Long Lenses for 4x5 Deardorf

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I'm still lokking for a great long lens for field work (distance to infinity). I had a Fuji T 400 tele from B&H in great condition, but I returned it because I didn't like the color and sharpness. Other options would be the Nikkor T 360/500 or the Schnieder TeleXenar in tele-design lenses, although I haven't found a used source as of yet.

What would be other lens options in a standard or tele design? My Deardorf has 550mm of bellows, so a 400+ normal lens should work. Anybody have a suggestion? I might even bear the cost & weight of the TeleXenar to get an exceptiona

-- Anthony Sanna (asanna@sacofoods.com), December 28, 1999


The Nikkor telephotos are highly regarded (I have no personal experience).

With 550 mm of bellows, you could easily use normal lenses of 450 mm focal length. If you have the bellows, a non-telephoto lens is probably a better choice: probably cheaper, definitely more coverage, and perhaps better image quality. New choices of reasonable weight include the Nikkor-M 450 and the Fuji-C 450. The Fuji is lighter because it is in a Copal 1 while the Nikkor is in a Copal 3. The Fuji has a excellent reputation and mine gives excellent results, so don't be too influenced by your experience with the Fuji telephoto. Several US retailers directly import Fuji large format lenses.

Other possiblities in this focal length range would be Apo Ronars or G-Clarons. While both are designed for closeups, they are said to do well at infinity. The G-Clarons are only single-coated. The Nikkor-M and Fuji-C are multicoated.

-- Michael Briggs (MichaelBriggs@earthlink.net), January 02, 2000.

The large format photography homepage has a specific section answering this question: "Specific lenses: long for 4X5": http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~qtluong/photography/lf/lenses-long.html

-- Michael Briggs (MichaelBriggs@earthlink.net), January 02, 2000.

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