My favorite 35mm portrait lens is my Nikon 85mm 1.4, and I was looking for a 4×5 portrait lens that resembled that field of view. I have used my Nikkor-W 210mm F5.6 extensively as a portrait lens on my Toyo View VX-125, but to get a head and shoulders shot, I have to put the lens uncomfortably close to my subject’s face. So I wall looking for a slightly longer lens I could use as a portrait lens.
I could have gotten a telephoto lens, which would minimize my bellows draw on my 4×5, but instead I decided to get a standard lens and since I am a big fan of Nikon glass, I purchased a Nikkor-W 300mm F5.6. The max length on my Toyo View VX-125 is 320mm. I was hoping that was enough to get the close-up portrait I was wanting.
Alas, at 320mm I can only focus to about 9 feet. This is what I used to take this picture of my wife Kay. Obviously this doesn’t give me a head and shoulders portrait shot, so I have to look for a way to extend the rail of my VX-125.