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Thread: Wide-angle Fujinons

  1. #1

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    Wide-angle Fujinons

    I am looking to purchase a moderate wide lens for 4x5. I have seen some examples of Fujinon lens on ebay - 120mm f8; and the 125mm f5.6. Can anyone with experience of these lens comment on their performance and what is the meaning of the letter code given for the lens - e.g. "W".

    My work is general and not specifically architectural, so a lot of coverage is less of a concern, and I would prefer the faster lens for easier focusing.

    Thanks for any comments.

    Peter

  2. #2

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    Re: Fujinon

    Fuji's naming conventions are confusing and names in brochures don't exactly match what's engraved on the lenses. The clearest explanation is at: http://www.subclub.org/fujinon/index.htm

    IMO -- not everyone agrees -- focusing at f/8 isn't significantly harder than focusing at f/5.6. To check for yourself, put an f/5.6 lens on your camera, focus it wide open. Then stop it down to f/8 and focus again.

  3. #3

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    Re: Fujinon

    Peter,

    Like all optics manufacturers, some made some good lenses and some made some that you want to avoid. Including the large format realm, Nikon made some great lenses, some not so good. Yashica made some great lenses, some not so good. Fuijica made some great lenses, some not so good. Rodenstock made some great lenses, some not so good. Schnieder made some great lenses, some not so good.

    For a look at FUJI lenses check out www.subclub.org/fujinon

  4. #4
    SE Penna.
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    Re: Fujinon

    My suggestion is to go wider. 120/125 is pretty mild in my view for 4x5. To me it doesn't feel "wide". Suggest 90mm or, better yet 72mm. I like the possibilities these wider lenses offer. I regularly use a 58mm SAXL and enjoy the perspective and have no problems focusing when using a darkcloth and loupe.

  5. #5

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    Re: Fujinon

    12pmc,

    Two things, first the lenses: Fuji W NW and CM-W series lenses are plasmats and usually have maximum apertures of f/5.6. Angle of coverage is approx. 76-80, similar to the Schneider Symmar series and the Nikkor W lenses. More letters in the series means newer and sometimes improved (better coating, etc.). Lenses of this design barely cover 4x5 at the 125mm focal length. 135mm offers limited movements, 150mm and up have generous image circles for 4x5.

    Anything SW (NSW etc.) are larger heavier lenses with wider angles of coverage, typically 100, similar to the Schneider Super Angulon and the Nikkor SW series. For focal lengths shorter than 125mm or so, you need a lens with a wider angle of coverage like this in order not to vignette corners. If you need rise or shift a lot (for architectural work, etc.), these are the go-to lenses for shorter focal lengths and even moderate ones like 120mm.

    Second, the choice for a shorter-focal-length lens: If you have a 150mm or 135mm lens already, you will certainly want to go wider. 90mm is a tried and true standard wide-angle lens for 4x5 because it is a great compromise between a wide angle of view and plenty of coverage to use movements. In the W series (and similar lenses from other manufacturers) there are two versions of this lens, one larger on with a larger image circle and larger maximum aperture of f/5.6 or so and a smaller version with max. aperture of f/8 or so and a slightly smaller image circle. I carry the smaller 90mm f/8 because I've optimized portability of my kit. However, I run out of image circle with it from time-to-time.

    If you have a 210mm lens already, a lens in the 120mm-135mm range would be a good addition (FWIW, my most-used focal length is 135mm). When choosing a lens in this range, you need to asses your need for image circle size. If you never use rise or shift and just a bit of back tilt from time-to-time, then the 125mm W will do the job just fine. However, it will quickly run out of coverage if you need rise or shift. A 135mm lens in the same series (W, etc.) will give you a bit more image circle and just about the same angle of view. If you plan on doing work in this focal length with extreme movements, then the 120mm SW or similar lens will give you tons of image circle, but at the expense of large and heavy.

    Hope this helps a bit.

    Doremus

  6. #6
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Fujinon

    I can personally recommend the Fujinon 90/5.6 SWD with EBC multi-coating.
    The SWD name means Super-Wide Deluxe.

    Its 236mm image circle is almost 70mm larger than the diagonal of 4x5 film.
    That's large enough to provide generous movements with 5x7 film.

    I have one and am quite impressed with its optical quality.

    -Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  7. #7
    Eric Woodbury
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    Re: Fujinon

    I was tired of travelling with a fortune in lenses, so I switched over to Fujinon lens a few years back. I have the 65mm, 135mm, 180mm, 240mm, 360mm, and 450mm. Love them all. Great lenses. I had the 105mm but it was too close to the edges on 4x5. The 125mm I had was too close to the 135mm, so I sold it off, too. Presently, the 135mm is a fave. When buying lenses, I think you should consider how the steps fall. I space mine about 1.5X apart. For 4x5, my common package is 90/135/200/300/450. This makes life simpler for me. I'm not a "full-frame addict" and don't mind cropping a little if I don't have the perfect lens.

    As for focusing, the best improvements for this are: the best dark cloth you can find and a shaded loupe that works well even without a cloth.

  8. #8

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    Re: Fujinon

    There are 2 versions of the 105.

    The f/5.6 lens is for 6x9, it covers 5x4 but with only very slight movements. The f/8 lens on the other hand has a 250mm IC and would even cover 5x7.

    If the 77mm filter threads aren't a problem the 105 would be a very nice moderate wideangle (~30mm 135 equivalent) with extensive movement allowance.

  9. #9

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    Re: Fujinon

    Quote Originally Posted by Doremus Scudder View Post
    Fuji W NW and CM-W series lenses are plasmats and usually have maximum apertures of f/5.6. Angle of coverage is approx. 76-80, similar to the Schneider Symmar series and the Nikkor W lenses. More letters in the series means newer and sometimes improved (better coating, etc.). Lenses of this design barely cover 4x5 at the 125mm focal length. 135mm offers limited movements, 150mm and up have generous image circles for 4x5.
    Doremus, have you read the compilation of Fuji documentation that links in posts #2 and #3 above point to?

    I ask because it says that 1st generation f/5.6 Fujinons, "W" in the literature and engraved "W", are indeed 6/4 plasmats that cover as much as 80 degrees depending on focal length. These are the ones with serial numbers etc. on the trim rings. Claimed coverage for the 125/5.6 is 210 mm.

    The second generation, "NW" in the literature but engraved "W", are 6/6. I don't know that type's name, but it isn't plasmat. These are the ones with serial numbers on the rear cell and lens identification on the outside of the front cell. Claimed coverage for the 125/5.6 is 198 mm.

    The third generation, CM W in the literature and so engraved, are 6/5. These also have serial numbers on the rear cell and ID on the outside of the front cell. The 125/5.6 CM-W's claimed coverage is 204 mm.

    I don't see why a 125/5.6 Fujinon won't cover 4x5 with movements. I also don't see how Fuji found so much more coverage than their competitors.

  10. #10

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    Re: Fujinon

    I own a Schneider 121mm f/8 lens. It is a moderate wide angle on 4x5 and feels like a 35mm lens on a 35mm or full frame digital camera.

    It's a nice focal length if this is what you are looking for.

    There is nothing wrong with Fuji lenses. I own two of them!

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