Lens/filter size

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I have recently purchased a Crown Graphic minus lens. I would like to buy a late model 210 mm lens which would accept my B+W 52 mm filters. Can someone advise me if I am on the right track. Thanks ... Jack

-- Jack L. Frost (frost@mnsi.net), April 24, 2000


Nikkor M 200 (52), Fujinon A 240 (52), Schneider Xenar 210 (46), Schneider G-Claron 210 (49), Rodenstock Apo-Ronar 240 (49), to name a few.

-- Paul Schilliger (pschilliger@vtx.ch), April 25, 2000.

The Apo-Ronar 240mm would be the sharpest of the bunch, but the flange focus for both the Fuji and the Apo-Ronar are too long for the Crown Graphic to retain rangefinder focusing. The 240s are still usable, but only with ground glass focusing. Both are far better performers than the others mentioned above. Personally, I believe 240mm is too long a lens for general purpose use on a Graphic.

The Nikkor and Xenar are both Tessar types, and subject to image quality falloff beyond 60% of their image circle. This would be 126mm for the Nikkor 200, and 149mm for the Xenar 210.

The G-Claron MTF charts indicate a steady and dramatic drop off in image quality from the center outwards to the 60% point. This lens performs worse than the 210 Xenar to the 60% point. The G-Claron has better image performance at the extreme edge of the image circle, but is only half the MTF performance of the Xenar at the 60% point. Personally, I wouldn't consider the G-Claron because of this poor performance.

For 210mm, my first choice is an Apo-Sironar-S, followed by either a Sironar-N or Nikkor-W. Note that none of these 210 lenses can stay mounted when you fold up the Crown. They are too big and must be removed. However, both the Fuji and Apo-Ronar 240s can close up with the camera.

For the Crown Graphic, you might consider a Fuji 180-A f/9 which has the coverage, optical performance in the corners, 46mm filter size, and is small enough to close with the camera. Rangefinder cams were made for this focal length, and might be available from Fred Lustig in Reno, NV.

Filter sizes are a source of heartburn. Most of my lenses for both 4x5 and 6x7 use 67mm filters. I have my heart set on an Apo-Sironar- S in 210mm, but it comes in a 72mm filter. Damn. I could settle for the Sironar-N version with a 67mm filter size, but I would trade off the extra image quality afforded by the "S" lens.

If filter size and 210mm are the most important issues, the 210mm Xenar with a 46-52 step up ring will provide an MTF above 60% at 20 lp/mm in the corners, but with no movements. I expect the Nikon corner performance to be slightly less due to its smaller image circle, but it won't require any filter step-up rings.

-- Bruce Gavin (doc@compudox.com), June 18, 2000.

"The Nikkor (M 200)...(is) subject to image quality falloff beyond 60% of its image circle..." I have been using a Nikkor M 200mm for two years and would not hesitate to recommend it : small, light, cheap and...very sharp. I can't see (with my eyes) any quality difference, even in the corners, compared to my Apo Sironar S 150mm, at least for what I am doing (landscape, vegetation...) and the apertures I am using (mostly f 22 to f 32). It is my favourite lens for close ups.

-- Jean-Marie Solichon (jardin-exotique@monte-carlo.mc), June 19, 2000.

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