Fujinon & Nikon LF Lenses

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Martin Aislabie, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    In Europe our standard LF Lenses are almost exclusively Rodenstock and Schneider products.

    However, we can get Fujinon lenses (rare) and Nikons (v rare)

    However, there is almost no information available about them.

    I understand that they are more common in other parts of the world.

    I am looking primarily at a 210mm 75deg (ish) Lens – either brand new or very recent

    How do the Fuji and Nikon Lenses compare to the Schneider and Rodenstock products for sharpness, contrast, coverage, flare and how well do they age – all relative to one another?

    I assume the Fujinons are still in production

    Are the Nikons still being manufactured?

    There is a considerable price difference between the European and Japanese products – which is too large to put down just to Yen:Euro exchange rates.

    Thanks for the help

    Martin
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I'm not sure what you mean by age.

    Nikon Europe used to have the only English language info on Nikon LF lenses. I think they still have a little.

    Fuji is still made but Nikon is out of the LF lens business. Some Nikon lenses are still in the shops new.

    Both companies have had very similar prices to the other brands for similar lenses. At least I've never noticed huge differences.

    Nikon and Fuji have both offered some interesting products that others don't.

    Small packbacking lenses. The M series from Nikon 200? 300mm for sure. Fuji also has a small 300mm , 450mm and the 600mm. The Fuji 450mm F/12.5 is tiny. The Nikon in that focal length is in a #3 the fuji is in #1.

    The Nikon SW series had the 120mm which covers 8x10.

    Fuji's SW line had the 105mm which covers 5x7. A focal length ignored for 5x7 users by the other brands.

    The Nikon F/8 90mm is liked because of the higher coverage versus the competing F/8 90mm.

    The older Fujis have some interesting lines. The W first series is an 80 degree lens line. The L are modern versions of an older Kodak lens. Both well worth considering.
     
  3. Uhner

    Uhner Member

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  4. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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  5. BarryWilkinson

    BarryWilkinson Subscriber

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    Martin, Robert White sells new Fujinon lenses. They used to stock Nikon until they stopped production.

    Barry
     
  6. Softie

    Softie Member

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    The early version of the Fujinon 210mm f/5.6 plasmat covered 80 degrees. It can be identified because the manufacturer's description of the lens is on the inside of the lens barrel, on the retaining ring, as opposed to on the outside of the lens barrel. The early Fujinon plasmats are, however, single coated.
     
  7. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    For a very long time now, Fuji of Japan manufactures a full line of Fujinon large format lenses, but are not widely distributed in the United States, because there is no official importer. Nevertheless, several retailers directly import Fujinon lenses
     
  8. Seabird

    Seabird Member

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    Martin,

    I have some Nikon LF lens info on my site. This includes manufacturers specs and a pdf of a Nikon brochure. Follow the link on the LHS from the front page of my site (link to front page below).

    http://members.iinet.net.au/~cbird/index.html

    As others have said, I understand the Nikkor LF lenses are no longer being manufactured - although there may still be some stock in the supply chain.

    I use the SW-90/f8 and M-300/f9 on my 4x5 Technika. I can see no readily discernible difference between them and my Schneider 150 Apo-Symmar - but I dont do colour.

    If buying second hand I'd more concerned about the performance of the shutter than the glass (obvious defects excepted).

    If buying new, I anticipate quality from any of the four manufacturers you mention will exceed your requirements and I'd base selection on physical characteristics (size, weight, filter size etc) and price over concerns about quality.

    Hope this is helpful

    Regards

    Carey Bird
     
  9. bnstein

    bnstein Member

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    My take on this has been that for a given age the products from any of R,S,N,F are very similar to each other. Some have concerns about colour matching as the different marques may vary between each other, but for B&W I have happily mixed and matched. I would happily buy any of the modern lenses.

    As seabird says for a new lens its more about the match between your needs and the lens, and for older lenses condition.

    For details about relatively recent lenses see http://www.largeformatphotography.info/lenses/ For my needs I have a 210 g-claron for hiking (285g 49mm filter image circle 260 but more if stopped down) As it so happens I also have a fuji 210 which at 5.6 is easier in dim light but weighs 500g and needs 67mm filter.
     
  10. Allen

    Allen Member

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  11. coriana6jp

    coriana6jp Member

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    I have never met a Fujinon lens that I didnt like. It took me over three years, but I finally was able to put together a virtually complete collection of all Fujinon lenses. The only one I am missing is the very very eluasive 300mm SW, of which I have seen exactly only one.(It was priced way to much.)

    They along with Nikon and any of the modern makers are all fine lenses. On film, for the most part you will have a very hard time telling the difference.

    Gary
     
  12. Tim Boehm

    Tim Boehm Subscriber

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    I recently acquired the Fujinon A (180mm and 240mm) and C (300mm, 450mm and 600mm) lenses.

    Those Fujinons are small, light, very sharp, contrasty, and easily fit into a backpack. They are a pleasure to handle in the field. However, they have slow max aperatures and that can be a problem (for me) in lower light situations. Nevertheless, they are fantastic.

    The Nikkor-W 210mm is a great, bright lens and can usually be purchased in the $300-375US range. Personally, I'd get the Fujinon-A 240mm lens, currently new for $795 at badgergraphic.com. As Allen mentioned in his post, it will cover an 8x10 (although barely). The Nikkor-W 210mm will only cover a 5x7.
     
  13. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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  14. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    Guys, thank you all very much

    I greatly appreciate the data, personal anecdotes and the good plain common sense advice

    APUG is just such a tremendous resource for anything photographic of almost and vintage.

    Left to my own devices to search the internet, I would never have found half this stuff in a month of Sundays

    Martin
     
  15. nemo999

    nemo999 Member

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    I have a copy of the Nikon Product Guide from 1994/5 which has full specs for Nikon LF lenses.

    Be aware that these lenses came in 3 series, the M series with an angle of coverage at f22 of approx. 55 degrees (variation of a couple of degrees from size to size), the W series with approx. 70 degrees and the SW series with 105 ( and also a T telephoto series and an AM macro series).

    Nikon LF lenses were freely avaialble from Robert White before they were discontinued. As I recall, they were slightly cheaper than German lenses. I have 135 W and 65 and 90 SW. In terms of quality, all the Nikons I have used do what the spec says, flare suppression is very good, contrast seems medium like almost all modern LF lenses, can't say anything about ageing because none of my lenses is very old. The Nikkor W 210 f5.6, 70 degree coverage, image circle at f22/infinity 295 mm, would suit your requirements, it came in a #1 shutter.
     
  16. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    aerial resolution

    Guys, when reading through this vast amount of stuff I was directed to (thanks everyone) I came across an expression I didn't realy understand - aerial resolution.

    What is aerial resolution :confused:

    Many thanks

    Martin
     
  17. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    IIRC it's the resolution the lens puts onto the image cast.

    If you test it with film you've got the resolution that is the result of the lens and the film. The aerial would be looking with a loupe at the groundglass.
     
  18. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    Nick, thanks

    It makes sense

    Martin
     
  19. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Correct apart from the last sentence. Inspecting the aerial image is not done with a groundglass, it's done with an optic. The aerial image is in the air, not on a surface. A telescope eyepiece typically focuses on the aerial imagefrom the main lens (aka objective). The aerial image takes the focusing surface or film out of the resolution equation and tells you just how good the image produced by the lens alone is. You can use a short focal length optic to inspect the aerial image to reach the resolution limit of the lens under test. You can take the groundglass off your view camera and inspect the aerial image with a loupe or other lens. Doing this handheld is possible, but to get down to the limits of the main lens and keep the planes of focus coincident, you'll need a way to hold the inspection lens square to the main lens, typically done with an "optical bench".

    Lee
     
  20. Matus Kalisky

    Matus Kalisky Member

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    Martin,

    I have only one Fujinon lens - the CM-W 125/5.6 and it is definitely my sharpest lens. The CM-W are the last generation of the Fujinon f/5.6 quasi plasmat lenses. I also lust after the CM-W 210/5.6 but have seen only 1 used over the last year and to buy new is a bit too much for me.

    For some reason these lenses are not so well know than the Fujinon A and C lenses. Probably because there are in the same class of f/5.6 with Symmar & Sironar lenses from Rodenstock and Schneider. There are few places where you can get these lenses new both in US and Europe. You can also contact the mpex or badgergraphic as they sometimes have these used and/or may try to locate one for you.
     
  21. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    I have a 300mm S Fujinon that is a fine lens.

    Mike