topcor probably offer the best optical quality. Optimal quality vs. versatility... difficult decision.
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1863
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I meant test.

More lenses is better than fewer lenses. FWIW, the majority of my shots are with 4" and shorter. And I have and lug around way too many longer lenses.

But it all depends on how your brother sees the world.

Cheers,

Dan
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Mike1234



Joined: 10 Jan 2010
Posts: 12
Location: South Texas

PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan Fromm wrote:
Yes, I meant test.

More lenses is better than fewer lenses. FWIW, the majority of my shots are with 4" and shorter. And I have and lug around way too many longer lenses.

But it all depends on how your brother sees the world.

Cheers,

Dan


He's a noob to serious photography and most particularly GG composing. This is just an offering for him to try a new hobby to keep himself busy. Heck, he may end up selling it all for a DSLR and a couple of zooms and that's okay with me. He just needs more diversions from everyday life and stress.

When it comes to lens selection I suppose I'm imposing my own attitude... in my dedicated 6x12cm kit (Chamonix 45N-1) I have 38, 58, 90, 135, 210, 300, and 450 lenses. Yes, it's overkill but I'll never run into a situation in which I'll say, "Geez, if only I had a ___mm lens I could get just the right composition and perspective".

I'm out of cash or I'd definitely buy him a 47 SA. One thing I won't do because I'm being selfish is sell or downgrade my stuff to upgrade his. I have postponed and done without some things though.
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