Teleconverter & Tele /Macro lenses for 4x5 : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hello, I bought a horseman 45FA that has limited bellow length(249mm front only,272 max with back drawn).In the horseman catalogue, there is a 2 x LF teleconverter available for the sironar 150 lens that I happens to own too.Any one has any experience with teleconverters on LF lenses?especially with regards to the quality of the eventual image (like all converters,I know it will affect my 150mm lens by 2 stops)Also, will the converter affect the image circle?

Secondly,if getting a teleconverter is not a good idea then which are the 300mm lenses currently available that do not require a bellow draw of 300mm at least?And among them, which one is reputedly the best?

Lastly,I am also interested to do macro.As I have limited bellows, the only focal length for me to do 1:1 macro would be a 120mm macro lens.Any suggestions & recommendations?

Thanks in advance!

-- limmengwei (, May 17, 2001


Well, if you want 300mm focal length without 300mm of bellows draw, you need a telephoto design. The most popular lengths seem to be 270mm and 360mm. I can't comment on the relative quality of the lenses, but there are Tele-Xenars, Tele-Artons and the Wollensak 15" telephoto.

-- John H. Henderson (, May 17, 2001.

Hmmm! There's probably a marketing opportunity here for a converter that screws into the rear 'filter' thread of an LF lens. The only drawback I could foresee would be the geometrical distortion that such a converter would introduce, and a possible reduction of the image circle.
A good quality 80mm enlarging lens will give excellent service as a macro lens.

-- Pete Andrews (, May 17, 2001.

I had the Horseman 2X converter and sold it as the image quality was less than spectacular,even when used with an extremely sharp lens, {150mm APO-Symmar}. Currently,I`m finding the 300M Nikkor on Horsemans long tele-board to be much more useful. See Badger Graphics about the board. Why the 300M Nikkor over the other 300mm lenses? Because this one came up at 400.00 dollars in as new condition. I`ve only had the lens for a few weeks and don`t know if it`s a "keeper" yet, but at this point I suspect it is. Oh, by the way I`m using this on a Horseman 45FA. Something else to consider is one of the great 240mm lenses that are available. I`m finding that a 240mm on the short tele-board works well for me. Good luck.

-- Steve Clark (, May 17, 2001.

I once owned the Horseman converter you mention. I used it with both a 150mm lens for which its designed but I also used it with the 135 Sironar-N and it was ok. But I found that generally it produced rather soft images which didn't match the lenses when used on their own. However it was useful in getting me the odd shot I would have missed not owning a 300mm lens.

-- Trevor Crone (, May 17, 2001.

Check out the Fujinon-T 300mm telephoto. It requires less bellows draw when focussed at infinity than my Schneider 210 Symmar-S.

-- Ken Burns (, May 17, 2001.

I happen to have one of these Fluorite Horseman LF Converter in my draws. I do not use it any more. As you know, it will require 300mm of bellows at infinity. Quality is not bad on a good prime lens, but sharpness does not match that of a 300mm.

-- Paul Schilliger (, May 17, 2001.

The Horseman converter, combined with a 150mm Nikkor W, and not accounting for any focal plane shift induced by the Beattie Intenscreen installed in my Wista VX, measures only 259mm of bellows extension when focused on a subject at infinity. That leaves me 41mm of additional bellows (measured exactly, not simply subracting 259 from the camera's specified maximum of 300).

Another good possibility for bellows-limited 4x5s is the Fujinon-C 300mm f/8.5. It requires an extension of 282.5mm at infinity per Fuji's specifications, and would provide around one stop more viewing brightness than a 150/5.6 plasmat plus the Horseman 2X converter.

-- Sal Santamaura (, May 19, 2001.

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