Is a 150 lens right for me : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hi, I will be shooting table top, and out doors, basically anything I think will make a good picture. I was going to get a 150mm. This is what we used in school, for basic work, table top, and 1:1. It was fine, but of course, this is all I know. A few people have commented that I will like a 210 better, especially for table top, but the lens I purchase will be for "everything". If anyone could give me their opinion on this please. I'm shooting 4x5. I have the chance to purchase a 210mm Schneider, "Symar", I'm familiar with the "APO", and the "HM", because of the descriptions in the B&H cataloque. Can anyone enlighten me on this lens? Its selling for $499.00.

-- Raven (, September 23, 1999


Response to lens question

raven - a 150 is a very good all around lens, and can certainly handle the task you outlined. if you plan to shoot any landscapes, or architecture, this focal length will be a bit too long, so you might consider a 135mm - my favorite mid-focal length lens that will do almost anything. many people use a 210 as a "normal" lens, but that is what i use for my "telephoto" in my architecture work. 210mm is an excellent choice if close-ups and still-lifes are your goal. the Symmar is several years old now. it was replaced in the early 80s (?) by the Symmar S, and then replaced again by the current APO Symmar. a 210/5.6 symmar s in near mint condition might be worth $500, though you might find a better deal from an individual than from a retailer.

-- jnorman (, September 23, 1999.

Response to lens question

Find both a 150 and a 210 and compare them on images setups you will be using them for. Or cut out a card with a square 4x5 hole in it and walk around and visualize what you will be shooting. I prefer the 150 to my 210 for most everything I shoot because I can always crop in the darkroom but I can't always backup any further. Just some thoughts. james

-- James (, September 24, 1999.

Response to lens question

One consideration you will have is the bellows extension of your camera. If you have lots then a 210 would work fine. If however you are limited by a short bellows then a 150 might be a better choice.

-- David Grandy (, September 24, 1999.

Response to lens question

Raven, The Symmar is an previous version of the APO Symmar. It is a superb lens, it just won't cover as large a circle (still plenty for lots of rise/fall/tilts/shifts). It is not mullticoated. It has the great advantage of being a convertible lens, so you can use the rear element of a 150mm lens at 260mm (or 135/240). This has to be stopped way down, but since you will be on a tripod for table-top work, it will work out fine. A 210 is too long for general use. You already have experience with the 150--get it.

-- Bill Mitchell (, September 24, 1999.

Response to lens question

Frankly I'd split the differnceand buy a 180mm instead of a 150mm or a 210mm lens. A little more compression and focal length than the 150mm and needs less bellows & extention than a 210mm.

-- Ellis Vener (, September 27, 1999.

Response to lens question

Hello, Raven: I would buy a 210 f9 G-Claron. Superb for 1:1 up to infinity. I did not like my 150 Apo-Symmar for extreme close up. Image circle of the Clarons has an angle of almost 80 degrees.

-- Tito Sobrinho (, September 27, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ