Reasonably light weight 360 mm lens

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by mike_lyons, Sep 6, 2003.

  1. Hi to all and thanks for any advice,
    I'm looking at options for a fairly light weight 360mm lens for
    landscape use. As I see it there aren't too many around- the Nikkor
    360-T with its Number 1 shutter stands out. How about the Fuji F10
    360? Long since discontinued, and only single coated from what I
    gather, but even lighter than the Nikkor. Any thoughts or users
    Regards to all-Mike
  2. I've got 5 14" lenses and the one that goes out walking with me is a superb little Schneider Repro Claron in Compound #3 shutter. Covers 8X10 handily but I tend to think of it as a 4X5 lens. Again, single coated if that's a big issue for you. It's roughly 2/3rds the size and weight of anything in Copal 3. 55mm filters...or is it 58? Very crisp.
  3. There aren't many offerings with focal lengths near 360 mm. The Fuji-A 360 mm f10 is long discontinued and very hard to find on the used market. Probably the best bet is an Apo-Ronar. A 360 mm Apo-Ronar won't be as light as the Fuji-A because they are in #3 shutters (except for very old ones), but they are much more common. Another possiblity would be the 355 mm G-Claron. These are also in #3 shutters, but the lens cells probably weigh more than those of the Apo-Ronar. The G-Claron is still light compared to the faster plasmat designs. Both the Apo-Ronar and G-Claron are recently discontinued, but are fairly easy to find used. Robert White in the UK probably still has a few new G-Clarons in stock.
    If your camera has sufficient extension and bellows, a non-telephoto lens is probably a better choice.
    Another possibility is to give up on 360 mm, e.g., use a 300 mm lens and when the lens is slightly too wide, crop. There are two excellent choices still available new: the Fuji-C and the Nikkor-M. These two are multicoated. Of the other lenses that I have mentioned, the only one that would be multicoated would be a late production Apo-Ronar. For lenses like these, the practical difference between single and mulitcoating isn't great.
  4. The Fujinon A 360mm f/10 in a no. 1 shutter is actually multicoated (at least later versions are), but, as mentioned above, it is a really rare bird. Other than that, all the "Dialytes" in that focal length are an option (used). Those are the 14" Goerz (later Schneider) Apo-Artar, the 355mm/14" Schneider Repro-Claron, and the 360mm Rodenstock Apo-Ronar. All except the latter have been discontinued quite a while ago, the Ronar only recently. Most of them come in no. 3 shutters (as the other process lens mentioned, the Schneider G-Claron) and are therefore not exactly lightweight. Older versions of both the Apo-Ronar and the Repro-Claron came in the now obsolete Compur 2 shutter when it still existed - these versions are much smaller than the more recent ones. You might also want to check Kerry Thalmanns web site on lenses for information, especially his discussion of lightweight lenses which is a great resource:
  5. Some additional thoughts:
    If you get a convertible Symmar (non-S, non-Apo) as your 210mm (it comes in a Compur 1), using the back cell alone gives you a 370mm f/12, with a slight loss in performance, at 0g additional weight.

    In the Dialyte group, there is of course also the Docter Apo-Germinar 360mm f/9 in a Copal 3 (discontinued in 1995, single coated), but its also pretty rare.

    If you go for a Repro-Claron, be aware that the outer front and back lenses are normally somewhat yellowish due to the use of Thorium glass in this lens (i.e. they are slightly radioactive, check Michael Briggs web site for this topic: ).

    This could be problematic if you want to make color slides, although the discoloration can be removed somewhat by exposure to UV, see:

    The Apo-Artar, - Ronar, and -Germinar do not show this yellowing.
  6. Thanks for the advice, one and all.
    I have (on it's way, I hope) a 240mm lens, so I feel that a 300mm would be too close. Hence the 360mm enquiry, bellows length shouldn't be a worry for a non-tele design. This is just forward planning, so my personal known Universe will not collapse if a purchase isn't made this year.
    Thanks for making this such a great Forum and information source.
  7. Another possibility is maybe the Schneider Tele-Xenar 360mm/5.5 which is rather common, and also sometimes inexpensive (in Compund shutter then). Contrary to what the big aperture indicates, the lens have a volume, but is light in weight - only one rather thin lens group in front and a small diametre lens group at rear + all aluminium & light construction of the big front barrel = light weight. I have one of these in Compound - working nicely & part of my "travel - package" consisting of Linhof Bi Kardan w/ 75mm, 127mm & 240mm (the two latter sharing shutter) in addition to the 360. Tele-Xenars in compound shutter is often found at bargain prices even though the Compound is quite accurate when clean. I have compared the different shutter speeds with a Copal of known accuracy and noted me where the compound differs (slow speeds) - making myself a correction table and putting the compound/Tele-xenar to good use also with chromes. I have a Apo-Ronar (480mm/9), but that one while compact is uncommonly heavy due to be manfactured with brass barrel instead of aluminium.
  8. I almost hate to mention this, but the 14" Schneider-Dagor qualifies. It's a relatively small lens and can work well on 4x5 and 8x10.

    The standard Schneider f6.8 lens is huge and heavy. They have enormous coverage, but not worth the weight or size. Would be appropriate for larger cameras, like 11x14, etc.

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