G Claron vs. a "normal" telephotos

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I'm thinking of getting a 270/300mm lense for 4x5. I was ready to settle on the G Claron but then did some checking on the Schneider web page. They say that the G Clarons are optimized for 1:1 reproduction (macro - close up work) but can be use for infinity focus if stopped down to F22+.

Does this mean the lense really doens't perform well at infinity focus as far as actually focusing sharply on a distant object and relys mainly on small aperature (F22+) depth of field to achieve sharpness? Intending to do only infinty focus work (no macro/table top) and being a stickler for sharpness, would I be better off getting a "regular" 270/300 lens, like the Nikon M or one of the Rodnestock/Scheider F5.6 lenses?

THX in advance,


-- todd tiffan (newhope@4dv.net), February 03, 2000


See WWW.WISNER.COM for numerous discussions of g-clarons, their light weight and their use at infinity. He's a proponent of these lenses. Check the Q&A board.

-- neil poulsen (neil.fg@worldnet.att.net), February 03, 2000.

The G-Clarons have a good reputation for performing at infinity. Here is my comparison of the 305 mm G-Claron with the 300 mm Nikkor-M:

The similiarities: both are in Copal 1, both are f9, both do well at infinity, both have plenty of coverage for 4x5 (the 305 mm G-Claron has greater coverage and might be a better choice for 8x10). The differences: the Nikkor-M is designed for infinity and multicoated. The G-Claron is not. The Nikkor-M is cheaper (based on prices on B&H web site).

For distant subjects and 4x5, each comparison is either a tie or the Nikkor-M is better. The biggest problem with Nikon large-format lenses seems to be spotty availability.

The f5.6 offerings have lots of coverage (might make a difference for 8x10), but weigh and cost a lot more. In this focal length for 4x5, I don't find ground glass brightness to be a problem at f9.

-- Michael Briggs (MichaelBriggs@earthlink.net), February 03, 2000.

Something else to consider, aside from purely optical considerations.

If you will be using this lens outdoors a lot, the extra "sail area" of 300mm of bellows is considerable, and quite a light breeze will shake even the sturdiest setup enough to ruin sharpness. A stronger wind can even push the bellows into the light path.

There are long lenses available for large format which are of telephoto design, (Tele-Arton, Nikkor-T, etc.) which means that the bellows extension is much shorter than their focal length, a real advantage for outdoor work.

-- Pete Andrews (p.l.andrews@bham.ac.uk), February 03, 2000.

Todd, If you have not already done so, you may want to review Thalman's, Sparks' and Herman's comments in the equipment review section of this LF site. See the following sections: A selection of modern lenses, Specific lenses: long for 4x5, and More thoughts on selecting a long lens for 4x5. Good luck, Sergio.

-- Sergio Ortega (s.ortega@worldnet.att.net), February 03, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ