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recommend lens for close up portraiture
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MonkeyBrain



Joined: 05 Nov 2011
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:08 pm    Post subject: recommend lens for close up portraiture Reply with quote

Hi,

I'm currently using a Crown with a 135mm Optar, but firstly it's a little wide for my liking, and secondly the closest point it will allow me to focus is almost 5 feet (1.5 meters) away. I.e. not very close.

I come from using mostly medium format, and I'm not really familiar with the conversion rate between medium and large format lenses, but I guess I'm looking for something closer to a 'standard' lens, by which I mean the equivalent of an 80mm lens in medium format (or 50mm lens in 35mm).

Can anyone tell me which focal length I should be looking to purchase for my Crown, and recommend a good make/model that will allow me to focus much closer? If possible, I'd like to be able to fill something like 2/3s of the frame with a person's head.

ah, yes, and I need to be able to sync with electronic flash, so X-sync is essential.

Thanks
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1439
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The "normal" focal length is the diagonal of the format, which is 6.4" in 4x5 (a + b = c; 4 + 5 = x; 16 + 25 = 41; √41 = 6.4). In mm, 6.4" = 162.6 (6.4 x 25.4 = 162.63935), so you're looking for a 162 mm lens for your "normal" focal length. These are not as common as you might think, but they are out there. I've always gone with Optar lenses in Graphex shutters, but there are any number of other lens/shutter combinations, and which one will best suit your purposes I leave for the experts to recommend (calling Dan Fromm!).
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1banjo



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 478
Location: kansas

PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey try this

http://graflex.org/speed-graphic/focal-length-table.html
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ajmiller



Joined: 26 Feb 2009
Posts: 8
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found this a useful chart for conversions.

http://lensn2shutter.com/35mmchart.html

When I was looking for a 'standard' large format lens I thought a 150mm was it but on trying various lenses my 'standard' or preferred focal length is 210mm.

Tony
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MonkeyBrain



Joined: 05 Nov 2011
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, thanks, all of you. Very helpful.

I probably should have been clearer before that by medium format I actually meant 645, which obviously is different to shooting on a mamiya RB or something. But anyway those charts give me a good idea.

Tony, I'm also inclined to think I might need something closer to 210 than 150mm, is there anywhere online I can see some examples of your results with the 210? And how close can you focus?

Do lenses for 4x5 cameras generally not allow very close focusing when compared to other formats? Or did I just choose badly?
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ajmiller



Joined: 26 Feb 2009
Posts: 8
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have nothing online I've used the 210mm for - I photograph landscape mainly more than portraiture.
With the proviso that I don't consider myself an expert on large format, I would say that the focussing is more to do with bellows than lens, although I expect some lenses are better for close work than others.
From what I've seen there are more knowledgeable people around these parts than me so hopefully they'll correct me if I'm wrong.

Tony
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MonkeyBrain



Joined: 05 Nov 2011
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ah yes, of course: the bellows, that makes a lot of sense. thanks

that also makes me wonder if maybe something can be done to improve the lens I've already got too? i.e make it focus closer...
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1banjo



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 478
Location: kansas

PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

will I thimk if you look around here on graflex.org you will find most anything you need to know! anyway with most all lens if you wont a 1 to 1 its 2x the FL
of your len So to get a 1 to 1 with a 135mm lens you need a Bellows Drow
of 270mm!! or that 10 5/8" SO my Super speed or Super Graflex is setup for
only 9 1/2 " so no 1 to 1 with it!! where as my Graphic View an 18" Bellows
drow.
and I know that you said close up portraiture But like with my Super's a 270mm
is what they sold for them but any thing from say a Ektar 203mm to a
Tele- Optar 250mm would or should give a nice portraiture. the Tele-Opater
is a Telephoto len so it needs less of a Bellows Drow I think that you can get a 1 to 1 on a Super Graphic BUT I have not tried to do so!!

banjo
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MonkeyBrain



Joined: 05 Nov 2011
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Banjo, thanks for your reply, unfortunately it's a bit technical for me to understand.

I've looked up "bellows draw", so that makes sense to me now, but I have no idea what "a 1 to 1" is.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3212
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1:1= life size on film.
1 millimeter in life size= 1mm image size on film or the recording medium.
Another way of saying it exact size of the photographed object = its exact size on the recording medium.
A contact print will be life size.

Banjo, if your bellows only extend 9 1/2 inches then they have been modified or the rear pleats are stuck.
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The best camera ever made is the one that YOU enjoy using and produces the image quality that satifies YOU.
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1banjo



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 478
Location: kansas

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the super speed only has 30mm of travel
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3212
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Super Speed has approximately 30mm travel for the rangefinder actuator but the bellows will extend 12 1/4 inches measuring from the ground glass to the front edge of the front standard when the front standard is locked at the front edge of the rails and the rails are fully extended.
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MonkeyBrain



Joined: 05 Nov 2011
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

45PSS wrote:
1:1= life size on film.
1 millimeter in life size= 1mm image size on film or the recording medium.
Another way of saying it exact size of the photographed object = its exact size on the recording medium.
A contact print will be life size.



hello again, and thanks for the clear explanation, as ever.

I thought that this is probably what was meant by 1 to 1, but that's not actually what I'm looking to achieve, is it?

surely a 1:1 portrait of someone 50cm from the camera would mean that all I'd get on film is a nose and 2 eyes?

confused
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1banjo



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 478
Location: kansas

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

will the 1 to 1 is just to let you know what can be done with most lens for LF but for most nice portraiture you will need the FL of your lens & maybe 1/2 more in bellows drow SO with a 135mm lens bellows drow of say 8 " to 12"

now to {closest point it will allow me to focus is almost 5 feet}
as a Portrait Photographer I never like to be closser then 10' from my
subject as not to get the Horsenose effect

most head & sholder shots I like to be 8' to 15' like with a 35mm camera
a 100mm to a 125mm lens works
for my 6x7 {6x9} I use a 180mm to a 250mm
for 4x5 a 270mm to 320mm would be nice
what I have are a 270mm Rotelar, 240/420mm, & a 360mm Tele-Xenar
the 270mm Rotelar con be used on a Crown the other two can't!!
the 360mm Tele-Xenar can be used on a Speed as it don't have a shutter
of its own!

what I use most of the time is my Century Graphic with
180mm Tele-Arton, 203mm Raptar-Tele, or 240mm Tele-Arton

NOW one thing that you can do with your 4x5 Crown is get a 6x7 or 6x9
roll film holder & use you 135mm lens given you a fuller neg. then you would have with a 4x5 neg.

banjo
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MonkeyBrain



Joined: 05 Nov 2011
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Banjo, thanks for taking the time to explain more clearly. Appreciated.

Unfortunately (if I understand what you're saying correctly) it sounds like I might not be able to achieve what I want to achieve, for the following reasons:

1) I dont want to change format from 4x5

2) 270 and 360mm are way too long for what I want to do

I've been looking at the 203mm Kodak or Optar but I'm not 100% sure they have X-sync, and anyway the problem remains that I need to focus closer (and at f7.7 they arent particularly fast lenses either).

How close can you focus with your 180mm Tele-Arton and 203mm Raptar-Tele? Do they have X-sync? They sound like about the right focal length for me.

I only find "horsenose" to be an issue with wider angle lenses. But then I'm not really a portrait photographer...I just happen to always photograph people ; )
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