View Full Version : Repro-Claron VS G-Claron on 4x5

Tadge Dryja
28-Mar-2004, 09:58
Hi, I'm trying to put together a decent set of lenses for my recently purchased horseman 4x5 camera. Right now I'm using my school's lenses, which are rodenstocks, sironars and a grandagon. They seem pretty excellent, so that's what I'm comparing to I guess.

From reading stuff on this site & others, it seems like the type of lens where modern high-tech designs really make a difference are the wide angle types, and with a narrower field of view it's not as big a difference.

So I'm now looking for a fairly long lens, somewhere around 300mm. The /5.6 lenses in this length don't seem like a good idea. They're in #3 shutters and absolutely huge. And expensive. And heavy, though I'm generally OK with hauling a bit of weight around.

So I'm looking at these clarons. There's the repro-claron and the g-claron. Apparently the g-claron has a lot more coverage, but if I'm buying the 305mm ones, for use on 4x5, will this make a difference? I use movements certainly, but usually nothing too extreme.

I guess the most important question to me is, assuming they both have no trouble covering, will the repro-claron be as sharp as the g-claron on 4x5? The g-clarons seem to sell for much more, but is this because of higher overall quality, or just greater versatility based on their coverage? The g-clarons are 6 elements instead of 4 for the repros... giving me a vague feeling that the repro clarons are somehow "worse"... is this at all true?

Thanks everyone! -Tadge

Donald Miller
28-Mar-2004, 12:07
I use a 305 ReproClaron in 4X5. It is acceptably sharp in my experience. Schneider indicated that the major difference that I would notice between this lens and a G Claron would be in the area of coverage. I have never used all the coverage that is available.

Michael S. Briggs
28-Mar-2004, 12:26
From the perspective of using the lenses, the primary difference between the G-Clarons and the Repro-Clarons is coverage. Schneider rated the G-Clarons as covering 64 degrees and the Repro-Clarons 46 degrees. (Many photographers use the G-Clarons, well-stopped down, for even more coverage). In the 305 mm focal length, this is 381 mm diameter for the G-Claron and 257 mm for the Repro-Claron. Both lenses are symmetrical and thus optimized for 1:1 rather than distant objects. Many photographers use the G-Claron for distant objects. The Repro-Claron is the same design, dialyte, as the more popular Artar, which is also used by many photographers for distant objects.

I don't think you need fear that the Repro-Claron delivers inferior image quality because it has fewer elements. The simpler design delivers less coverage, but the coverage of the 305 mm focal length is plenty for 4x5.

The higher selling prices of the G-Clarons are probably because of their greater coverage and because they are much better known and frequently highly recommended on the internet. A lot of LF photographers who don't know what a Repro-Claron is will have read high praises of the G-Claron. A more interesting question is why Artars fetch higher prices than Repro-Clarons, because these are very similar.

Another factor that might deter some is that the Repro-Clarons are slightly radioactive from the inclusion of thorium glass. The superior optical qualitities of thorium glass, high index of refraction with low dispersion, might make them better than the Artar. It would be interesting to do some tests.

Previous threads on Repro-Clarons and thorium: Warning, radioactive lenses! here: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/lfforum/topic/249393.html and at photo.net: http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=0035DS -- by now the threads are quite different. Also 355mm Repro-claron at http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=004MVB and Radioactive Repro-Claron at http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=004cye.

There are many types of lenses with thorium out there -- far more than most photographers think. I have some info about thorium glass on my webpage about Aero-Ektars: http://home.earthlink.net/~michaelbriggs/aeroektar/aeroektar.html.

Tadge Dryja
29-Mar-2004, 13:07
Hi, thanks for the replies. The repro-claron seemed like a good deal, and the fact that it is a little radioactive decided it for me. Maybe I can make some uranotypes from the negatives!

(and yes, I realize that's probably a silly reason to want a lens, but a lot of my photographic decisions are kindof irrational. I like Fuji Acros cause it has a cool name, and I like HC-110 cause it's this cool yellow goo that smells weird.)

Anyway, when I get it I might test it out a little - most things I've read say that you need to stop it down to use at infinity, but I might try it wide open to see how noticable any problems are. I'll let you guys know.


Dan Fromm
3-Apr-2004, 07:47
To add to Michael's comments, consider getting a Repro Claron in barrel and putting the cells in a shutter. Per Schneider the cells will screw right into a modern shutter. Check their site http://www.schneiderkreuznach.com/archiv/archiv.htm to see which size shutter you should look for.



Michael S. Briggs
3-Apr-2004, 11:12
The file that Dan refers to, http://www.schneiderkreuznach.com/archiv/pdf/repro_claron.pdf, lists the shutter sizes (Verschlußgröße) as #00 for 55 and 135 mm, #0 for 210 mm, #1 for 305 mm and #3 for 355 and 420 mm -- see the table at the extreme lower right. The #00 size is no longer available. Earlier Repro-Clarons in the longer focal lengths, 355 mm and above, were made for Compound shutters. Probably the only focal lengths of barrel-mount Repro-Clarons that are likely to fit in a modern shutter are 210 and 305 mm. Only late versions of the 355 and 420 mm versions will fit in a modern shutter. Of course, there is no guarantee that the information is correct for all years of production of the Repro-Claron, or that all barrel Repro-Clarons have threads for the shutters of their era.

Arne Croell
4-Apr-2004, 04:44
A small addition to Michaels post, the 355mm Repro-Claron came in the Compur size 2 shutter when that was still available, not a Compound; only later versions came in a Compur (both mechanical and electric) size 3 as shown in the pdf document linked above, and those are easily transferred to a modern Copal if necessary. On the other hand, the size 2 version is definitely more compact than the size 3 one. This is similar to the 360mm Apo-Ronar that also exists in 2 versions.

Tadge Dryja
4-Apr-2004, 11:09
Hi everyone, thanks for the info.

I now have a 305/9 repro claron. It's in a synchro-compur shutter -- a #1 I believe, though it doesn't clearly say that on the shutter. I haven't gotten it on a board yet, but the shutter itself has a nice feature -- a ten second timer! None of the copal shutters I've used have that.

Also, looking at the PDF file, I can't figure out what the filter size is. I don't know any german... "Gew fur Zubeh" seems like a filter size, but it states the 305's as 53mm, which isn't the case, because it's smaller than my 49mm filters. I suppose I could go to some camera store and try out different sizes, but if I knew I could just order stuff and be lazy. Uh, I mean... have more time to shoot! Yeah.


Michael S. Briggs
4-Apr-2004, 13:09
Arne, I have a 355 Repro-Claron in barrel, and the cells thread into a Compound shutter that I have. I haven't yet made an accurate check of the spacing, but sighting along a ruler, the length looks correct. The threads of the cells are a much larger diameter than those of a Compur #2. So there are probably three variants of the 355 mm Repro-Claron.

Tadge, you figured it out, "Gew fur Zubeh" would be "Gewinde für Zubehöre", "Thread for Accessories". Since your lens doesn't have 53 mm threads, it shows another case of Schneider changing the mechanical specs of the lens. Schneider might have done this when they updated the line, e.g., when a shutter that they had been using became unavailable or less popular.

Arne Croell
4-Apr-2004, 14:19
Michael, I had never seen a Compound version, and since the Compur 2 existed in parallel to the Compound shutters until the mid-60's, I didn't think Schneider would have used a larger shutter than necessary. But who knows? I have the Compur 2 version. Btw, Compur 2's were never fully standardized - the 355mm Repro Claron and the 360mm Apo-Ronar lens cells, both for Compur 2's, have slightly different thread sizes (1-2mm difference if I recall correctly).

Tadge, Schneider used the 46mm filter size quite often, the 210mm f/6.1 Xenar, still available new, has it too. Maybe that is the size you have?

13-Oct-2010, 20:42
What is a good price for a 305mm Repro Claron? Been looking around and not finding much infor price wise.

Peter K
14-Oct-2010, 01:24
Btw, Compur 2's were never fully standardized - the 355mm Repro Claron and the 360mm Apo-Ronar lens cells, both for Compur 2's, have slightly different thread sizes (1-2mm difference if I recall correctly).
Compur #2 shutters where aviable in three different tube lengths, distance between front cell and rear cell of the lens, but with the same outer diameter: tube 5/I, 5/II and 6/II.

The Repro-Claron 355mm was mounted in a Compur #2-X Tube 5/II with a lens thread 45.8mm x 40 tpi.

BTW, Compound shutters where also aviable in the same sizes but different tube lenghts.

Dan Fromm
14-Oct-2010, 02:05
What is a good price for a 305mm Repro Claron? Been looking around and not finding much infor price wise.They're equivalent to Apo Artars and dialyte type Apo Nikkors. The 305/9 Apo Nikkor is a dialyte.

The Repro Claron's one advantage over the others is that its cells will go straight into a shutter. The 305's cells go into a #1, these are fairly abundant. Adam Dau of SKGrimes has told me several times that my 305 Apo Nikkor's cells are direct fits in a #1 (no machining needed to put 'em in the shutter, spacing will be correct) but I've never dared take the lens apart to try it.

If you can't find prices for a 305 Repro Claron, look on eBay for closed auctions of 12" Apo Artars and 305 Apo Nikkors.

14-Oct-2010, 06:17
Apo Artars and Apo Nikkors not coming up either. Thanks for the suggestion though. Will keep my eye out for those too.

Ole Tjugen
14-Oct-2010, 06:27
Yet again, the post linked to in my signature lists the different sizes and threads of the Compound shutters. As an extra bonus - by viewing that whole thread, there is also a list of teh (most used) #2 Compur specifications.

Jim Galli
14-Oct-2010, 07:47
I think the sexiest lens to do the job you've described is the 270mm (10 3/4") Red Dot Artar in a Compur 1 shutter. Razor sharp classic lens. Good luck on that.