What is your favorite lens and ........

Discussion in 'Talk About Large Format Gear' started by martin henson, Aug 18, 2016.

  1. martin henson

    martin henson Admin Staff Member Registered User

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    What is your favourite lens and why, mine is the Rodenstock 90mm Grandagon-N, I use it more than the other two that's because I do mostly landscape, mine is quite large being a Copal 1, I got it from fleebay at a good price before they seemed to all rocket up in price, great coverage on 5x4 though,


    The next and a close second most used is the good old 150mm another Rodenstock, small Copal 0, light and very sharp, the least used is the 210 Rodenstock another Copal 1.


    If you had limitless amounts of money what's the dream lens you would buy, (if there is such a thing).
     
  2. Mathieu Bauwens

    Mathieu Bauwens Active Member Registered User

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    My workhouse lens is a 180mm lens. Pictures form Laos are all done with this focal lens (see in B&W thread). 210 for portraits and 125 for portraits in situation and landscape.

    I'm not at all attract by wide angle lens, those are too large for my eyes.

    All my lenses are Fuji.

    In 8x10, I use a 300mm most of the time, I just bought a 420 for portrait and I will try 210mm for coverage issues.
     
  3. Stephen Batey

    Stephen Batey Well-Known Member Registered User

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    I have a very soft spot for my original 150mm f/5.6 Symmar - small and light, I can fold my camera with it attached. My current favourite would have to be the 210mm ApoSymmar which is a "natural" focal length for my landscape photography. It seems to give an added sparkle to the image - probably because of better lens coating. Its downside is that it's a good deal bigger and heavier (Copal 1).

    I have 90mm and 300mm lenses (Super Angulon and Apo Ronnar respectively); like Mattieu I don't really "see" in wide angles, and make more use of longer lenses than short ones.
     
  4. Stephen Batey

    Stephen Batey Well-Known Member Registered User

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    I just spotted that I hadn't answered the "dream lens" question. I'm not sure that I have a dream lens or lenses as such. I know that some lenses have an excellent reputation, and it would be interesting to see if the various Nikon and Fuji lenses are as good as their press; and (given that all save one of my lenses are Schneider and Rodenstock Sironar-N lenses have such a good reputation, it would be also interesting to see how they compared.

    But I'm under no real illusions that my photography would be any better; I don't enlarge enough to see any differences in the print. My requirements for movements are modest, and I don't need the greater coverage of modern lenses. What I do prefer are small and light, which is why I have such a high regard for the Symmar 150mm - 49mm filter thread, smaller and lighter than any modern DSLR lens (and than an OM standard lens, come to that).

    One of the aphorisms that I particularly like is Edward Steichen's "no photographer is as good as the simplest camera". I suppose my "dream lens" would be a mental one, that sharply focused my ideas for me.
     
  5. Alan9940

    Alan9940 Active Member Registered User

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    I guess the choices depend on what I'm doing...

    If I'm packing longer distances with a 4x5, I opt for my little Nikkor-M's every time--200mm and 300mm. Toss in my 90mm Schneider Angulon and I've got all the focal lengths I need covered.

    For 8x10, I really like my Fuji 360mm CM/W and my 240mm Fuji-A.

    Don't know that I have a dream lens, but if money wasn't a concern I certainly wouldn't turn away a 360mm Fuji-A for the 8x10! :)
     
  6. Jonathan Woods

    Jonathan Woods Member Registered User

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    I'd have to say that my favourite lens is my latest purchase; a Schneider 120mm HM Super Symmar f/5.6. It really is a stunning lens and the perfect length, I find, for landscapes. My Nikkor 90mm f/4.5 is close behind though.

    As for dream lens? I'm not sure I have one. The most expensive lens I own is the one above, and I'm quite happy with my lineup now :)

    (Nikkor 65, 90, 150, 210, and the above Schneider)
     
  7. Boilerbasher

    Boilerbasher New Member Registered User

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    I love my Schneider Super Angulon 58mm f5.6XL for 5x4 work, it is absolutely tack sharp and renders colours very nicely indeed. My dream lens is tricky but I think the 72mm version of the same lens would be nice to use on my 5x7 camera to get the same FOV with a nice big negative.
     
  8. KenS

    KenS Active Member Registered User

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    The lens that is mounted the 'most' on my monorail seems to be the 240mm Rodenstock Sironar for making 'landscapes' in our wide open spaces. the 150mm Rodenstock seems to take 'second place' unless I am making somewhat semi-close-up images... but by removing the rear group, I can increase the focal length (while 'losing' some f-stops) on the somewhat rare occasion when I cannot 'fill the frame' quite enough with the 240mm from a 'restricted' or a second choice position.. and I cannot get any closer. My 75mm seems to have become the least used since my retirement... but it has come in pretty handy for the occasional 'close-up/macro' use when I have not forgotten to pack the leather 'bag bellows'...

    Ken
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
  9. Richard Warom

    Richard Warom Member Registered User

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    My most used lens is a Nikkor 150 w which I've had a long time I don't think its the best of the Nikkor range but the one I could afford at the time I also take with me a 210 Geronor which is nice and light and a 75mm Tominon in a Polaroid shutter for close up, they are all light and suit me fine.
    For dream lenses I think would be the ones in my head because as I get older I don't focus so well especially close up which is not very convenient when trying to focus on a ground glass, I have found that magnified reading glasses help in this respect but then can't see anything else properly with them on so have to have my normal glasses hanging round my neck.
     
  10. Monsta

    Monsta New Member Registered User

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    My favourite is my 1858ish 12 inch f4 Lerebours Et Secretan lens. a wonderful lens for portraits on my 5x7 wet plates. There are even small bubbles in the glass as that was the best they could make then. My absolute dream would be a Dallmeyer 3A for 8x10 Portraits... waiting to find one at a not ridiculous price.
     
  11. John Elder

    John Elder Guest

    For some time I have been glued to my 8 1/4" Goerz "gold rim" Dagor in it's original Rapax shutter. A standard lens for 5x7, it's a wonderful portrait lens on my 5x4 Wista - it also covers 10x8 at f45!
    However, I'm now enjoying the delights of a Som Berthiot Flor 165mm barrel mount lens. With a 4.5 max aperture, it's a joy compared to the 6.8 of the Dagor, even with the lens cap shutter.
    Aye, simple pleasures!
     
  12. Tim Parkin

    Tim Parkin New Member Registered User

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    My Favourite lens is probably my Schneider 110 SSXL just for it's flexibility and sharpness (it even covers 10x8!) but I also love my Zeiss Tessar 165mm f/2.7 that just covers 4x5 and swirls beautifully.

    As for dream lenses - can I have two, the Fuji 600C and a Schneider Fine Art XXL 1100mm
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Active Member Registered User

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    For 10"x8" work my favourite lens is my 12" f6.8 CP Goerz Am Opt Dagor made around 1939/40 it's actually coated, that would have ben done post WWII. The lens was came with my Agfa Ansco camera but the second owner had never used it and said it had separation in fact it just had years of dirt carefully pushed towards the edges and cleaned easily. It's a sharp contrasty lens with a lot of coverage I can use it on my 12"x10" camera and still have some room for movements.

    With my 5"x4" cameras I don;t really have a favourite, I really like the results from my 150mm Sironar N and 90mm f6.8 Grandagon N, but I'm just as happy using an older 90mm f6.8 Angulon and a CZJ 150mm f4.5 Tessar both of which have more limited image circles.

    A more recently acquired 75mm f5.6 Super Angulon has started to become a key part of my kit, I prefer it to my older 65mm f8 Super angulon which only just covers 5x4, so I guess it's a current favourite :D Over the years I've probably only used the 65mm around a dozen times but when I have it's been worth it, but the 75mm is more practical, while it would be nice to replace the 65mm with a 58mm XL I just could justify it.

    Tim's 165mm f2.7 Tessar would be a great lens to play with, I've always wanted to test and compare all the earlier versions of the 165mm Tessar, there were f6.3, f5.3, f4.5, f3.5 and the fastest f2.7 versions. The f2.7 and particularly the f5.3 are harder to find The f6.3 Tessars are the sharpest and these were copied and improved by Kingslake at Eastman Kodak and marketed as the Kodak LF Commercial Ektars, unfortunately Kodak never sold them in the UK and Europe. Congo/Osaka continued making the Commercial Ektar Tessar typ lenses as Commercial Congo's.

    Ian
     
  14. Alan Clark

    Alan Clark Member Registered User

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    The choice of lens focal length is, of course, highly dependent on the kind of photography you like to do. Years ago when I used to think of myself as a landscape photographer I nearly always used my 90 mm Super Angulon on my home-made 5x4 camera. When I found I was taking a more documentary approach to photographing my subject (the North York Moors) I found I was using a Kodak 203mm almost exclusively. Instead of photographing the landscape itself I now found myself photographing things in it, and the longer lens is perfect for this.
    The Kodak lens is tiny, and very light, so I built a lightweight 5x4 camera to go with it. Weight, 2 lb. 4oz. camera and lens. I found that this was a very nice set-up, very light, simple, minimalist...then the shutter in the lens broke. I went modern and bought a 210mm Apo Symmar..which I like a lot as it is very easy to use and at f5.6 projects a really bright image on the ground-glass.

    Alan
     

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