View Full Version : 210 OR 240? Any Opinions

2-Apr-2012, 13:27
I am considering picking up a 210mm or 240mm lens for landscapes to add to the 90mm and 135mm lenses that I have at the moment. The lenses that I am considering are a 210 Symmar-S 5.6 or a 240 Symmar-S 5.6 for use on a 4x5 Sinar monorail.

I was wondering whether anyone has any opinions on the lenses themselves and also whether the 30mm focal length difference makes too much difference in real life usage?

Any views or opinions are greatly appreciated.

E. von Hoegh
2-Apr-2012, 13:31
I'd choose the 210, there's too much of a jump from 135 to 240, IMHO. I do not often use my 240 on 4x5, but I use the 210 quite a bit. The lenses are excellent.

2-Apr-2012, 13:33
Exellent thanks, the 240 was very slightly cheaper but I was leaning towards the 210. Thanks for helping me decide.

Lachlan 717
2-Apr-2012, 15:20
A Fujinon 210mm will be cheaper, and I challenge anyone to be able to tell the difference between the 2 lenses.

These regularly go for around $200 in almost new condition.

Drew Wiley
2-Apr-2012, 15:29
I thought of 210 as my standard lens for a long time and was quite happy with it, that is,
until I bought a 250, then liked it even better. Just seems like the most natural perspective
for me personally, and the lens I reach for the most often when shooting 4x5. Also nice to
be able to use the same lens on 8x10.

2-Apr-2012, 15:38
I agree with the others. I'd get the 210mm then look for a 300/305mm later if I needed something longer or a 58/65mm if I needed something shorter.


Very nicely space focal lengths. This is for 4x5, right?

Peter De Smidt
2-Apr-2012, 15:58
The 210mm symmar will have a Copal #1 shutter. The 240 will be in a much larger copal 3.

All of this is very personal. If I'm working from the car, then I'll pack a 90, 120, 210, 300, 420, but if I'm going light weight, I'll take a 125mm and a 240mm, the latter being an F9 lens in a Copal 1.

Drew Wiley
2-Apr-2012, 16:08
Small-shutter lightwt big-coverage 250's (or 240): Fuji 240A, 250 G-Claron, Fuji 250/6.7W,
Fuji 250/6.3W (not as much coverage as 6.7, but way more than enough for 4X5). There may be others, but these are fairly common. Lots of 210's to choose from, with the Symmar S probably being the most frequent on the used market.

Gem Singer
2-Apr-2012, 16:27
Since you are building a set of lenses for 4x5, and you already have a 90 and a 135, why not add a 180, a 240, and a eventually a 300. Stay with lenses mounted in Copal 0 or Copal 1 shutters.

You will end up with an evenly spaced 5 lens set that will meet any challenge.

3-Apr-2012, 13:16
Thanks for the comments, all really helpful. I was also thinking about a 180, but had sort of sold myself on a 210, and thought that a 180 and 210 might be a little too close. The larger coverage of the 240 was tempting however in case I ever traded up to 5x7 or 8x10, but that isn't likely to happen any tine soon unfortunately.

Harley Goldman
3-Apr-2012, 13:40
The Fujinon 240 A is an absolute gem of a lens. Sharp and light and huge coverage. It is on my camera more than any other lens I have.

3-Apr-2012, 13:44
Is that a relatively scarce lens? I have not come across one on the sites that I usually look for lenses. Also you have some beautiful images on your website.

Ken Lee
3-Apr-2012, 14:16
There were two of them for sale here recently. They are not scarce.

You can purchase them new at Badger Graphics (https://www.badgergraphic.com/store/cart.php?m=product_list&c=28).

Ken Lee
3-Apr-2012, 17:24
Some people can tell the difference between 210 and 240. I have both and prefer 210 because of the way that it renders space. Another way of saying that, is that with a 210mm lens, we are at an ideal distance from the subject: the sense of compression is ideal (to me). If you like I can provide some sample images which illustrate what is otherwise difficult to convey with words. It is a matter of taste, and nuance is one of the reasons that many of us are on this forum and not elsewhere.

The problem with most 210mm lenses (in my humble opinion) is that they are large: plasmat designs which open to f/5.6 and take large filters compared to the Fujinon A which takes only 52mm filters. The Nikkor and Fujinon 210mm lenses are the smallest of the bunch, taking 67mm filters, while the Rodenstock and Schneider plasmats take even larger filters.

Another lens worthy of consideration - but a bit harder to find - is the Nikkor 200M. It's even smaller and lighter than the Fujinon 240A, and in my tests, every bit as sharp, even at fairly close range. It's so small and light that it can be stored inside a closed Tachihara Field camera (me), a Linhof Technika (John Sexton), and other similar cameras.

For landscape photography, small and light is very good.

3-Apr-2012, 18:06
The Fujinon 240 A is an absolute gem of a lens. Sharp and light and huge coverage. It is on my camera more than any other lens I have.

I like it for close-intermediate landscape shots for great texture & a personally pleasing amount of limited spatial context.

The quick ease of 52mm filters keeps my mind on composing, plus offers a break from the Lee system.

3-Apr-2012, 18:16
I've focused on acquiring lenses that have relatively even spacing between focal lengths. I decided on the shortest and longest lenses I'd ever want and evenly filled the gaps. However, I made my decisions based one only two criteria... 1. lightest/smallest lenses that will allow enough movements on given formats, 2. Sharpest contrastiest lenses that fit criteria #1.

However, I'm having regrets that I didn't include other criteria also. I know for a fact that I'll run into situations where I'll want a different look than sharp-and-contrasty. Recently I've been looking for lenses that express different (dare I use this word?) bokeh. I think I'll be buying a set of Fujinon SF lenses to satisfy that desire.

John Rodriguez
3-Apr-2012, 18:46
Your 135mm has ~70% of the angle of view (48 degrees - long side of the film) your 90mm has (68). If you keep that ratio you want something with and AOV of ~33 degrees. A 180mm is 37 deg, 210mm is 31 deg and a 240mm is 28 deg. Go with a 210 if you like that spread.

I personally use 90, 150, 250, 400

3-Apr-2012, 19:08
John's FL spread is very evenly-spaced. Very slightly wider than I prefer but very good, IMHO. His would make a very nice lens kit for sure. But... I'm only getting back into LF after a VERY LONG hiatus so please take my opinion with a grain of salt.

4-Apr-2012, 13:30
Thanks all, Ken you have been really helpful. If you have an example of the sort of compression rendered by the 210 I would be really interested in seeing them.

Harley Goldman
4-Apr-2012, 13:47
Thanks for the comment!

The 240A is not available new, but as Ken pointed out, they pop up here occasionally.

I used to have the Nikkor 210m. It was a nice sharp lens, but is huge compared to the 240A. I favor smaller lenses, less weight and bulk to haul around in a pack. If you are in a studio, then that is not a factor. In the field, it is very important to me.

Is that a relatively scarce lens? I have not come across one on the sites that I usually look for lenses. Also you have some beautiful images on your website.

Struan Gray
4-Apr-2012, 14:00
I prefer 240, as being a bit further from 150, and splitting the geometric difference between that and my next lens, a 420.

The downside is that apart from old Symmars in No. 2 shutters, nearly all 240 f5.6s come in a Copal 3 - you pay a large weight and bulk penalty. I use an f9 instead. First an Apo-ronar in barrel, then a Germinar-W. At one stage a late multicoated Apo-ronar actually cost less on the used market than the Copal 1 shutter on it's own. Those glory days are gone, but they are still good lenses, and they still weight a lot less than a plasmat.

Drew Wiley
4-Apr-2012, 14:03
Fuji 240 A's are still being mfg, but probably not many are being imported at the moment due to the weak dollar. Quite a few turn up used. A very nice small bargain 210 would be
the G-Claron, that is, if it's in a modern shutter. The 200 Nikkor M's seem to command an
unreasonably high price just because a lot less were sold than 300's, and both are now out
of production; but with patience they do turn up. But the Fuji 180A has greater coverage
than the 210M. All of these are really sharp small lenses. Can't go wrong with any of them.

Sal Santamaura
4-Apr-2012, 20:28
...The 240A is not available new...Yes it is:


...I used to have the Nikkor 210m. It was a nice sharp lens, but is huge compared to the 240A...I'm unaware that Nikon ever produced a 210mm M lens. Are you perhaps referring to the 210 Nikkor W?