Nikkor-W 240/5.6 lense or Schneider Apo symar 210/5.6 : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Is 240mm lense good for portrait photography on a Sinar 4x5 camera? I have the intention to buy either a used Nikkor-W 240/5.6 or Schneider Apo symmar 210/5.6 lense for portrait photography. Do I need bellow extention using Nikkor 240mm on Sinar 4x5 for face shot? I would really appreciate for your opinion

-- Duncan (, April 01, 2002


A 240mm lens will fit and focus. to use 35mm equivalents: 210mm = 60mm. 240mm = 70mm. Not that much difference. for a classical "portrait" focal length 300mm might be better, more or less = 85-90mm.

-- Mark Sampson (, April 01, 2002.

It depends upon if you want to do "head-shots" or to cover the torso as well. In order to make your equipment as versatile as possible, you should also get something that complements your other lens(es). I.e. if you got a 135mm lens, the 210 would probably be a better choice, while the 240 complements a 150mm lens better.

As you havn't yet bought the lens, there are other alternatives as well. A 240 mm plasmat is huge, and the alternative for 240 is the Fujinon. While I don't own one (yet), I know that it is a compact and very sharp little lens. Look at Kerry Thalmann's site and check his review of the Fujinon A 240mm f/9 lens. If you ever carry your Sinar outside of your studio, the Fujinon is definitely an alternative. You lose one f/stop, but the loss of weight is considerable as well. Qualitywise, the lens is probably at least as good as the lenses you mentioned.

-- Björn Nilsson (, April 01, 2002.

Duncan: The 240 mm Nikkor is a BIG hunk of glass, in a Copal 3 shutter. Though capable of being used, it is not a great match for most 4X5 cameras in my opinion, based on weight alone. It will cover 8X10 with some movement so you'd be going with more weight and more coverage than you'll ever need. I'd go with the 210 which is useful for all kinds of things, if you want a 240 the G Claron is a very nice lens (small, light, sharp, but not fast). I don't have personal experience with the Fuji but everybody here seems to like them. Good luck.

-- Kevin Crisp (, April 01, 2002.

I'd suggest (as I usually do) that a Nikkor 300 M would be a better, smaller and cheaper choice for a portrait lens than that 240. A 300 will be the same as an 85, 90, 100 or 105 mm lens on 35 mm format - depending on what source material you choose to read. (Sometimes I think that my 300 is secretly a zoom, changing focal lengths whenever someone new writes a book ...)

If you do choose a 300 make sure that your camera has enough bellows extension to focus at a portrait distance and I'd guess that 450 mm would do the trick. I'd also guess that your Sinar won't have any problems with this at all. Check anyway.

-- David Grandy (, April 01, 2002.

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