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Film - Digital

View Camera


Lenses for view cameras come in many shapes, sizes and focal lengths.  Some are designed to be used on view cameras of various sizes, while others are limited to only one format.

The accompanying chart shows the comparable lens focal lengths for different film sizes.



Camera Format 35mm 6x7cm 4"X5" 8"x10"
Wide Angle Lenses 125mm 92 degrees
20mm 47mm 65mm 81-84 degrees
24mm 58mm 75mm 165mm 74-79 degrees
28mm 65mm 90mm 180mm 65-68 degrees
105mm 210mm (8") 61-62 degrees
35mm 75mm 125mm 250mm (10") 53-55 degrees
Normal Lenses 135mm 48-51degrees
50mm 90mm 150mm(6") 300mm (12") 40-44degrees
100mm 180mm (7") 375mm (15") 37-38 degrees
Long or telephoto Lenses 135mm 210mm (8") 450mm (18") 31-35 degrees
85mm 150mm 240mm (9") 480mm (19") 24-29 degrees
105mm 210mm 300mm (12") 600mm (24") 19-22 degrees
375mm (15") 750nmm (30") 18 degrees
135mm 250mm 450mm 15 degrees



We already know light travels in a straight line and is bent by the lens to enable the image to be focused at the film plane.  View camera lenses are similar to all other lenses and the three principals that relate to  effect on depth-of-field also apply. 

Focal length
Subject distance
Aperture setting

It is worth remembering that the depth of field decreases with the increase in focal length and a standard lens for a 35mm camera (50mm) would have a far greater depth of field than the standard lens  for  a  4"X5" camera (150mm lens) or a 8"x10" camera (300mm). As the focus for the larger format becomes much more critical view camera lenses often stop down further to allow more depth of field. So where as a lens for a 35mm camera might have its smallest aperture at f16 or f22 many view camera lens stop down to f45 or f64. Some even stop down for f90 or f128. When exposing the film with such small apertures it will mean using much longer shutter speeds but it will give more depth of field when using these smaller apertures.


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