View Full Version : Howdy and Lens Recs for 300mm

6-Jun-2006, 19:02
Great forumn, glad to be a member.

Anyway, I'm finally piecing together my 8x10 and am at the back breaker of finding the lens I want in range. I'm fond of rodenstock and am far from rich so finding a mc N seems like the way to go as I've had a hard time finding a caltar II (which I hear is comprable.) But I want to hear oppinions, Sironar vs Schneider why not even throw in Nikon while your at it. Why do you shoot with what you do and do you think the sironar n is a great "normal" lens with good versitility for 300mm. It'll be going on a cambo SC II'm fixing up. Also any recomendations on where to find backs and or Bright Screens.

Any input is much appreciated.

Oren Grad
6-Jun-2006, 19:49
I have a 300mm Caltar II-N MC. With a bit of patience it should be possible to find a clean one for less than $500 under either the Caltar II-N or Sironar-N labels.

It's a very fine lens. It was my choice because I happen to really groove on the way that the late-model Rodenstock plasmats render out-of-focus backgrounds. If I couldn't get a Rodenstock, a Schneider Apo-Symmar would be my next choice. I don't care for Nikkors or Fujinons.

But if you're not into subtleties like that, any of the late model, multicoated, 300mm plasmats from Rodenstock, Schneider, Nikon, or Fuji will give you a sharp picture and plenty of room for movement on 8x10.

John Kasaian
6-Jun-2006, 20:06
IMHO Caltars are fine lenses. Other lenses you might consider that work very well on
8x10 in the 300/305/12" range that won't (or hpefully shouldn't) break the bank are:

Kodak Commercial Ektar
Goerz Dagor
Schneider G-Claron
Wollensak Velostigmat
Schneider Symmar double convertible
Ilex Acuton

Condition of the glass & shutter are everything, of course. My 300 of choice is currently a very elderly Goerz Dagor in a Compound Shutter recently gone over by Carol Miller.

I hope this helps!

Kirk Fry
6-Jun-2006, 21:01
Also, if you don't need bucket loads of coverage, f 9.0 300M Nikkor. Good if you have to move further than those 50 yards from the car. Also Fujinon f 9.0 300C.

6-Jun-2006, 22:13
Thanks for all the recs.

I've recently decided that being a poor youngin will require me to sacrifice field cameras and light lenses for price range bargains. Accordingly I've started running with weights in a backback to equal the roughly 27 pounds of equipment I'll be lugging.
I find it somewhat hilarious.

Tripod head attached to back of motorcycle coming this summer.

7-Jun-2006, 05:36
I bought a B&L 12 1/2" Rapid Rectillinear triple convertible (20" and 28") for $15.50. Can't get much cheaper than that. It' s become my favorite lens.

Scott Davis
7-Jun-2006, 10:41
Another fantastic lens in the 300mm range is the Kodak Ektar 12" F4.5 . Lens the size of a grapefruit, weighs a ton, comes in an Ilex #5 shutter, but has wonderful oofas (Out Of Focus Areas) and is super bright on the groundglass.

Rick Moore
8-Jun-2006, 11:41
Any of the standard (Schneider, Rodenstock, Fuji, Nikon) 300mm MC plasmats in a relatively recent (last 20 years or so) incarnation will do an excellent job for 8x10. However, these are substantial pieces of glass, generally in #3 shutters. If you're willing to give up a little screen brightness for size and weight, the Fujinon 300C f8.5 is a very fine lens. It's in a copal #1 and uses 52mm filters, as does the equally fine Fujinon 450C f12.5. The coverage is quite good, somewhere around 380mm if I remember correctly.

John Kasaian
10-Jun-2006, 14:59
Will you be shooting color or B&W? If B&W, you can do really nice work with single coated lenses that have aged a few generations. Most Wollensaks and Ilex are way undervalued, and Kodaks are only a bit more expensive.

Helen Bach
11-Jun-2006, 07:04
"...Also any recomendations on where to find backs and or Bright Screens."

For good, low cost screens go to www.satinsnow.com.


erie patsellis
17-Jun-2006, 21:44
a nice plasmat for 8x10 is either a schneider symmar, or if you don't mind a front mounted packard, a componon 300 (I prefer the older 5.6 non-S models personally) super cheap, often can be stolen for less than $75 and a simple packard box can be built to either hang off the front, or for an 8x10, make a packard box that mounts in the lensboard opening and receives lensboards on the front, lots of componon's (and rodenstock, ektars, artars) cheap.


Ole Tjugen
18-Jun-2006, 02:15
A Schneider Symmar is a relatively inexpensive lens, as many people think they need MC. That drops the single-coated Symmar right down to cheap :)

The drawback is the size and weight - even if the shutter is no worse than a Compound #3, it still looks pretty daunting to some people.

I've also had a 300mm f:4.5 Schneider Xenar - everything I've said about the Symmar goes for that one too, only more so. Many cameras can't even handle the #5 shutter...

In the other end are the small lightweight f:9 lenses, like G-Claron 305mm.

But the one I've used most over the last year is a 300mm f:7.2 Rodenstock Hemi-Anastigmat, a 100 years old brass lens...

Richard Årlin
18-Jun-2006, 03:51
I aquired a 300mm Apo Ronar when I only had a 4x5, chosing it since it was supposed to be a better lens than 300mm Nikon M. Now with 8x10 as well I regretted my choice since the Nikon has a larger field and can be used with this format too. However since it is my only 300mm lens I have used it a few times wihout experiencing vignetting. Even if it was not focused directly at infinity I still got a sharp background. Eventually I will swap it for something like a fuji-c naturally. Someone using this lens for 8x10 out there ?