View Full Version : Nikkor M 200mm 8 versus Graphic Kowa 210mm

16-Aug-2015, 00:59
Just testing the waters. I've been looking to reduce the weight of my kit and can get both of these at the same sort of price. The nikkor is like new, the kowa is the model that has the smaller image circle (there are two models, see other threads). Do people shooting, or having shot, both of these, prefer one over the other? If so, why?

Lachlan 717
16-Aug-2015, 04:15
The GK f9 has a massive IC; much bigger than the Nikkor. There is the Computar Symmetrigon that is faster but has a smaller IC. I'm not sure where you're seeing information contrary to this.

Another alternative is the cheaper G Claron 210mm. Another lightweight lens with a big IC.

16-Aug-2015, 04:48
Hi Lachlan, thanks for the reply. I've been testing process lenses and agree that the g-clarons are great! The computar is stellar, the kowa 210 has two versions with different ICs. Thr biggest difference besides the IC is that the nikkor is a modern lens, coated for color work. The alternatives are not. I mainly shoot 5x7 so coverage is ok on all. On anything over 5x7 I prefer 240 and 300mm.

Steve Goldstein
16-Aug-2015, 05:29
The Nikkor-M doesn't have much margin for movements on 5x7, Nikon quotes a 210mm image circle at f/22. I don't know if actual coverage is larger, but you may be better off with any of the others mentioned.

16-Aug-2015, 06:11
Good afternoon Steve,

Thanks for chiming in. From experience with other nikkor lenses I have tested, it seems like the IC is slightly larger as the focal plain gets closer. Of course it's impossible, but I'm dreaming of the best of all worlds... 5x7 coverage and modern coating for 4x5 work on velvia. The priority is a bit of a tricky one. As of late, my favourite 5x7 kit to "do it all", includes a 120, 210 and 300mm lens. For 4x5 this changes to 90, 150, 210mm. In 5x7 I mainly shoot B&W, in 4x5 mainly slide film. As a result, I have different lenses in the two kits, however, it would be great to have a lightweight 200-210 that does it all. For general purpose and close to the car sort of work I have a 210 apo symmar, which is great.

16-Aug-2015, 07:05
The 210 Graphic-Kowa is my "do-it-all" lens for 4x5 and 8x10. I regularly shoot velvia with the G-K, and even though it is single coated, I have seen never seen the G-K's color rendition suffer compared to the EBC Fujis

16-Aug-2015, 07:28
if you have buy a Nikkor M , you're getting just a Tessar. a G-Claron 210mm f 9 would be a better choice, better than the bulky Kowa 210 ( which is a pain to shutter), and it covers more.

16-Aug-2015, 07:38
Perhaps you're thinking of the Kowa 305mm in the Copal 3S, but the Kowa 210 screws directly into a Copal 1. Tiny lens, huge image circle, all around great performer.

16-Aug-2015, 07:40
210mm fujinon-w. look no further.

16-Aug-2015, 08:13
Just to throw another option in... I bought a late model 203mm Ektar in Compur shutter but this is for a 4x5 kit. If I was shooting 5x7 and wanted to save bulk and weight then I'd surely get a 210 G-K / Kyvytar / Computar because I want plenty of room for movements. BTW, in case you're interested, the 150mm G-K / Computar nearly covers 8x10 straight on at infinity, just nipping the corners.

16-Aug-2015, 13:42
Thanks for the suggestions! Still need to test it, but have a "new-old-stock" computar 150 at my studio. Literally new in its box. Was contemplating selling it boxed as my g-claron seems to be all I need. Earlier someone pulled a disappearing act on a 210 computar, so no way to get one at the moment.

Lachlan 717
16-Aug-2015, 13:50
I'm still not sure that there are two types of 210mm GKs.

There could be two types of mounts, like there are for their longer lenses, being one that comes out easily and slots directly into a shutter and one that does not.

Are you sure that you're not referring to the Computar Symmetrigon?

16-Aug-2015, 14:01
Hi Lachlan, no not the 6.3 computar... Kowa seems to have made two version with diferent numbers of elements and ICs, you'll have to bear with me for a few days, but I'll look it up for you.

Dan Fromm
16-Aug-2015, 15:28
Like everyone else, I'm somewhat confused about Computar LF lenses. Here's a link to a discussion of the f/9ers with embedded propaganda: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?10255-The-Computar-lens-and-ULF-coverage/page10

Lachlan 717
16-Aug-2015, 15:36
It is a very confusing subject, Dan.

I've compared a Computar 240mm with a (locked in) GK 240mm on 7x17". To my eye, the GK was sharper, especially in the corners, and had less fall off. This is counter to what I've read it should be.

But, back to the small 210mm "stuff", G Clarons are fine for colour. They, combined with the Fujinon WS (inner writing) 210s are bargains for 8x10"

Drew Wiley
17-Aug-2015, 12:02
The 200M is an absolute little jewel for 4x5 work. Wouldn't be realistic for larger film sizes. Tiny and very high contrast due to multicoated tessar construction. The 210 G-Claron would have a larger image circle, but only marginally cover 8x10, with very limited movement. It's a close-range modified plastmat, single-coated, but excellent at infinity too. I really prefer a 250 G-Claron or 240 Fuji A for a compact wide-angle 8x10 lens. Otherwise, the Computar or Kowa f/9 if you just have
to have 210 for 8x10 film.