Adding a lens to a 6x9 monorail : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

This is an area of photogrpahy where my knowledge is limited - so please help if you can.

I recently bought a 6x9 (cm) monorail camera. It came with a 65mm Angulon, a 135 SK Xenar, and a 105 Zeiss Planar. The Xenar & Planar are in Compur shutters. Of these three lenses, the Zeiss is in the worst condition, and because it is only 30mm different from the Schneider, my thinking is to replace it with a third, longer lens.

The main purpose for a longer lens would be portraiture. On 35mm I like to shoot portraits at the 135-150mm range, so according to my shaky maths the 6x9 equivalent would be approx 330mm.

My questions are: firstly, what older but repectable performers are there around at that sort of focal length, and would such be a sensible addition to a 6x9 outfit? Secondly, am I likely to run into any problems with length of bellows draw? Thirdly, if such a lens were used in a non-portrait application, would it throw an image circle big enough to allow some use of movements?

TIA for any help.

Ken (UK)

-- Ken Munn (, February 09, 2000


Ken: A 330 mm lens needs about 13 inches of bellows draw just to focus at infinity, so you are gonna need quite a bit more to focus at portrait distances. It would appear that you will need to go to a telephoto formula lens which requires shorter bellows draw. There are several older telephoto formulas which can be found on the used market which should fit your needs. Coverage should not be a problem, as the lenses were designed to cover 4x5. Front standard movements can be a bit tricky with telephoto designs, since the nodal point of the lens is in front of the lens. There used to be a reasonably good telephoto lens for the Speed Graphic which worked well with short bellows draw. It probably won't compare with a modern computer designed telephoto with multicoating, but it is worth a try. Also, physical size of the lens may be important on a 6x9 camera. The last thing you want for portraits is extreme sharpness, unless you are doing medical studies. You should be able to find what you need on the web or publications such as shutterbug. Hope this helps. Doug

-- Doug Paramore (, February 09, 2000.

Are your lens boards large enough to handle a copal 3 for a 300 to 360 mm lens? Maybe a 240 to 250mm lens would work better? Rodenstock does tho have a 300mm in a copal 1, but i'm sure it's sharp as hell. Maybe a soft focus filter would work for you? The Schneider G-Claron (flat field) goes to 305mm in a copal 1. Nikkor's got some telephot's up to 500mm in a copal 1. There are some reviews and threads of portrait lenses around if you look, and some of the older telephoto's. Fuji has some telephoto's that are nice if you can find them. They usually run in the $800 to $900 dollar area, but are well liked according to reports.

-- Wayne Crider (, February 10, 2000.

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