Which 210mm?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by duparis00, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. duparis00

    duparis00 Member

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    Hey All,

    I'm looking to get a 210mm lens in the 200-250 range and it seems there's a few choices. Fuji, Nikon, Schneider and Calumet Caltar-II which I'm told could be made by either Rodenstock or Schneider. Of these brands which would you guys suggest or if there is not obvious front runner than they're all pretty good?
     
  2. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    I have a 210mm Symmar-S that's a damn good lens, and I'm not using it. I've used it for color and b/w shooting, no sweat.
    Yours for $225 shipped to you in Canada.

    I can supply pictures if you want to see it. PM me if you're interested
    cheers,
    Dan
     
  3. LJH

    LJH Member

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    A Fujinon CM-W 210mm is an amazing lens that is easily available in near mint condition for under $200. Absolutely brilliant lenses.
     
  4. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Subscriber

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    What's important to you? Size/weight... speed... contrast... sharpness... coverage... cost... new/used... modern shutter?
     
  5. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    As far as I know (from what I've read, although I've never seen anything definitive), the Caltar II N series are Rodenstock Apo Sironar N and Grandagon N, the Caltar S are Schneider Symmar-S. I just went a-googling and there are links to a definitive-looking page that no longer exists...
    One thing you may want to consider is if you'd ever move up to 5x7 or 8x10. All should cover 5x7, but there are only a few 210s that cover 8x10, not all of them do.
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The 210 f5.6 Symmar S is a superb lens I bought mine off one of the Moderators, Dan's price shipped is very fair.

    I also use a 203mm f7.7 Ektar, this is a very much smaller lens in a #0 Prontor SVS shutter and great for my light weight field kit alongside a 90mm Angulopn, it's also a superb lens for close up work.

    Ian
     
  7. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    203mm f/7.7 Ektars have been my preferred lenses for decades for the reasons given by Ian. Newer lenses may have multicoating and other technical advances that critical photographers might demand. However, good enough is good enough, and the Ektar has always been good enough for me.
     
  8. Trail Images

    Trail Images Subscriber

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    Schneider 210 f5.6 APO-Symmar. Might be my best LF lens I own, if not my most used.
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Jim, the coatings on my 203mm Ektar are superb, not far short of being Multi-coated, however the coatings did improve compared to the first ones in Epsilon shutters. The UK made versions are fully #0 compatible (Mount 370).

    Another small 210mm is the f6.3 Congo, this is a Tessar design & covers 7x5, I have a pair of cells waiting for a shutter. There's also the 210mm f6.3 Geronar a Multi-coated triplet, again light and good for backpacking, that went in the spare #1 shutter first, at f22 it's as good as the Symmar S.

    If you don't mind uncoated lenses the 21cm f4.5 Tessar is another good lens I've recently acquired one for £30 ($48) in a working Compoud #3, made in 1919.

    Ian
     
  10. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Subscriber

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    Since we're talking about small lightweight lenses, let's not forget about the 200mm Nikkor-M. It's a modern Tessar and multi-coated. They're a bit rare though.

    That stated... we still don't know what features are important to the OP.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2014
  11. duparis00

    duparis00 Member

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    Hi all,

    Thanks for the quick responses. I don't have a preference for size/weight, or coverage as I don't anticipate doing too many movements. I'd like a lens with a good contrast/sharpness. Seems like the Schneiders are getting the most votes so far, I'm definitely considering Dan's offer.
     
  12. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I have the Nikonand it is excellenteven wide open
     
  13. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Subscriber

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    203mm Ektar
    200mm Nikkor-M
    210mm G-Claron
    210mm Graphic-Kowa
    ... and a hundred others
     
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  15. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    Any of the modern lenses from Rodenstock, Nikon, Fuji, Schneider and Caltar in Copal shutters will have a similar look and sharpness. The latest Rodenstock Sironar S lenses are said by some to be the absolute sharpest but they are expensive. I like the look of the Ektars for portraits. They are sharp but not clinically sharp and not expensive. Of course others prefer Dagor's, Heliars and so on.

    Sometimes it's good to own a couple lenses at a favorite focal length for different looks.
     
  16. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

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    That's the nice thing about LF. You have the choice of 19th, 20th, or 21st Century optics!
     
  17. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    I've got a symmar s that's multicoated, great lens but pretty big using huge 77mm I think filters which are pricey. I think the calumet caltar rebadged lenses are also a really good deal too especially the later multicoated models. They just have a bit more contrast or pop to them vs when I shoot with any of my older uncoated vintage lenses. The symmar is really common and so are caltars so make sure you get a good model with a nice working shutter, etc. I would not worry about schneideritis as it hasn't affected my images in any perceivable way.
     
  18. duparis00

    duparis00 Member

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    Yeah I'm definitely leaning towards a schneider, the caltar-n seems very tempting but its average cost is $50-75 more than the schneider from what I've seen. Anyone have input in the japanese ones, topcon, nikkor, fuji? Seems they're quite commonly found for sale from japan and at a very attractive price too.
     
  19. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Subscriber

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    I think the Topcon lenses spec-ed to cover 4x5 are the "Super Topcor". The others only cover 6x9cm. But I can't remember...

    It's hard to go "wrong" with any modern lens spec-ed for 4x5.

    You have the same disease as I have... wanting million-dollar perfection on a ten-cent budget.
     
  20. Trond

    Trond Subscriber

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    I use a Nikkor-W 210mm, and it's an excellent lens. Since you mention Topcon lenses, I also have a Topcor 150mm lens (intended for 4x5) which also is very good. Both lenses bought from Japan (via eBay). I've only had very positive experiences when buying from Japan. Prices are are good, especially when it comes to Nikon and Fuji lenses, and shipping costs are very reasonable too.

    Trond
     
  21. jcc

    jcc Member

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    I see a lot of "excellent" rated 210mm (from brands that have already been stated above) that are going sub-$200 online lately.
     
  22. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    For some reason. I appear to have collected three of these lenses in recent months. Indeed, they are nice lenses, but for packing in to the woods, just too darned heavy.
     
  23. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    some good deals can be found on symmar 150/210 convertibles
    be aware that it needs a lot more than 210mm to focus at infinity ...
     
  24. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I have one and love it.
     
  25. duparis00

    duparis00 Member

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    LOL I think I might have regret-itis...where I fear the thought of buying something, then realizing I could have had better for same price and all it took was more research.
     
  26. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Subscriber

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    Buy something now that fits your budget and needs. If you look for a good deal then you won't lose money if you sell it later to fund another lens.