Extended Lens Board required for 300mm + on Tachihara ?

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by ken_lee|11, Jun 27, 2002.

  1. I have a 240mm Fujinon lens (love it) for my Tachihara, and am
    thinking of getting something longer. Apparently, the Tachihara has a
    max bellows draw of 330mm. I presume that with a 300mm lens, I could
    focus to inifinity no problem, but have no idea how much closer I
    could get, and whether the camera would be unstable, or otherwise

    How much of an extended lens board would be required / possible /
    practical, to accommodate a longer lens ? Would using it introduce
    other problems ?

    Does anyone have experience using 300mm+ lenses with the Tachihara ?

    Thanks !
  2. I don't use Tachi, but the formula is as follows.

    1/a + 1/b = 1/f

    a : distance from lens center to object.
    b : distance from lens center to film.
    f : focal length of a lens.

    When f = 300mm, b = 330mm, then a = 3300mm. Acutual distance between an object to film is 3300 + 330 = 3630mm. So around 4m would be the answer.

    If you pick telephoto type 300mm lens up, you can get to very close. Fujinon T300mm/f8, for example, require 197mm bellows for infinity focus, so your Tachi with Fujinon T300/f8 is equivalent to normal 300mm lens with 433mm bellows.
  3. I use a couple of long lenses on my Tachihara.

    I have a 12" Artar which I front mounted onto an Ilex oscillographic shutter. The thickness of the shutter and the adapter ring which I machined to mount it to the shutter produce an effective 2.5" of extension. I can focus down to about 10 feet with this. I use this lens more than any other, and since my interests are landscape and scenics, this works very well for me.

    I also fitted a 15" APO Raptar to an Ilex Oscilloscope shutter for my Tachiara. I made a short extension tube from an aluminum conduit union for this and the combination of the shutter, adaptor, and extension tube amount to about 4 inches additional length. This arrangement will focus down to about 12 feet, again no problem given my current interests.

    I'm quite pleased with this but the Raptar is a lightweight lens and the extension tube is aluminum. I wouldn't want to put any more weight than this on the fron standard of the Tachihara, so for me the 15" lens will be the longest non-telephoto optic practical.
  4. To Ken Itoh -

    Thank you for the mathematical formula. This is very useful !

    Since you speak Japanese, may I ask: What does the name Tachihara mean ? I wonder if this name has a poetic meaning. Thanks !

    - Ken Lee
  5. Ken, check out the Fuji 300 T. It's the only tele mounted in a Copal 0 shutter. Uses less than 200mm bellows draw at infinity. It's very light and compact. I bought mine from Jim, at Midwest Photo Exchange, (mpex.com). I sold my Nikon 300M for the very reason you mention. Too much strain on the short bellows.The Nikon was mounted in a Copal 1 shutter. Front heavy, and didn't have the bellows draw to focus at closer distances. I really like this little Fuji tele. It solved the short bellows problem without the need for a "top hat" lensboard extender.
  6. Eugene -
    Thanks for the info. Makes sense !
    You suggest that the lens is small and light weight. Is this the same lens that is pictured on the following page at Badger Graphics ?
    According to Chris Perez's Large Format Lens Test page, the lens wighs 415 grams. Perhaps that is still rather light - it just looks pretty large.
    - Ken
  7. "Tachihara" is the name of the president, the founder of the company, and the engineer who make Tachi with his hand.
  8. Oops!

    The founder of the Tachihara Camera Co. is Masao Tachihara, the father of the present president Michio Tachihara. Masao established Tachihara Camera Co. in 1934.

    "Tachihara" is written in two Kanjis (Chinese characters). "Tachi" means "Stand", "Hara" means "Field", thus his family name means "Stand in the field". So Michio focused not on studio monorail but on field technical camera. When Michio developed the first Tachi 4x5 in 1959, he named it as "Fielstand". "Tachihara" is equal to "Stand Field" in English and he placed his name upside down, and delete "d" of "Field", resulted in the well known Tachi's name "Fielstand".
  9. I have Fujinon T300 F8. It looks somewhat large as it has "barrel". Any kind of tele-lens has barrel for telephoto optical structure but it's much smaller and lighter than Nikon M300 F9, for example, with 100mm extension tube board (if extension tube boarad for #1 shutter is available).

    Just for your reference there is another tele 300mm with copal #0, that is Congo tele 300mm F8.
    For the details see http://www.cosmonet.org/~congo/index_e.html

    But I think Fujinon T300 has slightly better optics.
  10. Ken Lee, when I said that the Fuji 300 T was compact, I meant compared to the other tele lenses on the market. Mounted on a flat lensboard, it is more compact than a the 300M Nikon on an extension board.
  11. Eugene -
    Thanks for the clarification. I'm clueless about these big lenses.
    Now that you mention it, I guess the extension would have to be really long to be of much use.
  12. Ken wrote;

    "Now that you mention it, I guess the extension would have to be really long to be of much use."

    The 12" Artar I described isn't terribly bulky provided that focussing to 10 feet is acceptable to you. The longer APO Raptar is bulky (I carry it in a Tupperware container) but I can still find room for it in a backpack - there is room in the Tupperware container for some filters, a small lenshood, and a lightmeter.
  13. I used the Nikon 300M lens on my Tachihara. The Tachihara bellows is 13 inches. A 300 mm lens will work fine from infinity down to about 10 feet. You could focus closer than 10 feet with an extension lens board but 10 or so feet was fine for me since I don't generally use long lenses for near objects. I also used the Fuji 400T (telephoto) lens and it too works fine on the Tachihara.
  14. Ditto for my also using the Nikkor 300 on a Tachihara (with rated 330mm extension). I would love another cm of extension, but the front of the camera is not that stable. And ditto on the avoiding heavy lenses out there. If 4m is an acceptable minimum focus distance, you're fine. Keeping a simple flat lens board is much simpler/cheaper/more stable/compact, etc.

    Focus can come down to about 3.4 meters with various movements. Still too short for portrait work, but fine for the landscapes and such that field cameras are typically used for. You already have a 240mm lens though which is perfect for portrait distance. I can't imagine you would be tromping in a swamp with both a 240 and 300 mm lens though as they are nearly redundant. Be sure that the extra distance is worth it to you. The advantage of a telephoto is that you could get up to 360+mm on the lens which would be a genuine step longer than your current 240mm lens. On the other hand, if you can afford some of the new tele lenses, you could probably afford a camera with more bellows too!
  15. Eric -
    Yes, the difference between 240 and 300 is not too great. In 35mm terms, it's like comparing an 80mm and a 100mm: hardly worth the bother. You're right: I'd end up chosing one over the other, rather than carrying both into the field.
    After receiving so much good advice, I have concluded that the solution is to get a much longer lens, and an Ebony, with its enormous bellows draw... and a price enormous enough to over-draw my bank account !
  16. Ken, my wife uses the Fuji 300T on her Shen Hao. Makes a great combination of weight and balance on that camera, which is similar to your Tachi in size and bellows length. I use a Fuji 400T with my Toyo 45AII. The 400 Fuji tele is mounted in a Copal 1 shutter and is larger and heavier than the 300 tele. It stretches the bellows, but the Toyo field handles it very well. The Toyo has a heavy- duty front standard. A long bellows on a field camera creates problems when you want to use short, wide angle lenses less than about 75mm. You will then need to invest in a camera that has the ability to change to a bag bellows for the wide angle lenses, or one with a very flexible bellows, like the Canham. You don't need to bust your budget, just use your Tachi within it's limits, and enjoy it.

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