View Full Version : Nikkor M vs. Fujinon C 450mm

Brian Vuillemenot
27-Sep-2004, 13:37

I wish to aquire a 450mm lens for use in the 4X5, 4X10, and 8X10 formats. The two obvious choices are the Nikkor M and the Fujinon C. The Fujinon is lighter and has a slightly larger image circle, whereas the Nikkor has a wider maximum apperature (f9.0 vs. 11.5 for the Fujinon). How much brighter would the Nikkor be when focusing wide open? Is this a legitimate concern? Any other thoughts regarding my decision? Thanks for your advice!

David Karp
27-Sep-2004, 13:45
Brian, I had a Nikkor M 450mm and it is an excellent lens. I sold it and purchased a 450mm Fujinon C. It is also an excellent lens. I use a 4x5 and only use the 450mm when my legs can't get me to where I need to go, and I need the longer reach of that focal length. I have never felt that the smaller maximum f/stop made focusing difficult, even when using the lens to make long (1 minute or so) exposures in dim light conditions. I just decided that the tradeoff of the smaller, lighter lens made it easier to carry, and I worried less about the impact of the weight of a Copal 1 shutter at the end of a fully extended camera than that of a Copal 3 (and larger glass).

You should know that people who use the Nikkor M on 8x10 report that it has a larger useable image circle than reported by Nikon.

Others may disagree. This is a very personal choice.

Donald Miller
27-Sep-2004, 13:52
I own the 450 Nikkor M and have used it on 12X20 with some movements. It will certainly work equally well on 8X10 with unlimited movements. I would think that the Copal three would be difficult to mount of some 4X5 lensboards.

Donald Hutton
27-Sep-2004, 13:55

I can't personally comment on the differences between the two - I have only owned the Nikkor. It's a great performer, but requires that you have a huge amount of bellows and very few folding cameras are really super solid with loads of bellows extended. I sold mine and bought a Nikkor 360T/500 combo and I'm happier with this solution for my shooting. The Fuji is obviously a lot smaller and more compact than the Nikkor 450mm, but you still have to deal with half a yard of camera in the breeze (which I can tell you, always blows when you are trying to use a very long lens...).

Arne Croell
27-Sep-2004, 14:03
I've used both and either lens is sharp and contrasty. Subjectively the brightness difference was not significant for me, both are very easy to focus. If you make a search on the Nikkor, here you will find several threads indicating that the Nikkor might be a better choice for ULF - at least the circle of illumination seems to be larger than the Fuji one (despite the specs), but with 4x5 and 8x10 there will be more movements available than you will probably need with either lens. For me, the weight difference was the overriding issue and therefore the Fuji replaced my Nikkor.

Danny Burk
27-Sep-2004, 14:37
Brian - I've used only the Fuji 450, not the Nikkor; I chose the Fuji due to its much lesser weight and bulk, as others have mentioned. The Fuji is a marvelous lens, very crisp with a huge image circle. It is *very bright* and easy to focus; I honestly can't tell any difference in brightness from my Fuji 300 "C", which is f/8.5. I would not be concerned in the slightest re: difficulty in seeing to focus the Fuji 450. It's one of my favorite lenses; I use it constantly.

Regards, Danny www.dannyburk.com

Brian Vuillemenot
27-Sep-2004, 14:58
Thanks, guys, it looks like I'll go with the Fuji!

Michael Kadillak
27-Sep-2004, 15:00
I own both and would make my decision based upon what is the cheapest. I find no difference focusing either and give it no thought as to which to use. The Fuji is lighter and smaller when that matters but I disagree with your assessent of the coverage. The Nikon covererage is far superior to the Fuji and I have used mine on 12x20. There are far more used 450 M Nikons on the used market that can be had for $650 +/- so that will more than likely be the best deal.

Brian Vuillemenot
27-Sep-2004, 15:17

My assesment of the coverage was just based on the lens coverage charts at www.largeformatphotography.info, which reflect the manufacturer's stated, and not necessarily the actual coverage, of the lenses.

Gem Singer
27-Sep-2004, 15:19
Hi Brian,

I'm with Danny. Another endorsement for the Fuji 450C. Since you plan on using a 450 on a 4X5 camera, the Fuji, mounted in a Copal 1 shutter, is the better choice. You will be using mostly the center of the lens's huge 486mm. image circle, so the f11.5 maximum aperature is sufficiently bright for focusing, even in dim light.

I use a 34mm extension lensboard (Linhof tech type) with my Fuji 450C. It makes for less bellows extension and an easier reach to the shutter controls. The extension lensboard is relatively light weight, and the combination of lens and lensboard is lighter weight than the Fuji 400T (tele) that I formerly used as a long lens.

Michael Kadillak
27-Sep-2004, 15:29
I saw posted information similar to what you are mentioning when I bought the Fuji first and if I would have know how much more coverage the Nikon had over its stated numbers and over the Fuji and how much cheaper I ended up paying for a Nikon 450M, it would have made the Fuji decision much harder. I really prefer the Nikon contrast over the Fuji sharpness because it gives it a bit more pop, but it is really not that big a deal and as others have commented it needs to be taken in context of the entire photographic process from film to final print and all points in between.

Good Luck!