240 Lens Questions

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by dc1215, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. dc1215

    dc1215 Member

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    So this summer I'm going to start making color images with my 8x10. I'm looking to get rid of my 210 and my 300 lenses and just stick with a 240 for all of my work. I've looked up a bunch of info on them, but for obvious reason a lot of the stuff that I can find is basically pertaining to b/w. I'm wondering if anybody has any color specific lens experiences that they'd be willing to share. I'll be printing pretty large (at least 30x40) so sharpness is obviously going to be a concern, but I think the coating of the lens is going to be more of the question (I'm assuming anything with a modern enough coating to make nice color negs is also going to be moderately sharp). Any info that people can give would be appreciated. Thanks so much.

    -Dan
     
  2. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    30x40 from 8x10" is only a 4x enlargement.

    That should be quite feasible with any 240mm lens made in the past century, whether it's coated or not.

    Most of my colour photos were shot with single- or uncoated lenses ranging from a 8 1/4" WA Rectilinear (on 4x5") to a 210mm f:6.1 Xenar (on 5x7").
     
  3. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    I use a 240mm Schneider Symmar-S. It is multi-coated and I got it to replace an old Goerz Dagor Series III 9 1/2 inch lens. I never tried color with the Dagor, but I wanted to have a more reliable and accurate shutter than the Ilex shutter I had for color film. The Symmar-S is bigger and heavier, but it works well and fits on my Crown Graphic, too.
     
  4. gerryyaum

    gerryyaum Subscriber

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    Have been starting to experiment with a Fujinon W 250mm f6.7 lens, after having it recommended to me by Jock Sturges (all his early work was shot with this lens, you can see samples online, not sure if he shot color with this lens). You might want to test this lens with your 8x10 like I am doing.
     
  5. photobum

    photobum Member

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    After testing a few 240-250 lenses the sharpest I had was a Doctor Germinar 240. (Thanks Kerry) Coverage at 8x10 is limited but it beats my Schneider Symmar. Because it's so sharp I use it for 4x5. It is really overkill at 8x10.

    About what Ole says, that is not much enlargement. I have a 10" Brass barrel Rapid from before 1904. This baby tested out near the Symmar. 4x enlargement, no problem. I would use it for 8x10 anyday. It even beat out a 300 Fuji tele and a 270 Tele Arton. You never know until you test.
     
  6. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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    I use a 240mm Nikkor which I hope will be good for colour photography on 8x10.
     
  7. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Exactly, coating has nothing to do with a lens ability to render good color photos. Coating only affects the lens resistance to flare and in some cases can increase the contrast.

    Color photography started long before lenses were coated.
     
  8. ReallyBigCameras

    ReallyBigCameras Advertiser Advertiser

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    As someone who has shot a lot of color large format film with a large variety of lenses, I'm going to disagree with the premise that coatings have nothing to do with a lens' ability to render good color photos.

    Yes, coatings reduce flare and increase contrast - which is exactly why they are important when shooting with color film. If a lens is flare prone and low in contrast it will rob color images of saturation and make the colors look flat and lifeless. In black and white, development time and temperature can be altered to increase (or decrease) contrast. With color film, if you start deviating from the manufacturer's recommended development times and temperatures, you will get unwanted color shifts

    Of course, flare is also a function of lens design. An uncoated lens with few air spaces (such as an uncoated Goerz Dagor) will still have relatively high contrast. However, an uncoated lens with multiple air spaces will be flare prone and low in contrast. Shading the lens helps, but for rich saturated colors (if that's your goal), I recommend at least single coated lens. A multicoated lens will be even more immune to flare and render the most saturated colors.

    Used previous generation mulicoated lenses can be had at very reasonable prices these days. So, if your goal is to shoot color, even if you are on a limited budget, I see no reason not to get a multicoated (or at the very least, single coated) lens.

    Also, many lenses made before 1940 were not color corrected. Using such lenses with color film can result in color fringing - which can easily show up in 4x enlagements. Again, since plenty of post WWII coated, color corrected lenses are available at very reasonable prices, I see no reason to use something older, uncoated and uncorrected for this particular application.

    Kerry Thalmann
    Really Big Cameras
     
  9. ReallyBigCameras

    ReallyBigCameras Advertiser Advertiser

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    In addition to the 250mm f6.7 Fujinon W and 240mm f9 Germinar-W already mentioned (both excellent lenses), I also highly recommend the 240mm APO Sironar-S. This lens will offer truly outstanding performance, and has enough coverage for most 8x10 applications.

    This is an expensive lens - even used, but you didn't mention a budget range. Plus, since you are replacing both a 210mm and 300mm lens, you could use the proceeds from selling those lenses to finance the purchase of used 240mm APO Sironar-S.

    Kerry Thalmann
    Really Big Cameras
     
  10. dc1215

    dc1215 Member

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    Kerry, thank you so much for your response, a lot of the things that you said are what I had expected, but I didn't feel confident enough to say them as if they were fact. I will more than likely end up making digital c-prints with these negs, so the contrast and saturation issues will be somewhat correctable, but I prefer to get it right the first time and not have to rely on photoshop. Plus, a set of 8x10 color contacts might be a really nice thing to make at some point, and in that case I have to have it right in the neg, more or less.

    I had wondered about the Sironar-S in this focal length. I use the 135 version of it on my 4x5 and it is truly an incredible lens. I'm not sure how much the weight increases at 240, but if it is not a ridiculous amount I would really love to try and track down a used one. My budget won't be outrageously high, but my plan was definitely to use the money from the sold lenses plus a bit more to purchase the new one. If it turns out I can't afford one, does anyone have any experience with the Sironar-N? I would obviously lose a bit of coverage and sharpness, but just to throw another option out there.

    Thanks a lot to everyone for the suggestions. I will look in to all of them, and if anyone has any more I would appreciate them. It will be another month or so until I actually plan on purchasing anything, so this is just research time.

    -Dan
     
  11. RJS

    RJS Member

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    Will the Fujinon A f9.0 cover 8X10 adequately for you? If so it is extremely sharp and much lighter and less expensive than Symmar etc? Also, I think the coating from different manufacturers gives a very slightly different color cast. I have always understood it was good to stay with one brand if matching color from one photograph to the next is a requirement. This is being pretty picky but for some uses could be a problem.
     
  12. ReallyBigCameras

    ReallyBigCameras Advertiser Advertiser

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    The 240mm f9 Fujinon A is a great lens that I recommend for 4x5 or 5x7 use, but I don't think the coverage is sufficient for general purpose 8x10 use.

    My experience with the Fujinon A series is that they are sharp up to their 70 degree rated coverage, but go soft REALLY fast after that. Their circles of illumination exceed the rated 70 degrees by quite a bit (the 180mm comes real close to illuminating an 8x10 negative all the way to the corners), but unlike some other lenses of similar design (G Claron, Germinar-W), they go real soft real fast beyond the rated image circle.

    For this reason, I do not recommend the 240mm f9 Fujinon A for 8x10 use. If weight is a concern, the 240mm f9 Germinar-W is a much better choice. If weight isn't a concern, as previously mentioned, the 240mm APO Sironar-S would be my first choice, but any of the multicoated 240mm f5.6 plasmats made in the last 30 years would be better than the 240mm Fujinon A.

    Kerry Thalmann
    Really Big Cameras
     
  13. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    I use the Fuji 240 A F9 for my 8x10 and coverage is tight. With a little rise I'm out of coverage real quick. It is a great lens though. Light and very sharp. I took this image in Yosemite with the lens stopped down to f-90. This upload is kind of small but you should see the print! This is a carbon transfer print.

    Jim
     

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  14. Steve Goldstein

    Steve Goldstein Subscriber

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    Size and weight might be important to you. Both 240mm Sironars are in Copal 3 shutters. The Sironar-N is alleged to weigh 780 grams and uses 77mm filters, while the Sironar-S is 980 grams and takes 86mm filters. The S is still available new, the N is not.

    Both the Fujinon and Germinar-W fit Copal 1 shutters. The 250mm f/6.7 Fujinon (don't confuse it with the newer f/6.3, which has less coverage) weighs 617 grams and takes 67mm filters. The 240/9 Germinar-W weighs 380 grams and takes 49mm filters.

    The weights of the Sironars are taken from Rodenstock specs I found here:

    http://www.prograf.ru/rodenstock/largeformat_en.html#table1

    The weights of the Fujinon and Germinar are actuals I've measured.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2009
  15. dc1215

    dc1215 Member

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    Steve, thank you so much for the info. I really appreciate it. Weight isn't a huge factor, but it is definitely something that I'm considering. I'm impressed with how light that Germinar is, its definitely something that I'm going to have to think about.
     
  16. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Subscriber

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    I have the 240 Apo-Sironar-S. I bought it after testing the 240 Apo-Sironar-N. Optically the N is a fine lens, but what I learned from trying it is that when I'm using a wide lens on a squarish format like 8x10, I really do need that extra room for movement, especially front rise.

    I have the 240 Germinar-W as well, but I use it as a compact normal for whole plate.

    Yes, the the 240 S is a big and heavy lens. But if 240 is going to be your workhorse, you just need to decide what will be more frustrating for you, lugging the extra bulk and weight, or - depending on your shooting style - continually running out of coverage. That will tell you which way to go.
     
  17. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Many lenses have come and gone from my lens cabinet in this range. Two standouts from the very excellent crowd are the 240mm Germinar W and the 270mm f9 Computar. These for me at least stand head and shoulders above the rest.
     
  18. Trevor Crone

    Trevor Crone Member

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    I too use the 240 Apo-Sironar S on the 8x10 format. It may be a big lens but its a super performer and offers plenty of movement in this format which I find essential as I use a lot of front rise, fall and tilt (my camera doesn't have back movements).
     
  19. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Another vote for the 240 Germinar. IF you can find one... I know I wouldn't part with mine for much less than a new car. It covers my 5x12 (which has a slightly longer diagonal than 8x10) and anything else smaller than that that I use.
     
  20. ronlamarsh

    ronlamarsh Member

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    240mm lens

    I haven't seen any votes for the 240mm f9 G-Claron? Mine is great!
     
  21. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    I'm not sure I'd say great. I use it with 4X5 and feel it could be sharper but it may just be operator error. I'm very happy with it and wouldn't trade until I've tried it in 8X10.
     
  22. ReallyBigCameras

    ReallyBigCameras Advertiser Advertiser

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    Jim,

    Very nice image. I did not mean to imply that the 240mm Fujinon A was not usable on 8x10. It is. However, the coverage is quite tight. It's certainly a nice lens to have in the bag for an occasional 8x10 shot. However, the original poster was asking about recommendations for a 240mm as his ONLY 8x10 lens. That is the reason I recommended the 240mm APO Sironar-S with it's larger usable image circle.

    And while it's not a compact, ultralight lens, the 240mm APO Sironar-S isn't that big and heavy ( a little over 2 lbs. with an 86mm front filter size) for an 8x10 lens - especially since the OP would be carrying only this one lens.

    Kerry Thalmann
    Really Big Cameras
     
  23. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Kerry, i never took your comment that way at all. You are right about the coverage. It is easy to loose the corners very quickly. It is my only wide for the 8x10 at the moment. Thanks for the nice comment on the image.

    Jim