View Full Version : 270 WA Claron

26-Nov-2004, 14:20
I recently purchased a Schneider G-Claron 270mm WA f/11 in barrel. Trying to determine if this lens is really useable for LF (14x17). Holding the lens in a piece of cardboard in front of the camera, focused at infinity, it comes up short in coverage on 14x17, but comes very close to the corners. Doing research on internet, I find lots of conflicting information in comments such as: “the 270 WA G-Claron will cover 12x20! The bad news is that at infinity the 270 WA is rather marginal!” and: “I have a 270 WA G-Claron. Tested it on the 20x24 just to see image circle...18-19" tops by my recollection, which makes 12x20 possible ONLY with closer subjects. The good news was that for contact printers, it was pretty good all the way out to the edge. It IS large, but can be fitted to a Copal #3”, and: “schneider lists: 72deg @ f22; 780 grams; 110mm filter (90mm rear thread); 400mm i.c.; 4 element 4 component for 1:2 to 2:1. distortion is not good (+- 1%) beyond 50deg from 1:inf to 1:3 (no distortion @ 1:1) “ I think 12x20 and 14x17 have the same coverage requirements so if it works on 12x20, shouldn’t it work on 14x17?? It looks to me as if the WA Claron would only cover 11x14, 8x20, etc. Although I think I have my answer already, just wanting to confirm with users of this lens. (The reason I bought the lens - very cheap)


Steve Hamley
26-Nov-2004, 18:36
Check the post by Michael Jones here:

http://largeformatphotography.info/lfforum/topic/498823.html (http://largeformatphotography.info/lfforum/topic/498823.html)


CP Goerz
26-Nov-2004, 23:23
Yeah, the glass LOOKS so impressive and with a name like WA Claron(the Claron already has excellent coverage) you would think it has fantastic possibilities but the term WA really only applies to process work where short copying distances from board to film plane were needed.

The shorter wide field lenses are really wide field at 1:1 only where the circles edge is more useable than the standard 46 degree field coverage of most process lenses(Artar, Nikkor, Ronar etc). Beware of the Doctar(sp) Optics as they too have a WA with amazing looking glass but alas the same coverage problems.

There are a number of lenses that will do 7x17, the cheapies but goodies are the Computars/Kowa lenses, Konica Hexanons, Repromasters, and the like.

CP Goerz

Arne Croell
27-Nov-2004, 09:49
The WA Claron is a double Gauss wide angle like the WF Ektars so one initially expects some 80-90° coverage as the WF Ektars. But in this case the official 72° seem to be all you can get - contrary to the G-Claron where the official number is 64° and stopped down the coverage goes up to around 80°. The 270mm WA Claron lens cells do indeed fit a Copal 3 shutter thread, but need spacers to get the right distance.

I have to take issue with Andrews comment on the Docter Optic lenses. I'm not exactly sure what lens he is talking about since Docter or Zeiss Jena never made anything similar to the WA Claron or Process Nikkor. The possible Docter WA lenses are:

65mm Doctar WA - this is an infinity-corrected super wide angle based on the Zeiss Jena Lamegon (similar to the the Super Angulon) with 105° coverage (170mm image circle)

150, 210, and 240mm Apo-Germinar W - these are indeed larger wide angle process lenses but with a very different construction from the WA Claron. I assume Andrew is talking about these? They do perform quite well at infinity, but the coverage is limited by mechanical vignetting. Thus the coverage is not much higher than the stated values (63-72°), but with excellent performance over the whole field.

150, 210, 240, 305, and 355mm Germinar W: These are compact WA process lenses of plasmat-type construction, quite similar to the G-Claron in construction and size. The main difference is that the Germinar is optimized for f/16 instead of f/22 and that it is multicoated.

CP Goerz
27-Nov-2004, 12:38
Hey Arne,

About ten years ago approx the Docter Co just emerged(or seemed to) and I was given a photocopy of their product list with big Tessars from 1000mm down, at the time it was big news that a modern company would make the old tessar design and multicoat them and pop them in Copals.

Amongst the lenses in the copy were two of the F8 wide angle types. The design cutaway looked like it really meant business and would cover 8x20 which I was looking for at the time. I ordered the lens and it surely did look impressive, like a BIG super angulon in shape but its coverage barely did 11x14. Not bad for any 210mm lens but one so large and with such impressive curves seemed to scream 8x20 etc but it didn't. I returned the lens the same day I was so disappointed. I remember it clearly as being the Docter Optics Co catalogue but beyond that...? Its been a while and since I had the lens as I mentioned and it was so underwhelming.

You have to be very carefull with coverage specs on WA Process lens descriptions. In most cases the usual '*' has been removed whereas in the original catalogue you would see the ' X coverage at F22 ,1:1 magnification.' The WA Claron is a perfect example.

CP Goerz

Arne Croell
27-Nov-2004, 13:00
Hi Andrew,

that lens you got was probably an Apo-Germinar W. It is indeed related to the Super-Angulon in that the outer elements are negative, but only a little, and the design goal was completely different. Compared to the f/8 SA or a G-Claron, there are more elements (8) but the lens element bendings of the Apo-G. W are rather small (large radii), which is a way to reduce lens aberrations. The design goal was a really even performance over the whole field, better than a plasmat. If the MTF curves are to be trusted, this goal was achieved. The field, however, was only that of a normal wide angle process lens, 63° for the 150mm, 68° for the 210mm, and 73° for the 240mm lens. I assume you had the 240mm - barely covering 11x14 would mean about 80° coverage for 240mm, which is reasonable. I have the 150mm and it covers about 68° instead of the official 63° and above that it vignettes.


CP Goerz
27-Nov-2004, 13:50
Ahh if only I knew more about what lens curves did what I could have saved myself a whole lot of hassle! ;-)

CP Goerz

Michael Jones
29-Nov-2004, 06:02

I stand by my previous post and Andrew's comment that it is the coolest looking piece of glass around. Its great at 8x10 but won't go beyond except at higher ratio magnifications. Good luck.