View Full Version : Nikon 210 5.6 Schneider APO 5.6 Symmar,Schneider Symmar non APO

1-Mar-2008, 14:44
Does anyone have experience with these 3 lenses.I am looking for one that will give the best shapness and contrast for 3/4 body people shots in available light.Price is a consideration.

Bjorn Nilsson
2-Mar-2008, 02:18
Go for the best price for a lens in decent condition. Check and be suspicious for dented filter rings etc. as that can come from having dropped the lens, which can affect internal lens alignment. All of the lenses are very good lenses and they are of the same basic design (i.e. plastmat), so it's down to how the individual lenses perform.
Normally, i.e. comparing normal photographs, there is no way of telling anyone of these lenses apart from the others in terms of performance. (Comparing laboratory MTF charts will give you some variations, but now we are into the "strange mumbling men in white labcoats" division.) They are all in the same ballpark. In theory the Schneider Apo may give you ever so slighly better results, but at a higher price. An older Symmar (in chrome fitting) is probably only single coated, but should also be cheaper. Again, finding the "best" of these 3 lenses is down to the individual lens specimen, not the lenses in general. You can also put the Rodenstock Sirionar N and the Fujinon W lenses in your shortlist. They are in this ballpark too. (The Rodenstock Sirionar S lens is supposedly better, but at a heftier pricetag.) Oh yeah, the newer Caltars are actually rebranded Rodenstock Sirionar N lenses.
Last, there are plenty of lenses in the 210 plastmat range, so pick carefully and don't pay too much.


2-Mar-2008, 03:20
Hi, I've owned both the NIkon 210 f5.6 and a Schneider 210mm Apo. I could detect absolutely no difference between the two when I tested( unscientifically) side by side. I shot portraits and landscapes with them. Some say there may be slight colour rendition differences if you are being critical. I sold the Schneider as it was much older than the nikon and could not justify having both.



2-Mar-2008, 05:41
For the past year I've been using a 210 f5.6 MC Symmar, and the results are indistinguishable from my other Schneider and Rodenstock lenses. Personally I always prefer to buy a Multi Coated lens as I often shoot into the light, and all my MC LF lenses are remarkably flare free.

Like others have said a good 210mm shouldn't be expensive second-hand.


Ted Harris
2-Mar-2008, 07:13
You are just as likely to find as many differences among several copies of the same lens as among different lens from Schneider/Nikon/Rodenstock/Fuji. I have owned a Nikkor 210, Apo Symmar 210 (2), 2 Symmar S MC 210 (one a rebranded Caltar), a Rodenstock Sironar, and, lastly a Docter 210. The Docter is the only one that is single coated. I still own it and the Sironar. I prefer the Docter for its extra stop. Of all of them I think one of the Apo Symmars was the sharpest but the other was a marginal performer. Chances are that whichever of these you get you will be more than satisfied.

Andre Noble
8-Mar-2008, 20:27
I was not impressed with the optical performance of my Nikon 210 f5.6 I mean, it's "OK", but compared to the Nikkor 90 f8 SW and Nikon 120 f8 SW, it was soft and I sold it.

For the 210 focal length, I go with the 210 Rodenstock Apo Sironar-S.