Horseman LE vs Calumet 45NX vs Toyoview 45C (entry level 4x5 body) : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I'm thinking of getting started in 4x5, expanding from 67 and 35mm. I'm planning on doing landscapes, archetecture, and portraits -- looks like my first lens will be the rodenstock apo-sironar-S 135/5.6 with the so-called "extended HM" 208mm coverage. Will that be sufficient for moderate to extreme movements? Any suggestions on which is better, which is advisable or not advisable? Or better bodies in this comparable range? Thanks!


-- Jon Law (, April 21, 1998


208mm of coverage doesn't sound like much for "extreme" movements. The diagonal of a 4x5 sheet of film is approximately 150mm. That means the circle of coverage has only a little over an inch on each side of the film. If you use no front tilt or swing, you could could use just about an inch of rise/fall or lateral shift; that figure decreases even more if you use front tilt or swing.

Perhaps someone who has experience with lenses in the 135mm range could suggest something in that focal length which has more coverage--although I suspect a true wide angle design in that FL would be about the size and weight of the Matterhorn. I use a 210mm Symmar-S and a 120mm in a wide angle design, both of which have about 300mm of coverage. It may be more than I really need, but I'd be hesitant about going out there with 1/3 less coverage.

-- Rob Rothman (, April 21, 1998.

I used a 135 APO Symmar on a Zone VI 4X5, with and with out a bag bellows, and using moderate movements, I never ran out of coverage. I did have a 90 mm Super Angulon, so the extreme movements in the 135mm FL were not a major concern. Previous to this I had a Speed Graphic, with very limited movements, and a 135 Graphex Optar, which I became very comfortable with. The 120 to 135 mm focal length is a very useful length, and in combination with a 210, could very well cover 80% of the situations you encounter.

To get extreme coverage in this FL you will need a Grandagon 115 , Super Angulon 120, or SW Nikon 120. I picked up an older, mid 60's, 121 Super Angulon with perfect glass and shutter, for half the price of new. This might be something to consider from an economic stand point. Performance wise, the older design stands up right next to my 210 APO Symmar for sharpness and contrast. Hope this is helpful.

-- Marv Thompson (, April 21, 1998.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ