View Full Version : 210 or 240

Sara P
9-Apr-2006, 09:22
hi guys...
so I have a question about my next lens purchase. I mainly shoot people with my toyo 4x5 and I currently only own 1 lens, it's a 150mm...
I am looking into getting a 210 or a 240 and was wondering if anyone notices a huge difference between the two lengths... my favorite lens for
my hasselblad is a 150, but I don't know which of these two can match that...
Thanks...sara p.

Frank Petronio
9-Apr-2006, 09:38
The 300mm would be more like your 150 HBlad lens, provided that you have enough bellows to focus it. Are you doing head and shoulders portraits (~14 inches) or close details (~18+ inches)? Depends on your Toyo model.

I'd choose the longer 240 if you can afford the higher price over the more common 210.

tim atherton
9-Apr-2006, 09:43
comparing square to rectangular isn't really comparing apples to apples, although 4x5 isn't sooo rectangular.

150mm on 6x6 very roughly equals about 296mm to 327mm, depending on how you chose to measure and compare

Just going by that, 240mm is obviously closer to what you like with the 6x6, but it depends as much on how you see with 6x6 and 4x5 as it does on any mathematical comparison.

Sometimes comparing what I use in one format to another doesn't make much sense - even comparing 4x5 to 8x10 where you can just double or halve to focal length. I see and use each format somewhat differently and prefer different focal lengths in each, not the exact equivalent. (I probably use 250mm more than any other lens in 8x10. I rarely use 125mm in 4x5).

Sometimes you just have to try a few and see what you like

9-Apr-2006, 09:45
Well, I have a 150 and a 250, and I've found that the gap between the two is a bit much. Also, when shooting stuff on the ground, my tripod has to be too low with a 150, causing me to bend over too much. The 250 is just long, so bellows extension comes into play, and the perspective is generally wrong (for me). Since you have a 150, a 210 would probably be too small a jump. Best thing for you to do is try out a 210 and a 240, and see what you like.

BTW, something around 300 on 4x5 would be equivalent to a 150 on your hasselblad....

Joseph O'Neil
9-Apr-2006, 09:46
I used to own a 10" commercial ektar (250mm I think, converted to metric) and I am sorry I sold it. Aside from the fact it covered 5x7, and maybe even 8x10 (but barley) and therefore had a ton of movements on 4x5, I just liked the focal lenght better than the 210mm I have now.

As for matching your 150mm lens on your Hassy, if we assume that:

50mm lens/35mm film = 80mm lens/120 film = 150mm lens/4x5 film (subject to correction & error of course),

....then strickly speaking, a 300mm lens is what you will need for 4x5. However, I have a 300mm lens, and while I do use it, I find, for various reasons, that the 210 to 250mm range seems to be more useful. for all around use. Not sure I can explain why, but just being out there in the field in different situations - landscapes, etc, and I'll try my 300mm, I often find myself dropping back down.

210mm isn't a bad size at all, and I think in terms of used lenses, 150mm and 210mm sizes are perhaps the easiest size's to find good deals on. But my personal preference is the 240 to 250mm size.

good luck


John Kasaian
9-Apr-2006, 09:55

Both 150 and 210 are considered normal for 4x5. Since you already have a 150 on your 4x5 I'd suggest the 240 for greater variety. Of the two (210 and 240) the 240 would probably be the closest to your 150 Hassy.


ronald moravec
9-Apr-2006, 10:13
I would pick the 240. A 270 or 300 would match the angle of view for the Hassy 150. But keep in mind the camera subject distance for portrait subjects is going to be further.

The 210 is more like the 120 Hassy.

Brian Ellis
9-Apr-2006, 11:08
I don't know about matching your Hasselblad but FWIW I haven't found it too productive to try to "match" focal lengths from one format to another, especially when they have different aspect ratios. We tend to see and photograph differently with different formats and different systems.

As to your basic question, obviously there isn't much of a difference in the angle of view between 210 and 240. If you think of it in 35mm terms, it's roughly the difference between a 70mm and an 80mm lens, i.e. almost none. If it were me and I owned your 150mm lens I'd go for the 240 just because 150 and 210 are so close. I have both 150 and 210 and find that I almost never use the 150 (I continue to carry it only because it's very small and light). But if you really think you'd like either length equally well then I'd look at specific lenses in each length and decide on the basis of things like price, size, weight, coverage, shutter (modern or old), condition, etc.

Henry Ambrose
9-Apr-2006, 11:27

Your working distance has a lot to do with picking this next lens - more than the other numbers. If you're shooting fairly tight face shots using a 150 with a tube on your Hasselblad you're at maybe 3 feet from the subject. To make similar looking photos with your 4x5 you'll want a lens that puts you about the same 3 feet from the subject. I'm just using three feet as an example but you can take the camera to subject distance into account (whatever your normal distance is) when comparing your Hasselblad and other formats to get a similar look. I don't think you'll go wrong with anything from 210 to 300 depending on how far you want to work from the subject and your framing.

Ralph Barker
9-Apr-2006, 12:39
Sara - if I recall, you have a Toyo 45CF, meaning that you have about 355mm of bellows extension with which to work. While that whould be plenty for reasonably close work with either a 210mm or 240mm lens, working that close for portraiture may not give you the perspective you want. Another alternative that would give you greater camera-to-subject distance (and thus more natural perspective) would be one of the telephoto-design lenses - such as the Nikkor 300T or 360T (or equivalents from other manufacturers).

Another factor to consider is whether an 8x10 camera might be in your future. If so, selecting a 240mm conventional design that covers 8x10 (like the 240mm G-Claron) might be a wise choice.

9-Apr-2006, 13:20
What Ralph said.

Amund BLix Aaeng
9-Apr-2006, 13:43
If 8x10 is a future option, a Fujinon 250mm f/6.7 is very good choice.

Joe Forks
9-Apr-2006, 15:47
Subscribe to APUG and get one of these, if he still has any left:

I did, and I'm very happy I did so.


Ken Lee
9-Apr-2006, 15:58
The difference in length is 30/210 or 1/7 or around 14%, which can be achieved by moving closer or further from the subject by a few inches. I doubt that you would notice any difference.

Other factors to consider are size, weight, cost, image quality, filter size, and availability. To me the Fujinon 240A ranks highest.

I have one, and it's my favorite lens. It works nicely for close and distant work, is small, light, affordable, takes small filters, and is so sharp, it's nuts. If I had to replace it, the only other lens I would consider would be a 240 Rodenstock APO Sironar-S, since I have a 150 in that make, which is sublime.

If you are looking for a "portrait" lens, with especially flattering rendition of out-of-focus areas, then search the threads here and elswhere: that's something else altogether, which may be rather large and harder to find.

Frank Petronio
9-Apr-2006, 16:16
It really depends what she wants to do. I'd love a Fuji 240/9 for landscape but hardly for portraits.

Ted Harris
9-Apr-2006, 17:01
Frank and Ken make excellent points. If, when you say people, you mean portraits as most of us have assumed in answering your original post then then Fuji 240 A or similar lenses mayy not be your gbest choice. OTOH if you are more interested in people, meaning full length portraits, groups of people, etc. then any of the modern process type or plasmat lenses will serve well and I mwould recommend the 240 A .... however if this is your meaning I wouldn't rule out a 210 either. You should be able to rent one of each for a few days and make your choice.

Ed Richards
9-Apr-2006, 20:23
The Fuji 250 F 6.3 is a great lens, brighter to focus than the F 9, but still uses a relatively small filter - 67mm. They are also quite cheap on the used market. A 300 would be closer to your 150 on 2 1/4, but you probably want more background in 4x5 so the 250 might be just right.

Clay Turtle
9-Apr-2006, 21:51
I shoot a Cambo 4x5 rail camera with a 150mm & a 210mm, I use the 210 for 1:1 macros to landscapes. It is my favorite but then I don't have a 24omm so alll I can really say is I have considered & would aquire a 240mm if I came on a good deal for one? I do have a 300mm lens and find it has limited useage.

Clay Turtle
10-Apr-2006, 06:27
You did state that you are shooting a 4x5, right? Don't know if this will help but it may give you a perspective view of the 210mm in the 4x5 format.
www.usefilm.com/photographer.asp?id=104976 (https://www.usefilm.com/photographer.asp?id=104976)

Sara P
10-Apr-2006, 14:12
WOW...you guys are awesome!! Thanks to everyone for your input...it was really helpful.. What I normally shoot is head and shoulder
portraits...and think I will be looking at a 240, or a 300 and not the 210 as I originally thought after reading through these posts... thanks again
all of you... sara...psquaredstudio.com

Ted Harris
10-Apr-2006, 19:00
Sara, after looking at all the images on your website ..... very nice work .. hats off ..... I suggest you think hard about your major intended use for this lens. Given the number of very tight shots you do your style of shooting may call for two lenses, one of them a soft focus/portrait lens. There are 4 modern soft focus lenses available and a huge number of classic lenses ... warning many of the classics are too large for your Toyo. The modern lenses are available from 180mm to 300mm. The Rodenstock Imagon, recently discontinued, comes in 200mm (for your Blad and other 6x6 cameras), 250 (for 4x5) and 300 (for 5x7). Fuji makes a 250. Congo makes one. Cooke Optics makes a modern redesign of the classic Pinkham & Smith Portrait lens. I did side-by-side tests of all thes lenses except the Congo for a recent article and the Imagon and Cooke were the standouts. The differences in performance between the two lenses when used as portrait lenses is very small. Why a soft focus lens? When you shoot in close and tight as you like too and you have all the detail that is present on a 4x5 negativce or transparency you often have way more detail than you want, especially with subjects of 'a certain age.' Often far more detail than you can eliminate or smooth over even with hours of photoshop or hand retouching work or dodging and burning. Not as necessary on 6x6 but very useful in 4x5.

Frank Petronio
10-Apr-2006, 19:08
Sara shoots our socks off.

You probably need to decide how far you go - whether the Toyo can handle a longer lens or whether it is worth it to buy a longer bellows or camera.

Based on what I see, get the best deal you can on a late model 300/5.6 Rodenstock or Sironar in a Copal 3. Your work looks like you like longer lenses, so why fight it?

Sara P
11-Apr-2006, 08:25
Thanks Ted and Frank...your new info is much appreciated...I think it's time to consider getting a different camera if these longer lenses
are too much for mine...I started with this toyo just to dip my toes into large format, but more and more I see it's limitations...Eventually
I see myself shooting 8x10 and wouldn't really want to invest in a lens now that would be useless in the future. Someone suggested that I
rent some of these and test them out, it was a really good idea, think I'll head on over to Calumet this week and pick up a couple to try...
Thanks again guys... I'll be picking your brains again soon when I gather the cash for a new camera... sara p.

Ted Harris
11-Apr-2006, 08:39
Sara welcome. Two quick notes, don't know if you ever do biz with Samy's but for LF their rental stock is (or was three years ago) as large or larger and more varied than Calumet's. Second, your Toyo CF (if it has the capacity as the AII) will easily handle up to a 300mm lens but not more than that.

Sara P
11-Apr-2006, 08:50
Will check out Samy's for sure, thanks for the tip... I recently started using them for film after B&H kept sending me soon-to-be-expired 4x5
polaroid.. I will call both L.A. locations and see what they have...Thanks Ted!