Long Focal Length Landscape Lens

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I'm in the process of getting back into large format photography and could use some advice on purchasing a long focal length landscape lens. I currently own a Wisner 4x5, 210 Caltar and 110XL Super Symmar lens. Can anyone offer advice on a landscape lens for my Wisner? How long a focal length should I consider?

-- Jennifer Lussier (redcanoe@sprintmail.com), January 02, 2002


A 300-450mm lens range will work on your Wisner. I use a 300 a lot . The 450mm lnes, specifically the Fuji, is excellent, but you have almost 23 inches of bellows being buffeted about by the wind. A lens similar to the Nikkor T lens gives you the reach of the traditionally designed telephoto but with less bellows draw. No free lunch with the T lenses. They tend to be heavy, and have much less movements than the 450 type and are quite costly. I find the 300mm to be the longer lens I use most, but in the midwest where I live, there are few wide open spaces. Bob

-- Bob Moulton (bobmargaretm@home.com), January 02, 2002.

If you have a 210, a 300 may be too close. The Fuji 400T is a pretty good lense which I have used a lot with good results. You do need to focus very carefully - a loupe is recommended - and make sure that the camera is rigid. I have not used the Wisner, but I think that its bellows are long, so you may also be able to look at the Nikkor 360/500/720T.

-- fw (finneganswake@altavista.net), January 02, 2002.

I love my 360 and use it ALOT!

-- Scott Walton (scotlynn@shore.net), January 02, 2002.

The 10" and 15" Tele-Raptar (tele-Optar) are excellent lenses, quite inexpensive, and don't require excessive bellows extension.

-- (bmitch@home.com), January 02, 2002.

I have a 210mm and a 305mm and find that to be a good combination. I don't think they are too close in length, I fear I would notice to big a gap if I had the 210 and 400. The 305mm gives me about the same feel as the 150mm lens on my 6x6 system if that helps. The 305 f9 G- Claron was my choice when adding this focal length.

-- Dave Schneider (dschneider@arjaynet.com), January 02, 2002.

300 or 360/9 apo ronar MC from Rodenstock, very sharp at 22 it's difficult to find multicoated sample in second hand, while there's a lot of non coated sample. f9 with a long lens is not a problem, it still clear oin the GG. it's not a tele, it's sharper than a tele but requires a long extension ! search in the archive you will find a lot of people who likes it ! to buy it new, try www.robertwhite.co.uk

-- dg (sacripant@online.fr), January 02, 2002.

Last time I looked Ken Hansen in N.Y. was beating Robert White for MC Ronar 360's - he had some leftover stock (new) that he was liquidating. I saved several hundred dollars over Robert White's price (and got a U.S. warrantied lens - whoopie!).

-- Wayne DeWitt (wdewitt@snip.net), January 02, 2002.

Interesting. I have a wonderful small 300mm but I too seem to stick to my Apo-Ronar 360mm most of the time despite it being 40 years old and mounted on a prehistoric shutter. Seems to me the perfect long focal for landscape.

-- Paul Schilliger (pschilliger@smile.ch), January 02, 2002.

I find that I use my Schneider 210 APO Symmar-S and 90mm Super Angulon, and my 14 inch (355mm) Red Dot Artar the most in the field for landscapes. The reputation the Red Dot Artars have for sharpness is no exageration.

-- John D. Clark (jdclark@adnc.com), January 04, 2002.

Jennifer: The Linhof Master Technika, which has a triple extension bellows, with a 300mm lens has a focusing range somewhat limited at the closer distances, say 8-10 feet and the bellows get pushed to close to their limit. Yes, a 360 mm would give a larger image but that would put an additional stretch on the bellows and reduce its focusing even further. You may wonder why for landscapes you would need closer focusing. Perspective for one thing and to isolate distracting objects. The ApoRonar is an excellent lens at all magnifications and the 300 is a good general compromise all things considered. The Wisner (I think) only has double extension bellows. To use longer lenses like the 300 you may need extension tubes. You want to check that. The longest lens is not always a good thing, as other postings have quite well stated. Good luck.

-- Julio Fernandez (gluemax@sympatico.ca), January 04, 2002.

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