90mm lenses for 4x5 - nikkor, super duper angulons etc...

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nick mulder

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Hello all,

I'm about to cart my Sinar P 4x5 over here to Aus - I would like a widish lens (my widest is a 360mm that covers 8x10) ...

I have on offer:

Nikkor 90mm f4.5
Super Angulon 90mm f5.6
Super Angulon 90mm f8

Prices follow the order (highest down)

I'm thinking the f8 as I don't need the speed particularly - but its coverage is just that little bit less - (aware that speed and coverage are connected somewhat).

But 100deg (216mm) vs. 105deg (235mm) for the faster two...

Yes, I'll be doing shifts - your thoughts ?

Maybe I'd regret the money 'saved' on the f8 ? :rolleyes:

Nick
 
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I'd go for the fastest that you can afford. The wides are always darker on your GG than normal or teles, with the edges being harder to define. Having an F8 is just going to make it a bit harder. I have the Rodenstock Grandagon, at 6.8 it's a bit dim, that 4.5 Nikkor would be nice. The lens quality is brilliant however, so I will stick with it, has excellent coverage too.
I rarely use my 90 at less than F11, so speed is not a problem with the actual picture taking, just the viewing.
 
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nick mulder

nick mulder

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so speed is not a problem with the actual picture taking, just the viewing.

ah, interesting ...

I'll take the advice re. viewing into consideration - but what of the image circle difference for architectural applications ?

Before you mention it, nope I cant afford the XL's and other bigger 90mm's :rolleyes:
 

Trevor Crone

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I would probably go with the Nikkor 90mm f4.5 for the reasons already given, brighter screen image. This lens has good coverage with an image circle of 235mm at f16, so will cover 5x7. Interestingly enough the f8 90mm Nikkor has the same size image circle but of course comes with a dimmer viewing image. The f4.5 is a bit of a large lens requiring 82mm filters.

Like Tony I use a 90mm f6.8 Rodenstock Grandagon and I too find viewing edge definition in low light difficult at times even with a wide angle fresnel fitted.
 

Shawn Dougherty

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I am a big fan of the 90/8 SA. Speed be damned, that lens rocks. And it covers 5x7 amply. So, no, you won't regret the 90/8 and the money you save can be put toward a 65 :wink:

I just picked up a 90/8 SA (should be in transit now) so I'm glad to hear your positive recommendation! I'll report back in a week or so once I've exposed some film and made a few prints.
 

flash26c

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I have the Super Angulon f8: sharp lens but as others have said, a pain to focus in low light. Wish I had saved my money and put it towards a faster lens. Go for ths Nikon
 

David A. Goldfarb

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Composing with a wide lens is as much a matter of technique and patience as anything. Use a good darkcloth that actually keeps stray light out and let your eyes adjust, and you can compose with a 90/8.

Move your head around and follow the hotspot to see where the edges of the frame are, if you're not using a fresnel. You might have to imagine what the whole scene looks like, if you can't see it all on the groundglass at once, and then just look at it without the camera to see if the edges of the frame are where you want them to be.

If you've got a groundglass with cut corners, you can use them to check for vignetting and excessive falloff of illumination at the shooting aperture, and if you don't have cut corners, you can look through the lens at the groundglass.

While the brighter groundglass with a faster lens is a convenience, it's not a necessity, but the greater coverage is an advantage for architectural photography and some landscape situations.
 

Shawn Dougherty

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Composing with a wide lens is as much a matter of technique and patience as anything. Use a good darkcloth that actually keeps stray light out and let your eyes adjust, and you can compose with a 90/8.

Move your head around and follow the hotspot to see where the edges of the frame are, if you're not using a fresnel. You might have to imagine what the whole scene looks like, if you can't see it all on the groundglass at once, and then just look at it without the camera to see if the edges of the frame are where you want them to be.

If you've got a groundglass with cut corners, you can use them to check for vignetting and excessive falloff of illumination at the shooting aperture, and if you don't have cut corners, you can look through the lens at the groundglass.



While the brighter groundglass with a faster lens is a convenience, it's not a necessity, but the greater coverage is an advantage for architectural photography and some landscape situations.

This 90/8 SA will be my first experience with a Wide Angle Lens on a view camera. I really appreciate that advice David. I just printed it out and threw it in my camera bag! Thanks. Shawn
 

domaz

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What about the 90mm Congos? These are the light-weight modern Tessar design, similar to the straight Angulon, but with multi-coating and modern shutters. I hear good things about them- has anyone actually managed to acquire one? I have never seen one available used.
 

coriana6jp

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Fuji still makes the 90mm SWD F/5.6. It is a good choice, used it is slightly cheaper than the Nikon and almost as bright.

Gary
 
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DanielStone

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i've been having the same dilemna...


I think that I'll end up settling on a 90mm 6.8 grandagon though. its not too small, yet not too big like the 90 4.5 nikkor/grandagon/5.6 XL SA.

the SA would be my second choice.

somehow, the Grandagon seems to give a bit more warmth the right areas for me. I've been using one from school on one of their Toyo monorails, and all I can say is that it is a treat to use.

as stated above, if you don't have a W/A fresnel lens, focusing/composing in the corners can be a PITA, but I've found that by looking at the g/g at a slight angle helps a bit.

best of luck though. I was so set to drop the cash for the XL SA a while back, and I wouldn't have regretted it today if I had gotten it. but my methods have changed, and what I shoot has changed.

Currently saving for a master technika 2000/3000 though, with backpacking 4x5 eventually. so the 6.8 grandagon would help, due to its smaller size.

best of luck!

Dan
 

Ian Grant

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The 90mm f6.8 Grandagon is an excellent lens, it's possible to finf the Caltar re-badged version at good prices.

David makes a good point about the hot-spot which is even more noticeable as you use wider lenses and this is wherea goof fresnel makes a huge difference.

Ian
 

Martin Aislabie

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Adding to Ian Grants good advice

A decent Darkcloth helps enormously - as you need to wrap it around yourself and the Camera to make everything behind the Camera as dark as possible to see into the corners.

Also you need to learn to "bob" your head up and down and sway it from side to side to find the best viewing angles to help look in to the corners - although you will look something like the village idiot doing it :rolleyes:

Martin
 

jeffreyg

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I know you are looking for a 90mm. I have been using a Nikkor SW 120mm f8 with 4x5 which also covers an 8x10. I don't know what they run but it's something to think about since you also mentioned that format. It's very sharp but would also be heavier than the 90.
 

Ian Grant

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What about the 90mm Congos? These are the light-weight modern Tessar design, similar to the straight Angulon, but with multi-coating and modern shutters. I hear good things about them- has anyone actually managed to acquire one? I have never seen one available used.

Tessar type lenses have poor coverage so a 90mm Commercial Congo most definitely wouldn't cover 5x4, however the f6.3 90mm Wide Angle Congo may be slightly better than the older Angulons but it won't be as good as a Super Angulon or Grandagon, or the other lenses mentioned.

Ian
 

edtbjon

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I just like to stress what David said previously about wide-angles and the hot-spot problem. While most people complain about the f/8 being too dark to work with, it's not the "lack" of light, but the spreading of the light to the ground glass which is the problem. That problem will be just about the same with a f/4.5 lens. It's all due to the lens being so close to the ground glass and that as soon as you look somewhere not centered between your viewing eye and the lens, there will be severe light fall-off.
The cure for this is a fresnel lens, which will set you back maybe $50 or so for a used one, unless you already got one. The plus points are: much smaller lens (the f/4.5 lenses are huge), smaller filters (95mm or so for the f/4.5), similar performance, etc. The f/4.5 lenses covers some millimeters extra, but at a price, weight and size penalty.

When using a longer lens, like 240mm for 4x5", a Fuji A f/9 is very easy to focus and compose. The difference is very small compared to e.g. a Heliar f/4.5, which should be 2 full stops brighter, but that is very hard to notice.

//Björn
 

Ian Grant

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Björn, I've used a Ross f16 Protar 151mm on my 10x8 camera and with a Beattie screen it's easy to focus even in room lighting with no dark cloth.

Likewise I can easily focus an f6.8 90mm Angulon and an f8 75mm Super Angulon on my Crown Graphic working hand-held, since adding a fresnel, prior to that it was a little hit & miss/almost impossible but I was lucky. I have an 5f5.6 90mm Super Angulon and it's only marginally eaier to focus than an f8 lens. The screen itself and whether it's plain glass, glass + fresnel or super screen makes by far the greatest difference. There's a measurable 3 stops difference between my Wista screen and the best plain glass screen, the plain glass improves by over 2 stops when a fresnel is added. Obviously the hot spot is the same brightness regardless, but the other 95% gets close with a fresnel.

Ian
 

Shawn Dougherty

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As mentioned, I have a 90mm f8 Super Angulon coming tomorrow. I will be using it on my Toyo 45AII which has the original Toyo fresnel. I've heard mention of "wide angle" fresnels. Will the one that came in my Toyo be adequate? I've got a giant Harrison dark cloth which I thoroughly wrap up in when composing... Thanks in advance, fellows. Shawn
 

David A. Goldfarb

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There are fresnels optimized for ultrawide lenses, but a 90mm on 4x5" hardly qualifies. A fresnel that is adequate for a normal lens should be fine with a 90mm.

Another trick if you occasionally use lenses 75mm and wider, but not often enough to install a dedicated fresnel for ultrawides is to use two fresnel lenses just for composition, the second one just held in place over the fresnel that is normally installed. You wouldn't use both for focusing.
 

Shawn Dougherty

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Excellent, news. This 90 will be my 4th and probably last lens in the foreseeable future so looks like I'm set then. Thanks again. Shawn
 
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I also use a 90mm f6.8 Grandagon. The 67mm filter size matches one of my longer lenses. While not a compact lens, it is a reasonable carry size and weight. I have used it with transparency film, without a centre filter, and the results are quite good.

Ciao!

Gordon Moat Photography
 
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