Which 210 view lens

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I have narrowed my selection of a 210mm large format lens down (to use on 4X5 field camera)to either an older Schneider Symmar 210 f5.6 convertible or a little more modern Schneider Xenar 210 f6.1. Both lens are in excellent++ condition and can be purchased for around $300 each. If I purchased the 210 convertible, I would only used it as a 210 and not the longer focal length. I am leaning toward the 210 Symmar convertible due to the slightly increased coverage but the small size of the 210 Xenar is real attractive. Input and advice from other view camera photographers will be appreciated.

-- Ron Lawrence (leica@interpath.com), July 06, 1999


I have a Schneider 210/370 lens and would recommend it over the Xenar without question. Faster, bigger image circle, and just a better lens. And it's not all that big either.

At 370 this lens is kind of a dog, but at 210 it performs well. Since it isn't multicoated I'm very careful about flare. A lens shade of some kind - I use a Flarebuster - is an absolute must.

So to sum up, would I rather have a APO-Symmar? You bet! But if you, to borrow a cliche from sports, try to stay within the limitations of the lens, it will make you some excellent images.

-- David Grandy (dgrandy@accesscable.net), July 06, 1999.


Have never used the Xenar. Have used the convertible. Its pretty nice for the money. Performs quite adequately at 210. Use at 370 needs some care. Use a yellow filter and check for focus shift when you stop down. The image on the GG is nice and bright. Do you backpack a lot in which case, is the weight a really big issue? Can you shoot a couple of images with both the lenses and see which one you like more? I would imagine that the condition of the lens should probably be the driving criterion for choice. All else being equal (as if?), I would say having the 370 length (asuuming you have th ebellows for it) might tip the scales in favor of the convertible. Hope this helps. DJ

-- N Dhananjay (ndhanu@umich.edu), July 06, 1999.

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