Portrait lens for 4x5"

Seeds

A
Seeds

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
parallel lines

A
parallel lines

  • Tel
  • Jan 28, 2023
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
a lamp in the vestry

A
a lamp in the vestry

  • Tel
  • Jan 28, 2023
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Cyanotype landscape

A
Cyanotype landscape

  • 0
  • 0
  • 14
Breaking Storm

A
Breaking Storm

  • 4
  • 2
  • 122

Recent Classifieds

Forum statistics

Threads
181,778
Messages
2,514,821
Members
95,411
Latest member
Sh8n8h8n
Recent bookmarks
0

Cybertrash

Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2012
Messages
238
Location
Stockholm, Sweden
Shooter
Multi Format
I currently use a Ilex-Caltar 165mm 6.3 lens on my Speed Graphic as a sort of portrait-oriented 'normal' lens, which works decently, but I recently found a 210mm 5.6 Schneider Symmar on offer for about $120, and as I've heard good things about Schneider in general I became interested. Would you say that a 210mm is more suited towards portraiture, or rather, is the change in focal length compared to the 165mm "worth" the price, as I've never shot with a 210mm before I don't really know how it would look.
 

jp498

Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
1,491
Location
Owls Head ME
Shooter
Multi Format
It is well suited to that sort of thing. It's a typical plasmat lens. Lots of "can't go wrong" choices in 210mm, this included. This is a sharp general purpose lens. Some people prefer slightly soft for portraits, but it's all personal choice.
 

Rafal Lukawiecki

Subscriber
Joined
Feb 23, 2006
Messages
794
Location
Wicklow, Ireland
Shooter
Multi Format
The change of focal lengths from 165 to 210 on a 4x5 is small, but it will allow you to stand a little further back, and perhaps reduce some perspective foreshortening if you do portraits.

May I suggest a simple way to see the difference? Cut out a 4x5 opening in a piece of card. Hold it 165 mm from your eye looking at a subject. Now hold it 210 mm from your eye. That is the difference you will see between those lenses.

I cannot comment on the other aspects of the difference, because I am not familiar with the Ilex-Caltar, but the Schneider is a good lens.
 

removed account4

Subscriber
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Messages
29,850
Shooter
Hybrid
its an OK fl for portraits ... depends on what you like ... if you /3 it gives you the approx 35mm FL, so its about a 70mm on a 35 ..
it's a little more than head+shoulders. if you like a tight crop from a small distance you might look for a 254 ( 10" ) which is the "traditional" focal length for portraits. its a great focal length that gives you a little bit of distance between you and your subject too
( so you aren't all in their face ) the 10" tele optar is s sweet portrait lens, and made-for the speed graphic.
if you get the symmar, be advised you won't be able to use it converted on your camera.
its what i believe is called a plasmat design, and the focal nodes make it so the lens needs more than the named focal length ...
to focus even at infinity, and your speed doesn't have anywhere near that much stretch. it says 370, but needs way more than that ...
nice lens still, i have use and love mine ( and use it converted in a long bellows camera ) ...

good luck!
john

ps the tele optars appear on eboink from time to time in and out of shutters, not a hard lens to find.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

AgX

Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2007
Messages
30,010
Location
Germany
Shooter
Multi Format
You can use that Symmar in parts (cells). That will yield a longer focal lenght at somewhat reduced image quality. That might be useful too for portraiture.

Edit: that will give you even more extension problems as John just indicated...
 

Alan Gales

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2009
Messages
3,252
Location
St. Louis, M
Shooter
Large Format
I own a Crown Graphic which I purchased with outdoor portraits in mind. It came with a 135mm lens which is great for environmental portraiture. I added a 210mm for closer up and it works great.

If you do a lot of head shots or head and shoulder shots, as recommended above, a 240mm to 250mm would be better. Of course those focal lengths are more expensive.
 

Dan Fromm

Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2005
Messages
6,316
Shooter
Multi Format
I own a Crown Graphic which I purchased with outdoor portraits in mind. It came with a 135mm lens which is great for environmental portraiture. I added a 210mm for closer up and it works great.

If you do a lot of head shots or head and shoulder shots, as recommended above, a 240mm to 250mm would be better. Of course those focal lengths are more expensive.

Depending on how close you want to get to the subject, a non-tele 250 may be a bit long for a 4x5 Crown. This because the 4x5 Crown's maximum extension is 12 1/2" (317 mm). A 250 telephoto such as the 10"/5.6 Tele-Optar/-Raptar mentioned earlier in this discussion should be fine.
 

bdial

Subscriber
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Messages
7,224
Location
North East U.S.
Shooter
Multi Format
If I had only one lens for a 4x5 it would be a 210. If the shutter is working well on the one you're looking at then it's a good buy. It will do nicely for portraits, though, as noted, on a Graphic you may run out of bellows if you're working close.
For head and shoulders shots it will give you about 10-15 feet of working distance which is a nice space.
 

Alan Gales

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2009
Messages
3,252
Location
St. Louis, M
Shooter
Large Format
Depending on how close you want to get to the subject, a non-tele 250 may be a bit long for a 4x5 Crown. This because the 4x5 Crown's maximum extension is 12 1/2" (317 mm). A 250 telephoto such as the 10"/5.6 Tele-Optar/-Raptar mentioned earlier in this discussion should be fine.

Yeah, Dan you are right.

I tried my non-tele 250mm on my Tachihara at 12 1/2" bellows extension. I could get a head and shoulders shot but I could not fill the frame with someone's face or head.
 
Photrio.com contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
To read our full affiliate disclosure statement please click Here.

PHOTRIO PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Ilford ADOX Freestyle Photographic Stearman Press Weldon Color Lab Blue Moon Camera & Machine
Top Bottom