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Thread: Apo-Ronar vs. G-Claron

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2000

    Apo-Ronar vs. G-Claron

    What kind of differences can I expect to see in a Apo-Ronar 240 and a 240 G-Clar on? Thanks, Steve

  2. #2

    Apo-Ronar vs. G-Claron

    The Apo Ronar is an outstanding lens, with superb imaging capabilities through the image circle. If in shutter it is multicoated. The G-Claron is not not multicoated. Its performance is rather uneven throughout the IC but it does have a larger image circle. The fact that it is not multicoated will make it more succeptible to glare.

  3. #3

    Apo-Ronar vs. G-Claron

    The G-Claron's are NOT multi-coated???

    Are you sure? If so that is amazing. Why not multi coat it in this day and age?

    Is it the only lens around that is not multi coated?


  4. #4

    Apo-Ronar vs. G-Claron

    G-Claron lenses were never multi coated and never will be. Its primary use is as a process lens (symmetrical 4 element lens, f/9, optimized for 1:1 magnification) and a single coating is all that is necessary under those conditions. Schneider and others make plenty of other kinds of faster, multi coated lenses. These serve a purpose and also a price point for those who can't afford an Apo-Symmar.

  5. #5

    Apo-Ronar vs. G-Claron

    The reason for not multicoating is easy to see if you compare the transmittance of the G-Claron with a multicoated lens like the Super symmar.The spectral transmission of the G-Claron is fairly flat from 400 to 700 nanometres, with a maximum transmittance of about 90%. The Super Symmar XL peaks at 95% transmission or more, but drops off quite drastically, especially at the blue end of the spectrum where its transmission is only 40%.The designers of the G-Claron probably thought that it was more important to have accurate colour in a process lens than to have an extra 1/10th of a stop more light. After all, Joseph Schneider have been making lenses for long enough, they ought to know what they're doing!Besides, multicoating doesn't have that much effect on flare resistance in lenses with only a few air-glass surfaces.

  6. #6

    Apo-Ronar vs. G-Claron

    Sorry. I just libelled the Super-Symmar XL by saying that its transmittance dropped to 40%. That should have been 70%. It's the S-S HM that drops to just over 40% at 350nm.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2006

    Apo-Ronar vs. G-Claron

    The Apo-Ronar will have multicoating if new - older versions were single-coated. The G-Claron is a 6 element/4 group lens.

  8. #8

    Apo-Ronar vs. G-Claron

    I just realized that I made a mistake in calling the G-Claron a 4 element lens, but I see someone corrected me before I had a chance to correct myself. Funny how fast a thread will get responses when you make a mistake...

  9. #9

    Apo-Ronar vs. G-Claron


    Michael Klayman has already stated the reasons the G Clarons are not multicoated (cost, intended application, etc.). So, I'll try to answer the rest of your question.

    No, the G Clarons are not the only large format lenses currently on the market that lack multicoating. The Schneider Xenars (the plain Xenars, not the new 400mm Tele-Xenar Compact) are also only single coated. Again, the reason is cost. These are entry level lenses with less coverage intended to sell at lower prices than the multicoated APO Symmars of like focal lengths. Fujinon also had a lower priced single coated tessar series (the Fujinon L series) that, like the Schneider Xenars, was deigned to sell at a lower price point than their multicoated W series. The L series Fujinons were discontinued in the early 1990s.

    The Fujinon SF (soft focus) series is also not multicoated. I'm not positive, but this may also be true of the Rodenstock Imagon. Finally, the last I heard, barrel mounted APO Ronars were not multicoated, but current shutter mounted APO Ronars are. I'm not even sure if barrel mounted APO Ronars are still in production. I'm sure Bob Salomon can fill in the facts on this issue. In any case, if you're buying an APO Ronar, either in barrel or shutter, if it is multicoated, it will be clearly labeled "MC" on the front rim.


  10. #10

    Apo-Ronar vs. G-Claron

    Back to the original question.


    In addition to the APO Ronar and the G Claron, you might want to also consider the 240mm f9 Fujinon A. IMHO, it has the advantages of both, with the disadvantages of neither (well, other than the maximum aperture of f9, which they all share).

    This is a wonderful little lens - the longest non-telephoto ever offered in a Copal #0 shutter. Like the G Claron, it is a 6/4 process plasmat design. This means it has a lot more coverage than the 4/4 dialyte type (Celor type, Artar type, whatever you prefer) APO Ronar. Unlike the G Claron (and like the APO Ronar), the Fujinon A is multicoated.

    So, you get the multicoating of the APO Ronar, but greater coverage (336mm) like the G Claron (well, actually MORE than the G Claron). Plus, since it's in a Copal #0 shutter, it's smaller and lighter than the other two (both in Copal #1 shutters). I have more info on this wonderful litle lens in both the "Lightweight Lenses" and "Future Classics" sections of my large format homepage. See:

    for more details.

    For the complete manufacturer's specs, a scanned page from a March, 1997 Fujinon brochure can be viewed at:

    The bad news is that Fujinon discontinued the last two members of the A Series (the 180 and the 240) in August of 1998. The good news is that there are may still a few new ones floating around out there. I recently spoke to Jeff at Badger Graphics and he is getting in a VERY limited supply of 240 A Fujinons at a price of $750. That puts it the same ballpark as the Robert White ("gray" market) price on the APO Ronar (currently ~$680 + international shipping and import duty), but considerably more than the Robert White price on the G Claron (currently ~$441 + international shipping and import duty), but substantially less than the B&H US Warranty price on the APO Ronar ($1129.95 + domestic shipping) and a little less than the B&H price on the G Claron ($811.00 + domestic shipping).

    Finally, the performance of the little Fujinon is outstanding. It is VERY sharp, even when used at infinity. I have not directly compared it to either the 240mm APO Ronar or the 240mm G Claron (which also are well reputed designs), so I can't comment directly which is "better" in terms of performance, but I doubt if you would be disapponted with the Fujinon.

    Hope that helps. Let us know what you get and how you like it.


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