View Full Version : Need opinions on Caltar 210 f:5.6 lens on 4x5

Douglas P. Theall
4-Feb-2001, 11:17
Need your help again. I am looking at a Caltar-S II 210mm in copal shutter. I am not up to speed on coverage and all the other finer points of lenses. I have a Tachihara 4x5 field camera. Question is will this lens work well as my tele- lens. Right now I have the Caltar 150mm and was looking at the 210 as a long le ns. Any help you can give me is appreciate. Also, what is price of the 210mm? Thanks for all your help so far.

mitch rosen
4-Feb-2001, 11:57
Doug, while the current Caltar's are made by Rodenstock, I believe this lens is a repackaged Schneider Symmar S. Coverage at this focal length is not an issue for 4X5. For this lens it is listed on the Graflex website as 294mm. A 210mm lens is a good companion for the 150mm,especially with the shorter bellows draw of the Tachihara but I wouldn't exactly call it a tele-lens. Price???? $280-$400 depending on condition is just a guess.

Ken Burns
4-Feb-2001, 13:00
All of the Caltar S lenses were made by Schneider and are of the same quality as the lenses sold under the Schneider name. This lens is definitely not a telephoto design, but bellows draw will not be an issue with this lens in most situations since you will be able to get images to about half life size with the Tachihara. The 210 in 4x5 is about the equivalent of the 50 in the 35mm format based on linear magnification. If you need a long lens, 300 is a good place to start, but with the Tachi, lenses of that focal length or longer definitely need to be teles.

Douglas P. Theall
4-Feb-2001, 13:22
Thanks guys, I am pursuing the lens now. Your imput was a great help.

Rico Obusan
4-Feb-2001, 17:02
Do be aware that using a heavy lens on a relatively lightweight field camera stresses the extension rail a lot even at normal extensions and induces camera shake because of the placement of a heavy lens at the very forward end of the camera. I have a 210 Caltar II N that now resides with my studio camera because it was too heavy for my older Calumet Wood Field. I opted for a much lighter and much more compact 210/6.8 Calumet Caltar instead and have been very happy with the results. Schneider makes a 210/6.1 Xenar of a similar compact design, as does Rodenstock (210/6.8 Geronar). With these compact lenses you give up the larger coverage that you might get out of any 210/5.6 lens, but they give more than adequate image circles for field applications. You might want to explore these alternatives.

neil poulsen
5-Feb-2001, 11:56
In part because of their cost versus high quality, I've standardized on these lenses. Based on dimensions, Caltar S II lenses are Schneider Symmar-S lenses repackaged by Calumet. Note that it's easy to get them confused with Caltar II S lenses, which are made by Rodenstock.

You might want to inspect the lens before purchase. Characteristic of Schneider lenses, they are sometimes infected by "Schneideritis", silver specs inside the lens barrel around the aperture. While Schneider claims this doesn't affect image quality, I can't see how an advanced case wouldn't affect the image quality. I've seen cases where a large percentage of the inside barrel was pocked with the silver "dots" that are the result of this maledy. They were more silver than black.

Brian Ellis
7-Feb-2001, 11:26
You might want to give some thought to the question of whether 210 is enough difference compared to your 150 to warrant the purchase. Think of it in 35 mm terms. A 210 in 4x5 is about the equivalent of a 70 mm lens in 35 mm photography, a 150 is about the equivalent of 50 mm. Would you buy a 50 mm lens and a 70 mm lens for 35 mm photography? If so, then having the two makes sense, if not you might think of something longer like the Nikon 300 mm M series lens. Much smaller, lighter, and a lot longer than 150 mm. Probably more expensive than the lens you're considering but not outrageously so. I used a Schneider APO Symmar 210 lens on my Tachihara for a long time with no weight problems. I also used the 300 Nikon. It's stretching the bellows extension of the Tachihara but it worked fine - I could focus as close as about 10 feet which was plenty close for landscape and architecture.

Benjamin Ransum
7-Nov-2001, 18:02
Hello, I have a Caltar-S II 210mm (the Schneider Symmar-S) and I am willing to let it go for $300.00. It is in very good condition. It has not been out side much. It lived in a studio on my view camera doing table top catalog photos or in a lens wrap in side my camera bag. I also have a 90mm f5.6 Schneider Super Angulon Lens that I will sell for 1,000.00 it is in excellent condition. This baby is sweet!

Jim Roof
19-Feb-2002, 12:51
On the subject of the unsightly silver dots that appear in many older Schneider lenses, I do not see how this could really affect image quality as long as the spots are truly in the area where glass meets metal. Surely no image-forming light passes through these areas and while the dots do appear bright from the OUTSIDE of the lens I suspect that that is due only to the loss of adhesion to the barrel and therefore making a small reflective spot that has no affect on transmitted light. As always, one should shield stray light as mush as possible from optics. I could only imagine an image problem where very intense light might bounce from the spot and somehow hit a rearward facing element, conceivably lowering contrast.

BTW, I have a Rodenstock 210 that I must have stored too close to a Schneider - it has a mild case of 'schneideritis'.

Oliver Easley
22-Mar-2002, 23:53
On this Schneideritis business, has anyone ever filed a claim against the lifetime warranty? If so did they fix the lense. I have a 150 mm/5.6 with the adhesion bubbles. I bought the lense new and registered the warranty card in 1986. Also, does anyone know the cause of the infection?

--Oliver Easley(archareis@attbi.com)

neil poulsen
23-Mar-2002, 14:07
As to the effect of the silver specs on Schneider lenses, I worry that light from these specs reflects off the individual elements of the lens back into the camera, thus causing flare. Schneider didn't make the adhesion to the lens barrel black for nothing.

Erik Ryberg
23-Mar-2002, 16:00
Here is a copy of correspondence I had with Schneider on this subject. Start at the bottom for the first message, from me to Schneider. The top message is the last. The short answer is that Schneider considers this a cosmetic flaw and does not repair it under the lifetime warranty.

Erik Ryberg

Subject: Re: My 135 componon-s is separating Date: Fri, 08 Feb 2002 16:18:31 -0800 From: "PETER REPICH" <PREPICH@centuryoptics.com> To: <ryberg@seanet.com> CC: "Mary Sberna" <MSBERNA@centuryoptics.com>

Dear Erik.

Mary has asked me to respond to your question. It appears that your enlarging lens has developed white spots on the lens element edge painting. Although the spots will not affect your image, it could be corrected. This is more of a cosmetic rather than a functional problem. The repair will require disassembly and removal of all elements, stripping the old black edge paint, repaint the element edges and reassemble/adjust all functions. On the other hand if(as you mentioned)the lens is separated and you can see a rainbow effect, the lens needs to be replaced. This would be a functional defect and would be covered under warranty - providing that the lens was purchased through Schneider Optics Inc. Life time warranty is in effect if you applied for it through Schneider Optics Inc. USA, after purchase. If you are not sure what the problem is, please forward the lens to: Century Optics, 11049 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood, Ca.,91601 Att.: Repair Department.

Sincerely Peter Repich

>>> Erik Ryberg <ryberg@seanet.com> 02/08/02 02:37PM >>> Mary,

Well, I can't know either, as I don't have a good one to compare it with. I guess I was asking a more theoretical question relating to optics than a specific question relating to my specific lens. Does lens separation typically affect performance?

My second question is, do you repair this?

And my third question is, is it covered under the warranty?



MARY SBERNA wrote: > > Dear Erik: > Quite honestly I dont know, only you would know if its effecting the > performance. > Are you have any problems with the lens?? > Thank you, > Mary > > Mary Sberna > msberna@centuryoptics.com > > >>> Erik Ryberg <ryberg@seanet.com> 02/07/02 07:42PM >>> > Hello, > > I took my 135mm Componon-S enlarging lens, #14,5xx,xxx off the > enlarger > today and noticed a large number of shiny spots where the lens is > glued > to whatever it is glued to. Not dust spots, speckles as if the glue > has > come off. > > Is this affecting the performance of my lens? I have the box and > lifetime warranty still. Is this something you can repair? > > Erik