Is this 65mm a good lens?!? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I think this link will take you to it...

If not, just look up Item # 1356251357 at ebay and help me figure out what it's worth. I have bid on it, but don't want to bid real high until I know more about it...

-- Jason J. (, June 01, 2002



This lens will just barely cover 4x5. The one I had did not offer any movements at all. The one you have found was made in 1961 -1963 sometime, according to (go to "info" and "age of lenses.")

I sold my 65 mm superangulon because of coverage issues and the fact it was so hard to focus at f8. The old copal 00 shutters are also no longer made and difficult and expensive to fix.

On the other hand, if you want a 65 mm lens that will cover 4x5, this is about your only option without spending a whole lot of money on the newer offerings. I think these lenses typically go for around 300$ on ebay.

Good luck.

-- Erik Ryberg (, June 01, 2002.

The f5.6 version of this lens will be sharper and it will give you greater movements. Also available from Nikon and Rodenstock. But, they are at least $300 more expensive.

-- neil poulsen (, June 02, 2002.

Jason, if you're determined to buy a 65mm lens, save up, and get a good one. The Nikon 65 f4 SW is a great lens. Right now, Midwest Photo Exchange ( has one for about $650, if you talk to Jim. Also make sure that your canera will handle a 65 wide angle. Most, need a bag bellows, recessed lensboard, or both for that type of lens.

-- Eugene (, June 02, 2002.

Another issue with this lens that hasn't been mentioned is the brightness drop-off toward the corners. There is about a stop and a half drop-off that is IMO excessive. The only good cure for that problem is a center filter which is an expensive cure. In the long run, a good used 5.6 isn't really all that much more expensive.

-- Ken Burns (, June 02, 2002.

So far everyone seems to be in agreement. I might try to get a 90mm first then. I want to play around with some wide angle 4x5 and have gotten a recessed lens baord and a bag bellows off ebay for a real good price. The only thing left are the lenses. I'll keep researching and asking questions on the older lenses. i've got plenty of info on the new ones that places like b&h and calumet sell. It's just these older used ones that I'm not up to speed on yet...

-- Jason J. (, June 02, 2002.


My bet is you are really going to like whatever you get in the 90 mm length. They are a whole lot cheaper, and most (not all) large format shooters find 65 to be too wide for landscapes and a huge pain in the neck to focus. But many, including me, find the 90 mm gets a lot of use. (It's a different story for interiors, of course.)

The angulons are good lenses in my opinion. Many say they don't really cover 4x5 but they actually "cover," in the broad sense, a 5x7 plate at infinity. The only thing is the image is extremely bad out at the far edges. But to my eye it holds up fine a good ways past the 4x5 image, and for 150 bucks in a good shutter, that's a bargain. The "newer" ones take 40.5 mm filters, which are readily available. At f6.8 they aren't too hard to focus.

Your other option is going to be the f8 Super Angulon, which offers a bigger image circle at three times the cost.

Beyond that you are into modern glass, the grandagons and so forth, that are quite expensive. I would suggest looking for an angulon in a good shutter. I've used two, and both were outstanding performers. Even my first, uncoated one from the 30's was an excellent performer.

-- Erik Ryberg (, June 02, 2002.

I have one of these lenses and like mine a lot. It does have a very limited image circle. It will cover 4x5 but without a lot of room to wiggle. Yet image circle isn't nearly as important with a lens of this focal length as something longer. I mean this lens at f16 is going you give you one heck of a lot of depth of field. The newer 65's don't have all that much image circle either, but if IC is important to you choose one of those.

A pain about these lenses is that they are mounted on a Compur shutter. This shutter doesn't have the little lever for opening the shutter to focus. You have to set the lens on B and fire the shutter with a cable release. Then you have to lock the cable release so the lens stays open. In spite of that it's a chore that you get used to, sigh ...

As for the image being dark on the edges; yes it is and no it doesn't bother me. The image sort of comes with the edges burned in. This is a funky super wide angle lens so don't expect it to be something it isn't. It also is very sharp - at least mine is, so I don't see any trade off there.

The other important aspect of this lens is how you are going to use it. For me it's one of five lenses that I carry on my back. Since it's small I greatly appreciate it since we had to shoot Bruce the Mule.

-- David Grandy (, June 02, 2002.

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