lens for tachihara 4x5

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Am thinking of getting tachihara 4x5. This would be my first LF camera. I want to do landscapes. Can someone please recommend lenses that will fit this camera. Thanks

-- Julie Hancock (jules@cal-net.net), November 01, 2000



You will be able to use about any lens from 90mm to 305mm on this camera. You probably won't be able to do close work with the 305. The normal lens for 4x5 is the 150-160 mm, which many find work fine for landscapes. For a slightly longer than normal lens for general purpose photography, a 210mm is used by many photographers. In the slightly wide normal range, a 120-135 is preferred by many. With the wider lenses, make sure it has enough coverage to allow a lot of movements without blacking out the corners. Most of the modern plasmat lenses in this range have enough coverage. I personally like the 135mm and the 90mm wide angle for scenics, but I live in the South where there aren't great mountain vistas. I like the looks of a scenic with the wide angle, and you can get all the pretty clouds int he picture. This probably sounds confusing, but it depends upon where you live and the type scenics you will be doing.


-- Doug Paramore (dougmary@alaweb.com), November 01, 2000.

I recently got a Tachihara to get into LF for landscapes too. I bought lenses in 90mm, 150mm, 210mm. I'd say, I'm probably using the 90mm the most, but that's the equivalent focal length I'd use for 35mm and 6x7cm formats. So, if you've used smaller formats, I'd suggest using that as your guide to how you want to see things in LF. At 90mm, I don't find I have much room for movements, but then you'll probably not need that much for landscapes anyway. I picked up the 90mm/f8 Super Angulon used from Midwest Photo Exchange-it was well priced and in great shape.

-- Cowan Stark (cowan1@mediaone.net), November 01, 2000.

Julie, I own a Tachihara and have gone though many a thought on lens selection. When you ask, what lens will fit, you may realize that nearly any large format lens will fit the Tachihara. This is with the limitations of the 12" bellows extension, which I would understand to limit you to a lens no greater than 240 to 300mm and no less than 90mm without some special accomodations and/or loss of movements . When picking my lenses, I considered coverage to give room for movements firstly, weight secondly, and then price. I think if were on a limited budget and had to pick only one lens, I would pick a 135mm. I would think a three lens set to be near ideal for most work. I have a 90mm, 135mm, and 210mm. Were I given the chance to start over, I would consider 90, 150 and 240. I remain only a dedicated amateur and still learning.

-- Roger Rouch (rrouch@msn.com), November 01, 2000.

I agree with the rule; pick your favourite focal length in 35mm and go from there. Another poster here uses a Tachihara (Adorama camera is the cheaspest but www.mpex.com are nicer people) with a Nikon 90mm SW, Rodenstock 150mm Sironar S and Fuji 240mm AS. Gary Frost likes the 150mm lens the best and that is what I ended up buying. You may think you need the long and short but I just split the difference myself. You also need and can use a normal lens for EVERYTHING. I can do it all with the Rodenstock. Landscapes, interiors, still life and soon portraits on a Arca Swiss Discovery. I would go for the Rodenstock; its light and smaller than a 35mm normal lens. Its sharp and contrasty. The bokeh is nice. It can give you good results at f/8 to f/22. Buy from Bager Graphics because they sell it for $660 (the last time I checked) compared to $749 from BH photo. Please no cheap lenses because you will regret it. Compared to Schneider 110mm XL Super Symmar this lens is cheap! Checkout the Manfrotto geared heads (both of them) as well as the Gitzo and Ries tripods for nice head & leg combo. Buy as many film holders based on the number of film in one development run or slide drop off at the lab. You can use a black t-shirt as a dark cloth. Remember to buy a lot of film. You will feel "like a hero" when you put that big piece of film on the light box!

-- David Payumo (dpayumo@home.com), November 02, 2000.

I used a Tachihara for three or so years and liked it a lot. I think it's the best value for the money presently going in large format cameras, even with the continuing price increases). One of the nice things about it is that the bellows material is thin and will compress easily. The widest lens I owned and used was a 90 mm Super Angulon. I had plenty of room for movements with that lens. The widest lens I ever put on the camera was 65 mm. That was in a lens test - I didn't buy the lens so I don't know what kind of limitations I might have encountered if I had used it more but I certainly was able to make photographs with it in the course of the test. The longest lens I used was a Fuji 400 mm telephoto. I owned that lens, used it regularly, and it worked fine on the camera. I also owned a 300 mm Nikon M series lens. I never measured but I could focus fairly close with that lens, probably to around ten or twelve feet (the bellows on the camera is 13 inches, not 12, so you do have one extra inch of extension with a 300 mm lens). So to answer your question based on my experience, I believe the widest lens you can use is 65 mm (subject to the caveat above concerning my limited use of that focal length) and the longest is a 300 mm normal lens or a 400 mm telephoto.

-- Brian Ellis (bellis60@earthlink.net), November 02, 2000.

Julie - with my step up to LF, I bought Calumet's 4x5 wood field camera about 6 years ago with a Caltar 150mm lens. The camera is a Tachihara with a Calumet name plate & the lens is a Rodenstock. I only have that one lens and my landscapes is what I primarily shoot. I would suggest either the 150 or 135 as suggested in other posts. Happy Trails & Happy Shooting. Pat.

-- Pat Kearns (pat.kearns@coopertsmith.com), November 02, 2000.

WoW!!!! Thanks everyone for your assistance. Being a newby at this LF, its great to see everyone so helpful. Thanks again, Julie

-- Julie Hancock (jules@cal-net.net), November 04, 2000.

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