I need a sharp normal lens for 16x20 landscapes...

Discussion in 'Ultra Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by PKM-25, Oct 17, 2014.

  1. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    I posted this over on LFF but have kind of been running around chasing my proverbial tail with it. Basically I need lenses that will cover 16x20 ULF format at infinity, preferably with some degree of movements. What I have gleaned so far that other than rare and super pricey Schnieder XXL lenses like the 550, it is either going to have to be a Nikkor 450mm F9 M or something longer than a 30" Artar or 760 Apo Nikkor.

    I'm not willing to go to a smaller format as it does not work for the markets I have in mind, so 16x20 it is. So rather than what you have heard, what are shooters of 16x20 actually using for landscapes at infinity?

    I want it sharp in the corners, I don't want these prints looking like they were made in 1870, that is not my style, I need sharp.
     
  2. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    Hi

    Don't forget the tripod needs to be rock solid as well.

    Noel
     
  3. snapguy

    snapguy Member

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    I saw a photo the other day taken during the Franco-Prussian War, circa 1870, and it was sharp from corner to corner. It would seem there is a superior attitude wafting around which does not seem to square with the facts.
     
  4. OP
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    PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Hey, I am open, I am just getting way too much inconclusive information. I just need a good 600mm-800mm lens, preferably in shutter but fully understand how tough that can be.
     
  5. MDR

    MDR Member

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    The Symmar-S 9.4/480mm should be able to barely cover the format at infinty image circle is 500mm 20in is circa 508mm. The Schneider 355mm G-Claron should cover as well, the Fuji 450mm f8 cmw is another lens that covers the format.

    Good luck
     
  6. OP
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    PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Thanks but those are a bit short in FL, I am looking for something to pair with the 450 Nikkor like in the range of 600-800mm.
     
  7. adelorenzo

    adelorenzo Subscriber

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    Have you checked out the 11x14 lens chart on LFPF? Looks like a Fujinon C 600mm might be the ticket if you can find one.

    Based on the information on that chart the Nikkor 450mm M doesn't even cover 11x14?
     
  8. OP
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    PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Sandy King said the 450 covered up to 20x24 if stopped way down and was sharp but the 600C was not too hot in the corners.

    I figure I will give this about a month and if I am still spinning my wheels I will just give up on it completely or until I can find and afford a 550XXL. It's not like my 16x20 prints from 4x5 Tmax are lacking in any way....

    It's crazy though, I did lots of Google searches, over 100 pages of searches on here and LFF's lens section and I am still empty handed....wtf?
     
  9. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    You have checked out the 19 or 24" Meyer Double Anastigmat, 18" Ross Homeocentric, and possibly 24" B&L Process Apochromat and possibly 30" Goerz Apochromat Atar?
     
  10. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    If you got the money honey, ultrahighresolution.de might part with that 48" Aero-Ektar. Although something tells me that a FA-XXL may be cheaper.
     
  11. OP
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    PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    I am going to meet up with Hugo from Chamonix next month to check out his 16x20, he seems to favor a 24" Red Dot Artar and a 760 Nikkor for his landscape work.

    A 48" lens is too long, the bellows only go to 1,050 not to mention that is getting shallow in terms of depth of field.
     
  12. garysamson

    garysamson Member

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    I think you will be disappointed with the performance of the Nikkor 450mm lens on 16x20 in the corners if you are looking for tack sharp resolution.
     
  13. OP
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    PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Thanks Gary, I got a PM from a guy who shoots the 450 Nikkor and Fuji 600C on his 14x20 and says they are incredible....

    I really do hope I can arrive at a good solution, otherwise I see no point in doing this when 16x20 prints from my 4x5 negs are critically sharp right to the very corner.

    If ULF shooters want to be able to buy their film, cameras and film holders in the future, it sure as hell would be nice if pros like me could just get right to the point and get the tools they need. Otherwise, having things being so damn nebulous and written in jello is not doing this genre of photography any favors...

    Does anyone here shoot 16x20 landscapes with a lot of the subject at infinity and if so, what are you using for glass??????
     
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  15. garysamson

    garysamson Member

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    I have used the Nikkor 450 on my 12x20 Wisner and for closer subjects where you do not need critical sharpness out to the edges, it's fine. A distant landscape Will tax the lens. The Schneider G Claron 355 is a good choice for a wide lens but may not serve your needs. Does it have to be in shutter, you might find a barrel lens in a longer focal length that could work for you.
     
  16. karl

    karl Subscriber

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    "If ULF shooters want to be able to buy their film, cameras and film holders in the future, it sure as hell would be nice if pros like me could just get right to the point and get the tools they need. Otherwise, having things being so damn nebulous and written in jello is not doing this genre of photography any favors..."

    Oh, by all means, excuse us for slowing you down. How dare we amateurs diminish your ability to make our activity possible. The nerve!

    ULF is not for everyone.
     
  17. MDR

    MDR Member

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    If you can accept barrel lenses the 800/9 APO Ronar covers the format (it can be shutter mounted) there is also an 890mm Apo Ronar that covers with movement the APO Ronars are available up to 1800mm focal length they are all sharp but but the longer versions can't be shutter mounted.

    It seems that everything gets more complicated the bigger the camera gets :smile:
     
  18. OP
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    PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Hi Karl,

    Sorry I offended, I just need good tools, one lens is all I was asking for. It could be 35mm, medium format, pano and good replies will abound. But it seems the larger the format size, the bigger the attitudes of "Do it your self" resulting in more disincentive for new people to keep folks like Richard Ritter or Chamonix in business selling there stuff.

    I'm done, I will take my 10K and spend it elsewhere....

    I won't be the last person to ask these question by the way, think about that next time folks, eh?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2014
  19. karl

    karl Subscriber

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    The fact that some people (we're talking 16x20 here) have asked this question before means both that you won't be the last and most importantly there is plenty of material in the archives here and at LFP Forum to narrow your choices in terms of lenses that would work for your project. (And maybe those people will spend time searching the archives, discover a group of lenses people have used with 16x20, then pick one or two of them to try themselves.)

    People have repeatedly offered you suggestions, in large part based on their personal experience shooting 16x20 or similar formats. You've been unsatisfied with all of them. We are not here to serve you. Which is how your attitude comes across. Furthermore your "If you can't tell me what I want to know right now, with certainty, ULF photography will die." attitude is both laughable and offensive. You're not that important.

    Really when it comes down to it with the cost of putting together a 16x20 outfit you could easily gather up few (450M, 24inch Artar (showing up on Ebay all the time these days), Fuji 600C, etc. ) lenses for not much money (relatively) and see how they work for you. Which takes us right back to the absurdity of this whole exercise.

    And why do you think how you spend your 10K effects any of us (with the exception of Hugo, if you buy a Chamonix camera and holders)? There are plenty of people who buy big expensive cameras.

    The most amusing and frustrating thing about this whole discussion is that you started of by eliminating the most obvious "no question it will cover and be sharp corner to corner" lens choice, the Schneider 550 XXL.

    Good luck with what ever means you use attempt this project.
     
  20. OP
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    PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Looks like you are still offended Karl, that's too bad, truly. Did you win the 30" Artar? I passed because that is what I am doing for now or for good, time will decide that.

    I did a total combined page search of close to 300 on here and LFF before I posted any questions because I hate to be "that guy", not including Google searches. The 550XXL might very well be the lens to get...if you can get it, price not withstanding. For example, in 2012 I searched for 9 months for a Schneider 350mm F11 Apo Tele Xenar before I finally just ordered it new from B&H. So in a sense, I got into LF right when Copal, Rodenstock, Fujinon and Schneider were partly if not totally pulling the plug on making shutters and glass....who knew?

    So you are pissed because I showed you attitude about spending the equivalent of two entire work days in trying to figure this out and I got pissed at the nebulous air of it all. I may not me important to you, but I am to my past, present and future clients. Come to think of it, I think you have given me lip service before in the past, go figure.

    If I decide to do this...and at this point it is a ULF sized if, I will likely start with a 24" Artar in an Ilex 5. It would be the pefect focal length, decent shutter that allows the lens to be used wide open at F9 and should allow me to make some insane images. I don't need 3-4 lenses in ULF, just one good one, just like only needing a 50 1.4 Asph for my M3.

    I already apologized to you once, if anything I owe the people who actually gave personal examples one.
     
  21. Dan Dozer

    Dan Dozer Subscriber

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    Are you going to be meeting Hugo at the large format gathering that he, Tri Tran, and Jim Fitzgerald are putting on Nov. 23rd? If so, I'm going to be there with a table selling stuff and have a 25" B&L Anastigmat Process lens that I will be selling for a decent price. It covers easily 8 x 20 and might do 16 x 20. It's a pretty sharp lens because it's a process lens. If you are going to be there, we could put it on Hugo's 16 x 20 camera and see how it covers.

    Dan
     
  22. OP
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    PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Hi,

    I am actually meeting him in Death Valley a few days earlier. Thanks for the offer though, I appreciate it!
     
  23. Nodda Duma

    Nodda Duma Subscriber

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    Hi I don't post much but just started browsing through posts on the forum.

    I'm a lens designer by trade.... And by that I mean designing objective lenses for imaging systems in Zemax, then getting them fabricated and assembled. If you haven't found anything satisfactory I could probably put together a lens design in your desired focal length and see if there's off-the-shelf lenses (like from Edmund Optics) you could purchase to assemble your own custom objective. I'd just need to get a feel for what you're looking for in resolving power, distortion, etc. Should be entirely doable especially considering the slow speeds of extra large format lenses.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2014
  24. mohawk51

    mohawk51 Member

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    Hey, I still shoot film as well. Try the Voigtlander 40mm F2 Aspherical lens. Extremely sharp with great contrast & color. I would never sell this lens. I've been shooting for some 50+ years and this is the lens that everyone who enjoys normal lenses should have. I sold my Nikkor 50mm F1.4 after shooting with this lens. The Nikkor just couldn't compete!
     
  25. Rick A

    Rick A Member

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    Umm... This is an old thread, and you aren't even close with format. Did you bother to read any of the posts before chiming in?
     
  26. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Interesting topic anyway. I'd be far more worried about how to keep the film plane truly flat with something like a vacuum holder rather than being nitpicky over a lens intended for only 1X contact printing. But a 760 Apo Nikor would do the trick, if you could find a shutter for it. Otherwise, a 600
    Fuji C if he needed something relatively compact in a modern shutter. Various overkill options in lenses per se.