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sanking
05-12-2007, 07:28 AM
There were quite a number of 360mm Symmar Convertibles made, and the UlF market is not huge, so I expect people will be able to buy theses lenses for a reasonable prince for some time. However, I do see this lens as one of the more unique and desirable of the 355mm-360mm plasmat lenses in that it has the largest aperture (giving great illumination on the ground glass), and it is the only one other than the G-Claron that will cover up to 12X20 and 14X17.


In this range (14"/355mm - 360mm) there are really only three commonly available choices for 12X20 and 14X17: 360mm Symmar Convertible, 355mm G-Claron, and 14" Goerz Dagor. I have owned all three (including three different 14" Dagors) and for my money the 360mm Symmar Convertible is the most desirable. And that would be true for me even discarding the fact that it is also convertible.

But again, the unique quality of this lens for me is the big aperture, which makes composing and focusing oin the ground glass so much easier in some shooting conditions.

Sandy







Sanjay,

You really think so. They seem to be fairly common on the used market, and with all the other choices (and I didn't even mention all the barrel lenses out there that cover 7x17 or greater), I doubt if they'll shoot up much in price. The ULF market isn't exactly huge. So, I dubt if demand will suddenly rise by any significant amount. I've actually observed prices on the newer 360mm plasmats dropping steadily over the last year or two. I've seen more than one 360mm Fujinon-W and Nikkor-W go for less than $500 recently. With prices of less than $500 for a newer, multicoated lens, how much above $400 do you think the older single coated convertible Symmars will go? The older lens might cover more, but there aren't THAT many people shooting 12x20 (and most of them probably already have a G Claron).

Kerry

epatsellis
05-12-2007, 08:05 AM
Sandy or Kerry,
So, in your experience(s), how does the 360 Componon stack up to the Symmar version? I'm asking as I have one mounted on a 6x6 lensboard and a front mounted packard, and so far have been happy with the results. (even with a few snowflakes.)


erie

sanking
05-12-2007, 08:17 AM
Sandy or Kerry,
So, in your experience(s), how does the 360 Componon stack up to the Symmar version? I'm asking as I have one mounted on a 6x6 lensboard and a front mounted packard, and so far have been happy with the results. (even with a few snowflakes.)


erie

I have never compared a Componon to a Symmar. I owned a 240mm Componon at one time for enlarging 5X7 negatives but never used it in the field. However, based on actual use of other leneses intended for close focusing (Apo-Nikkors, Apo-Artars, etc.) my belief is that you would not see much difference in performance between a Symmar and Componon when both are stopped down to the apertures we normally use in LF and ULF photography.

Sandy

epatsellis
05-12-2007, 08:24 AM
Well, in any case, well worth the 60 or so dollars I spent for it a year ago, it was listed as unusable, a paperweight. Other than a tiny silouette of the rear snowflake in OOF specular highlights (easy to avoid for the most part) I've been quite satisfied with it so far. now if it would only cover 16x20, I'd be all set, but I don't have my hopes up, as I know I'm not often that lucky.

erie

ReallyBigCameras
05-12-2007, 02:57 PM
It suprised me that the 355mm f/8 convertible symmar in Copal 3 actually weighs about 100g more than the lens I have in Compound. I would have expected the opposite.

The Compound shutters are actually quite light for their size. They have much simpler inner workings than the other shutters. If you've ever had one apart, it's amazing how little there is inside compared to an Ilex, Copal, Compur, etc.

Kerry

ReallyBigCameras
05-12-2007, 03:10 PM
In this range (14"/355mm - 360mm) there are really only three commonly available choices for 12X20 and 14X17: 360mm Symmar Convertible, 355mm G-Claron, and 14" Goerz Dagor. I have owned all three (including three different 14" Dagors) and for my money the 360mm Symmar Convertible is the most desirable. And that would be true for me even discarding the fact that it is also convertible.

I also have a couple barrel lenses I want to test; a 360mm W.A. APO Nikkor and a 360mm APO Gerogon. The Nikkor is rather uncommon, but the APO Gerogon is plentiful and inexpensive. Both are f9 process plasmats similar to the G Claron. I don't know if they cover as much as the G Claron. Both should cover 7x17 with ease and are reported to cover 8x20 - which equals about 72 degrees of coverage. 75 degrees is all that's needed for a 360mm lens to hit the corners of 14x17. So, one or both might squeak by at small stops. I guess I'll find out when I get around to building the 14x17 conversion kit for my Franken-ARCA.

I've rigged up a Sinar shutter for the front end of my camera that makes it easy to use/test barrel mount lenses. The ability to easily use barrel lenses with an accurate shutter opens up a lot of possibilities for affordable ULF lenses - especially the longer process lenses that are both plentiful and relatively affordable.

Kerry

ReallyBigCameras
05-12-2007, 03:11 PM
Sandy or Kerry,
So, in your experience(s), how does the 360 Componon stack up to the Symmar version? I'm asking as I have one mounted on a 6x6 lensboard and a front mounted packard, and so far have been happy with the results. (even with a few snowflakes.)

Erie,

Sorry, I have no experience with the Componons as taking lenses.

Kerry

Dan Fromm
05-12-2007, 05:59 PM
Sandy or Kerry,
So, in your experience(s), how does the 360 Componon stack up to the Symmar version? I'm asking as I have one mounted on a 6x6 lensboard and a front mounted packard, and so far have been happy with the results. (even with a few snowflakes.)


erieErie, this is not directly relevant but I've shot a 105/5.6 Componon against a number of other 4" lenses for 2x3 at moderate distance, i.e., > 100f. I didn't include a Symmar in the trial, unfortunately my only Symmar is a 135. There was a 105/5.6 Boyer Zircon in the trial; Zircons are also 6/4 plasmats and were worthy competitors to Symmars. The best of my 4" lenses so far is a 4"/2 Taylor Hobson Anastigmat. The Zircon beat the Componon, also a 100/5.6 Componon-S.

Lens quality is somewhat important to me since I shoot such a small format. But I don't see why you worry about it unless you enlarge considerably. If I were in your situation I think I'd be happy with your 360 Componon. Go be happy.

Cheers,

Dan

epatsellis
05-12-2007, 07:00 PM
Dan,
that's pretty much the attitude I've adopted, even on 4x5, my componons look every bit as good as my symmars at the same enlargement ratio. Interestingly, one of my favorite lenses on my 4x5 B&J press is a 115 tessar, I know it shouldn't cover, but it does, with a fairly healthy amount of movements. I've long since gotten past the "what's the sharpest/contrastiest/best lens" nonsense, I shoot what I have, and after looking at what some of the truly great photographs were shot with, a photographer is only fooling himself if he thinks the only good lens is a XXL or apo this or that.


erie

Jim Fitzgerald
05-12-2007, 08:01 PM
Kerry, let me know what your results are with the 360mm APO Gerogon. I picked one up cheap for the 8x20. I will let you know how the coverage is if I get the camera done before your 14x17. By the way do you know if it will screw into a Copal 3? It looks like it would, but I don't have a Copal 3 to test.

Jim

ReallyBigCameras
05-12-2007, 09:40 PM
Jim,

I know of at least two diferent styles of the 360mm APO Gerogon. There may be more, but these are the two I'm familiar with.

The first type has the mounting flange near the rear of the lens (this makes it possible to use with a Sinar shutter on a flat board). It also has a slot with a red vinyl cover for inserting waterhouse stops (similar to some APO Ronar lenses I've seen). The ones I've seen of this type date from right around 1980, give or take a couple years. The threads of both the front and rear cell measure around 66 - 67mm, which is too big for a Copal No. 3 shutter.

The second type is newer and seems to be more common. It has the mounting flange mounted near the center of the lens and no slot for waterhouse stops. The samples I've seen of this type date from the mid to late 1980s, perhaps even early 1990s. The front cell mounting threads are 56mm and it screws directly into a Copal No. 3S shutter. The back cell has smaller threads (~46mm) and would reguire an adapter to fit in the same Copal No. 3S shutter as the front cell. I'm not sure how the spacing of the cells in the shutter would compare to that in the original barrel. In any case a custom adapter would need to be fabricated for the rear cell and the spacing could be checked at that time. So, no direct fit, but it should be a pretty easy job for the folks at S.K. Grimes. Who knows, if there was sufficent demand they could possibly offer the rear adapter as a standard item.

Kerry

Jim Fitzgerald
05-13-2007, 01:05 AM
Kerry, I just measured mine and it is 56mm on the front and 50mm on the rear. The mounting flange is in the center and there is no place for stops. It has nice click stops for F-9 to F-64. Looks like it is a newer one. Thanks for the info. One day I'll put it in a shutter. Right now I'll just use the cap I made for it. Going to be some long exposures with ULF!

Jim

ReallyBigCameras
05-13-2007, 01:48 AM
Jim,

You can determine the approximate date of manufacture for any Rodenstock lens using this table (http://www.thalmann.com/largeformat/agevs.htm) on my web site.

That should help you figure out about when your 360mm APO Gerogon was made. My "new" style APO Gerogon has a serial number in the 10,72x,xxx range - which means it was made during the late 1980s. Mine doesn't have click stops on the aperture.

Kerry

sanking
05-13-2007, 07:11 AM
Kerry,

My understanding is that the W. A. Apo Nikkor is similar in design to the W. A. G-Claron. If so, I believe both are based on the old topogon design, which had an angle of coverage of close to 90 degrees. In a 360mm lens that should cover 12X20 with a lot to spare.

Sandy





I also have a couple barrel lenses I want to test; a 360mm W.A. APO Nikkor and a 360mm APO Gerogon. The Nikkor is rather uncommon, but the APO Gerogon is plentiful and inexpensive. Both are f9 process plasmats similar to the G Claron.

Kerry

ReallyBigCameras
05-13-2007, 09:28 AM
Sandy,

The 360mm W.A. APO Nikkor is a 6/4 plasmat design. I believe you may be thinking of the 260mm Process Nikkor. It's a 4/4 design with very bulbous elements similar to a topogon/metrogon.

Kerry

Jim Fitzgerald
05-13-2007, 09:33 AM
Kerry. late 73'. Thanks for the link.

Jim

sanking
05-13-2007, 10:15 PM
Just one further note.

The last issue of MagnaChrom has a few of my carbon prints. The one called View of Cuenca was made with a 7X17" Korona camera, with a 360mm Symmar Convertible Symmar, using a single element for a focal length of 620mm. Performance on the corners is not as good as it might have been because due to limited bellows draw I was forced to use the single element on the front of the shutter. Best performance is usually obtained with convertible lenses by removing the front element and using the single element on the back of the shutter. In this case I stopped the lens aperture down a lot and the results are still pretty good on the corners.

If you have not seen the issue, go to www.magnachrom.com, download Issue 1.4 and look for images by Sandy King.


Sandy

Harrigan
05-14-2007, 04:25 PM
The second type is newer and seems to be more common. It has the mounting flange mounted near the center of the lens and no slot for waterhouse stops. The samples I've seen of this type date from the mid to late 1980s, perhaps even early 1990s. The front cell mounting threads are 56mm and it screws directly into a Copal No. 3S shutter.

While this version of the 360 gerogon does thread right into the front of a copal 3s shutter this does not properly space the inner lens to aperture distance. Modifyling the distance from the aperture to the glass can effect coverage. When the front lens is threaded into the 3s shutter you can not get the proper lens to aperture spacing without having modifications done to the shutter and or lens barrel. This makes mounting these lenses a bit costly but it can be done properly with machine work.

ReallyBigCameras
05-14-2007, 08:52 PM
While this version of the 360 gerogon does thread right into the front of a copal 3s shutter this does not properly space the inner lens to aperture distance. Modifyling the distance from the aperture to the glass can effect coverage. When the front lens is threaded into the 3s shutter you can not get the proper lens to aperture spacing without having modifications done to the shutter and or lens barrel. This makes mounting these lenses a bit costly but it can be done properly with machine work.

Joe,

It sounds like you've had this done. If so, who did the work for you and approximately how much did it cost? How were the results and what was the maximum coverage?

I intend to test mine with the Sinar shutter, once I get a proper lens board, but if I like it, it would be nice to know what my options are.

Thanks,
Kerry

Joerg Krusche
05-15-2007, 09:20 AM
Kerry,

I know of two versions of the Apo Gerogon's, the "CL"-version (the last one)with thread at the end and the one with thread close to the middle of the lens. Both can be easily mounted in front of the Sinar-Copal shutter, which I did. The 9/360 version of the Apo Gerogon does illuminate 11x14 easily and still does so if you shift by 3 inches, so it will cover 11x20 at least. With this displacement the iris can be seen as perfectly round at f=32 when you look through the cut edges of the groundglass. Performance, as far as can be seen is good. The 240mm and 300mm Apo Gerogons are comparable to the Fujinon's A, so the 360 may be a sleeper ... why spend the big money for a 10/360 Fujinon ?

My favourite is the Germinar-W 9/360, how else could it be ? ..

Joerg