210mm Lens for 4x10 or 5x12

Discussion in 'Ultra Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Mike1234, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    I'm in a bit of a quandry regarding which 210mm lens to buy for my soon-to-be-purchased pano cam. I'm not yet certain whether to buy a modern 4x10 or a vintage 5x12. The reason for the age difference between formats is because I can't afford a modern 5x12 although I'd really like to shoot that format and I can afford a modern (used) 4x10.

    I just bought a very nice 210mm G-Claron and have inquired about a nice Apo Sironar-N. I'm also considering a Apo Symmar (non-L). While size/weight are issues to consider because I don't get around as well as I once did the most important factor is sharpness to the corners with just a little wiggle room. I'll be shooting landscapes mostly.

    Given the above crieria I think the G-Claron is the obvious choice for 4x10. My concern is that it won't quite do the job on 5x12 whereas the other two will. The Rodenstock is appealing due to it's greater coverage than the G-Claron but it's smaller/lighter than the Apo Symmar. However, the Apo Symmar is... well is a legendary performer... and it's a brand match to all lenses shorter than 300mm.

    I know I'm picking nits but I'd sort of like to keep the same brand names and introducing an odd brand (Rodenstock) in the middle just bothers me... I know I'm a spoiled idiot but I can't help that. However, the cost vs. weight/size of the Apo Sironar-N is a true winner against an Apo Symmar.

    Someboby attempt to talk some sense into this weak-minded fool, PLEASE!! :sad:

    Lens list:
    72mm SA XL (5x10 or smaller)
    110mm SS XL
    150mm SS XL
    210mm G-Claron?? or Apo Sironar-N?? or Apo Symmar??
    300mm Fujinon-C
    450mm Fujinon-C
    600mm Fujinon-C
     
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  2. Uhner

    Uhner Member

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    I would try the G-Claron and take it from there. For what it’s worth, I generally prefer the results I get from my 210mm Dagor type G-Claron over a friends 210mm Sinaron-S (Sironar-N).
     
  3. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    Thank you, Uhner!! What is it you prefer about you're G-Claron vs. the Sironar-N?
     
  4. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    It's not really an answer to your question, Mike, but I like the 150 Nikkor SW on 4x10 very much, and it should cover 5x12 well also.

    Also, I have high regard for the Shen 4x10. The nice thing about it is that I have 5x7 and custom 5x8 backs for it. 5x8 is becoming my favourite format now, it's so easy to cut down 8x10 and shen will make up the 5x8 back for ~$300. (I got my 5x8 film holders from chamonix) In fact I am also debating asking Shen for a 5x10 back, a cursory investigation suggests to me that with the 150 it may work well on this camera with a 5x10 back and bag bellows. Just some extra stray thoughts....

    Happy shopping!
     
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  5. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    Thank you for sharing, Keith. I actually just returned a 150mm Nikkor-SW due to some cleaning marks not noticed by the seller. After holding it in in my hands I decided to buy a SS XL. The Nikkor is a beautiful lens but I don't get around as well as I once did and sometimes my hands aren't as steady as they should be so the size/weight are an issue for me. If not for this I would have bought another Nikkor-SW. It's definitely an impressive optic with a near cult following regarding coverage and image quality. The 150 SS XL is also a brother to the 110 SS XL and cousin to the other Schneiders in the group. The Fujinons are very welcome in-laws. :smile:
     
  6. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    So is the SS XL substantially smaller? The Nikkor is quite a beast of a lens! Getting it on my shen always involves removing the bellows or the GG back.... then again it pretty much stays on there permanently!
     
  7. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    Keith, it's still at the PO so I haven't seen it yet but yes, it's about 2/3 the size and weight. The rear element is smaller also.
     
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  8. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Keith does your 4x10 have Linhof boards or the Sinar-Linhof adapter? With bigger lenses on my 8x10 it's easier to mount the lenses on a Sinar board.
     
  9. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Linhof boards. But the rear element doesn't fit through the frame of the standard. Well actually it does fit... but just barely at a very odd angle and with some risky prying and so I decided that it's not a good practice. However, habitually unscrewing the rear element is also not good. Maybe I will just purchase an extra standard from Shen.
     
  10. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    Regarding the 210 G-Claron on 5x12

    I have used the 210 G-Claron on 5x12, but you run out of coverage pretty fast if you do a lot of movements. I have since moved my 210 mm shooting to a 210 Kowa-Graphic. I still have my 210 G-Claron however.
     
  11. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    if my back of the envelope arithmetic is correct, the nominal diagonal of 4x10 and 5x12 are as follows:

    4x10: 10.8 inches ( 274 mm )
    5x12: 13.0 inches ( 330 mm )

    So, none of the 210mm plasmats will cover the 5x12 format well. Most of them have image circles around 300mm - well shy of the 330mm nominal diagonal of 5x12.
     
  12. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    I don't need a lot of movements since this is primarily for landscape photography. I'll need some rise for shooting the occasional historic building or to prevent convergence of tree tops. Otherwise rear swing/tilt will do fine. I just don't want to image to fall apart on the corners. I'm looking for lenses that are more capable of rendering "technically correct" images rather than the "artistic approach". I hope that makes sense.
     
  13. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    Hi Brad...

    Yes, that's about right on diagonal measurements. I'm counting on each lens having more decent quality covering power than their specs indicate. I'm fairly certain the Apo Symmar and Apo Sironar-N can cover 5x12 nicely but the G-Claron is a different animal. I've been reading that this series has far more coverage at reasonable quality into the corners than the specs show. That said, I'm sure even the little G-Claron will cover 4x10 with no problems.

    I can't afford a 210mm SS XL and I don't want to carry around or handle larger lenses than I really need. Older 200-ish FL lenses, i.e. 210mm SA, are just too big and heavy. I would fiddle around and drop it.

    If the lenses I've listed just can't do the job properly that's another thing... I'll move up. Again though, I really don't need much wiggle room.
     
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  15. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Subscriber

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    The 210mm Apo-Sironar (W) is a very nice match to 5x12, with some room for movement - I've used that combination. The 210mm Super-Symmar HM should also work well, though it's bigger and heavier than the Rodenstock W. Both lenses are rated as covering 80 degrees, with image circles of roughly 350mm at f/22.
     
  16. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    You could of course just shoot 4x10 and relish the ample coverage of most 8x10 lenses :wink:
     
  17. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    ah, yes. but those are not the garden variety 210mm Plasmats. I'm thinking here of the pedestrian Sironar-N, Sironar-S, APO Symmar, Symmar-S, Nikkor-W, etc...
     
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  18. clay nz

    clay nz Member

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    Keith

    that's interesting to hear that. I bought my Shen Hao 5x12 not long after they first came out, very nice camera. I asked if they could make a 4x10 reducing back as well, they said no. So has the situation changed?

    Are you a Chinese speaker? I always found it difficult to deal with them because of the language barrier. I'd get replies back that made no sense.

    Clayton
     
  19. clay nz

    clay nz Member

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    Mike

    do you intend to enlarge much? If you do I think you'd find the g claron disappointing. I find they're acceptable for contact prints but enlargements show up their short comings.

    Clayton
     
  20. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    Please keep the comments coming. I'm paying close attention.
     
  21. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    Clayton... yes I want to have the option of making HUGE prints. In fact, I would like the option of making 4x8 or 4x10 foot prints with as much detail as is possible. That's not to say I'll make prints that large but I don't want to be limited by the lens(es). I'm not going to make contact prints.
     
  22. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I will dig out my emails and forward my contact to you. Indeed there was a language barrier, but it wasn't too bad. I don't see why they wouldn't make the back up for you. But you could very easily buy the standard 4x10 back and slap it on a nice piece of wood...
     
  23. clay nz

    clay nz Member

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    Thanks Keith, will be helpful.

    I suspect now I know they will make custom pieces there was probably some miscommunication going on.

    Clayton
     
  24. clay nz

    clay nz Member

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    Ok Mike, that makes all the difference. A lot of the time LF guys are talking about acceptable sharpness for contact prints, especially 8x10 and larger formats. I read lots of positive forum info about g claron coverage and sharpness, all the way up to 80 degrees cover. When I tried some of these lenses I was disappointed, over 65 degrees sharpness noticeably falls off. That's why Schneider lists the image circles they do but everyone says they can get lots more out of them. Sure you can but edge sharpness suffers when you enlarge.

    I do modest enlargements of 5x12, usually in the 3- 5x range and the 210 g claron isn't good enough for me.

    Clayton
     
  25. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    Clayton... So the G-Claron you had failed to hold respectable resolution on 15x36 inch prints from 5x12 negs? That's not what I'm looking for. What about the 210mm Apo Symmar? It's advertised coverage is 305mm which is only 20mm shy of the diagonal of 5x12 film. I'm hoping I can get an inch of rise with little or no noticible lower corner degradation on 5x12. Is that a pipe dream? If so then 4x10 is looking increasingly more appealing.
     
  26. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Clayton, here is the exchange I had by email with Zhang Fu Ming (zhangfmli@vip.sina.com) at Shen. N.b. payment was made by wire, they couldn't accept credit cards or paypal. There was a delay of a few weeks because my bank couldn't figure out how to write the name of the Chinese bank or the recipient's name.... even though I had the swift code etc! So, despite modern banking technology, it all came down to how to write the name of the bank or the company on some form there in China, so there was some nutty delay. But it worked out in the end, it just took some patience. Anyway the person at Shen was wonderful, see below.

    As you see, my initial email (in bold) was a very simple inquiry.

    ~~~

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