View Full Version : G claron 270 f9 vs nikkor m 300f9

23-Jan-2011, 18:19
If you had both of these lenses which one would you keep and why? In terms of image taking quality (sharpness, contrast, flare resistance etc) which one is better?

Kirk Fry
23-Jan-2011, 18:50
Depends what you are taking a picture of. One is a process lens that can be used at infinity at f16 and the other is a general taking lens and probably not optimal at 1:1 magnification. One is pretty rare and the other not so much. One is multicoated one single. Used within their intended uses they are both excellent lenses. Both cover 8X10. KFry

Gem Singer
23-Jan-2011, 18:57
The Nikon/Nikkor f8 300M is multi-coated, has a larger image circle, and is 30mm longer than the single coated 270 G-Claron.

Both are sharp lenses and cover 8x10 with minimal movements.

A small, 4-element (Tessar), the 300M makes a great long lens for a light weight kit.

Make your decision based on your personal needs.

24-Jan-2011, 08:44
http://www.largeformatphotography.info/lenses/LF8x10in.html ...

shows the image circle for the 270 G-Claron as 335mm (matches Schneider's published data) vs 325mm for the Nikkor M 300/9 which is about what conventional wisdom suggests one can expect from a tessar.

Some optimists will push either design considerably beyond those limits. For example the 210mm G-Claron is frequently recommended for 8x10 use and the 127mm Kodak Ektar is used on 4x5.

Mark Sampson
24-Jan-2011, 08:54
Sometime around 1988 I was shopping for a long lens at Ken Hansen's in NYC. The salesman there told me that the Nikkor-M was better at infinity and that the 300 G-Claron was better close up. I bought the Nikkor and have never looked back; it's a superb lens on 4x5. I've used a 150/9 G-Claron for closeup work and it was perfect at that. A look around this forum will show you that the G-Clarons are very well-respected lenses, with a fine reputation for sharpness and coverage. I'd say that you can't go wrong with either lens- although sometimes I wish my 300 was a 360.

24-Jan-2011, 09:14
You did not mention format, which makes some difference.

I have both lenses. I don't like the Nikkor 300 on 8x10 because it lacks coverage. So for 8x10, I would use the G-Claron.

For 4x5, the Nikkor is excellent, multicoated, has massive coverage, and is very compact with small filter size. Hard to beat that.

Dan Fromm
24-Jan-2011, 09:58

You've been crying about wanting a 270 G-Claron for a couple of years and rejecting suggested alternatives. You finally got your heart's desire. Now that you have it does it fail to please?

Steve Hamley
24-Jan-2011, 11:23
I've not used a Nikkor 300M, but I do have a Nikkor 200M and a 270 G-Claron.

I think the answer is not in the quality of the lens but which focal length you like best as you use them in the field. Sharpness is not an issue with either, the Nikkor being multicoated is likely a bit more contrasty, which is not necessarily a good thing. I never noticed much flare with the G-Claron, but the size of the front glass is not large and I usually shade my lenses with the dark slide if in light bright enough to cast a shadow.

Cheers, Steve

24-Jan-2011, 12:29
Steve, I guess I am in a similar position to you.. I have both and I am deciding whether to let one go. They actually don't seem to have much different fov on the 4x5 gg. Maybe I will just shoot them both and which one I like. I was also thinking of perhaps trading the 300mm got a fujinon 400t.. But I am not sure how much more 'magnofication" will I get... What is your experience with the 270 vs 300 Steve? Are you keeping both and why?

Drew Wiley
24-Jan-2011, 12:35
The published image circles for G-Clarons are in reference to their use as either process lenses or at 1:1 magnification. For typical large-format use, the usable image
circle is much bigger. Even a 210 G-Claron will cover 8x10, and I wouldn't be surprised
if the 270 has a circle even bigger than a 300 Nikkor M. The single coating is largely
a non-issue and is plenty flare-resistant with common-sense use, and color saturation
is excellent. Both lenses have their strong points.

Steve Hamley
24-Jan-2011, 13:13
The only 300mm lens I have except for some "project" Tessar 1c's and a Heliar is a 12" Gold Dot Dagor I use mostly on 8x10. I'm keeping it because it belonged to a friend and has a nice tonality in B&W that I like and is sharp, and you can't just go out and buy one at a reasonable price most of the time. Something you have to think about with vintage lenses as you have discovered getting your 270mm G-Claron. But I doubt I'd go looking for a 12".

When I started out in 4x5, I started with a 150mm and a 210mm, the standard set. As time went by, I discovered that I saw "wide" and switched to a 135mm and 180mm set. Will you see a difference between 135mm and 150mm, or 180mm versus 210mm? Probably not in any given instance, but over time I think you'll decide you like one focal length better than the other. This also doesn't mean that in any given instance you wouldn't prefer a different focal length. But, a 270mm is the 8x10 equivalent of a 135mm on 4x5. The next step up for me is a 360mm, the equivalent of a 180mm on 4x5.

The odds are you'll like the 300 mm if you like the 150mm and 210mm, it's the natural progression and what most people are happy with. But the only way you can tell is to go shoot a lot. Don't sell before you know unless you have to.

So in short, yes you can tell a difference in small differences in focal length, but you'll have to be quite familiar with your lenses and your usual subjects.

Cheers, Steve

Jim Galli
24-Jan-2011, 13:43
You've got a Chevy with 300HP and a Ford with 300HP. You need to drive to the grocery store to get margarine. Which do you pick.

The 270mm G-Claron will make a sharp image on 11X14 corner to corner at infinity.

The 300m has rather brutal contrast that rendered it unusable in many situations in the high elevation desert country that I live in.

For me, the 270mm G-Claron was the choice. My 300M didn't stay around long.

Meanwhile I've wandered into Bugatti and Hispano Suiza territory lens wise, so could care less about either the Ford or the Chevy. I do have a 270 Computar f9 that is NOT for sale though.

Drew Wiley
24-Jan-2011, 13:51
Interesting remark, Jim ... I too tend to use a G-Claron in the high country because I
get a bit too much contrast otherwise, especially with color film. When the coastal fog
is involved around here, however, I might reach for my multicoated Fuji A equivalent.
Use of a red filter at high altitude is also an issue where one must be wary of excess
contrast in the shadows under a deep blue sky. It's nice to have a choice between single and multi coatings in such circumstances.