View Full Version : It never rains and then it pours!! Fuji 300 A

Ted Harris
19-Nov-2004, 09:00
several of us (me included) use the Fuji 300 A and love it. It is among my most used lenses for landscape work. Lots of us are always on the lookout for good deals on one of these now discontinued beauties soit was with surprise that I noted the two listings on eBay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=30076&item=3852659226&rd=1 (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=30076&item=3852659226&rd=1)

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3853941463 (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3853941463)

Strictly for information, I know nothing about the lenses or the sellers.

Richard K.
19-Nov-2004, 11:11
Thanks for the heads up! Please let us know when you see a 240 Zeiss Dagor f/9... :>)

roger michel
19-Nov-2004, 11:51
like it better than the nikkor 300??

Gem Singer
19-Nov-2004, 17:39

The Fujinon 300A is a 6 element lens with a 420mm. image circle. The Nikon 300M is a 4 element lens with a 325mm. image circle. Both lenses are mounted in Copal 1 shutters. Both are multi coated, and both have a maximum aperature of f 9. 0. Even though it's an older, now discontinued lens, I like the Fuji better, especially for the 8x10 format.

Ted Harris
19-Nov-2004, 20:40
I echo Eugene's sentiments but go the other way at 450 preferring the Nikkor M to the Fuji ....

Patrick Raymore
20-Nov-2004, 10:08
There are a few other things to keep in mind about the 300mm Fujinon A. It is optimized for close-up work (and hence apochromatic only at those distances) although stopped down a at infinity you should not notice any difference on 8*10 , or 4*5 for that matter. The 300mm Nikkor M, and 300mm Fujinon Cs are optimized for infinity. The Fujinon As are not great lenses for portrait work. They are sharp, but they have an unusual spectral interpretation that emphasizes every facial blemish. If you are using the full image circle on these lenses you will find the edges to be soft until you reach f16 and beyond. This has been my experience with the multiple samples that I have had.

Gem Singer
20-Nov-2004, 22:14

According to Ron Wisner, the concept of the "flat field" lens is a myth. His article is at www.wisner.com/myth.htm. The Nikkor 300M and the Fujinon 300C, both of which I have owned, are 4 element lenses. The "A" series of Fuji lenses are process lens formulations, 6 elements, similar to the Schneider G-Clarons. At f16-f22, there is no difference in their ability to reproduce three dimensional objects at close distances, and their image circles are large enough so that there is no need to use the full diameter.

My logic tells me that these types of lenses reproduce every facial blemish because they are extremely sharp lenses. In the past 57 years that I have been involved in the photographic process, have never heard anyone make mention of an "unusual spectral interpretation" of process lenses, such as the Fuji "A" series. However, there has always been much discussion about the spectral interpretation of various types of films. I learn something new every day.

Ken Lee
21-Nov-2004, 05:08
I agree with Eugene, that there is probably nothing special about the A-series lenses, other than their sharpness, to give any emphasis to facial blemishes. I use my 240A for portraits such as this one (http:///www.kenleegallery.com/dm.jpg" target="_blank), and have never noticed anything unfavorable.

Scott Rosenberg
21-Nov-2004, 12:57
not too add here, just to say that along with eugene and ken, i love my 300A. while i've never shot another lens in this focal length, i can't imagine anything being much better than the fujinon.

Patrick Raymore
22-Nov-2004, 00:07

No need to take my word for it.

From the Fujinon brochure and price list May1, 1983 concerning the A series.

"Excellent for close-ups of smaller items such as jewelry, watches, and miniature products. Reproduces minute detail effectively.
Optimized for 1:1 to 1:5.
Not designed for portraiture"

I have another brochure somewhere around here repeats that same advice. Of course your mileage may vary.

Why would a manufacturer put such a explicit statement in their literature?

Did I say anything about "flat fields"?

Gem Singer
22-Nov-2004, 08:02

"Why would a manufacturer put such an explicit statement in their literature?"

Answer: Several possible reasons.

1. Advertising hype.

2. 1983 was twenty-two years ago. Lets hope they've come to a different conclusion since then.

3. They were comparing the "A" series to the "SF" (soft focus) series of lenses, which they also made, and were specifically designed for portraiture.

4. They were referring to wide open. There is no difference in their ability to focus 3-dimensional objects when closed down to f16-22.

The statement that I questioned was your referrence to "unusual spectral interpretation" Never heard that one before.

"Flat field lenses", such as the G-Claron, Apo-Ronar, and Fuji A series, are process lens formulations that are, supposedly designed to be optimized for photographing flat surfaced objects, such as printed pages. That was Ron Wisner's point of contention.