Advice for a portrait lense with a PC connection for speed graphic : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have a speed graphic. I am new to 4x5, I want to use my studio strobes. I need to know of a good medium telephoto (the equivalant of 105MM in 35MM format, I have no clue as to how long that would be in 4x5) that has a sync terminal so I can hook my strobes to it. Any info will be appreciated. Or is there any way to sync a flash to my Ektar 127MM?

-- Brian Landreville (, November 18, 1999


If your 127 Ektar is in the same Supermatic shutter mine was, there should already be two stubby pins, which are the standard bi-pin flash contacts that Graflex used. Paramount makes bi-pin sync cords, and can also make custom cords.

You probably want something like a 150mm -- 203mm for portraits in 4x5. The 203mm Ektar is a decent lens, but a bit slow.

-- Tony Brent (, November 19, 1999.

To find lenses of the same angular coverage between two formats, multiply by the ratio of the linear negative sizes. 5x4 is about three times the size of 35mm, so a 300mm lens on 5x4 covers about the same angle as 105mm on 35mm format.

I can't recommend a good lens of this length, because I use much shorter ones.

Flash synchronisation is determined by the shutter, rather than the lens. Modern shutters (such as the Copal ones) have the same PC terminal that is used on 35mm cameras.

-- Alan Gibson (, November 19, 1999.

As the SG has a max bellows extension of about 300mm, you can not use this long of a lens for portraiture. A 210mm (equiv. to about 70mm in 35mm)may be a good choice, depending on how close you need to focus. Any reasonably modern lens should be able to trigger your flash units. If your Ektar doesnt have the X-M switch, Steve Grimes can mount it into a new shutter that will trigger your flash units also.

-- Ron Shaw (, November 19, 1999.

Alan is right -- a 300mm lens would be the equivalent of a 105mm in 35mm. If you're looking for that length for a 4x5 Speed Graphic, you might want to find a 300mm/f9 Nikkor-M. It's small and takes 52mm filters. I don't have first-hand experience with it (yet), but it is a darling of lens reviewers on Q. Tuan Luong's large format photography home page. Take a look at the site -- -- there's a lot of good information there.

-- Greg Lawhon (, November 19, 1999.

You will need a 355 to 360mm lens on 4x5 to get the same horizontal angle of view that you would get with a Nikkor 105/2.5 lens on your Nikon system.

The Speed Graphic has an additional 60mm (+/-) bellows draw over my Crown Graphic, which has 240mm flange focus distance, while still allowing calibration of the Kalart rangefinder. This is due to the increased body thickness to accomodate the focal plane shutter.

Barrel lenses in this length are available, but you will not be able to use electronic flash, as the SG focal plane shutter does not sync this type of flash, to the best of my knowledge.

Pay attention to rear element diameters so to not get a lens that is so big, it can't be mounted on the Graphic lens board. The f9 lenses are much smaller (Fuji 240/9, etc) are ideal for this use, but are a bit short of 105-equivalent lenses. A 240mm on 4x5 is the same horizontal view as a 72mm lens on 35mm film.

-- Bruce Gavin (, May 14, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ