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Thread: 210mm 4x5" ... Which one?

  1. #21

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Buford, GA

    Re: 210mm 4x5" ... Which one?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Here around the same era Bob, you probably know of Adoph Gasser and might even have known their pro desk salesmen, who swore by Fuji over either Schneider or Rodenstock, but had relatively high opinions of them all, including Nikon, and even stocked a full selection of each. At trade shows, an actual Fuji rep did have a booth; but they never marketed aggressively compared to the German firms. All water under the bridge anyway at this point. The only two lenses I ever bought from Gasser were a 210 Symmar S, which certainly wasn't as insanely sharp or near-apo as my later lenses; but to this day I long for the gentler color and background rendering of that thing. I pretty much wore it out anyway. Did a lot of rough mountaineering with it back then. The other lens was a 355 MC Kern Dagor, marketed by Schneider, but not made by them - it's own kind of critter, and better suited to 8x10 use. My own track record with Rodenstock is entirely on the darkroom end of things.

    My brother for awhile sold Linhof, Rollei, and LF and MF lenses in Southern Cal. He was of the opinion that Rodenstock and Fuji had overtaken Schneider in terms of quality control back then. You've formerly told me why. And if Nikon was ever behind (which might not be true at all, given that statement came from a competitor), they certainly caught up fast, and even introduced their own niche items. Schneider behaved like a stuck record in just offering big studio plasmats, and missed the boat while Fuji and Nikon began appealing to the outdoor crowd with significantly more petite lenses like Fuji A's and Nikkor M's, which are certainly optically superb.

    Just too many kinds of candy in the candy store as far as I'm concerned. One can't have them all. Lots and lots of tempting choices for one starting out, however. Doesn't surprise me that they get confused. I certainly was during my own first visit to the view camera counter, during its heyday. But my older brother had already given me some good tips.
    John and Adolph were good friends, I always enjoyed calling on them.
    You have to remember the Schneider of today was bought out of bankruptcy by Mandermann shortly after that time. The predecessor Schneider company was having severe financial problems. He also bought B+W out of receivership and took over the financially troubled Rollei. He already owned most of the East German brands like Exacta and Praktika.

  2. #22

    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Wassenaar, NL

    Re: 210mm 4x5" ... Which one?

    I own the Voigtländer Heliar 210/4.5 alongside the neutral sharp and good colors SchneiderKreuznach Symmar MC 210. I very much like the Heliar for the OOF areas and the shallow depth of field for stills mainly. The Symmar I use for landscape and general outside use if weight is not the issue. For hiking and biking I have the small Repro Claron 210/9.0, which is very sharp and I use it for B&W mainly.


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