Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Tele lens recommendations for Technical Cameras

  1. #1
    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, WA
    Posts
    5,800
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    564

    Tele lens recommendations for Technical Cameras

    I'm looking to round out my Alpa system with a longer lens for landscape work. Currently I have the Alpa Max, 47XL APO-Digitar, 90 HR-W Digaron and I'm shooting with a P40+. This combo works fine and stitching gets me wider when necessary but rather than crop, there are times when artistically I could usefully use a longer focal length than the 90mm.

    Has anyone experience with the longer Schneider APO-Digitars such as the 150/5.6 or 180/5.6? If so, how do you find the handling of these with a tech camera? I'd be looking at the Alpa short barrel versions.

    Would I be better off investing in say the 300/4.5 APO for my 645DF body instead?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Munich
    Posts
    876
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: Tele lens recommendations for Technical Cameras

    The Schneider 150 is a nice lens. Sharp and nice image circle.

  3. #3
    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, WA
    Posts
    5,800
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    564

    Re: Tele lens recommendations for Technical Cameras

    Any issues with getting critical sharpness with the longer glass? Are you using a ground glass / loupe or relying on a distometer or zone focusing?

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Zug/Zurich (Switzerland), Dubai, Sydney
    Posts
    334
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tele lens recommendations for Technical Cameras

    I'm curious as to why you see the AFD300mm as an alternative to the 150 on the Alpa.
    Due to the differences in lens design for reflex vs. non-reflex lenses, I would suspect that the Schneider would have a slight advantage optically, plus give you shift potential.
    Having said that, once you get into the teles, as opposed to wide-angles, the differences optically between reflex and view camera lenses is substantially reduced. Unless you need the shift capability or have a particular attachment to your Alpa, I'd actually go for the 150/2.8D from Phase One. This is easily the sharpest lens I have ever seen in MF, a view that I think is also expressed by Guy Mancuso elsewhere on this site.
    You would then have the tele reach, AF and reflex viewing.
    The 300APO is a nice lens also, but not in the same league for sharpness nor chromatic correction.

    Cheers,
    Siebel
    "In the end, it's all about the pictures"
    www.bryansiebel.com

  5. #5
    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, WA
    Posts
    5,800
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    564

    Re: Tele lens recommendations for Technical Cameras

    Ok, here's my rambling steam of consciousness about this:

    The reason for the 150/180 vs 300 comparison is basically that I do like to use a longer focal length at times for landscape photography. My preference for that work is my Alpa but obviously there are limits in terms of long lenses available for that platform. Actually I could also consider longer lens up to the Schneider APO-Digitar 210mm (the 250 APO-Tele-Xenar would be of less use to me overall). The 150/180mm lenses would also be a reasonable way to round out the Alpa for other situations too. My gut feel, yet to be tested, is that these lenses would be good candidates for cropping from if I need to without too much loss of optical vs digital resolution (compared to my Mamiya glass at least). Also the 150/180 do have reasonable image circles to leverage them for stitching for panoramics or rise/fall if needed plus also some level of telephoto effect. I'd rather go longer actually but that's not ideal with the Alpa.

    I'm inclined to invest more in the Alpa because that is my MF digital landscape platform of choice. Truthfully, I'm actually a bit of a reluctant 645DF shooter - there, I said it - but there are times when I do want to use my P40+ on a DSLR platform. It's certainly preferable to shoot with just the one camera system out in the field and hence why I was looking for some field feedback about the longer APO-Digitars. If the feedback was that these were hard to use, not as sharp as the wider lenses that I already own, etc etc, then maybe I'd think twice about pursuing them further.

    Why the Mamiya 300mm APO? I can see how that might seem like a strange alternative. Well, this would give me telephoto depth flattening I'm looking for but at the expense of having to use my DF body (which I'd have to bring along for those situations too). I already have 150/210 focal lengths but the 300mm APO would round these out (actually I do have a MF 300/5.6 already but I am fond of the 300 APO as I've had it before). Certainly a straight 150/180mm comparison would point to consideration of the 150 D, or perhaps the 75-150mm, as I know that these are razor sharp lenses and very highly regarded.

    Ultimately I need to test out one of the 150 or 180mm Schneider lenses, with my preference being the 180mm. I have the option of trying the 120mm APO-Digitar macro but that's not really a like for like comparison for one of the longer APO-Digitars. It might give me a better feel for the handling & DoF / focusing though.
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 20th December 2010 at 00:18.

  6. #6
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Terry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    6,955
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1145

    Re: Tele lens recommendations for Technical Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post

    I'm inclined to invest more in the Alpa because that is my MF digital landscape platform of choice. Truthfully, I'm actually a bit of reluctant 645DF shooter - there, I said it
    Ditto - substituting Arca for Alpa

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Hong Kong / Asia
    Posts
    524
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tele lens recommendations for Technical Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    Ditto - substituting Arca for Alpa
    @ Graham, @ Terry and others,

    Slight out of topic, but have you considered using ~72mm~90mm or longer for portraits with tech camera, or what is longest you would feel comfortable doing so, and how?

    Why? The obvious is that AFD/DF system is heavy and bulky...

    Thanks

    Regards
    Anders

  8. #8
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Terry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    6,955
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1145

    Re: Tele lens recommendations for Technical Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Anders_HK View Post
    @ Graham, @ Terry and others,

    Slight out of topic, but have you considered using ~72mm~90mm or longer for portraits with tech camera, or what is longest you would feel comfortable doing so, and how?

    Why? The obvious is that AFD/DF system is heavy and bulky...

    Thanks

    Regards
    Anders
    I have the 90mm but haven't tried using it for portraits.

  9. #9
    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, WA
    Posts
    5,800
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    564

    Re: Tele lens recommendations for Technical Cameras

    I haven't really used my Alpa for anything other than landscape shooting. There's no reason why you couldn't use the 90 or 120mm lenses for portrait shooting but it would be more of a LF approach to shooting I think. I have an Alpa Max so it's not really more portable than the DF for this type of shooting. Personally, I'd reach for the DF or my Nikons for that type of stuff but I'm sure that there are no doubt folks here who can & do shoot beautiful portraits with it, no bother at all.

  10. #10
    Senior Member mediumcool's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    1,477
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tele lens recommendations for Technical Cameras

    An ancient rule of thumb for lens selection (which seems to have gone by the wayside—this was before zooms were ubiquitous or indeed very good)—was to choose lenses based on the square root of 2 concept (near enough to 1.4).

    Using 35mm cameras as an example system, the standard was long considered 50mm [thanks Oscar] so the next longer lens would be 70mm (often 85mm in practice, though Leica had a 65 Elmar and CV has a 75); the next 100mm, and so it goes.

    The reasoning was (and is) that an increase in focal length of 1.4x would halve the area being photographed, so less walking would be required; doubling the focal length quarters the area of the image.

    Reducing focal length requires multiplying by 0.7 so the 50mm becomes a 35, the 35 becomes a 24 (ish) and so on.

    So if I were in Graham’s shoes I would first look at the 120 to 150 range (90 x 1.4 = 116). I will be wearing MF tech camera shoes as soon as my VX23D and Aptus 22 arrive from the US. Eating my own dog food, I will start at the wide end with a 35mm Digitar, then go to about 50 (47?), then jump to about 100–135, as I already have an 80mm Mamiya macro.

    When I was using 35mm (Nikon) for work, I had 24, 35, 50, 85 and 200 (never cared much for the 135’s look) and so had a relatively smooth range.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Hong Kong / Asia
    Posts
    524
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tele lens recommendations for Technical Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by mediumcool View Post
    An ancient rule of thumb for lens selection (which seems to have gone by the wayside—this was before zooms were ubiquitous or indeed very good)—was to choose lenses based on the square root of 2 concept (near enough to 1.4).

    Using 35mm cameras as an example system, the standard was long considered 50mm [thanks Oscar] so the next longer lens would be 70mm (often 85mm in practice, though Leica had a 65 Elmar and CV has a 75); the next 100mm, and so it goes.

    The reasoning was (and is) that an increase in focal length of 1.4x would halve the area being photographed, so less walking would be required; doubling the focal length quarters the area of the image.

    Reducing focal length requires multiplying by 0.7 so the 50mm becomes a 35, the 35 becomes a 24 (ish) and so on.

    So if I were in Graham’s shoes I would first look at the 120 to 150 range (90 x 1.4 = 116). I will be wearing MF tech camera shoes as soon as my VX23D and Aptus 22 arrive from the US. Eating my own dog food, I will start at the wide end with a 35mm Digitar, then go to about 50 (47?), then jump to about 100–135, as I already have an 80mm Mamiya macro.

    When I was using 35mm (Nikon) for work, I had 24, 35, 50, 85 and 200 (never cared much for the 135’s look) and so had a relatively smooth range.
    Well, I guess in general terms. But... a point of question is perhaps what are our very favorite focal length of views that our eyes and vision prefers? Just sold off two of my five cameras, yet for all I had main focus on three focals. Albeit personal, mine were in range of 35-45mm, 17-22mm and around 60-80mm on 35mm/135 language speach, and indeed in that order of usability or preference. Interestingly for 617 I prefer a 90mm lens... something of the view, vision and perspective on 3:1 format..., and which just happens equals about the two first preferred in width and height, respectively. Sort of magic? This is of course personal, but let me add in that it is well worthy to consider what is personal focals. Looking at large format digital lenses, the aspects are also what focals are available, what sharpness/character, to what price and with what image circle... as for tech camera, what is longest that can be focused with ease?

    Just my 2c addition...

    Regards
    Anders

  12. #12
    Senior Member mediumcool's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    1,477
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tele lens recommendations for Technical Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Anders_HK View Post
    Well, I guess in general terms. But... a point of question is perhaps what are our very favorite focal length of views that our eyes and vision prefers?
    I was speaking from a professional (and consistent coverage) point of view; if someone likes the look of a full-frame fisheye for personal photos, go for it!

    But if a photographer desires versatility (and this is a requirement for most working pros), a range of lenses must be kept for use. This can and often does lead to a lens being used rarely, in which case an amateur photographer may very well decide to dispose of the lens so as to buy another toy.

    So be it !
    Last edited by mediumcool; 22nd December 2010 at 05:02. Reason: added exclamation mark

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Warks, UK
    Posts
    550
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Tele lens recommendations for Technical Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by mediumcool View Post
    An ancient rule of thumb for lens selection (which seems to have gone by the wayside—this was before zooms were ubiquitous or indeed very good)—was to choose lenses based on the square root of 2 concept (near enough to 1.4).
    This is not a bad theory... Logic would suggest 47, 90, 180 as a starter set, and these Apo-Digitars have room for shift and stitch, so they are as good as zooms (for non-moving subjects) ...and fill in with the root 2 ...70, 120, 210 as and when.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •