looking for a lens for my 4x5 camera

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by john_meyer|5, Nov 29, 2003.

  1. I recently got a 4x5 camera ,my first one.I looked on ebay for some
    lenses for it and only found one listed. Can anyone come up with some
    ideas where to get some used lenses for the camera?
    Also what would be a good potrait lens for a monorail camera? I was
    looking into a 180 nikon lens new from b&h.
    Thanks John
  2. A 210 is wonderful for portraits. And you couldn't find any lenses for your camera on ebay? Strange. I saw 100's of them on ebay last week. Look in photo and electronics/cameras/large format for lenses for your camera.
  3. john:

    try places like equinoxphotographic, mike's place (at equinox ...) or igors. you ,might
    look for older wollensak rapter lenses,they usually don't cost very much... as for
    portrait lenses - 210/370 convertible symmars make a nice portrait lens w/o the
    front element (using it as a 370), i am partial to the wollensak portrait lenses like the
    veritar & verito ... but it all depends on the look you want -

    good luck!

  4. John,

    Midwest Photo exchange, www.mpex.com

    Badger Graphics, www.badgergraphic.com


  5. http://listings.ebay.com/pool2/plistings/list/all/category30076/index.html?from=R11

    The above url is for the eBay large format lens page. There are currently seven pages of lenses listed. I see that there is a Nikkor 180mm on the first page. I didn't even look at the listing, just saw the heading.
  6. pvp


    You must not be searching the right area on Ebay. Don't put "4x5" in your search criteria, that might be the problem. Also, back up all the way to the main Cameras menu so you don't get stuck looking for LF lenses in the 35mm area! I sometimes search with manufacturers names (Schneider, Rodenstock, Caltar, etc) when prowling for glass.
  7. A year ago, I start my 4x5 photography with a Schneider 110mm lens. It's very expensive but it is very very very sharp and ease to focus as well. later on, I got a 210mm Schneider. Next, after struggling between Nikon 300mm F8 and Fujinon tele-400mm, i finally settle with Fujinon T-400mm. Next step I am planning is a Schnedier 58mm.
    Good luck to you. You don't need to buy new lens, 2nd hands are fine. I bought my 400mm with Midwest Exchange [www.mpex.com] happily.
  8. What length have you used in other formats, for making portraits ?

    4x5 lenses are roughly 3x the lenth of an equivalent 35mm lens, and roughly 1.5x the length of an equivalent 6x6 lens, so it should be easy enough to find something.
  9. If the 8.5 inches Ilex Paragon (215 mm) is anything like my 7.5 inches, it would be a very good choice at budget price. The shutter is good, too. I paid my own 7.5 in f/4.5 150 canadian dollars with the lensboard, but it was a lucky deal and the shutter wasn't recently serviced. Sounds like a good deal to me.
  10. Midwest is great.

    Also try George Ury


  11. This is good time of the year to be looking pick up photo equipment on ebay. There's a window of opportunity between Thanksgiving and Christmas where people who might have been bidding on photo equipment turn their attention towards Christmas shopping, and items that new and trendy, rather than something used not so trendy like large format. The window is usually only about 2-3 weeks, before sellers realize they're taking a beating and aren't getting the prices they're used to. By the week before Christmas most seller have given up, and start holding back listing new items until the new year.

    Last year I scored two Fuji lenses (a 250mm 6.3 NWS and a 125mm 5.6 NWS, both in excellent condition)for $299 and $275 respectively. And I didn't have fight for them either. They were both Buy It Nows from respectable brick and mortar camera stores. They were probably looking to clear out inventory before the start of the new year. I thought I did pretty good, until I check the completed large format Fujinon lens auctions over the previous two weeks (right about now as a matter of fact), and found that the average selling price for large format Fuji lenses over that period was less than $300, with many going for less than the two lenses I bought (though most were in the more common 150mm, 180mm and 210mm focal lengths). Some were the older W lenses (including the smaller 6.3 150mm), but many were newer NWS models. The only ones selling above $300 were the wide angle lenses and the telephotos. Then I started looking at the prices of other modern lenses, and the prices were depressed all the way around last year at this time. I had concentrated so much looking at the older lenses, that I considered to be in my pockbook range, that I almost missed this trend, and almost missed out on scoring my first two modern lenses.

    Of course last year the economic situation was much worse than it is now, so I wouldn't necessarily expect to find the same bargains this year. But check the trends- you might be surprise what you find out. I'd start by looking at Calumet Caltar lenses in the 150mm to 210mm range. These lenses tend to sell for $50 less than their Rodenstock or Schneider equivalents (and they are in many cases exactly equalent- the older Caltar S II were Schneider lenses, while the current Caltar II N are Rodenstock made). Whether through Ebay or some of the retail outlets mentioned previously, these lenses can often be had for the price of a Schneider convertible. It's amazing, bargain conscious buyer have become so conditioned to the idea that they can't afford modern lenses (ie made Multicoated and made in the last 20 years), that Schneider Convertibles often fetch more than newer Caltars in similiar focal lengths, and twenty year old Symmar S's fetch more than five year old Caltar II N's. If it had the Rodenstock on it, the opposite would be true.

    One other thing- be aware that Caltar II E's (ie Rodenstock Geronar), while modern and current, aren't in the same league with the Caltar II N or Caltar S II series, which are 6 element/ 4 group lenses (as oppose to a triple 3/3 design). This doesn't mean they're not good lenses, just that you probably shouldn't pay more than $200 for one used (considering Calumet's selling them new for $300). It's Calumet's beginners lens, and provide good value- but with II N's availabe for less $300, why bother unless size and weight are a big issue for you.
  12. Superb advice from G. Wiley.

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