simple 8 x 10" conversion for a newcomer : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have been reading the Mets latest Walker Evans catalogue this weekend and was frustrated to be unable to figure out what his 13, 19 and 27" lens confuguration on an 8 x 10" converts to on a 4 x 5" in MM (I'm from euroland).

Thanks in advance,

p.s (this is what he used to do the US administration sponsored farm project work in the South), using the longest lens a lot it seems.

-- adrian tyler (, July 15, 2001


Divide by 2 for the 4x5 equivalent and then multiply by 25.4 for the millimeter equivalent. 13/2 = 6.5 x 25.4 = 165.1 mm, the closest modern lens (for a 4x5) would be a 150mm or a 180mm.

Don't forget that Evans regularly cropped like hell, so I wouldn't worry about getting lenses that exactly matched his lengths. I'd concentrate on the design & composition & content of the image more and worry about the tech specs less.

-- Ellis Vener Photography (, July 15, 2001.

thanks ellis

I know it was a dumb question, the reason I asked is because I am mew to lf and looking at pictures helps get ones bearings, after all that what it's all about! as far as getting equiped Walker Evans style, I think I'll stick to my 135 and 210, cheers!


-- adrian tyler (, July 15, 2001.

Hi Adrian, his 13" is an 8*10 normal which is 150mm for 4*5, so your 135 is a little wider than what he was using there. I don't know what the 27" converts to, but your 210 isn't it. 27" in 8*10 might be more like a 300mm in 4*5, and it is easy enough to pick up an old 300mm and try it out. For 8*10 I've got 13", 20", and 25". For some reason I've never been able to figure out the two cameras don't work quite the same. So for a head and sholders shot with 13" 8*10 you are fairly close, for the same shot with the 20" you can stand off a ways, but it takes extension for those shots. 25" I thought would be near the same as 300mm on 4*5, but didn't work like one when I tried it out. Now with a 4*5, with the 300mm or 12" you'r a comfortable distance with a face shot, and you can reach out for a landscape. For some reason, it seems to me the two cameras behave differently. I don't think you can depend upon an answer in mm or inches and put it on your camera and get what you were expecting. I think the only way is to look at the photos and try lenses on until you find what you like. You might want to try a 250mm/10" this seems to be a lens often recommended for landscapes. Best, David

-- david clark (, July 16, 2001.

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