Tachihara and Caltar SII

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Just wanted to say thanks again for all the info on Tachihara and the Caltar lenses. I purchased a Tachihara after some good advice (and reasonable cautions) from this group, and paired it with an excellent used Caltar SII 210mm. Now another question ( can you believe it?) - I also use a B&J 5x7 that I have both 5x7 and 4x5 backs for, and a Gold Dagor 240mm - but I would like to get a longer lens that I can use on both cameras. The BJ has enough bellows for a 360mm, but the Tachihara is limited to <300mm. So a true tele would seem in order. I shoot mostly landscape/scenics and short-to-medium length wilderness shots.

Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.

-- Matt O. (mojo@moscow.com), April 28, 2001



I've used a Tachihara for many years with a Fujinon 300T Tele. I also have an old Wollensak 15" (380mm) Tele that I have used occasionally on the Tachi. The Fujinon works nicely for most situations, but there is a little limitation for close-up work with it. The Fuji is a sharp lens, but contrast is a bit lower than a normally configured 300. That's no major problem since that can be taken care of in the darkroom. As a matter of fact, that can be an advantage in high contrast lighting situations. The tele designs all have smaller image circles. I usually have had no problems with that, but it is important to check the corners of the groundglass and make sure the entire neg will be covered. The Wolly isn't nearly as sharp as the Fuji, and the Wolly weighs a ton, making it really too heavy for the Tachi. Fujinon also has a 400T Tele, but I have never used one.

-- Ken Burns (kenburns@twave.net), April 28, 2001.

I used the Fuji 400T on my Tachihara for several years and it worked very well. The lens was sharp and at that focal length I seldom needed any siginificant movements. It's also relatively small (Copal 1 shutter) for a 400mm lens. They are fairly expensive, around $1,200 four or so years ago if I remember correctly. You seldom see them used, which I guess means either they don't sell many or the ones they do sell are in the hands of happy owners.

-- Brian Ellis (bellis60@earthlink.net), April 28, 2001.

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