View Full Version : Beginner 8x10 user in need of some lens help

Daniel Stone
5-Apr-2010, 09:51
hey guys,

I've just(well its still in the mail) come into the ownership of a Kodak master view, and it came(well is coming :p) with a convertible symmar 360 5.6/620 f12 lens. The lens supposedly in a compound shutter(which is kinda slow according to the seller), so I'll need some info about getting it serviced, preferably quickly, since I have a trip in July which I'll need it for.

let me first start out and state: I'm a student(photo major actually), and this whole "big film" thing has got my head swooning a bit so far. There's soooo many lenses out there to choose from, and since I'm on somewhat of a budget(I know, I just bought a KMV.) I'm looking for something on the wide end of things, like a 210mm or 240mm, and I've been reading lots about sharpness and all that, I'll be contact printing only, no enlarging/scanning(as of yet, no enlarging 8x10, maybe scanning down the road)

so, I seem to have the LONG and normal FL's covered, but since I like a wider view some times, I'm asking for some help here.

just in case any of you shoot Leica-R series cameras, I have a 90mm summi and a 50mm summi(both f/2's) that I'd be interested in trading.

since I'll be contact printing, the newest and greatest lenses are 1. out of my price range, and 2. kinda designed for color work(which I'll be doing a small bit of, but 80% b/w(efke 100 in 510 pyro or abc pyro, still working on a choice). I'll be contact printing on Lodima.

I'm sure I might have more questions down the line, but if you guys could lend a somewhat "in the know about these lens thingies, and what they mean" student, I'd be very appreciative of your knowledge.



Diane Maher
5-Apr-2010, 09:57
The Schneider G-Clarons in both the 210 mm & 240 mm focal lengths are good lenses that cover 8x10, are fairly common and are probably within your price range.

Mark Sawyer
5-Apr-2010, 10:07
I agree with Diane, the G-Clarons are very sharp and can be found cheap, either in a barrel or a variety of shutters. Those in Copal shutters tend to be pricey because of the shutter. The only drawbacks are that it's an f/9 lens, so it's a bit dark, and I've heard that some shutters are slightly long, and the spacing is critical.

A great "sleeper" (often under $150) lens is a 215mm Acuton (aka Caltar-S) f/4.8 lens. It's a coated plasmat, very sharp and bright, and converts to a decent 14". Be sure to get the f/4.8 version; there are other versions with much less coverage.

210mm Dagors also cover 8x10, and Dagors are semi-cheap right now, especially compared to the height of the Dagor craze a few years ago.

Vick Vickery
5-Apr-2010, 11:02
For servicing you shutter, nobody is better than Carol at Flutot's Camera Repair and its probably not too far from you www.flutotscamerarepair.com

5-Apr-2010, 11:35
Staeble Ultragon 210mm in barrel: cheap (more or less $100), excellent coverage, sharp enough (on the gg so far), but not like a good looking brass lens. Thats the one in my carry bag ready to go wherever I take my 8x10. No more vignetting with that one.

5-Apr-2010, 12:14
For servicing you shutter, nobody is better than Carol at Flutot's Camera Repair and its probably not too far from you www.flutotscamerarepair.com

The problem with that used to be the waiting list, if time was important. Now, there's this:


Due to a death in the immediate family, we are temporarily not accepting new work.

Likewise, we will not be able to respond to emails. We hope you will bear with us during this sad time and will let you know as soon as we can resume normal operations."

I wish the best for Carol and her family.
In the meantime, there's always SK Grimes. I've also heard good things about Tim Sharkey at http://www.lensn2shutter.com/ but have no personal experience with him.

5-Apr-2010, 12:20
Staeble Ultragon 210mm in barrel: cheap (more or less $100), excellent coverage, sharp enough (on the gg so far), but not like a good looking brass lens. Thats the one in my carry bag ready to go wherever I take my 8x10. No more vignetting with that one.

I have two Agfa Super Intergon lenses: 210mm and 305mm. These are reputedly clones of the Staeble Ultragon you mention. I've never had a Staeble to compare them with, but I can confirm your comments on them being tack sharp and usually inexpensive. If I were to consider selling them, it would be due to a need for money or space, not because of their performance. I'm happy with my 210 on my 5x7. Plenty of room for movement. The 305mm covers 7x17 with some flexibility too.

Daniel Stone
5-Apr-2010, 12:48
thanks guys,

I've been doing some looking around, and where'd all the dagors go :p?


Jon Shiu
5-Apr-2010, 13:05
Caltar IIN 240mm f5.6 sharp lens, not expensive. In copal 3 shutter. Coverage is 350mm, which I find is adequate for landscape.


Jim Galli
5-Apr-2010, 13:11
If you're the type that doesn't get queasy taking a carburetor apart and putting it back together, you might give the compound a go yourself. The piston at the top should be operating room clean and dry. The cocking lever works against some cams and it likes just a bit of lube where moving parts come together. Take some good digi snaps as you take it apart and you should do OK. I like the large marge 360 Symmar's. Remember that when the shutter is in 'B' or 'T' mode, if you forget and force the cocking lever, you can break stuff.

tom north
7-Apr-2010, 13:02
Hi Dan,

I have an older 210 mm dagor in a barrel. It's not perfect but I'd sell it to you as is for $100 + shipping. It will cover 8 x 10 but will have little or no movements. As far as the compound shutter is concerned I would not trust the speeds and recommend using it on the T or B setting and using your lens cap to expose. I was on a pretty tight budget starting out in 8 x 10 and used barrel lenses for years with good success. If your starting out, barrel lenses are a good way to start and you can pick them up sometimes pretty cheap at garage sales and other places. Printing businesses are also going digital and getting rid of older process camera lenses that are good shooters. Be carefull about buying anything old with a shutter. The optics for most are acceptable, however the shutters often times require lubrication, adjustment, rebuilding or all three. It is possible to shoot 8 x 10 on a tight budget, you do have to work at it.



Daniel Stone
7-Apr-2010, 13:42
thanks Tom,

right now I'll have to pass on the Dagor, my car decided that it needed some "tuning", along with a new catalytic converter.

so for right now, I'm plum out of cash :o


William McEwen
7-Apr-2010, 13:47
Dan, I want to add to those who like the Schneider G-Claron 240mm. Terrific lens. I know you're no longer in the market, but let's hope that changes soon.

Daniel Stone
7-Apr-2010, 14:49

I truelly hope so.


John NYC
7-Apr-2010, 22:24
Another vote for the 240 G-Claron when you get back to it. I love mine, and I bought it here from a forum member. It's currently the only lens I use on my 8x10.

neil poulsen
8-Apr-2010, 01:48
You could also consider the 250mm f6.7 Fujinon lens. It's single-coated and has a 398mm image circle. That covers 8x10 with decent movements.

One nice thing about this lens is that it's in a Seiko 1 shutter similar in size to a Copal 1. Compared to other lenses in this focal length, this is relatively small. (Versus a Copal 3 shutter, which is quite large.) The 240mm and 210mm G-Clarons are also in Copal 1 shutters..

John Kasaian
11-Apr-2010, 15:46
First off, that is sad news and my condolences go out to Carol and her family!

About 8x10 lenses---there's plenty to choose from in wide(r) focal lengths. As others have mentioned the 240 G Claron is a superb lens. If $$ are tight you can get one in the barrel, use it with a "hat" and later install it in a Copal or Prontor scavenged off a Ysaron. The 10" WF Ektar is also a very fine lens with a "look" quite a bit different than the G Claron---especially so with portraiture.
The biggest issue I had with my KMV was finding lensboards---these will be pressed metal and not cheap!
OTOH the convertible Symmar that comes with your camera is a real workhorse and should serve you well after a cla. As a practicle matter I find that having a selection of focal lengths for an 8x10 really is seldom neccesary. The 360mm you already have is fine (I started with a 14" APO Artar and didn't feel the need to add a second focal length for quite a few years!)

Daniel Stone
11-Apr-2010, 23:33
hey guys,

thanks for all the replys. I've found a dagor 12" in a copal 3 shutter local to me, its a little too much out of my budget right now, but I might muster the courage to ask my parents for a small loan to purchase it. Shouldn't take me too long to pay it off with a few contact prints sold. But that's a hypothetical situation, now isn't it ;).

I'll definitely look at the fuji 6.7, thanks for that! Same with the 10" WF Ektar. thanks John!