210 mm or 300mm

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by laurentvuillard, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. Hello,
    I am shooting 4X5 using 150 and 90 mm. These are sometimes too wide for mountain photo. Can anyone advise on :
    1) Pros and cons of 210 vs 300mm
    2) What would be the 24 36 equivalents
    3) Which lens would you reccomend to buy SH in 210 or 300mm; keeping in mind that size+weight are an issue!
    Many Thanks
  2. 4x5 has a 1.25 aspect ratio
    35mm is 24x36mm; a 1.50 aspect ratio
    What is the aspect ratio of the prints you want to make?
    With an aspect ratio known; one then can compare to the 35mm format
  3. ***If your end goal is full frame prints from 4x5; you have fixed your aspect ratio as 1.25 ***

    With a 35mm film frame; the smaller dimension thus governs; ie the 24mm side, 0.945 inch
    Thus when one ratios the 4 inch to 0.945 inch sides; one has a 4/.945=4.23 ratio

    A 90mm would be like a 21mm

    A 150mm would be like a 35mm

    A 210 mm would be like a 50mm

    A 300 mm would be like a 71mm
    This implies that of course your are using just a 30mm width on the 35mm frame; ie a 30mm side and 24mm high image,

    Thus if you pick up a 35mm slr; you have to remember that one is masking off each side by 3mm
    If one has a camera like a nikon F' one can place a mask that is 30x24mm in place; or use a junk old screen and mark the 30mm rectangle's sides.
  4. I have both of these focal lengths and find the 210 to be used more often (my standard package is 75/120/210/300 when I am in the field, but have 90 and 180 as well). The 300 I have is the Nikkor M f9 lens which on a 4x5 and with that 12 inch draw is actually very bright and the lens is small and extremely sharp (apo lens). (I would say that it has apparent brightness on the ground glass not far off my f5.6 90mm at the edges of the ground glass.) Its image circle is a bit less than those made for 8x10, but will cover 8x10 without too many movements. It is a great 4x5 lens--did I say small and lightweight!?! Most 300's are for 8x10 and use Copal 3 shutters--very big lenses and heavy and will not fit all 4x5 lensboards easily.
    I think that there is some wisdom to the old adage that you carry lenses that are double each others focal length and so the 300 might be the ticket since you have the 150mm, but only you know how much more throw you need. But you also need to consider what your camera bellows length is. If you can't extend at least 12 inches, you can't use the 300 and at least 14--15 inches would be better. I can go up to 19 or 20, so it has some greater uses for me other than just at infinity.
  5. I've used the four focal lengths you've asked about with 4x5. All are very useful focal lengths, though the 300mm (305mm in my case) will likely be the least used for general landscape, unless you need to reach out and isolate certain areas. For most situations I would say a 210mm and a 90mm are the two most useful focal lengths for general landscape 4x5 work, so since you already have the 90mm and 150mm, the 210mm would make a nice addition. If you need the longer reach, and are willing to trade your 150mm, another good three lens combination for 4x5 landscape would be a 90mm, a 180mm and a 300mm.
  6. Agreed, 210 would be like using a 50mm lens on 35mm format. You would more likely find the 210 to be the next logical step for landscapes if your other lenses are too wide. I have 90mm, 135mm, and just bought a 210mm for the tighter shots, as I use 50mm often on 35mm for a great all around shoot anything lens.
  7. I think 210mm would be more useful - a really great lens in this FL is the f6.1 Xenar (very compact).
  8. Here I have a big 210mm F3.5 Xenar in barrel I got eons ago for astrophotography. It is used on a 4x5 Press camera. In shutter I use a Kodak Ektar 203mm F7.7 in shutter sometimes, it is a very sharp lens and very small. It is also corrected well for closeups.

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