Wisner Trad 4x5 / Moderate Wide Angle

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What is the consensus on the shortest focal length lens that can be easily used with moderate movement (i.e. normal for purposes of landscape photography) without a bag bellows on a Wisner Traditional 4x5? Is it 110mm, 120mm, 135mm? Thanks.

-- Josh Divack (jdivack@worldnet.att.net), April 23, 2002


I use a 135 APO Sironar S on my Traditional with plenty of movements. I also have a 90, but with the standard bellows it is limited to just a little tilt. I don't have anything between so I can not comment on the shortest focal length with moderate movements. I would also be interested to hear if the 110XL has room for movements without compressing the standard bellows too tightly.

-- Ben Hopson (BenHopson@centurytel.net), April 23, 2002.


I have a Traditonal Wisner and regularly use my 120 HM Symmar with the regular bellows with no problems except for extreme perspective control subjects, like a close shot of a tall building.

I've also used my 90 Fujinon SW with the pleated bellows, although if it's not a pretty much straight-on shot, it offers little movement.

If you're only using a little front tilt (as in much landscape photography) you can facilitate using wider-than-normal lenses by tilting the entire lens stage backwards into the bellows. This frees up more room for focusing with the rack-and-pinion system used.

If you use a 90 or shorter very much, you'll be buying a bag bellows, IMO, and Wisner's design is quick and easy to change out and can easily be stowed in a backpack, etc.

Be forewarned, however, that either the pleated or bag red kid leather (standard) bellows cannot be used with IR film. He does offer an IR-proof synthetic bellows that's pleated, stiffer and generally unusable for anything wider than about 120-135.

Hope this helps.

-- David Haynes (studioblsp@mindspring.com), April 23, 2002.

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