View Full Version : Differences between the G-Claron and the WA G-Claron

5-Oct-2018, 13:26
I thought I would paraphrase from the Schneider literature because these seem to me to be two totally different beasts. Many newbies may confuse them and I welcome any comments you may have about specific lenses:

Graphic-Claron or G-Claron Plasmat type: Schneider says that the G-Claron is a lens of symmetrical design with six elements in four groups optimized for 1:1 reproduction. The normally used range of linear magnification is between 5:1 and 1:5. Due to the advantageous price/performance relationship the G-Claron may also be used for distances up to infinity by stopping down to f/22 or less. For photographic work the G-Claron can be used up to an angle of 64 deg and is free from mechanical vignetting at f/16 or smaller apertures.

G-Claron WA:G-Claron WA lenses are sophisticated apo-chromatically corrected ultra-wide-angle optics designed for process cameras having limited overall height, covering very large formats. The G-Claron WA is a four-element, four component symetrical lens type designed for reproduction rations around 1:1, the recommended range of reproduction ratios lies between 2:1 and 1:2. With a focusing aperture of f/11, the G-Claron WA provides outstanding performance at working apertures of f/22. Maximum use of high performance of the G-Claron WA can be obtained if the natural loss of light of the optical System is compensated by suitable illuminating the copy.

From the above descriptions, my take is that the G-Claron is suitable for general photography, the WA is not, being specialized for 1:1 reproduction ratios up to 1:2. Does anyone else have different experiences?

Bob Salomon
5-Oct-2018, 13:30
What you might be overlooking is that they are telling you that the WA has noticeable fall off. So, for non copy or duplicating you will need a center filter, for its intended use you need to over light the edges!

5-Oct-2018, 16:26
From my experience, the G-Claron is far superior to a G-Claron WA for the kind of photography most of us do. That be said, I've over the years have used many G-Clarons but only one G-Claron WA. That G-Claron WA was terrible... always suspected that it was mounted its Ilex shutter with incorrect spacing of the front and rear elements, based on having once owned a 115mm f/5.5 Voigtlander Ultragon which performed terribly till it was mounted in another shutter with the correct element spacing. Repro-Clarons have always held a sweet spot for me... Years ago shot many 4x5 Chromes with a 210mm Repro-Claron, and the transparencies were just gorgeous to view.

Kevin Crisp
5-Oct-2018, 17:36
Many people have asked similar questions over the years. G Clarons are very popular and with slower speed have excellent coverage, albeit with an f:9 maximum aperture that has never bothered me. I use my 150mm on 5X7 often, with movements. The WA Clarons can be quite large, hard to mount in a shutter, and not many have sung their praises for what most of us here do. I've never personally tried them. The Repro-Clarons have much less coverage than the G Clarons, but it is enough for 4X5 with movements. The 135mm isn't supposed to work with 4X5 but the 210 is very nice. The 305 is a terrific 5x7 lens. They are all very, very sharp used within their coverage limits. I have an adapter for front mounting the 35mm and 420mm versions on a Copal 2 shutter. The 305 screws right in.

The repro versions have radioactivity in the glass, which turns it a light tea brown, but exposure to UV light will clear up most of that.

5-Oct-2018, 18:05
My point for posting is that we see so many WA at auction I’m afraid many may think it’s the same lens which it’s not. Was curious if folks had any experience with them. I have 355 GC and 150, 240, and 270 Dagor type GC’s.

Jim Galli
5-Oct-2018, 23:03
The WA G-Clarons are a wide angle gauss design similar to wide field Ektars. But the Ektars were designed for general photography and work well, the WA G-Claron is designed for 1:1 Repro work and in my own experience, they are dis-appointing for general photography.

But that's only the start of the disappointment. They are enormous, clunky, and if push comes to shove, the regular G-Claron actually covers more real estate than the WA ones. Schneider advertised 64 degrees for the G's, but my experience in general photography is that they are actually a quite usable 85 degrees and almost no fall off until the final half dozen millimeters of illumination. I think the WA ones are about 80 degrees.

I experimented with a WA 270 years ago and came to my conclusions and have never looked twice at one again.

They do however have one thing going for them. If you have compensation issues and need to impress the rest of your homies with the biggest most impressive street car headlight of a lens possible, the WA G-Clarons are for you.

6-Oct-2018, 05:59
A number of you have talked about the differences between the G-Claron Dagor design as opposed to the newer (Plasmat?). What is the difference and how do you tell the difference when looking at the lens.

Dan Fromm
6-Oct-2018, 07:06
Steve, the list has a link to the procedure. Look for Recognizing Dagor type G-Clarons.

6-Oct-2018, 14:10
I had forgotten about this thread, i now remember reading it earlier when it was active, thanks.