View Full Version : Xenar 210mm f/6.1 from Schneider Kreuznach

Ig Nacio
27-Feb-2012, 19:12

After some months of thinking, I am getting a LF camera : ) !!!

I am trying to keep the system as simple as possible: the
camera, one lens, and the necessary accesories. I may
share the investment with a friend.

The lens that has recently been offered to us is a Xenar
210mm f/6.1 from Schneider Kreuznach. Some months
ago we thought of a shorter focal length, something be-
tween 110 mm. and 150 mm., but this lens is coming our
way, so it looks like we are going to take it. What would
you say is a fair/good price to pay ?? The lens glass is
scratch, mold and fungus free. We are going to see the
lens in the coming days, and except from the fact that it
carries the Schneider "last name", we don't know if it is
a good lens per se. Being the equivalent of a 62(*70)
mm. lens, the lens will be used for full and half body
compositions. As we get better with the handling of the
camera, some portraiture and some still lifes too.
I found one thread about this lens here, it is quite
positive. It would be interesting to hear more from you:

Have you used this lens, any limitations with this focal
length, or this particular lens? Is this lens a good lens
for the purpose we intend to use it?

Thank you, kind regards,

igmolinav : ) !!!

Steve Hamley
27-Feb-2012, 19:36
It's a fantastic lens with a good balance of aperture versus weight. It has plenty of coverage for 4x5 and modest coverage for 5x7. It's very good close up too.

I haven't kept up with prices for these lenses, but a perfect one, I'd say a high range of $350 - $375 US, the high figure for a late black Copal shutter, including box, papers, etc. Good users with unmarked glass and a good shutter, I'd guess $250 - 275 US.

Cheers, Steve

Ig Nacio
27-Feb-2012, 20:23
Hi Steve,

Thank you for your message : ) !!!

For this one, the shutter is a prontor press shutter.
Lens caps, but no box, papers, or lens board. (We
are hopeful about the lens board, let's see!)

We are getting a Chamonix 4x5 LF camera. We ha-
ve not used a LF camera, except for the occasion
we shared it in a workshop with five other persons.
We assume that with the universal bellows, not the
standard one, and the extension board one may be
able to focus as close as to a ratio of 1:1, 1:2, or
1:3, but perhaps it is not so easy with such a lens.

On the other side is this lens like a 62 mm. in 35
mm. format? Can one cover a man as tall as six
feet, (or two meters), without a lot of difficulty.
We are mostly going to photographe people and/or
do portraiture and every now and then some still

Thank you again, kind regards,

Ig Nacio : ) !!!

27-Feb-2012, 20:38
I have a recent one in Copal shutter along with its 150mm/5.6 little sister and like it very much.



Ole Tjugen
28-Feb-2012, 00:10
Simple mathematics: If a man, 2m tall, is going to be 10cm (4") on the film - enough to fit on 4x5" in portrait orientation - then the distance from lens to subject must be (200/10) 20x the distance from film to lens plane.

That means that with a 210mm lens you need 4200mm working distance, 4.2m. Disregarding focus extension, which is reasonable with a 1:20 reproduction ratio.

Which again puts the film plane 4410mm from the subject, plus room for the photographer to focus. So it could be done in a 5m studio, but that would be very very cramped.

The 210/6.1 is a great little lens, and very reasonably priced. Add a 150/5.6, and you're set for just about anything.

Ig Nacio
28-Feb-2012, 02:24

Thank you for your posts : ) !!!

I guess it is ok, or it makes no difference if the shutter in this lens is a prontor press shutter, or a copal one.

The 210/6.1 is a great little lens, and very reasonably priced. Add a 150/5.6, and you're set for
just about anything.
Perhaps we should just get a 150 mm. lens as soon as it comes our way. However, what you say is
true, the lens can carry a reasonable price. The one we are being offered costs a little less than $200
We wonder if that is a good price. We may end up taking it as we don't know how soon a lens with a focal
length between 110 mm. and 150 mm. will be offered.

Thank you, kind regards,

igmolinav : ) !!!

28-Feb-2012, 02:58
Under $200 for a clean Xenar 210 6.1 in a good shutter is a bargain.

I used to have a very late 150 5.6 Xenar and it was a one of the sharpest lenses I have ever used on 5x4. The only issue was limited coverage, although I could get some rise out of it, but not much. They are very, very good lenses within their IC and in that context leave almost nothing to be desired. Despite being single coated, contrast was also superb.

Ig Nacio
28-Feb-2012, 10:12

Thank you for your post : ) !!!

Under $200 for a clean Xenar 210 6.1 in a good shutter is a bargain.
That is also the question we'll ask the seller. It seems like it makes no difference if the
shutter in this lens is a prontor press shutter, or a copal one. So, the question to ask
will be if the lens' mechanics work alright.

They are very, very good lenses within their IC ...
Sorry, what does IC means?

Ole, in a related post you say that,
The 210mm f:6.1 Xenar is in a #1 shutter, that's a
standard shutter size. So just order a lens board with a #1 hole in it.
So, I should order the Linhof lens board with the above characteristics, shouldn't I?

Thank you, kind regards,

Ig Nacio : ) !!!

E. von Hoegh
28-Feb-2012, 10:30
The LFPF homepage has much useful information. Image circle (IC) is the size of the sharp image the lens will project on the film plane.


28-Feb-2012, 11:46

IC is 'Image Circle'. Xenars have a smaller image circle than some lenses of the same focal length, but their performance is great. A 210 Xenar has plenty of coverage i.e. a plenty big enough image circle for 5x4 with room to spare most likely - the 210 f6.1 will cover 5x7 with a little room for modest movements. It is likely to be an extremely sharp lens and quite light and compact too. If the lens is not in a standard copal 1 or prontor 1, but a press shutter, there is a good chance it has been put in a replacement shutter ( I doubt it was ever factory assembled in a press shutter, but could be wrong). This is not necessarily a problem; just ensure it has the correct aperture scale with it. You see lots of lens cells screwed into shutters with the wrong aperture scale on. While a small issue, it is still $20+ to get a new scale and could involve a wait from the supplier (might have to come from Schneider, Germany). The alternative is making your own scale, but this is of course not as good as having a proper scale attached to the shutter.

Ig Nacio
28-Feb-2012, 14:06

Thank you for your posts : ) !!!

@turtle - In the pictures I have from the lens, I can barely see the scale now that I am looking closer. Since I am new to this and I can be in a flight of fancy, I don't see any scale marks for half steps or one third of a step. However, the steps that I would use 6.1, 8, and 11 are there!

Kind regards,

igmolinav : ) !!!

28-Feb-2012, 17:34
OK, I do not know of any other F6.1 lens so the scale is likely to be factory original.

Ig Nacio
28-Feb-2012, 17:48
Thank you again : ) !!!

Ig Nacio
3-Mar-2012, 21:08
P.S. If you had the choice between the Xenar 210mm f/6.1 from Schneider Kreuznach, and the Schneider 210mm f/5.6 Symmar-S Lens with Copal #1 Shutter.
Which one would you choose? (Irrespective of price, the latter one is being offered to me for about $80 more).

Thank you again, kind regards,

Ig Nacio : ) !!!

3-Mar-2012, 23:27
If shooting on 5x4 only (nothing bigger) I would probably get the Xenar, as it is smaller, lighter and has ample coverage for 5x4. Optically, my 150 5.6 was stunning and so if the 210 6.1 is like this, then it has all the performance you could likely ever want. At $80 cheaper, you also get to keep enough money to pay for 100 sheets of B&W film.

Ig Nacio
4-Mar-2012, 03:27

I heard that prontor shutters are not so good like the
one in the Xenar. Copal shutters like the one of the
Symmar's won't let down. Do you agree with this?

Thank you, kind regards,

Ig Nacio : ) !!!

Ig Nacio
4-Mar-2012, 11:32
P.S. That extra half or third of a step of the Symmar, does it
not come helpful ?? Because of the price, I think I'll be
getting the one with the maximum aperture value of f/6.1.
It is cheaper. However, because I'll just get a lens is that
I am so curious.

Thank you again, kind regards,

Ig Nacio : ) !!!

Ole Tjugen
4-Mar-2012, 14:40
I have both of the lenses you mention, and I can safely say that the difference in max aperture makes no difference at all. The difference in coverage is only important for 5x7", and even then only if you want to use more movements than you would normally do. But in that situation, I would use a 210mm f:6-8 Angulon...

Ig Nacio
4-Mar-2012, 15:26

Thank you : ) !!! Then I'll get the one that is f/6.1
You have spoken well of the lens and the prontor
shutter. I shouldn't let me be carried away from it
by one negative opinion. That was his e-mail
opinion about the lens:

Prontor press shutters aren't so good. Look for a regular Copal shutter.

Kind regards,

Ig Nacio : ) !!!