Wider angles and a variety of sensors

End of last year we dedicated a blog entry to the new Actar-19 lens. A superb lens, with the distinction of an exceptionally large usable image circle given the short focal length. Crucial, when you’re working with a large sensor and still need to apply a substantial amount of shift, rise and fall.

We’re happy to announce another wide angle lens: The Actar-15. Its image circle is slightly smaller than the 19’s. Still large enough to make it a good choice when a 24×36 or 33x44mm sensor camera is used as a digital back behind one of our view cameras.

So now there’s a choice between 15 and 19mm lenses. The 15 being the more affordable one, the 19 still having a few strengths over it. Let’s first have a look what the difference in focal length does when used on various sensor sizes. We need some boring pictures to compare side-by-side.

Please note, that 4mm of rise was applied. The picture taken with the IQ4 back shows, that we’re exceeding the Actar-15’s image circle when working with this large sensor.

GFX-50r. For use with the “smaller medium format sensor” of the Fujif GFX and Hasselblad X1D cameras, the 15 is fine. Some shading at the left could have helped, though.
Actus with GFX-50r and Actar-15. Sometimes it’s fun to shoot straight into the sun.

The Actar-15 gives an extreme angle of view when used with a 33×44 sensor and even at a 24×36 sensor it won’t be everyone’s taste. When you’re working with an APS-C camera though (which we didn’t include in this comparison), it becomes much more of a bread-and-butter wide angle. One that performs extremely well and enables a massive amount of rise, fall and shift.

Actus-GFX with Fuji GFX-50r and Actar-19. Here 12mm of rise was applied. The darkened upper corners show that we’re nearly exceeding the image circle. This is more than the Actar-15 can offer.

The Actar-19 combined with a GFX-100

Links to download some RAW files:



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