Caltar II-E vs Caltar II-N (210mm) : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I'm relatively new to LF, so I'm still trying to figure out what lenses I should buy. Most of my shots will be landscape/outdoors.

I currently have a 90mm and 150mm, but I'm wondering if I should get a 210 also. I've found a used 210mm Caltar II-E on the internet for what looks like a great price, but haven't been able to find any info on the lens. I've also seen a Caltar II-N for a couple hundred more.

Other than the max aperture on the II-N, what's different? I assume it's a newer model and perhaps made by a different manufacturer. Would the II-N be worth spending more money?

Thanks a lot,


-- jason syring (, February 14, 2002


The Caltar II-E is, if I remember correctly, a four element lens. They may be slower than the N models and they will have a smaller coverage circle. They are also probably smaller and lighter than the six element II-N models. Except for at the widest aperture or two, the E is probably not visibly less sharp than the N.

Caltar lenses are currently made by Rodenstock. Or they were the last time I cared to look.

-- mike rosenlof (, February 14, 2002.

I believe, but don't hold me to this, that the Caltar II-E is a Rodenstock Geronar 210/6.8 three element lens with 242 mm coverage.

The Caltar II-N is a Rodenstock Sironar (Sironar-N?) 210/5.6 six element four group lens wtih 301 mm coverage.

I've found Calumet to be very helpful with things like this. If you go to their web site you can search for "Caltar II-N" and "Caltar II- E" and see the info.

Hopefully Bob Salomon can clarify this more.


-- Dave Willis (, February 15, 2002.

From Calumet web site:

210 f/6.8 Caltar II-E

Type of Shutter: Copal 1 Aperture Range: 6.8-64 Lens Configuration: 3 elements and 3 groups lange Focal Distance: 195mm Filter Size: 49mm Image Circle @f/22: 242mm Angle of Coverage: 60 degrees Maximum Format: 5x7

-- Edward Kimball (, February 15, 2002.


I have the 210mm Caltar II-E. I bought it on sale last year. When I questioned the Calumet employee about the quality of the lens, he said that I would be pleasantly surprised at the quality of this lens. He was right. I have been very happy with it. Images are sharp, colors good. Good contrast. It is small and very light. If you don't need the extra movements of the II-N, and it sounds like you don't, the II-E is a very nice lens for landscaping. Don't worry about it being only 3 elements. A lot of very nice photos were made with 3 elelment lenses, and these have the added advantage of multicoating.

Only one suggestion. If you have enough bellows, you might want to consider going longer than 210mm. It will cost you though.

-- Dave Karp (, February 15, 2002.

Since you're shooting outdoors, consider the weight of the lenses. The II-N is probably almost twice the weight of (as well as physically bigger than) the II-E.

-- Tony Karnezis (, February 15, 2002.

I own the E lens and find it to be excellant,a nice all around lens.You have to realize this lens is designed to be used at F22 though!I shoot architecture & landscapes with mine.BTW,a 210mm will allow you much greater movements than your shorter focals. I believe these are Rodenstock Geronars.

-- Edsel Adams (, February 15, 2002.

Thanks for everyone's help and advice. I just ordered the lens, and can't wait to get it.

Thanks again!


-- Jason Syring (, February 16, 2002.


Enjoy photographing with it.

-- Dave Karp (, February 16, 2002.

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