Close focusing on Speed graphic , which lens? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I've been using an old 127mm Rodenstock (off a Land Camera) on my Speed Graphic butnow comparing it to my new 300mm Fuji I can see the difference. Not that the 127 is bad, though. My frustration is that I want to get closer subject focusing as I want to get the texture of the subjects and I need some suggestions. I only have about 300mm of bellows draw and use minimal movements. I can just barely afford a a new Rodenstock S 150 or 210 but can someone clue me in about G-clarons? What exactly does "optimized" for 1:1 mean in these lens and would that be the way to get closer focusing? Or am I not getting something here? Lastly, can someone point me somewhere where I can find or make an extension lens board for the 300mm? Thanks.

-- bill zelinski (, July 11, 2000


The Schneider G-Claron, like other process lenses, is primarily designed for making images that are the same size as the subject, or 1:1 magnification. They are designed in a way that when used at 1:1 there is no distortion. You don't mention what sorts of subjects you are shooting but if they are relatively small, this would be a very good way to get pretty close and show texture. Although you may know this, at 1:1 magnification the subject is two focal lengths in front of the lens and the image plane is two focal lengths behind the lens, so with your camera you would be limited to the G-Claron 150.

-- Michael Klayman (, July 11, 2000.

The lens you are using is capable of giving you a 1:1 image and the texture you seek. It is a 5 in lens, put your infinity stops down and move the lens out to 10 inches, open the apeture all the way and get a sharp focus on whatever and then stop down to your taking apeture, you will have to compensate for bellows extension which will change your effective apeture, and correct that by changing apeture or the way I like to do it so I don't lose depth of focus is by time correction. Regards, Pat

-- pat krentz (, July 11, 2000.

My Crown Graphic has 323mm of bellows draw. This means you can focus a 162mm lens to 1:1 with this amount of bellows. The G-Clarons, Apo Ronars, Artars, and others of this ilk will be excellent performers at 1:1. However, none of them in +/- 162mm will cover 4x5 at infinity; kind of a large expense for the occasional close-up shooter.

If your Fuji 300 is a Copal #1 shutter, you can get adapters that will let you screw a standard Leica thread 39mm enlarging lens into the shutter. EL-Nikkor enlarging lenses from 135mm and shorter use the standard Leica thread. The longer ones use a flange and won't work in this situation. If your shutter is a #3, you can get SK Grimes to make you an adapter. He charged me approximately $50 plus shipping. You unscrew your lens elements from the shutter, and install the enlarging lens in the front.

A 135mm enlarging lens will get you down to 1:1 very nicely, and for pretty cheap. It will do double duty as a good enlarging lens for the 4x5 format. I use mine in this fashion.

I also need an extended lens board for my Crown Graphic, so I can use my 300 Apo Ronar, and calibrate my range finder. I need a board extension of 75mm or more. I'm sure it can be made by SK Grimes, etc, but the cost will probably be stiff.

-- Bruce Gavin (, July 11, 2000.

thanks everyone, I've decided to try to work with a close up lens on the 300 for now. It is in a copal #1 but the schnieder adpt ring I bought from calumet would not mount my enlarging lens (150mm apo Rodenstock geogern). Whose adpt ring is the right one that goes 39 mm to copal 1? Also, when using this set up do you leave the rear element from the 300 lens mounted, just adding the enlarger lens front element?

-- bill zelinski (, July 17, 2000.

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