finally got the money.....

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scootermm

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Alright, I finally have the money to buy a proper lens in a shutter for my 8x10 camera.
I had some Ebay auctions that ended yesterday and were better than I expected so I am left with a good amount of money to purchase a "proper" lens for my 8x10.

Im leaning most heavily towards a Schneider G-Claron 305mm f9 in a copal #1 shutter
or
a 305mm Kodak Commercial Ektar f6.3.

the kodak is a few hundred less but Im still wavering either way on which to get. The coverage is about the same for both and seems pretty adequate.

Im also considering a 250mm (10") Kodak Wide Field Ektar because of the wonderful coverage but I havent found one of those at the few places that carry LF lenses I have bookmarked.

any thoughts?
 

Mateo

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I've got both the G Claron and the 12" Ektar and they're both good lenses but they act completely different. If you like to pretzal your camera go with the G Claron, the Ektar will run out of room real quick. If you want your girlfriend to talk to you anymore, go with the Ektar. The G Claron, for me at least, is just too sharp to be nice for portraits. Also, the Ektar weighs a bunch more if that makes a difference. Good luck.
 

bmac

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I've got the 305 G-Claron. I love it. If it is too sharp for portraits, put a filter on it. As far as I know, there are no sharpening filters for the front of your lens :wink:
 

mikewhi

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I've got the 305, too and there is no need to add to what people say. Lately, I have acquired a Nikor-W 360mm and I am totaly blown away by this lens. I consider it the best lens that I have and I love using it.

BTW, there is a guy selling a 250mm WF Ektar on eBay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3853124956

DONT BUY THIS LENS. I bought it from the guy and went thru a lot of trouble returning it and getting a refund. Ad says 'shutter seems accurate' - it arrived broken. The front element has a scratch on it and there are many 'cleaning marks' on it. Somehow, he got a good-looking picture of the front element - the lens in person is a mess. I'm glad I got my $$ back.

Anyway, I really recommend the Nikor-W 360. It will cover 11x14 and is a joy to use.
Look in my gallery and you'll see a negative of a boulder taken with it and my 8x10. These lenses come up on eBay fairly often and you can get one for around $500 mint.

Have fun.

-Mike
 

Peter Schrager

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Lens for 8x10

Scootermm-it's worth checking with Lens and Repro in NYC. While their prices may be a little higher they usually have some exceptional glass lying around and you will not get burned. You can check in the latest issue of VC mag. for inventory or just call them. Ask for Jeffrey Ithan and tell him Peter Schrager told you to call. I have a Ross Homocentric I got from them over 25 years ago and I love it. In=between I have bought and sold with them many times.These guys really know about lenses. So before you buy....
Regards Peter
 

noseoil

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You might look at an older Schneider 300mm Symmar-S. It is a beast as far as weight goes (Copal 3), but is very sharp and has good coverage, as well as f5.6 for easy focusing. Another down side is the 105mm filter size. Compared to a new APO they are going cheap. Not a lens for back packing, but excellent glass, contrast, coated and clarity.
 

David A. Goldfarb

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Jeffrey at L&R is very knowledgable and helpful, so I'll second Peter's recommendation.

Also call Louis Shu at Photo Gizzmo (contact info at www.photogizzmo.com). He's also helpful and has a great selection of classic lenses in the shop, but isn't very internet savvy, so he doesn't have much of a website. When in New York, Photo Gizzmo and L&R are both places to stop if you want to see a nice selection of LF equipment in person.

Better website and better prices at www.mpex.com.

Also www.thefstop.com often has some interesting lenses.

Going rate for a 10" WF Ektar seems to be around $500-550 these days. It's not the contrastiest lens you'll ever use but the huge coverage makes it unique.
 
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scootermm

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thanks for the advice....
Im leaning towrds the 305 G-Claron
I was looking at purchasing from Lens and Repro ironically.
they have the 300mm Kodak Com Ektar for $450
and the 305mm G Claron for $600

big difference ($150 is alot of money for me right now) and a bit above what I wanted to spend total wise.

anyone have a 305mm G-Claron they want to part with? :smile:
 

Ed Sukach

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mikewhi said:
BTW, there is a guy selling a 250mm WF Ektar on eBay:

DONT BUY THIS LENS.... The front element has a scratch on it and there are many 'cleaning marks' on it. Somehow, he got a good-looking picture of the front element - the lens in person is a mess. I'm glad I got my $$ back.

Sounds like a couple of my experiences with eBay.

It's not too difficult to make the front element of a lens look "clean" - Carefully place a few drops of water on it and photograph it wet.
 

David A. Goldfarb

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I just took a look over at keh.com, and there are a couple of 300/9 Nikkor-Q's at very reasonable prices. A Q is most likely a four-element lens from the 1960s, probably single-coated, and they are in Copal 1 shutters. I have a couple of faster Nikkor-Q's for Bronica from that era, and they are sharp lenses (Tessar-types like the Com. Ektar). Coverage isn't going to be as generous as the G-claron, and it won't be as bright as the f:6.3 Com. Ektar, but it is in a modern shutter and should be nice and compact.

According to Kerry Thalmann's article on Nikon lenses in _View Camera_ (Mar/Apr 2003) the specs are: 55-degrees of coverage at f:22, image circle of 325mm, weight 310 g., 52mm filter thread.
 
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You mentioned you were leaning towards the G-Claron... Have you considered the 300mm Fuji-C??

joe
 
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scootermm

scootermm

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honestly Im considering alot of things (fuji, nikor, schneider symmar, g-claron, etc etc etc etc) ..... really price is my deciding factor....
Im bound by the limits of my pocket book which isnt very high.
talking with a few APUGers trying to help them out by taking a lens off their hands.
a Nikkor 300mm f5.6 and an osaka 360mm lens.
 

removed account4

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hey scootermm - -

not sure if you know about igors camera but i bought my wollensak triple from him. i know, it is an older lens in a betax shutter with no sync, but he has lots of others ... newer, older, you name it :smile:

if i had some spare $$ lying around ..... it wouldn't be spare cash anymore cause igor would probably have it :wink:

http://www.igorcamera.com/large_format.htm

- john
 
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Scootermm,

I think if I were purchasing a 300mm lens for 8x10 right now, I would have to think about the other possibilities...

Do you intend to move up in size in the future? If so, go with the 305 G Claron, as it is a great 7x17/11x14 lens in addition to 8x10. The others mentioned here don't go that large.

If not, then the second issue for me would be size. The 300 Fuji C and the 300 Nikkor M are both substantially lighter and smaller than the G Claron, and they use smaller filters. I like small and light, as I tend to get around with my equipment. If you plan to stay in the studio or right near the car, then this may not be a terribly big concern for you.

The third issue is the shutter. I am not a fan of real old shutters, because they can be funky. I like the fact that all the lenses I own are consistent and reliable, and they all have the same ranges of shutter speeds on them. The levers and controls are all in the same location (with the exception of the Fujinon aperture dial), so I can operate the shutter from the rear without looking. I do have to get around front to set the final aperture accurately, but otherwise, I do it all through feel. You won't be able to do that if every shutter you have is a different brand.

The fourth is cost, and I suspect you will find the Nikkor M the cheapest of the modern lenses. It is fairly common, and aren't terribly expensive new, and the used prices reflect this. The G Claron is a bit more uncommon, and since they have been discontinued for a few years now, they will probably hold their value better than the others.

Even though I'm not a wealthy person, I consider my equipment purchases to be investments for the long haul, so I don't fret too much over the cost in the end, as long as it meets my requirements. I certainly try to get something as inexpensively as possible, but I generally don't compromise on what I want to purchase if there is a viable way to pay for it.

I have both the 300M and the 305 G Claron. I purchased the 300M when I was shooting 4x5 exclusively, and purchased the 305 G Claron when I moved up to 7x17. I typically use the G Claron for the 8x10 because I have it, but I don't think that I would be wanting if I only had the Nikkor M. If I want to travel light, I take the Nikkor M without any hesitation.


---Michael
 

John Kasaian

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I'll add my 2-cents.

The 14" Commercial Ektar is my "weapon of choice." A bit bigger and heavier than the 12" Commercial Ektar(the 14" llives in the No.5 Universal shutter) but the 444mm circle is immense and focusing at f6.3 is a piece of cake. Slip on series adapters for filters are hard to find to fit these big lenses though. SK Grimes can machine one for you if you've got the $$. I use a Lee Gel-snap for 4" square filters I put in calumet cardboard "frames" and I've got no complaints.

The G-Clarons are very desireable and excellent performers, The advantage is that they are smaller, lighters and in modern copal (sometimes compur)shutters. Mine (240mm) is brutally "sharp" and I find they lend themselves well to low contrast situations. In high contrast situations they almost have(to me) an "abstract" quality that may or may not be to your liking(my opinion!) Mine takes the same size filters as most of the old Nikon SLRs so I can use the filters I already own and any others I might want to add are available used and cheap!

For lenses I'll second john nanians recommendation for Igor's Photographic---great service and prices. I'd also recommend Mid West Photo. Both stores have pretty large selections so if what you want isn't at one, you'll probably find it at the other. Also, don't turn up your noses at the Wollensaks or Ilex lenses you might come across(some Ilex models are copies of the Commercial Ektars). Many of them are excellent performers and many, especially the later ones, are more often than not underrated and undervalued (as long as the glass and shutters are in good condition.) Under no circumstances buy a lens in an Ilex "General"(looks like a dial set compur with a moustache) if you want a working shutter(they don't and won't!)

Cheers!
 
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scootermm

scootermm

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Micheal
good advice. and Im thinking through all that quite a bit...
especially the idea of "moving up" again. Ive always admired and drooled over the 7x17 format (sidebar: your images of BNSF in the view camera article -gorgeous- are what inspired me to move to Large Format and will inevitably go to 7x17 at some point in my future)
so Im considering all that in my potential purchase.
I have two APUGers who are offering me a 300mm Nikkor 5.6 and a Osaka 360mm at wonderfully reasonable prices so I have alot of options and am leaning towards the 300mm nikkor also leaning towards the 305mm G claron for its WONDERFUL coverage and potential in future ULF projects.
 

fujinonA

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David,
I have two nikkor 300 Q in EXCellent conditions.I sell them at 27000 yen since i'm living in Japan.For pics leave me a message if you wish to save some money.
Thanks
 
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scootermm

scootermm

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Alex Hawley said:
Matt, I can vouch for the 12" Commercial Ektar. The two prints I sent you were taken with one, for whatever its worth.

worth quite a bit actually alex. :smile:
its one of the initial reasons I leaned towards the Ektar. You mentioned that early on and I was astounded by how wonderful those contact prints were.
 
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