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  1. #21

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    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






    Quote Originally Posted by kthalmann View Post
    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

  2. #22

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    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

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by epatsellis View Post
    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

  4. #24

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    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

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by sanking View Post
    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

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by sanking View Post
    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

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by epatsellis View Post
    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

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by epatsellis View Post
    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
    Erie, 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

  9. #29

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    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

  10. #30
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    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

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