Scneider Symmar 210 mm convertible

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John Dancke

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Mar 19, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/19/00
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I have an Scneider Symmar 210 mm convertible to 370mm by removeing the
frint element. What puzzles me is that used as 370 mm, it seems to
have its optival centre almost 20 mm behind the rearmost lens surface,
i.e it behaves like a retrofocus (Wide angle) design ??
The lens is mounted in an unoriginal shutter (Copal made for
Polaroid). Can anybody give me the actual diameter in mm (Or Inches)
for ful apperture (1:5.6)?
In Schneiders own listing of vintage lenses it sais that it should
have shutter I + 1 (Ronam numeral I, then + then arbic numeral 1).
Anoone know where I can fin out exactly what this means ??

John M. E. Dancke
dan...@online.no

Egersund - Norway

Richard Knoppow

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Mar 20, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/20/00
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jda...@online.no (John Dancke) wrote:

This is a characteristic of the single elements of convertible
lenses. The second principle point, where the light _seems_ to be
coming from, is located behind the lens. Its the reverse if the lens
is used in front of the diaphragm, with the convex surfaces facing the
film. Unfortunately, the stop position is important in helping to
flatten the field and reduce some other aberrations. Nonetheless,
sometimes a very long FL single element can be used in front to make
it usable on a camera with not enough bellows draw, as long as the
image quality is acceptable.
The positions of a simple meniscus lens, which most of these
covertibles approximate, it similar, the principle plane on the
concave side is located outside the lens, the one on the convex side
is located about at the surface on that side. All dependant on the
degree of bending of the lens. This is why box cameras were often made
with the lens on the outside with the convex side facing inside, the
camera is shorter this way and the shutter is protected, although the
image quality isn't quite as good.
---
Richard Knoppow
Los Angeles, Ca.
dick...@ix.netcom.com

John Dancke

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Mar 20, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/20/00
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Thank you very much for a very interesting answer.

Earl Fieldman

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Mar 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/21/00
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Joshua Wein wrote in message ...
>I am interested in finding one of these 210/370 lenses for my 4x5. Can
>anyone tell me what the image quality of the lens is at 210 and 370. I
>understand the 370 has a lot of uncorrected spherical abberation. Does this
>make it appropriate as a "soft focus" lens good for portraits?

I don't know the lens in question.

I do know however the difference between a "soft focus lens"
and a "low quality lens".

The latter tends to be WAY sharper in the center
than even halfway out to the edge, and at the
edge the image becomes very soft indeed.

A soft focus lens is at least close to being equally
diffused across the entire frame.

The cheap lens effect is hard to harness creatively.
It certainly doesn't add anything to a portrait.

Earl F.

David Grandy

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Mar 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/21/00
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I have a Schneider 210 mm Symmar convertible. At 210 it's an excellent
lens. At 370 it's so so. Not soft, but much lower in contrast. I
think that it says something that the Schneider lens that superseded
this one is not a convertible.

Now the way I use mine at 370 mm is to take off the back element group.
It seems to be 370 and it works well (not withstanding the above). The
reason I mention this is everyone else seems to be happily taking off
the FRONT element group and using it that way. Well I'm not sure who's
right, and since I've used mine at 370 for exactly two exposures it's
pretty much moot. Still if anyone - especially Schneider - knows for
sure, I'll listen.

These lenses were not multicoated and are more prone to flare than
lenses with MC. I try to protect the front element from direct sunlight
as much as I can since I don't have a dedicated lens hood for my
particular camera, so I use the little "Flare Buster" tool and it's OK.

Would I like to have a 210 APO Symmar instead of this lens? You bet.
Could I see a difference in most of my pictures? I doubt it.


Joshua Wein

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Mar 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/22/00
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I am interested in finding one of these 210/370 lenses for my 4x5. Can you

tell me what the image quality of the lens is at 210 and 370. I understand
the 370 has a lot of uncorrected spherical abberation. Does this make it
appropriate as a "soft focus" lens good for portraits? Is it as sharp as a
modern 210 at 210?

-Joshua Wein

Richard Knoppow <dick...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message
news:38d56d08....@news.mindspring.com...


> jda...@online.no (John Dancke) wrote:
>
> >I have an Scneider Symmar 210 mm convertible to 370mm by removeing the
> >frint element. What puzzles me is that used as 370 mm, it seems to
> >have its optival centre almost 20 mm behind the rearmost lens surface,
> >i.e it behaves like a retrofocus (Wide angle) design ??
> >The lens is mounted in an unoriginal shutter (Copal made for
> >Polaroid). Can anybody give me the actual diameter in mm (Or Inches)
> >for ful apperture (1:5.6)?
> >In Schneiders own listing of vintage lenses it sais that it should
> >have shutter I + 1 (Ronam numeral I, then + then arbic numeral 1).
> >Anoone know where I can fin out exactly what this means ??
> >

> >John M. E. Dancke
> >dan...@online.no
> >
> >Egersund - Norway
>

Joshua Wein

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Mar 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/22/00
to
I am interested in finding one of these 210/370 lenses for my 4x5. Can
anyone tell me what the image quality of the lens is at 210 and 370. I

Joshua Wein

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Mar 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/22/00
to
Now I know I couldn't expect a "sharp" picture at 370, but how would you
describe the images created. Is it an interesting effect, or an unpleasant
one? Do you have any scanned images? I have heard from others that at 210 it
comes close to the newer lenses, and it usually runs a lot cheaper. I'm
wondering if the 370 component has any use at all, even from a weird
artistic angle.

-Josh

David Grandy <dgr...@accesscable.net> wrote in message
news:38D83E9C...@accesscable.net...

ann

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Mar 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/22/00
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In article <sKUB4.27451$MZ2.3...@news1.wwck1.ri.home.com>, jaye...@home.com
says...

Hi Joshua,

I have compared around four times the difference between the 210/370 at 210
from a APO MC Symmar 210 and what I found is that the newer lens has more
contrast, but not noticeably sharper. I will be taking some 370 shots
tomorrow, I have seen the image formed by the 370 on an 8x10 ground glass and
it is softer at the corners, but I shall stop down to strobe situations at f22
and see. I will compare that to the 12" Dagor which is very satisfying at
40x50 enlargements at 7" viewing. From what I gather, my Dagor is not as sharp
as the symmar at 210, of course they are different lenghts but the difference
is definitely noticeable. I will keep you inform.

Also, I could not use the 370 with the rear element on my Toyo Cx with
monorail 445mm.

BTW: I got mine with a copal 1 for $350. There is one on ebay right now with
240/420 for $300!

Best Regards,

Ann
--
Ann Q. Lee
http://carcassi.eng.uci.edu/intropictures.htm


skgrimes

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Mar 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/22/00
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f-5.6 diameter is 29.3mm for the 210 lens. (As a practical matter this is full open on the Copal #1
shutter)

S.K. GRIMES -- FEINMECHANIK -- MACHINE WORK FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS
153 Hamlet Ave (5th floor) Woonsocket, RI 02895
+ Lenses mounted into shutters.
+ Shutters repaired, restored.
+ For more info-- http://www.skgrimes.com.
(updated 3-4-00) (New Spanner Wrench)
mailto:skgr...@skgrimes.com
John Dancke <jda...@online.no> wrote in message
news:vTPd10L2JMI4-p...@ti18a68-0277.dialup.online.no...

John Dancke

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Mar 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/22/00
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On Thu, 1 Jan 1970 02:59:59, "skgrimes" <skgr...@ma.ultranet.com>
wrote:

> f-5.6 diameter is 29.3mm for the 210 lens. (As a practical matter this is full open on the Copal #1
> shutter)
>

Thank yoy very much. This is a good help to calculate the real F-stops
on my Copal/polaroid shutter.

Tom Ferguson

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Mar 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/22/00
to
I have owned a few, and still use one, convertible lenses. Wonderful things
when weight or money is the most important consideration. Three thoughts
about the conversation below:

1) Use a deep yellow or orange filter on the lens when converted. This will
help sharpness quite a bit. When converted the single lens group doesn't
focus different colors at the same point (bummer). A yellow/orange filter
will limit the range of colors hitting the film, and thus limit the "smear"
effect. This, obviously, is why convertibles are FAR more popular with the
B&W crowd ;-)

2) I was taught (but never tested) to put the single lens group behind the
shutter/aperature, and the filter in front. The explanation given (again, I
never tested) was that less light (flare) then hit the single element, and
that the aperture in front better corrected croma.

3) I can't say that I find the effect of a single element lens "weird
artistic". It is just sub standard unless filtered and stopped down. Then
it is acceptable if not overly enlarged. For "weird artistic" you want
truly (on purpose) bad lenses (soft focus Wollensaks and similar 2 element
simples lenses) or fancier versions such as the Fuji or Rodensaks that take
multiple aperature plates (imagon).

Hope that helps

--
Tom Ferguson
http://www.ferguson-photo-design.com

> From: "Joshua Wein" <jaye...@home.com>
>
> Now I know I couldn't expect a "sharp" picture at 370, but how would you
> describe the images created. Is it an interesting effect, or an unpleasant
> one? Do you have any scanned images? I have heard from others that at 210 it
> comes close to the newer lenses, and it usually runs a lot cheaper. I'm
> wondering if the 370 component has any use at all, even from a weird
> artistic angle.
>

> David Grandy <dgr...@accesscable.net> wrote in message
> news:38D83E9C...@accesscable.net...
>> I have a Schneider 210 mm Symmar convertible. At 210 it's an excellent
>> lens. At 370 it's so so. Not soft, but much lower in contrast. I
>> think that it says something that the Schneider lens that superseded

>> this one is not a convertible. <BIG SNIP>


Norman Strand~

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Mar 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/22/00
to
I have a Schneider Symmar 210mm convertible. I like it at 210mm. I have tried
it with just the rear element and for indoor portraits it is difficult to
focus properly. Ansel Adams noted in one of his books that one half or a
convertable lens may have a focus shift when stopped down, so I have tried
to check focus stopped down, but I cannot see the image very well, except in
full sunlight. I suggest that you use the 210 as a 210, and save your money
to buy a real telephoto that will work better.

Norman Strand

--
Intel, Corp.
5000 W. Chandler Blvd.
Chandler, AZ 85226

Oliver Raymond

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Mar 31, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/31/00
to
could you post results? I'm intrigued as well.
I have just picked up the 210 and it's yet to arrive in the mail.... go on,
spoil my fun :)

oliver

"ann" <ann...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:78_B4.22110$Nn6.8...@newsread2.prod.itd.earthlink.net...

radi...@means.net

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Mar 31, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/31/00
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> could you post results? I'm intrigued as well.
> I have just picked up the 210 and it's yet to arrive in the mail.... go
on,
> spoil my fun :)
>
> oliver
>
> "ann" <ann...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
> news:78_B4.22110$Nn6.8...@newsread2.prod.itd.earthlink.net...
> > In article <sKUB4.27451$MZ2.3...@news1.wwck1.ri.home.com>,
> jaye...@home.com
> > says...
> > >
> > >I am interested in finding one of these 210/370 lenses for my 4x5. Can
> > >anyone tell me what the image quality of the lens is at 210 and 370. I
> > >understand the 370 has a lot of uncorrected spherical abberation. Does
> this
> > >make it appropriate as a "soft focus" lens good for portraits? Is it
as
> > >sharp as a modern 210 at 210?

FYI, in the early 70's this 210/370 was THE lens of choice for Brookes
Institute students in Santa Barbara. Most of these students had money, and
bought the best available. This was in part because they were competing
with each other and HAD to!

Most used it in 210 mode only, where it performed well. I'm sure that
lenses 30 years newer may be better, but this is not exactly some
Coke-bottle lens that fell off a scrap heap.

John

Richard Knoppow

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Mar 31, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/31/00
to
radi...@means.net wrote:

John is right that this was the pick of the litter when new and
still nothing to sneer at.
The single section has fair performance, about the same as a single
section convertible Protar. The corrections gained from the near
symmetry of the complete lens are lost. Spherical aberration may
actually be less, since spherical adds and does not cancel in
symmetrical lenses. However, the coma becomes much worse and there is
some field curvature. The result is a lens which must be stopped down
a lot to be sharp in the corners of its field, a much smaller angle of
coverage (the single section of a convertible covers about the same
size image circle as the entire lens despite the longer focal length)
and loss of some color correction.
Convertibles were a popular economy when LF negatives were mostly
contact printed. The Symmar and Protar halves are surprizingly good
given all the correction loss. The lens is quite suitable for portrait
use but will not give you the "pearly" highlights of a genuine
soft-focus lens because it is too well corrected for spherical
aberration in the center of the field.
There are all sorts of diffusion schemes you can use for getting
this effect, a bit of black silk or nylon in front of the lens will
add diffusion. If it has a hole in the middle the diffusion will
mostly be in the periphery of the image, and etc.

SlberFuchs

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Apr 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM4/1/00
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To add to Ricard's comments. 20-25 years ago this was THE primary lens I used
on my Kardan Color 45S and was generallysatisfied with it. I still avhe some
pictures taken with this lens that I love and they are sharp and crisp and have
that 'feel' you look for from LF. it was only when I looked at its performance
v a modern lens that I got unhappy.

Ted

pfsulli...@gmail.com

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Feb 4, 2017, 7:58:24 PM2/4/17
to
On a different subject, what's the front filter diameter? 55mm?
Message has been deleted
Message has been deleted
Message has been deleted

pfsulli...@gmail.com

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Feb 4, 2017, 8:13:22 PM2/4/17
to
On Tuesday, March 21, 2000 at 12:00:00 AM UTC-8, David Grandy wrote:
> I have a Schneider 210 mm Symmar convertible. At 210 it's an excellent
> lens. At 370 it's so so. Not soft, but much lower in contrast. I
> think that it says something that the Schneider lens that superseded
> this one is not a convertible.
>
> Now the way I use mine at 370 mm is to take off the back element group.
> It seems to be 370 and it works well (not withstanding the above). The
> reason I mention this is everyone else seems to be happily taking off
> the FRONT element group and using it that way. Well I'm not sure who's
> right, and since I've used mine at 370 for exactly two exposures it's
> pretty much moot. Still if anyone - especially Schneider - knows for
> sure, I'll listen.
>
> These lenses were not multicoated and are more prone to flare than
> lenses with MC. I try to protect the front element from direct sunlight
> as much as I can since I don't have a dedicated lens hood for my
> particular camera, so I use the little "Flare Buster" tool and it's OK.
>
> Would I like to have a 210 APO Symmar instead of this lens? You bet.
> Could I see a difference in most of my pictures? I doubt it.

The reason most of the posters are taking off the FRONT element of the lens is because that's what Schneider recommended to use the lens at 370. Taking off the rear element make you have a DIFFERENT focal length... some of the early (1940's-1950's)Symmar 210's actually have this focal length marked (and a third ƒ stop scale!)...
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