Large format lenses

StephenM

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West Yorkshire Cameras.
Ffords.

You need a board that fits your camera, the most common would be Linhof/Wista which covers many other cameras. Canham boards may be specific to Canham.

To mount a lens in a board, you will need a lens spanner aka lens wrench.

Lenses can come without a shutter (barrel lenses) and may need an external or internal shutter bought. Shutters come in different sizes, and require different size holes in the board to fit. The most common sizes are Copal 0, 1, 2 and 3.

Edited to add nothing - well, "0" in the shutter sizes :)
 
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ChrisR

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Ffordes? Mr CAD? I'm sure there are lots more... I think there's a thread listed in the resources sticky at the top of this forum. And the dreaded evil bay of course. I got my 135mm f/5.6 Fujinon NW from Japan, which is the source of quite a lot of lenses... slightly nerve-racking, but turned out good.

Roughly, divide by 3 for an approximation of equivalent focal length as far as angle of view goes (don't @ me, as they say, I know it's more complex than that) in "full frame" (!) terms... so 150mm is accepted as normal, my 135 would be a short normal, 90 would be widish, 180 is a short telephoto, etc.
 

StephenM

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And the "standard" lens for 5x4 is 150mm, although some people prefer either longer or shorter. I prefer 210mm.
 

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Mr Cad! How did I miss the souce of two of my lenses.

And I still hate "equivalent focal length" as depth of field, close up physical distances, optical calculations and image size are all different. Only angle if view remains the same - although that's moot as the same angle if view to 35mm is only obained if youuse a 4x6 camera - did anyone ever make one?

I'm very pedantic on this, as most beginner's questions seem to stem from the confusion that arises from this very misleading concept.
 

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Copal 0. I stand (actually, I'm reclining in a chair) corrected. The most common sizes, and the only ones I have are 0, 1 and 3. Strictly, 00, 4 and 5 existed as well...

Again, in practice, lenses that cover 10x8 and allow reasonable movements are usually (I think) Copal 3, and 5x4 and 5x7 are usually Copal 0 or 1. Some small light lenses that just cover 10x8 are Copal 0.

I've just retroactively added the 0 to my earlier post.
 
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StephenM

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Finally, another source would be the classifieds here. Other places sometimes have lenses (I have bought from Dale Photographic in Leeds, and a local dealers in Brighton in the days long ago when shopping was possible in physical shops for such things).
 

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Not quite finally, it seems :)

I've never dealt with Camley Photographic, although they operate from an address in walking distance of my home, but they have a number of lenses listed at the moment.
 

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I know little to nothing about LF lenses. As a starter where would be a reasonable place to look for one suitable for 4x5?
Presumably you already have a LF camera?

Depending on what you wish to shoot anfd the amount of camera movements that you are likely to require then coverage of the lens is paramount.
Some as you may well know 'just' cover the format which can be fine if say only requiring a few degress of front tilt but if shooting architecture for example where significant rise and/or rear tilt may be necessary to aleviate converging verticals , much more coverage ( ie larger image circle) will be required to avoid vignetting.

This list offers specs inc image circle for a number of lenses.


150mm is generally seen as the norm focal length for 4x5 though i actually prefer 210mm.

As for retailers,in addition to the ones mentioned above, I'm surprised that @StephenM hasn't mentioned Clock Tower cameras in Brighton.

I know one or two ebay sellers too ( who I can highly recommend but will have to search out their pseudos ( assuming ebay is of interest?)
 

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Camley Photographic
I've contacted them several times concerning products inc lenses but never purchased as they have been shall we say, a tad thin with the details when questioning certain aspects ....condition of glass etc.
The chances are that I've missed out but I wasn't willing to take the risk with the hassle of returns etc.
Similarly I no longer purchase from MWcameras due to a hit and miss affair when it comes to communication...shame as they sometimes have decent kit for sale.
 

Asha

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I know one or two ebay sellers too ( who I can highly recommend but will have to search out their pseudos ( assuming ebay is of interest?)
Pseudo: cliffpr

A tad expensive but he sells decent gear and although his product descriptions are often brief, he is very approachabe and will answer truthfully any questions concerning the products that he sells.

He hasn't got 16K / 100% feedback by ripping people off ;)
 

Asha

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coverage of the lens is paramount.
Forgot to mention that iirc the diagnal measurement of the film thus minimal coverage for 4x5 format is a 163 mm ( ( so a 163mm image cicle) , debatable by some to be 152mm but that would have to have the lens plane exactly paralell with the film plane and offer no movements whatsoever).

These figures are based on infinity focus
If focuing on closer objetcs then image circle , thus coverage , increases.
 

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Forgot to mention that iirc the diagnal measurement of the film thus minimal coverage for 4x5 format is a 163 mm ( ( so a 163mm image cicle) , debatable by some to be 152mm but that would have to have the lens plane exactly paralell with the film plane and offer no front standard movements whatsoever but tilt and swing on the rear possible).

These figures are based on infinity focus
If focuing on closer objetcs then image circle , thus coverage , increases.

Small pedantic suggested edit made.

One small point on lens boards. My new 5x7 takes standard Linhof/Wista boards, but came with one that was slightly thicker, and wouldn't fit another camera that takes the same 99mm x 96mm boards. So, watch out for things other than just the cross section.
 
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Asha

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@StephenM : "no front standard movements whatsoever but tilt and swing on the rear possible). "

Even with the minimal image circle coverage available?.

I wasn't aware of that so thanks for the edit ( pedantic or not ;) :LOL: )
 
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Presumably you already have a LF camera?
I don't as it happens! I've been looking at 4x5 cameras but have realised they all come at a price.

Reason for posting was to get an idea whether going the Intrepid/Chroma route and then getting the lens/shutterwould be more affordable for me.... My immediate thoughts seem to be that there isn't that much difference between the new plus lens or used route at the price I'm looking at.

Thanks for all the links and advice you have given. I've been digesting and looking at this throughout the day.

I'd ideally like what I now know is called a field camera. I'd been bidding on eBay on a Crown Graphic as these type of "press" 4x5 cameras seem to be cheaper and usually come with a lens and shutter - I was outbid but not unduly concerned as the slower speeds were not accurate.

I've a significant birthday before the end of the year so getting a 4x5 as a present (well at least some money towards it) maybe an option. I'll keep looking but if you see anything that looks promising give me a shout!
 

Asha

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I don't as it happens! I've been looking at 4x5 cameras but have realised they all come at a price.

Reason for posting was to get an idea whether going the Intrepid/Chroma route and then getting the lens/shutterwould be more affordable for me.... My immediate thoughts seem to be that there isn't that much difference between the new plus lens or used route at the price I'm looking at.

Thanks for all the links and advice you have given. I've been digesting and looking at this throughout the day.

I'd ideally like what I now know is called a field camera. I'd been bidding on eBay on a Crown Graphic as these type of "press" 4x5 cameras seem to be cheaper and usually come with a lens and shutter - I was outbid but not unduly concerned as the slower speeds were not accurate.

I've a significant birthday before the end of the year so getting a 4x5 as a present (well at least some money towards it) maybe an option. I'll keep looking but if you see anything that looks promising give me a shout!
Now then I may have something of interest. Minimal details here as obviously a classifieds would be necassary but I have a beginners outfit which includes everything barring filters and a darkcloth to part with. If you’re potentially interested I will proceed further in the correct forum. Not this evening mindst!
 

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On rear and front movements.

Front standard movements move the lens (by definition) to point somewhere else. Imagine a torch beam on a screen, and you swing the torch round a bit. The beam will move progressively off the screen because the circle of coverage isn't enough.

Now point the torch straight at the screen from a distance that just allows all the screen to be lit. Keep the torch there, and tilt or swing the screen round its centre. The screen still completely falls within the circle of coverage.

For obvious reasons, raising or lowering the screen when the coverage is at the limit won't work.

And those who have used a projector will realise that these back swings and tilts have an effect on the image shape and the evenness of illumination. Back movements are useful if you need a small amount of swing/tilt for focussing purposes, or if you deliberately want to make the small pebble in the foreground into a large boulder to conform to landscape photography rules. (Note; back movements would be hard pushed to achieve this in the real world:)).
 
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Asha

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Seeing as the OP has this evening treated himself to a LF outfit , and as i am the seller, I feel obliged to explain a little about how to use the convertible lens.

When complete with both rear and front glass elements, the focal length is 135mm.
Removing the front element renders the lens with 265mm focal length.

There are two sets of aperture figures on the shutter, the white/ silver figures relate to the 135mm focal length, the green figures being for when the lens is set for 365mm focal length use.

Shutter speeds are of course calculated based on aperture, light meter readings, film speed and any compensation for filters .
 
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Long way from me but somebody may be able to offer help, Wonder if Steve Lloyd has shipped any Chroma over that way
Thanks Karl. Just for clarity I have paid for today the camera Asha had advertised. Obviously looking forward to receiving it but if anyone local, and something could be worked out that doesn't put anyone at risk in relation to Covid-19, then I would happily welcome any support with 4x5. Thanks again.
 

StephenM

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If you get stuck or just need some information, there are a number of folk here that know something about large format photography, and a dedicated thread:

 
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If you get stuck or just need some information, there are a number of folk here that know something about large format photography, and a dedicated thread:

Many thanks StephenM.
 
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