Wide angle for hand-held Linhof shooting

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I recently acquired a rollfilm holder for the 6x12 panoraman format. I put this on my venerable Technika III and started taking pictures around Brussels, where I live. The motives I seem to appreciate require mostly a 90 mm lens. At the moment, I am using an old Angulon. This is very practical, since the lens (with lensshade on) can be folded into the camera. Thus folded, the camera is easy to tag along, carrying it on its leather strap.

However, I find the lens to be a bit on the soft side and not sharp enough for enlargements beyond 20x40 cm. Does anyone know of a modern time 90 mm wideangle lens, with coating/multicoating, that is compact enough to be folded into a Technika III?

-- Emil Ems (emil.ems@cec.eu.int), June 03, 2001


I don't know definitely that it would work, but how about a Rodenstock 90mm f8 Geronar-WA? This is a small, reasonably priced, lens that has an image circle of 170mm at f22. (85 deg.) You should be able to obtain about a 30mm rise with this lens for 6x12 in landscape orientation and 19mm in the vertical orientation. As a double-Gauss, it's best not to use this lens at full aperture.

-- neil poulsen (neil.fg@att.net), June 05, 2001.

Thank you, Neil, for your interesting views. Permit me to pose a few follow-up questions, also to other Members of this site who may know details about this lens:

(1) Does Rodenstock still sell the lens, or can it only be obtained on the used lenses market?

(2) Is the lens multi-coated?

(3) Does "Double-Gauss" mean that the lens is basically of the same design as the Angulon, or does it have a design differing from that of the Angulon?

(4) Do you know the front diameter of the lens by any chance?

-- Emil Ems (Emil.Ems@cec.eu.int), June 06, 2001.

if you really wants the best quality for 6x12 without any movements (hand-held shooting) at all, try apo symmar 5,6/100, it should just cover the 6x12 (you should test it), i beleive that apo sironar s will have a better coverage but i think the shorter one is 135 ! (by the way the best quality is when using a tripod, it's an other type of shooting...)

-- dg (sacripant@online.fr), June 07, 2001.

Or the Apo Sironar N

-- Bob Salomon (bobsalomon@mindspring.com), June 07, 2001.

Thanks DG and Bob for your suggestions, to use a normal lens with short focus. But I am afraid that those suggestions won't work for me. I think the issue of hand held large format shooting has been dealt with earlier on this site so I won't be long.

Hand held shooting provides me with an excellent opportunity to photograph nice houses in Brussels without considerable advance planning. I just walk around the streets and take a picture here and there within minutes if the sun is at the right angle and I have the right feeling for the motive. I would like to add that the (moderate) rise of an old fashioned wide angle lens comes in very handy. With a little bit of practice, it is possible to gauge the amount of rise needed to get a motive, such as a house, onto the film without converging lines. I have put some marks on my Linhof telescoping viewer and also on the front standard of the old Technica, which help me arrive at this. With the rise in place I only have to aim with the viewer at the motive, taking care that all lines are parallel and "click" goes the shutter. The old Technica has the advantage over the new Technicas that raising the standard does not affect the focus of the lens. Thus I can use the rangefinder even with the front standard raised. All in all, with the old warhorse resting on my chest, I routinely take pictures at 1/25 with the Angulon that can be enlarged to 20x40 cm without problems. This is a nice format for hanging pictures on the wall and I don't aspire greater things than that.

To sum up, more information on the W-Geronar or on any other modern wide angle 90 mm that would fit into the old Technica would be greatly appreciated by me.

-- Emil Ems (emil.ems@cec.eu.int), June 07, 2001.

With the 100mm 5.6 Apo Sironar N with 612 at f22 in landscape position with a Linhof 612 back (56 x 120 mm) you would have 22mm of rise and 13mm of shift. With other 612 backs the image is shorter then Linhof's so you would have even more shift.

-- Bob Salomon (bobsalomon@mindspring.com), June 07, 2001.

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