Long 4x5 lens that has a faster maximum aperture than f5.6?

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by andrew_keam, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. Hi, Was just wondering if there is a relatively modern lense ( ie not funky, old vintage lenses ) in the telephoto range for 5 x 4 ( 210mm would be ideal ) that has a more wide, open aperture than f5.6. The reason for this would be to try and emulate a 8 x 10 portrait with an extreme shallow depth of field. ie the look of some of Alec Soths or Richard Renaldi's portraits. Any suggestions? Thanks
  2. I have a 215mm (8 1/2") Ilex Acuton f4.8. Its a really nice lens and on top of that its convertible to 356mm (14") f10. Got it off eBay for a song and have been really happy with it. Did have the Ilex #3 shutter CLA'd by Carol at Flutot's.
  3. pvp


    There are a fair number of faster lenses in that range. I have a 254mm f/4.5 Elgeet lens that seems to be rather rare, but I've seen plenty of others for sale. Keep your eyes on the big auction site, Midwest, and KEH.
  4. 210mm F3.5 Xenar in Barrel; or even more rarer in shutter; an early 1950's press lens; a non telephoto lens design.
    Also the WW2 surplus 178mm F2.5 Aero Ektar in barrel.
    The giant 305mm F2.5 Aero Ektar in barrel
    Also a 300mm F4.5 Xenar in barrel.
  5. Some interesting lenses, especially the Aero Ektar lenses, but how old are those lenses? I'm curious because the original question asked about "relatively modern lenses", which I would assume to be the recent decade(s)? But then to some modern is post-WWII.
  6. Depending on the type of effects you're trying to get, you might want to look at a used 200mm Imagon. I have the 120mm Imagon for my Hasselblad which I use for portraits in both color and black and white. The combination of the lens + disks gives a great deal of image control once you understand how it all works.
  7. Sorry dude, all the real butt kicking lenses were made in the dark ages by stinky old guys without computers who did all the calculating with a pencil, long division and an adding machine. Now, in our modern age of wonder they suddenly found out there is no profit or market for lenses like that, even if we would buy them, so we are all subjected to adequate well built lenses but nothing spectacular.
    Hey, try an ancient 75mm f1.9 oscillo-paragon in #3 shutter. Cool.
  8. Thanks everyone for the responses, very interesting to note.. As Scott points out, I was mainly interested in rather modern lenses so that the 'look' they give doesn't stand out from my current lenses ( none more than ten years old ) By looking at google images of those lenses suggested, they all look rather ancient and I am sure would have a somewhat 'funkier' look to them. I noticed on the Littman 45 Single site
    that he uses a 135 3.5 Xenotar lense for "those that like extreme bokah" and a 150mm xenar 4.5 on some of his cameras. Anyone had any experience with these? Any other lenses to suggest at 150mm that have a wider aperture? Will this give me more of the look that I am after or am I just wasting my time with these lenses, and just stick to current Schneider/Rodenstock? Ok, thanks for all your responses. Much appreciated.
  9. Forgot to mention that Richard Renaldi has a section on there that is full of some great portraits of South East Asia. It is in the Gallery section under "Asian Portraits". This is using a 54 Littman Rangefinder ( presumably using either the 150mm lens mentioned above or even a more modern 150mm 5.6 ) and while there are some great shots, it does'nt have that great drop of focus that his 810 portraits do. Ideally, it would be nice to emulate this look on 54. Any thoughts, once again, much appreciated.
  10. Richard Renaldi 54 Rangefinder image
  11. So is the goal a fast lens that was built in the last 10 years; or a lens lens design that was invented in the last 10 years?
    The Tessar is a 100 year old design; ie from 1902
    The Planar was designed in 1896
    The Aero Ektar's designe stems from about 1940
    What criteria of the lens do you want; instead of a date critera based on ten years?
  12. I just had another look at the Littman 45 Single site and there are some interesting statements on there with regards to some of the lenses he uses with his cameras.... These include the Rodenstock Ysarex 127mm 4.7, the 135 3.5 Xenotar, the 135 mm xenar and the 150mm xenar 4,5. He goes on to state ( when talking about the Rodenstock Ysarex 127mm 4.7 ) that
    " no Littman has ever been made with the ysarex in its original configuration " and
    " the Ysarex is available for the Littman in 4 options first by enhancing sharpness and maintaining bokeh, then by maintaining sharpness and increasing bokeh" and
    " Much rabble has occurred because some could not understand why the Littman was such a success with its owners and we could not afford to reveal that besides the extreme modifications to body/ finder/ and focus mechanisms the lenses themselves are enhanced, this last aspect of the product will not be further explained or disclosed as it is personal research and will remain secret ".

    Is this even possible? I have never heard of such a thing..... I mean, he is not talking about cleaning etc but actually making the lens sharper? Am interested in possibly buying one of these cameras but this seems a little out of place.
    The whole article is here
    There is another guy who works out of Australia who has an extremely bad website but basically seems to be offering the same camera for about a fifth of the price....
    His website is here
    Like I said, pretty bad website but I tried to avoid that... Any thoughts? Anyone had any experience with either? Ok, thanks once again.
  13. if you didn't say not old vintage lens i would have said a 21cm f 3.5 tessar.it is beautiful wide open, and stopped down is sharp as a tack.
    i don't pay much attention to new, and i am not really sure there is much of an improvement
    over something that has stood the test of time.
  14. The Rodenstock Ysarex 127mm 4.7 is like the 127mm F4.7 on a speed graphic that was made thousands; heck probably many hundreds of thousands.
  15. Hi Kelly, I didn't really understand your post. Are you saying that they made thousands of these lenses or that they were made a long time ago? I am not really against modern lenses but was just looking for something that wouldn't stand out amongst my current lenses as having a different look. Do the Schneider Xenotar range of lenses look relatively sharp when shot wide open ( in particular the 150mm 2.8 ) or do you really need to stop down for that. Same goes for the Xenar range? In my current search I also came across a Zeiss 135mm f3.5 that looks quite modern.. Anyone used these wide open? Ok, thanks again, much appreciated.
  16. andrew -
    i thought you were looking for something long?
  17. Yes, that was the original plan but the search didn't come up with anything that seemed as fast as I would like and wasn't really, really vintage, so I have also started to look at normal and 135mm lenses ( as well as a 210 ). This is really as far wide as I could go I guess and still have it quite relevant to portraiture. Thanks again for any information you could provide. Thanks
  18. Schneider Xenotars were made in LF in f3.5 and f2.8. I've used both with excellent results, and the above mentioned Caltar 215mm f 4.8 was one of the of the best quality plasmats ever made, covering a bit over 72 degrees. Converted by removing the front lens group, it covered close to 40 degrees.
  19. I have a 250 mm f 3,5 Tessar from Zeiss Jena and a f 4,5 300 mm from the same faktory!
    They are quite sharp in the middle full open.
    Cheers Armin
  20. One major reason modern manufacturers do not make long, fast lenses is that they have to fit into a Copal 3 shutter if the customer wants a shutter. And the opening in the shutter is too small for most, if not all, fast long lenses to reach their maximum opening.
    That is why the 300mm Imagon came in the last version with only 2 disks rather then 3 like the 120 to 250mm.
  21. I will not use fstop larger than f/16. I am a f/64 purest and everything needs be in focus.
  22. 'Pretty bad website'? It only cost me $20 to get out there way back in 2001, but I think it's kinda cute. after 115,000+ plus hits, this is the first time I've seen it described as trash......LOL

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