View Full Version : Which 210 view lens

6-Jul-1999, 14:49
I have narrowed my selection of a 210mm large format lens down (to use on 4X5 fi eld camera)to either an older Schneider Symmar 210 f5.6 convertible or a little more modern Schneider Xenar 210 f6.1. Both lens are in excellent++ condition and can be purchased for around $300 each. If I purchased the 210 convertible, I wo uld only used it as a 210 and not the longer focal length. I am leaning toward t he 210 Symmar convertible due to the slightly increased coverage but the small s ize of the 210 Xenar is real attractive. Input and advice from other view camera photographers will be appreciated.

David Grandy
6-Jul-1999, 15:20
I have a Schneider 210/370 lens and would recommend it over the Xenar without question. Faster, bigger image circle, and just a better lens. And it's not all that big either.

At 370 this lens is kind of a dog, but at 210 it performs well. Since it isn't multicoated I'm very careful about flare. A lens shade of some kind - I use a Flarebuster - is an absolute must.

So to sum up, would I rather have a APO-Symmar? You bet! But if you, to borrow a cliche from sports, try to stay within the limitations of the lens, it will make you some excellent images.

N Dhananjay
6-Jul-1999, 18:58

Have never used the Xenar. Have used the convertible. Its pretty nice for the money. Performs quite adequately at 210. Use at 370 needs some care. Use a yellow filter and check for focus shift when you stop down. The image on the GG is nice and bright. Do you backpack a lot in which case, is the weight a really big issue? Can you shoot a couple of images with both the lenses and see which one you like more? I would imagine that the condition of the lens should probably be the driving criterion for choice. All else being equal (as if?), I would say having the 370 length (asuuming you have th ebellows for it) might tip the scales in favor of the convertible. Hope this helps. DJ