Any problems with using a lens for 8x10 on 4x5 : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I am very new to large format and have a Speed Graphic with 127mm Extar lens. I am looking for a lens about 240mm to start to round out the system. As I may move to 8x10 at some time I was thinking about considering a lens for an 8x10 and using them on the 4x5 as well. Is there any problem doing this, such as the extra large image circle reflecting aroaund the camera and washing out the image?

What lenses would you recommend for between 200 and 250mm for my 4x5 camera?

-- Larry Gebhardt (, March 07, 2002


240 G-Claron, 240 Fujinon A, 250 Fujinon W f 6.7.

-- William Marderness (, March 07, 2002.

" Is there any problem doing this, such as the extra large image circle reflecting aroaund the camera and washing out the image?

That is more dependent on camera design than lens properties, like a very large image circle.

-- Ellis Vener Photography (, March 07, 2002.


You're exactly right about the large image circle. I tried the same thing you're doing several years ago and purchased a non-red dot Artar, 14-inch to use as a portrait lens on my 4x5 Wisner.

The images I got were very acceptable for portraits, but were noticably softer than images I got with my Symmars and Fujinons. Naturally, since this was the non-red dot version and I got it in a working shutter for $200 at a camera trade show, I assumed the softness was due to inferior coatings.

A year or so later I purchased a used Deardorff 8x10. My first images with the same lens on the Deardorff were eye-piercing sharp, amazingly crisp and generally, well, wonderful.

I realized that the larger image circle was the culprit and did some testing with a compendium lens shade (to block off light outside the part of the image circle acutally falling on the film) and it made a huge difference. Now, properly shaded, my 4x5 images are as good with this lens an on 8x10.

Hope this helps.

-- David Haynes (, March 07, 2002.

IMO the best lens in that range for a Speed/Crown Graphic is the 10" (250mm) Tele-Optar. It barely takes any more bellows extension than a normal lens, and will easily cover 5x7.

-- Wilhelm (, March 08, 2002.

The solution of using a compendium bellows shade to minimize internal reflections with a lens having a large image circle is a very good one.

One potential downside may be that lenses made to cover 8x10" can be cumbersome on a 4x5" camera. A 10" Wide-Field Ektar will cover 11x14", but you may not want to deal with the Ilex #5 shutter on your Speed Graphic. Even if you can mount it on the lensboard, possibly with some kind of extender, the rear element might not fit through the opening.

A 9-1/2" Dagor (get a Gold Dot version if you can), though--that might be manageable on a 4x5" and it will cover 8x10", and the Dagors are great lenses.

-- David Goldfarb (, March 09, 2002.

I just bought the Nikkor 150mm f8 lens. It is designed to provide 8x10 coverage. I tried to use it with my 4x5 camera, but it is so big in diameter it will not fit through the 4x4 opening of my front standard. I can install it by unscrewing the back element of the lens and attaching the lens to the front standard. I then remove the back of my camera and reach through the bellows and screw the back element back onto the lens. This solution is not very practical. My 4x5 Wisner camera appears to be able to handle the weight, but it is so big in size and weight that I suspect many 4x5 cameras could not handle it structurally.

-- Stephen Willard (, March 10, 2002.

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