10x8" Wide-Angle Lenses

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Having recently bought a 10x8" camera, I've found that the Rodenstock 210mm Apo Sironar S that I was using with my 5x4" camera isn't really up to the job for architectural shots etc (it only has about 2-3mm of movement on 10x8").

I would like a wide angle lens (similar to the 90mm I use on 5x4", although I know there's no direct 180mm equivalent). I suppose I'm looking at the Rodenstock 155mm Gradagon, but I'd also like to find out about other makes/models. Am I correct in thinking that the Schneider 150XL is not a wide-angle design, although it will cover 10x8"? I'd also like to find out more info on the Fuji and Nikon lenses. Do these manufacturers have a web-site?

I'm shooting mainly B&W and contact printing, although I will sometimes shoot on colour stock, and may at some point enlarge the B&W negs to around 20x16" or 24x20". I've always been more than happy with the Rodenstock lenses, although I probably wouldn't be able to notice much difference with another make.

I'm also going to need a longer length for portraiture and still-life work - probably equivalent to my 210mm lens. I see that 360mm is the normal 'long' focal length on 10x8", but are there many good quality options in the 420-480mm focal length range?

Thanks in advance.

-- David Nash (nashcom@btinternet.com), July 19, 2001


I use several lenses on 8x10 that fit your requested criteria. For my super wide angle requirements, I use the Nikon 150mm SW. Plently of coverage and sharp. It is in a copal #1, but takes 95mm filters. For a more standard focal length, I use the Kodak 250mm Wide Field Ektar. The Ilex #5 shutters are large and although older and not as well made as newer shutters, can be quite functional. I have a step up ring to take the 95mm filters for this lens. For above normal, I use the Fuji 450mm C. Tiny lens that takes a 52mm filter and has coverage to 11x14. The fact that it is an f12.5 lens is not an issue for me as far as focusing. I am sure that there are many others that would work on 8x10. But whatever lens you select, make sure that you check your ground glass corners carefully. Good Luck

-- Michael Kadillak (m.kadillak@home.com), July 19, 2001.

Hi David, I have the 155 Grandagon WA for my 810 and it is a great lens...very sharp, lots of movement. However, be aware that the filter size for it is a 105mm so filters may get a bit pricey. It is a big lens. I think this is the widest lens that Rodenstock has for 810.

For the 300 and 450 range, consider the Fuji lenses. As the previous post said, they are light, small and relativley inexpensive. These lenses are also very sharp. Badger Graphic sells them and you can see them on their website. Unfortunately, their isn't much info on them.

-- Dave Anton (daveanton@home.com), July 19, 2001.

The Fuji 450mm stands out as a great pick for 8x10. I have one and am happy with it. A new one costs about $1,000.

Choosing a wige angle for 8x10 is more difficult. The 150XL is a great lens that can be had for $1,500. In the 210-240 range, I would go for a G-claron or Fujinon A 240mm. I had a G-claron 240mm, but ran out of coverage with architecure. I know use a 270mm G-claron. It has enought coverage, and the somewhat longer focal length has not been a problem.

If you want to shoot architecture, you should probably go with the large 210XL or 150XL.

-- William Marderness (wmarderness@hotmail.com), July 19, 2001.

The 155 Grandagon is terriffic. I got a great buy on the 480 APO rodenstock in compur 3 , That is a terriffic lense. THe 67 mm front accepts inexpensive filters. It is great for portraits from full length to shoulder shots. I think doing head shots in 8x10 is a bit too intense. If you want a longer lense go with the fuji 600 but it will only be a shoulder shooter unless you wnat to back the camera into the next county. As for the 300 -360 range these are very good all around lenses for full length and waist up shots and great for landscape. I have a 240 and that is a gentle wide angle , Not alot of movement , the grandagon 155 does do the oval stretching that is not inthe 240 , the 240,s are plentiful and inexpensive, The 155 needs a bag bellow to move and the front bed has to be watched to keep it out of the pic. The only way to really know is to just shoot and try.

-- Ed Burlew (zeke@idirect.com), July 19, 2001.

The 190 Ektar is a good possibility and roughly equivalent focal length to your 90. They are obviously found used, but are not rare.

-- J. Wolfe (bigbad810@hotmail.com), July 19, 2001.

I use two wide angle lenses for 8x10. The 210 G Claron is a moderate wide angle that covers 8x10 with little or no room for movements at F 22 but the coverage continues to increase as the lens is stopped dowm further. For a wider angle I use a Wollensak 159 mm, that also works well. Both have plenty of room for movements for the work I do but I don't know about the work you do.

-- Brian Ellis (bellis60@earthlink.net), July 19, 2001.

Also consider the older 165mm Super Angulon that the 150mm Super Symmar XL replaced. It is a beast of a lens in terms of size but for your usage will be fine. Even though the 150XL is a Symmar design and not a Super Angulon design It still will project a wide angle view on 10"x8" .

Supposedly these new Super Symmar XL lenses have better resolution, better contrast, and less chromatic distortion than the any of the Super Angulon designs of similar focal lengths, including the Super Angulon XL lenses.

-- Ellis Vener Photography (evphoto@heartstone.com), July 23, 2001.

You may also wish to consider the venerable Angulon 210. I have one of these treasures in a Compound shutter and am very pleased with the results.

-- Emil Ems (emil.ems@cec.eu.int), July 23, 2001.

Just another vote for the Wollensak 159mm, single-coated ("wocoted") in Rapax. A great set. -jeff buckels

-- Jeff Buckels (jeffbuck@swcp.com), July 23, 2001.

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