Suggestions on 165 0r 180mm lens. What about tele lenses? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I would like to pickup a 165 to 180mm lens for my Century Graphic. Maximum bellows draw is about 196mm. Older lenses would be better for me cost wise. Additionally, are there any good tele lenses that would fit the camera?

-- Wayne Crider (, June 03, 2000


According to Graphic/Graflex Photography, both the 202mm Tele-Optar and the 10" Tele-Optar will work on the Century. I doubt that you could do head shots with the 10" however. They are both quite satisfactory lenses. The 162mm f:4.5 Optar is a Tessar design (sometimes furnished on the 4x5 cameras) that should work, and I believe that many 6x9 Linhofs feature a 180mm Tele, either from Zeiss or more usually from Schneider.

-- Bill Mitchell (, June 03, 2000.

Assuming a 6x9 negative, you have an minimum image circle (IC) requirement of approximately 105mm, using no movements.

A Tele-Arton 180mm/f5.5 has an IC of 110mm, and a flange focus distance of 115.5mm. It would focus to a tight head portait distance. The specs are weight (315g), length (77mm), filter (40.5mm). The downside would be price and availability.

On the flip side, a Fuji 180-AS f/9 IC=252, FFD=178.2, 170gm, 45mm long, and 46mm filter in Copal #0 shutter. I figure it will focus down to 6 1/2 feet, and is so tiny it will fold up inside the Graphic. Even better, it will be *much* sharper than the Tele-Arton.

Standard plasmat type lenses (Nikkor-W 180, etc) will all work on your rig, but are relatively very big: 67mm filter, Copal #1 shutter, etc.

Tele-Artons appear to calibrated more toward studio distances, and Tele-Xenars appear to optimized at infinity. MTF curve analysis indicates you will be a lot happier with a long focus lens instead of a telephoto.

Consider fabricating an extended lensboard. I am in the process of doing this now for my Crown Graphic so I can a 300mm long focus on it and still have rangefinder focusing.

-- Bruce Gavin (, June 03, 2000.

I have seen a coated 165mm Zeiss Tessar f6.3 in synchro Compur for sale. (around $150) That version is supposedly better than the faster versions in the corners.

-- K H Tan (, June 04, 2000.

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