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Chris Lee

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I have just bought my first lf camera on ebay! A Cambo sc for £74 (about $120 I think) which I thought was a bargain to good to miss!.

Now I need a lens, and some advice! I want a 150mm to start with, without spending to much cash. Any suggestions on what sort of secondhand lens to go for?
 

David A. Goldfarb

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I think a good first lens in your budget range (if the price of the camera was any indication) would be an older 150mm/5.6 Symmar convertible. You can find these for under $200 often. These are usually in decent Synchro-Compur shutters (if speeds are slow, figure around $80 for a CLA); they're single-coated and pretty sharp out to the edge of the image circle; and they convert to a 265mm/f:12 by removing the front element. The 265mm should be used stopped down at least to f:22 unless you want a particularly soft look, say for portraits.
 

removed account4

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hi chri -

i have a 150mm computar symmetrigon. it isn't a tiny field lens, but it is sharp and has pretty big coverage and in a modern shutter. it didn't cost me very much $$ when i bought it and from time to time i see them used. if you can find one, you probably won't be sorry.

the convertable lens david mentions is a good one too, and with a convertable lens, you get 2 lenses for the price of one :smile:
 

Deckled Edge

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I have 5 lenses for my 4x5, but I find I use the 210 Symmar 80% of the time. It's a good, but not great lens. They show up on e-bay regularly. I started off with a brand new Schneider 150mm Xenar. It was not expensive brand new, and it performs very well, except for coverage. It only allows a cm rise or shift. If you do landscapes, it's fine. If you want to twist that Cambo like a pretzel in the studio, no good. If you see life with your eyes wide open, you might try the 90mm Angulon (not SA). Also cheap but has movement to spare and very sharp.
Good luck. Now that you are a 45 afficianado, you will see tons of used lenses jumping out at you on e-bay.
 
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