400mm for landscape on 4X5 format

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hi all,

I already have a 80, 120 & 210mm, I am thinking to buy a 400mm for some distant landscape which happened occasionally. But this will introduce a new set of filters (82mm) and carry an extra 1kg.

Does it worth the money and effort?

I know this is a pretty personal perefernce, but I just want to do a sort of like a statistic on how often will you use a 400mm on a 4X5 format for doing landscape.

Thank you so much in advance for any comment. Chin.

-- chin fan so (zcfs@home.com), November 05, 2001


I'm planning on getting a 400mm class lens once my bank acount grows a little bit. I've been looking at the Fuji 450C. It's slow f12.5 and takes 52mm filters. It's also fairly cheap at $995 from Badger Graphics.

It might be worth looking into for you.

-- Nathaniel Paust (paustne@whitties.org), November 05, 2001.

I ditto the recommendation for the 450mm Fuji C as a quality lens. Absolutely no reason to consider ANY other 400 mm lens for weight and size. The requirement for another set of filters is just icing on the cake. The 52mm filters are chump change and this baby will cover 8x10 with ease. All that said, I find that I only use the 450mm on 4x5 no more than an optimistic 10% of the time. Distant landscapes may sound appealing with the 450mm on 4x5, but the narrow field of view is compositionally challenging to say the least. On 8x10, I go to my 450mm Fuji C nearly 50-60% of the time I set up. Personally, I think that if you are only going to shoot 4x5, I would go for a Nikon 300m and save yourself a few bucks. IMHO the 400/450 will sit in your camera bag most of the time.

-- Michael Kadillak (m.kadillak@home.com), November 05, 2001.

Hi Michael, Nathaniel & others,

In Robert white, the Schneider APO Tele Xenar 400/f5.6 compact is almost the same price as Fujinon C450mm/f12.5, besides filters size and weight advantage, how come Fujinon is a better choice than Schneider?

Besides, Nikon M450 f/9 seems to be pretty worth considerable option in trms of price, weight and filter diameter, what do u guys think?

warmest regards. Chin.

-- chin fan so (zcfs@home.com), November 05, 2001.

You might give some thought to replacing your 210 with a convertible Symmar, and using the longer focal length single element for the 350mm range (stopped well down, of course).

-- Wilhelm (bmitch@home.com), November 05, 2001.

I believe the Nikkor lens is a Copal 3, which will automatically double your weight. I would also vote for the Fuji lens, the only non-tele lens in this range to go into a Copal 1 shutter. The Schneider Tele will be much heavier, though faster. You have to ask yourself, "For a lens I will use 10% of the time (per above estimate), do I want to carry double or triple the weight?" The other important question, though is "Do I have the bellows?" If you follow the standard recommendation to have 1.3X the focal length of the lens in bellows extension, you're looking at 600 mm = 23.6 inches. Few if any 4X5 have this, so you would be limited to using the lens for more distant subjects, if you can bring it into focus at all. That would be one potential argument in favor of the Schneider tele lens, which will presumably require less bellows.


-- Nathan Congdon (ncongdon@jhmi.edu), November 05, 2001.


could u please tell me what is a convertible symmar? Is it something like a tele extender? Also where can I get more info and buy it?

Thank you very much. Chin.

-- chin fan so (zcfs@home.com), November 05, 2001.


u are right, I wouldn't want to carry a 10% usage lens with double the weight of another alternative. But another factor as u mentioned is I have only a Toyo45 Aii which provide a 324mm bellow only, am I able to use the Fuji?

Thank you for your comment. Chin.

-- chin fan so (zcfs@home.com), November 05, 2001.

Dear William,

do u mean I can take off the rear element of the 210mm then it becomes a 370mm?

Thanks a lot. Chin.

-- chin fan so (zcfs@home.com), November 05, 2001.

Hi Chin. With that camera your only option is the Tele lens. There are extension tubes that you could use with the Fuji - but you would find them cumbersome for such an extreme extension (you would need 125mm+ of extra extension in order to use the Fuji lens). The convertible Symmars are used at the longer focal length by removing the FRONT set of elements - not the rear group. Good luck.

-- Wayne DeWitt (wdewitt@snip.net), November 05, 2001.

Hi Bill,

I tried it, it works. Thank you very much. But in order to have a good DOF i.e. a small COC, it have to be stop down 3~4 more stops, i.e f/36~48 which will make the exposure time too long that lead to almost an unusable lens. Did I have a wrong calcualtion? Where can I get more info regarding how to use this tricks?

Thank you Chin.

-- chin fan so (zcfs@home.com), November 05, 2001.


Speaking to your question of whether or not you would find this focal length useful, I own a Nikkor 360T lens and use it A LOT. I really like the tele aspect. In fact, thinking I could use a little more, I just ordered the rear element for the lens that converts it to a 500mm, giving myself another long-range option. I have a Wisner Expedition, which has plenty of bellows draw, which is something you'll have to keep in mind for your camera.

-- Todd Caudle (todd@skylinepress.com), November 06, 2001.

The other choice is the Fujinon 400T telephoto.

-- Scott Atkinson (Scottatkinson@Earthlink.net), November 06, 2001.

I love my Linhof 360mm and use it ALOT... not just for distances but for slightly close up stuff also. Long lens are definitely worth the money!

-- Scott Walton (scotlynn@shore.net), November 07, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ