Moderately Priced W.F. in 210mm-250mm : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I find it surprising that there are no current lenses in the range of 210mm to 250mm that are a wide-field (e.g. double-gause) versus a super-wide like the 210mm Super-Symmar from Schneider at a $2600 street price.

Of course, there's the 250mm Wide-Field Ektar or the 210mm Angulon f6.8. But, these are old lenses. The first can be subject to flare and the second is soft.

Or, is there a modern wide-field lens with an angle of coverage of about 85 degrees? In a previous post, someone mentioned a Osaka Congo 120mm double-gause. I can't find a webpage for Osaka; is there a W.F. in the 210mm - 250mm range?

-- neil poulsen (, February 03, 2002



It's not a WF Gauss design, but you might try looking for a 250mm f6.7 Fujinon W. This lens has an image circle of 398mm at f22. Make sure you get the f6.7 version. They also made an f6.3 version with much smaller coverage (312mm). The 250mm f6.7 Fujinon W comes in a Copal No. 1 shutter and takes 67mm filters. So, it is much smaller and lighter than a WF Ektar in the huge Ilex No. 5 shutter. It is a fairly modern lens - made from the mid-1970s through at least 1990. However, it is only available with single coating. This lens was discontinued in the early 1980s when the 250mm f6.3 Fujinon W was introduced, but was "brought back by popular demand" (according to a D.O. Industries flyer I have) in the mid-1980s and is listed in the Calumet catalog as recently as 1990.

Another possibility is the 240mm f9 Fujinon A, which has a published image circle of 336mm at f22. This lens is absolutely tiny (52mm filters, Copal #0, 225g) and all but very early samples are multicoated. It is still avialble new, but in very limited quantities (it was oficially discontinued in 1998). Although the listed coverage may seem tight on 8x10, it actually throws a much larger circle of illumination. Sharpness at the extremes of the circle of illumination suffer, but can be improved by stopping down further. This lens is similar in design to the Schneider G Claron series - which offer a couple more possibilities. The 210mm and 240mm G Clarons are both listed as covering only 64 degrees, but it is common knowledge that these lenses cover a lot more (up to about 80 degrees) when stopped down further. So, neither will "officially" cover 8x10, but many people use them on 8x10 with perfectly satisfactory results. These lenses are very common on the used market, compact and very reasonably priced. I've heard they were recently discontinued, but you may still be able to find a new sample in dealer inventory. Unlike the 240mm Fujinon A, the G Clarons were only offered with single coating.

That's all I can think of of the top of my head. Osaka is Ted Bromwell's brand name for the lenses he imports that are manufactured by Congo. You can see the specs for the Congo lenses at:

The 120mm is the longest WF gauss type that they make. I personally have a little 90mm WA Congo that I use for backpacking with 4x5. For what it is, it's a great little lens. Of course, coverage is tight, and I had to test three lenses to get one I liked, but it is multicoated, in a modern Copal #0 shutter and absolutely tiny. You can read more about my experience with the 90mm WA Congo at:


-- Kerry Thalmann (, February 03, 2002.

Neil and Kerry,

An informative exchange on a topic I happen to be interested in at the moment inasmuch as I'm continuing my search for a WA for my Tachihara 8x10, my latest candidate being the Rodenstock APO-Sironar- S 210/5.6 (see my thread of earlier today).

Could one or both of you comment on the distinction between the two designs, wide-field gauss vs. super-wide? What practical difference does the difference in design make in the formation of the image?

And while we're at it, how does the APO-Sironar-S 210/5.6 fit in?

Thanks in advance, Nick.

-- Nick Jones (, February 03, 2002.

Neil and Nick -

The modern (relatively) compact wide-field lenses are the Rodenstock 210 Apo-Sironar (no letter designation, 80 degrees) and Apo-Sironar-W (80 degrees), and the Schneider 210 Super-Symmar HM (80 degrees) and the new 210 Super-Symmar XL (I forget the exact coverage, but it's huge). The Apo-Sironar and I believe the Apo-Sironar-W as well are no longer sold new by the distributor (hope Bob S will correct me if I'm wrong on that). I don't know about the SS-HM, and of course the SS-XL is brand new on the market.

IMO the 210 Apo-Sironar-S (75 degrees) is marginal for 8x10, especially given how square the format is. You gain a bit of extra room with most subjects where you focus in closer than infinity, but there's still not much to play with. It's a superb, beautiful lens - I love mine - but if I needed to do serious work with that focal length on 8x10 I'd go hunting for a 210 Apo-Sironar-W with 80 degree coverage.

If you can live with something not quite so wide, the 240 Apo-Sironar- S offers a very useful range of movement on 8x10. Same beautiful character as the 210.

-- Oren Grad (, February 03, 2002.

Thanks for all the input.

As I suspected, probably the 250mm f6.7 Fujinon is probably the best alternative for a modern lens. (Other than the 210mm Super-Angulon XL.) It's angle of coverage is about 77 degrees.

The widest lens (other than the XL) appears to be the Angulon with an image circle of 382mm and an angle of coverage of 95 degrees. My optimum would be a modern optic double-gause with this coverage in the 240mm-250mm range. (Wide, but not too wide.)

Again, it's funny that someone doesn't fill this hole with a current optic. Perhaps 8x10 isn't used enough to justify its design. Plus, there's still Schneider's XL! Better start saving my $100 bills.

-- neil poulsen (, February 04, 2002.

What's wrong with a 210mm Nikkor-W? It's a standard 'plasmat' design at a reasonable price.

-- Pete Andrews (, February 04, 2002.

i have a Nikkor 210, paid $450, and love it. it's the only view camera lens i've had for the last 10 years.

~chris jordan (Seattle)

-- chris jordan (, February 04, 2002.

"What's wrong with a 210mm Nikkor-W? It's a standard 'plasmat' design at a reasonable price."

surely it doesn't cover 8x10 though? only 70 degrees and 295mm at f22? the 240 will give you some coverage at f22 - but not a huge amount

tim a

-- Tim Atherton (, February 04, 2002.

I forgot about the f8 210mm Super Angulon that's been discontinued and replaced by the XL. A heavy lens, it might be OK if it's used within carrying distance. While expensive, it's more reasonable than the 210mm S.A. XL. But for landscape, I'd much prefer a multi-coated double-Gause design.

-- neil poulsen (, February 05, 2002.

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