8x10 Lens Question

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For 10+ years I've been using a Wisner Tech. Field (#283 to be exact) with a 300mm Schneider Symmar-S MC for a "normal" lens and a Kodak WF Ektar 190 (of 1957 vintage) for wide angle. The latter affords basically no movements.

I have been considering a Kodak 250mm WF Ektar as a more normal wide angle lens, but I am wondering if I would see a huge difference in field of view between my 300mm Schneider and the 250mm Kodak?

I have also considered a 250mm Fujinon-W f6.3 but have had no experience with fuji large-format lenses.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks, Tim Blomquist

-- Timothy M. Blomquist (tblomquist@cyberport.com), October 17, 2001


Tim, I've been enjoying a 240mm Schneider G-Claron. Schneider gives a conservative circle but my tests have shown that at f22 the circle is about 380mm which for me allows very generous movements. Perhaps the last mm's way out in the corner are not as sharp, I'm not positive, but usually I'm just trying to not vignette a sky. Ultimately I've been super pleased and they are very affordable and small. (Copal 1) The downside is the f9 aperture to focus with. I also use a 210mm G-Claron with 8X10, but movements with it at f22 would be very similar to your Kodak WF 190. It's also very small and in Copal 1. Both lenses are very sharp, and both just single coated.

-- Jim Galli (jimgalli@lnett.com), October 17, 2001.

A good wide-angle with huge coverage for 810 is the Wollensak IIIa, 159mm. Quite wide, you see. Always single-coated and always (?) in Rapax (an excellent shutter). Ron Winsner recommended the lens in an article in View Camera Magazine a couple/few issues back, along with a handful of other lenses of roughly the same length. You can get this Wolly cheaper, as a rule (c. $250 on Ebay?). An excellent lens and a pretty well kept secret. -jeff buckels (albuquerque nm)

-- Jeff Buckels (jeffbuck@swcp.com), October 17, 2001.

I have the 250mm WF Ektar, and I like it. Lots of room for movements, and a noticeably wider view than a 300mm lens, but not super-wide. More like a 35mm lens on a 35mm camera.

-- David Goldfarb (dgoldfarb@barnard.edu), October 17, 2001.

On the Fuji lenses, for just about anything you'd ever want to know, check out Kerry Thalmann's web site at: http://www.thalmann.com/largeformat/fujinon.htm

-- Donald Brewster (dpbrewster@prodigy.net), October 17, 2001.

If you take your 300mm as the equivalent of a 50mm in 35mm terms, then the 250 will be about a 40mm equivalent. The 250 WF Ektar is an excellent lens, with two caveats. First, if you want one without "cleaning marks" in the soft Kodak coating, it will cost you. Second, the #5 Ilex Universal is probably the weakest feature of the WF 250.

The 250 Fujinon-W is a very fine lens. Both it and the 240 G Claron are better values and come in modern Copal #1 shutters.

-- Rick Moore (rickm@gethen.com), October 17, 2001.

Why not think wider? Thre are several modern lenses in the 150 mm to 210 mm range (and even a few wider) that will give you movement on yoru 8x10. Off the top of my head the Nikon 150, the Schneider Super Symmar XL 150, and a couple of Fuji's. In spie of its 288 mm image circle specification (very conswervative) the Super Symmar XL 110 covers 8x10 with no movements.

-- Ted Harris (slberfuchs@aol.com), October 18, 2001.

The Fujinon you are looking for is the 250 f 6,7 not the 6,3 W This is a somewhat older Fujinon without the Electron beam coating (EBS) , (mine was bought 1987 ) It is in a No 1 Copal and covers almost 400 mm at f22 and infinity. A Jap copy with new features of the Kodak WF Ektar 10" 6,7. There is also a great almost unknown Rodenstock Sironar W 210 f 5,6 with a huge coverage but is heavy in a Copal 3 shutter. Both those lenses are of great quality and you almost ever see them for sale.

-- Gudmundur Ingˇlfsson (imynd@simnet.is), October 19, 2001.

The "Wolly 159" does a great job and just as Jeff mentioned, I bought mine at eBay for about 2 c-notes Dave

-- Dave (davedb@hotmail.com), March 30, 2002.

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