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Nikkor SW 65mm F4 or Fujinon SWD 65mm F5.6 with digital backs?

vvince

Member
Hello,

I am wondering if anybody tried one of those analog lenses, made for 4x5 film, with a digital back? Do they give good results?

I have used a Nikkor SW 90mm F8 mounted on a Fuji GFX 50R (with the Cambo Actus) and was positively impressed by the result, more or less on paar with the native GF lenses and providing huge shifting capabilities (only limited by the Cambo in my case). But wider analog lens might not play as well as the 90mm with a digital sensor.

Cheers
Vincent
 

stevev

Member
Hi Vince,

I had been exploring the same question myself, so I'm glad you've asked the question here. Hopefully someone will chime in, but perhaps no-one has tried that combination yet. In the meantime, are you keeping the Rodenstock 55 or ordering the Mamiya 50?

Cheers,
Steve.
 

vvince

Member
Hi Steve,
yes, hopefully somebody has already tried that combination, otherwise I might try it anyway : I guess that with a 65mm lens there will be no focal flange distance issues. Then there is the question of optical quality, so try and see...
I will return the Rodenstock 55mm : there is no point of keeping it, since it does not focus at infinity on the actus/GFX. I will order a Mamiya 50mm ULD as soon as I find one on Ebay in Europe, but no luck until now.

Cheers
Vincent
 

MartinN

Active member
Usually mediomformat film-designed lenses do not have as strict resolving requirements as digital only lenes. So as well for largeformat film lenses. Of course they can be usable, but that can be 'a happy incident' and not a general rule.
 

Alkibiades

Active member
Usually mediomformat film-designed lenses do not have as strict resolving requirements as digital only lenes. So as well for largeformat film lenses. Of course they can be usable, but that can be 'a happy incident' and not a general rule.
Hello,

I am wondering if anybody tried one of those analog lenses, made for 4x5 film, with a digital back? Do they give good results?

I have used a Nikkor SW 90mm F8 mounted on a Fuji GFX 50R (with the Cambo Actus) and was positively impressed by the result, more or less on paar with the native GF lenses and providing huge shifting capabilities (only limited by the Cambo in my case). But wider analog lens might not play as well as the 90mm with a digital sensor.

Cheers
Vincent
I was using 65 mm with digital backs but from schneider and rodenstock. It function well on the latest versions with latest coutings. The lenses are not apo, so you will get some chromatic aborations at some hard edges but used at 11-16 these lenses are absolutly ok and sharp.
I think nikon should perform also well- it has very good coutings. Fuji lenses has less contrast mostly older coutings. For film ok, for digital I would take the others. All that lenses are cheap.
 

rdeloe

Active member
It's worth a shot Vincent. The large format lenses from Schneider-Kreuznach, Rodenstock, Nikon and Fujifilm are all professional gear. I think you can choose based mostly on how they render. I thought my Fujinon-W lenses were sharp enough on my GFX 50R outfit, but the colours are very different than my other lenses.

It is a good idea to get the modest modern designs so you can get the best coatings that were available. I considered what you're thinking of too, and was leaning to the Nikon because it's an f/4. When I looked around it was usually suggested that the best of the Nikkor 65mm lenses was the f/4 S model.

Coatings are important, but I wouldn't get too excited about slight differences among modern lenses because there are much more important considerations in play. Here's a case in point. This is the long lens for my outfit. It's a Schneider-Kreuznach Componon-S 180mm f/5.6. I'm using modern cells (from the early 2000s) in the old style housing with 19 aperture blades (early 1970s). The coatings on the modern cells are slightly better than the coatings on the 1970s cells (I tested side-by-side). However, the difference is marginal.

I actually had this thing up for sale on eBay because I thought it was impossible to control stray light that caused massive veiling flare. I used very long hoods lined with telescope flocking paper; they made little or no difference. The problem is this lens was designed to enlarge 5x7 film, so it has a huge image circle that collects an enormous amount of light that isn't used directly for image formation on my setup. If it's not controlled, that light just bounces around inside the camera and causes flare that destroys contrast and sharpness. Any shiny surface in the light path (even very small) is a problem.

The solution turned out to be controlling flare at the rear end. The lens mounts to my Toyo via that aluminum adapter you see in the bottom pictures. Inserting that simple baffle in the rear of the adapter (round flocked disk with rectangular hole) eliminates the veiling flare problem. I added a shade built up of step-down rings (top-right) picture to further cut down on unwanted light hitting the glass.

The important thing to note here is how little of the front element has to be uncovered. The hole in my "hood" is 26mm in diameter; by way of comparison, the lens takes 62mm filters. That 26mm hole is enough not only to fully cover the 33mm x 44mm sensor in my GFX 50R, but also to provide 20mm of shift in landscape orientation. No wonder this thing had a massive veiling flare problem!

This is why I'm not as worried about using lenses with the absolute most modern coatings. Of course you want the most modern coatings if your goal is to get maximum image quality. However, the most modern coatings won't do you any good if the lens is allowing too much stray light that isn't managed properly.

This brings me to your plan to use a lens designed to cover 4x5 film on a much smaller sensor: give a lot of thought to how you're going to control for flare. A short little hood on the front of the lens may be completely inadequate.

CPN-S 180.jpg
 
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orftoden

New member
I have never tried testing my analog lenses on digital, but I doubt that they would perform as well as those tailored towards digital. I have the Nikon 90 F/8 and agree, it is a special lens. Perhaps you can use this as a guide to point you towards lenses that might perform similarly to the Nikon 90mm:

 

GeorgeBo

Member
Hi Vincent,

I am new to the forum and have not made a formal introduction post yet, but wanted to reply to your thread. I recently acquired a Cambo Actus GFX for my 50R and just began doing some shooting with the Nikkor SW 65/4. One of my projects this year it to shoot old factories in my area. Since I already had this lens with my 4x5 kit (along with the Nikkor SW 90/4.5 and Nikkor W 135/5.6) I figured to give them a try. Liking what I am seeing so far.

I can confirm that you can infinity focus and have room for movement in all aspects on the Cambo Actus.

Attached is a shot from last week of an old fabric mill that is being converted into loft apartments. The weather was very overcast with fog and mist. The river in the foreground was swollen from all the rain we have had and was very muddy. So went with a black and white rendering. Hopefully it will give you a little example of performance. No cropping was done. 10mm rise on the Cambo. No LCC applied. Shot at f/16, 30sec, ISO100

George
GFXS1897-Frame.jpg
 

stevev

Member
Hi George,

How are the edges of the shifted frames in terms of sharpness, vignetting etc?

Thanks,
Steve.
 

GeorgeBo

Member
Hi Steve,

While I was shooting that factory building above, I also did a 3 shot pano from the same location. Just turned down river. 12mm shift right, center, 12mm shift left, 10mm rear fall. I did have to apply LCC to those (shot separate correction frames with Capture Integration LCC tool). There was some light fall off on the large shifts, but nothing that was not easily corrected in post. No hard vignette. I actually added some vignette back in post.

I wanted to get closer to the railroad bridge, but the trail was flooded out. Something for another day :)

GFXS1898-Pano-2.jpg
 

rdeloe

Active member
Hi Vincent,

I am new to the forum and have not made a formal introduction post yet, but wanted to reply to your thread. I recently acquired a Cambo Actus GFX for my 50R and just began doing some shooting with the Nikkor SW 65/4. One of my projects this year it to shoot old factories in my area. Since I already had this lens with my 4x5 kit (along with the Nikkor SW 90/4.5 and Nikkor W 135/5.6) I figured to give them a try. Liking what I am seeing so far.

I can confirm that you can infinity focus and have room for movement in all aspects on the Cambo Actus.

Attached is a shot from last week of an old fabric mill that is being converted into loft apartments. The weather was very overcast with fog and mist. The river in the foreground was swollen from all the rain we have had and was very muddy. So went with a black and white rendering. Hopefully it will give you a little example of performance. No cropping was done. 10mm rise on the Cambo. No LCC applied. Shot at f/16, 30sec, ISO100

George
View attachment 182594
That's nice work George. It really is a stubborn myth that older lenses made for film are not suitable for digital. I bet you could make a nice, large print from that file and it would look terrific.
 

rdeloe

Active member
Hi George,

How are the edges of the shifted frames in terms of sharpness, vignetting etc?

Thanks,
Steve.
George's 12mm shift in the next picture needs only a 65mm image circle. At f/16 Nikon rates this lens as having a circle of good definition of 170mm. I haven't seen the MTF chart for the lens, but I'm willing to bet that at r=32.5mm is still well within the region of maximum quality.
 

rdeloe

Active member
Thanks! I am constantly trying to bust that myth. I shoot old glass almost exclusively.
Same here. I have a motley crew of mostly older glass that rides on the front of my Toyo VX23D, with a GFX 50R on the back. My one and only GF lens rarely comes out. I just prefer the rendering of the older lenses.
 

Shashin

Well-known member
Thanks! I am constantly trying to bust that myth. I shoot old glass almost exclusively.
Two of the best lenses I have for my Pentax 645D are not only film era lenses, they are the older manual focus versions. Sure, some lenses are not good, but they were not particularly good on film either. I don't dismiss lenses out of hand because they were not made in the digital era.
 

GeorgeBo

Member
Thanks for that info! I am just beginning to explore the possibilities with this kit and looking forward to the journey.
 

rdeloe

Active member
Thanks for that info! I am just beginning to explore the possibilities with this kit and looking forward to the journey.
I enjoy finding ways to use relatively inexpensive lenses in ways that produce excellent results. I had a chance at lunch time today to run out for a quick shoot with my "new" Schneider-Kreuznach Componon-S 180/5.6 (the one I showed in an earlier post in this thread).

This is wide open. It's better closed down a stop or two, and I'm going to use the f/11 or f/16 version because it has more of my stump in focus, but I'm amazed at how good this old enlarger lens is wide open. I'd print this picture at 16" x 21" without hesitation.

DSCF6175.jpg
 

stevev

Member
I'm willing to bet that at r=32.5mm is still well within the region of maximum quality.
Hi Rob,

Thank you for that information. My particular interest is wide, panoramic stitches on the Actus with good sharpness into the edges. With a Z7 and 20mm of shift I am 38mm from the centre of a lens, laterally, at the extreme edge. I have a Mamiya RZ67 65mm (same focal length as the lens under discussion here) but even on a Z7 sensor I am getting strong vignetting in the extreme corners with 20mm of shift and more than 12mm of rear fall.

When I eventually get a GFX50R I will be at 42mm radius laterally and slightly deeper into the corners; particularly with some rise/fall. It is good to hear that the Nikkor 65mm should maintain its definition out there and beyond, which should permit fully shifted wide pano stitching, and use of the full rise/fall that the Actus allows, should I require it for compositional reasons.

By the sound of it, the Nikkor should do all this without breaking a sweat.

Cheers,
Steve.
 

rdeloe

Active member
Hi Rob,

Thank you for that information. My particular interest is wide, panoramic stitches on the Actus with good sharpness into the edges. With a Z7 and 20mm of shift I am 38mm from the centre of a lens, laterally, at the extreme edge. I have a Mamiya RZ67 65mm (same focal length as the lens under discussion here) but even on a Z7 sensor I am getting strong vignetting in the extreme corners with 20mm of shift and more than 12mm of rear fall.

When I eventually get a GFX50R I will be at 42mm radius laterally and slightly deeper into the corners; particularly with some rise/fall. It is good to hear that the Nikkor 65mm should maintain its definition out there and beyond, which should permit fully shifted wide pano stitching, and use of the full rise/fall that the Actus allows, should I require it for compositional reasons.

By the sound of it, the Nikkor should do all this without breaking a sweat.

Cheers,
Steve.
Steve, perhaps George can replace my speculation with some cold hard facts. He has the lens.

The moves you described need a 67mm circle. Your RZ67 65mm lens must have major light falloff because you're not close to the edge of its circle. Are you stopping down a lot? I'd be at f/11 as a matter of course. With many lenses by the time you get to f/11 light falloff is reduced a lot.

I can't remember if I've suggested this already, so apologies if I have, but depending on how bad the light falloff is, you could shoot LCC frames and tidy up the light falloff in post. It's dead simple to do. Make your exposure, then make another exposure through the LCC plastic (same aperture), correct in your software (Lightroom does it with a couple clicks) and then stitch. You can buy a nice set of LCC tools from Capture Integration for not much money, or you can make your own if you don't want to wait for shipping. It's just a sheet of milky plexiglass. I took the shine off mine with wet super fine sandpaper.
 
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