Best 210mm lens for table top and landscape : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I'm thinking of buying a 210mm lens for table-top work that will double as a landscape lens when stopped down. I would be most grateful to hear opinions of the best choice. I currently have a 75mm Sinaron f4.5, Super Angulon XL 90mm,, Nikkor W 150mm and Nikkor M 300mm. Am I right in assuming that 210 is the next logical choice. I currently use the 150 for most table top work, but would like to have a lens designed specifically for close work ( with the bonus of being able to stop it down and use it for lanscapes etc.) Many thanks in advance

-- Yaakov Asher Sinclair (, July 09, 2000


210mm G-claron.

-- William Marderness (, July 09, 2000.

For 1:5 to infinity the Rodenstock Apo Sironar S

-- Bob Salomon (, July 09, 2000.

I disagree with choosing the G-Claron. The MTF charts indicate rapid image deterioration at 60% of the image circle. Contrast falls below 30% at working aperture (f/22) and is MUCH worse at larger apertures. The G-Claron would be dead last behind the Sironars, Symmars, or Nikkors in my opinion.

The MTF charts for the Apo Sironar-S lenses indicate significantly superior performance, at both wider apertures and f/22.

If you can find one, a Red Dot Artar in 210mm is 4/4 (process) configured lens I am aware of in this focal length. The RD Artar in shutter is optimized for 1:20 to infinity. In barrel it is optimized for 1:1 reproduction. Stopped down to f/22, process lenses perform very well at infinity. The down side to the RD Artar is the significantly reduced coverage.

If you've got the cash, go for the Apo Sironar-S. I did, and am completely satisfied with mine. From there, the Nikkors and Schneiders in plasmat (6/4) configuration will also perform very well.

-- Bruce Gavin (, July 09, 2000.

With a 210mm lens used on table top you're gonna be stopped down so far that it doesn't make any difference if you use a red dot Repro Artar or a Coke bottle. Call back when you find something that none of your present four great lenses can't do. Don't waste the money unless you just covet another expensive shiny piece of eqipment to play with.

-- Bill Mitchell (, July 09, 2000.

I strongly disagree with Bill about the 210mm lens for tabletop. If you are using movements for perspective control this lens is about as good as you will get. The 150 is a bit short and the 300 is far too long. I echo Bobs advice. FWIW (my 2cents worth)!


-- fred (, July 09, 2000.

Schneider must have failed to make my 210 G-Claron so lousy--it's wonderful!!

-- C. W. Dean (, July 09, 2000.

Many would consider the 210mm as the standard lens for table top work. I know one still life/product shooter who prefers a 180mm to give a slightly wider sense to his work, and allow his work to feel a little different from the others who use a 210mm.

I'm not an optical physicist, but isn't it true that a shot taken with different focal length lenses which have the same image size on film will exhibit the same depth of field characteristics. Without using movements, the only way to get more depth of field is to either stop down more, or move further away from the subject. With table top work, using movements is very common and necessary.

I've used a Rodenstock Sironar-S 210mm for table top and infinity, and have liked my results. At infinity it's great, close up it's very good.

-- Larry Huppert (, July 09, 2000.

Don't know much about MTF's, but I like my G-claron, too.

-- William Marderness (, July 09, 2000.

The G-Claron f9 210 mm has 1:1 image reproduction capability that the Schneider f5.6 210-S lens lacks. Use the G-Claron with a 6 x 7 or 6 x 9 cm rollfilm back, and you need not concern yourself with any drop off of contrast at the edges of the 4 x 5 groundglass view. The G-Claron is more compact and lighter than the S-lens. The filter diameter is smaller. With ambient light values of EV7 or more, there is enough light to focus readily. With prints of 11 x 14 in. or less, I bet you could not tell which image was taken with G-C

-- David Caldwell (, July 10, 2000.

You may also want to consider the 203mm/f7.7 Kodak Ektar. A symetrical design, it can give 1:1 images without distortion, and works great at infinity as well. A real classic.

-- Ron Shaw (, July 11, 2000.

G-claron is an exceptional lens. Forget the tech b.s. The proof Is in the neg. Quite often the techies spend more time reading about and admiring their equipment than using it. I no longer use my mint SCHNEIDER G-CLARON f9.0 ( I shoot 2.25 mostly now) so I am looking for a good home for it. If interested please e-mail or call me at my studio in Toronto 1-416-937-9076

-- anthony luke (, April 28, 2001.

If you think you might ever move up to 8x10 the Fuji 210W is worth considering. It will cover the larger film size and works just fine for the applications you specify.

-- Dan Smith (, April 29, 2001.

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