What sharp 8x10 lenses for landscape ? 11x enlargements

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by milan_moudgill, Dec 7, 2006.

  1. Hi!

    I have read so many threads on similar issues ? but since the questions all varied as per the posters
    interest, I do not have any clear leads.

    Need some advice based on the following parameters. Would really appreciate any advice:
    1. Shooting colour TP
    2. 8x10
    3. Landscape. Infinity focus is critical
    4. Lets say cost is not the first criteria
    5. Will enlarge 10x to 12x ? looking for sharp optics
    6. Wish for suggestions for 35 mm format equivalent of 28mm, 50 and 100-150mm

    What sharp lenses can you suggest,

    THanks in advance

  2. If cost is no object, then the Schneider Symmar-S series would fulfill your requirements.
    However you are going to have to have a very long bellows to use lenses that give you the
    equivalent of 100-150mm in 35mm format.

    Rough equivalents: 50mm in 35mm format equals 300mm in 8x10. 100mm in 35mm
    format equals 600mm in 8x10. You may not find one particular lens line that will offer
    you all the focal lengths you wish.

    McCluney Photo
  3. Here is the ultimate - one lens, three focal lengths, or by a 2nd one and get 5 focal lengths - this beast is considered by many 8x10 shooters as the best lens around.
  4. Regarding the longer end, 600mm lens only translates to about 24" of bellows extension; 8x10 cameras usually allow between 30-36" or more, so this shouldn't be a problem.

    Finding one in a shutter that you're willing to carry around could be a problem.

    Process (graphic arts) lenses are often used for these focal lengths. Use the lens cap, a hat, or a Packard shutter to control exposure. Rodenstock Apo Ronars are often available at this length, as are Nikkors -- there are others.

    28mm equivalent will be about 180mm on 8x10.

    Your technique will ultimately be more important than the type of lens you get, so practice up -- in other words, get out there and shoot!
  5. Lessee, now, 10-12x enlargement wants 80-96 lp/mm in the negative to get 8 lp/mm in the print. Forget it. Can't be done. If you need a print 9'-10' x 10'-12' that's that sharp, you'll have to start from a negative larger than 8x10. I suggest 16x20.

    Equivalent focal lengths? Normal for 35 mm is 43 mm, normal for 8x10 is 305 mm. (28/43)* 305 = ~ 200 mm; (50/43)*305 = 355 mm; (100/43)*305 = 710 mm; (150/43)*305 = 1064 mm. You'll need twice as long if you shoot 16x20. And you'll get similar results if you compare the two formats' long sides, then the magic ratio is (254/36).

    For good modern 210s, go to Schneider's and Rodenstock's sites and see what they have in that focal length that will cover 8x10. Same for the 355. For longer lengths, think Apo Ronar or Apo Nikkor.

    I won't say your question is silly but I do doubt your sanity a little.

    You might want to see what Clyde Butcher does; he prints nearly as large as your 10-12x starting from 8x10 implies. IIRC, his site is www.clydebutcher.com . If that doesn't work google will find it for you.
  6. Milan,

    28mm roughly equals 168mm - 150mm Schneider Super Symmar XL.
    50mm roughly equals 300mm - 300mm Rodenstock Apo-Sironar S, Schneider Apo Symmar or Schneider Apo Symmar-L.
    100-150mm roughly equals 600 - 900mm. 600mm Fujunon-C or 800mm Schneider Apo Tele-Xenar.

  7. Normally, large format lenses do not have to have quite the resolution of 35mm format
    lenses, because the negative is not enlarged as much. Many people just make contact
    prints from 8x10 and 11x14 negs. You intend to enlarge to 10ft wide images? There are
    very few labs capable of doing this anymore. Do you already own an enlarger capable of
    taking an 8x10 negative? I am not sure photographic paper is made in rolls as large as
    10ft, so you will have to use multiple sheets and mount them together, a rather daunting
    task, I would think.

    McCluney Photo
  8. There have been improvements in LF optics over the years. It is true that most
    photographers will not notice the difference in most cases, but if you want to know what is
    the best for sharnpess at infinity at high enlargements without cost being a concern,
    people shouldn't recommend older versions, or optics that have other design goals (e.g.,
    convertible lens, process lens).

    For middle focal lengths, look to the current plasmats from Rodenstock and Schneider, the
    Apo-Sironar-S and the Apo-Symmar-L. As an example of the improvements, the Apo-
    Sironar-S uses ED glass and Rodenstocks datasheets show significantly reduced chromatic
    aberration compared to the Apo-Sironar-N (which isn't that old of a design, itself).

    For a wide-angle lens: Nikkor-SW, Grandagon-N, Super-Angulon, or Super-Symmar-XL.
    The first three have the advantage of more even illumination.

    For a long lens, probably the 600 mm Fuji-C is the best choice.

    Dan, it may not be necessary to calculate for 8 lp/mm in the print. Does an 8 foot print
    really have to stand up perfectly to viewing at reading distance?
  9. Yikes 10x is 80 x 100. First question is do you have access to a printer that large ?? or are you going to a mosaic print.

    The answers above are all good for the lenses. Nikon SW schneider etc.

    Where did that 8lp/mm come from ??

    4lp/mm is where you want to be with a drum scan.

    I did some test shots and scans a while back preparing for a panoramic print I have never done, but I did a 3000 dpi drum scan of 8x10 efke 25 and it turned out really nice. My intent was to print a pano on a lightjet at 204 dpi (4lp/mm in print) and print at 4' x 12'

    Never got around to it but it is doable.

    If you want to print on a lightjet at 204 dpi 10x I would do a 2000 dpi scan and upsize slightly. A 2000 dpi drum scan is really clean with a clean film like E100G.

    If you want to go bigger or more dpi I would scan at 3000 dpi, but you have to realize a 3000 dpi 8x10 24 bit tiff is impossible to work on unless you have a super computer.

    As far as the lens, I used a G-Claron 240mm lens which is not quite a 28mm equiv, but it is close, sharp and reasonable.

    The bigger problem is film flatness. On an 8x10 camera I typically stop down more than a 4x5 camera which causes problems in itself, more specifically if anything is moving. Also stopping down into the f32 or more area limits lens sharpness due to diffraction so that super sharp expensive glass might not be so important for 8x10.

    I am more of a 1-2 lens guy, but if I were setting up a lens setup from scratch and wanted a wide array, I would have a Nikon 150mm SW for a super wide, G-Claron 240mm for a normal wide, G-claron 355mm for normal and a 600 something for portrait length.

    A 100mm equiv would be 800mm and a 150mm equiv would be around 1200mm which is not really practical.

    The G-Claron lenses are very sharp, but are single coated and all f9. You may prefer a more modern mc lens.
  10. I routinely view negatives I shot with Rodenstock Sironar-S or APO Ronar lenses at 20x-40x
    on my stereo microscope and am often amazed at the amount of detail and resolution. I have
    also enlarged 6x12cm negs to 60" (roughly 15x) and found the image quality excellent. An
    8x10 neg should handle a 10x or 12x enlargement quite easily.
  11. I recall that Schneider now makes something in the 1100mm range, but you are looking at very big bucks-- check out Badger Graphics.

    The Fujinon 600mm "C" is a fine lens but as I've learned, it and many other "apo" type lenses are not true symmetrical process lenses. True apochromatic process lenses like the 600mm Rodagons exist but are a bit hard to find, and have a narrow field that limits them to smaller film size in comparison to some of the "wide-fields" like the G-Clarons, the Nikon M series or the Fujinon compacts. Although the latter are not symmetrical, they are limited in aperature to f/8 or smaller. I'm not sure that it really matters as far as the practical issues of resolution and distortiom apply to most photography, but if you are doing really big scale enlargements, then these do matter.

    There was a discussion of all of this a few weeks back. The Subject line was about what equipment for art documentation work-- cost no object. There was some really fine input about such hardware and thus relevant to your questions.
  12. If you are after SHARP the best choice is undoubtedly the Rodenstock Apo Sironar S series. These lenses tend to be a bit contrasty, so T Max or Delta is not a good choice with them. For B&W you are better off with Bergger or Rollei R3 film. If you want sharp but not too contrasty, go for the Schneider Super Symmar XL series in 110mm, 150, or 210. They cost a lot but are great lenses.
  13. Have you looked into the Artars?
    24" and 35". Love them!

  14. The problem isn't in the shooting, it's in the enlarging. Shoot with any good lens (Ektar, Symmar, etc), have the negative scanned and printed digitally.

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