View Full Version : Best 600mm lens option

Donald Hutton
9-Aug-2005, 20:14
I am having a little lens dilemma:

I shoot a range of formats. Anything bigger than 4X5 is done for alt. processes ; particularly Pt/Pd (although down the road, I may spend a bit more time on silver contact printing). I currently own nothing longer than a 450mm. On 4X5, I use a 300mm quite a bit and I'd like something longer for 8X10 and larger (up to 12x20). 600mm looks about right for the next longer lens, but I am in some doubt as to how to proceed:

1.A Fujinon C 600mm (which would cover everything I would ever want to shoot, costs a shade under $1500 new and they are very seldom available used).

2. I picked up a 24in Red Artar in near perfect shape for $375 - it's in a barrel.

I have been investigating the options for having the Artar mounted into a shutter (I'd really prefer it to a barrel especially on 8X10 when exposures are occassionally under a second...). It would appear that I will be in for about $700 which brings the all in cost of this to about $1075 - significantly less than the Fujinon.

Does it make sense to have the Artar remounted (I have never actually used a lens of this vintage; except on Rolleiflexes - I have no doubt that it will perform adequately for my purposes)? I'm not sure there is any point in spending +-$1100 for a 40 year old lens when I could buy pretty much state of the art (great coatings anyway) for an extra $400. Even on 12x20, $400 buys quite a bit of film....

Rick Moore
9-Aug-2005, 20:57
I use three Fujinon C lenses, the 300, 450 and 600. All are superb performers. The 600 is a jewel. However, as you say, the 600 is pretty rare used.

The Red Dot Artars are also very fine performers, and assuming yours is in good shape, is well worth mounting in a shutter.

N Dhananjay
9-Aug-2005, 22:02
You could explore having the Artar front mounted. If you pick up (or already have) a large shutter (ideally an Ilex or Betax 5), you could have whole bunch of longer lenses front mounted onto it. Front mounting is considerably cheaper than remounting the lens into a shutter. Cheers, DJ

Mark Sawyer
10-Aug-2005, 00:15
The Fujinon would allow for more movements on your 12x20. The Artars are fairly narrow field...

Michael Jones
10-Aug-2005, 05:31

I have used both Artars and Fujis for my big cameras. Both are fine lenses although the Fujis are a bit smaller. My preference was for the the image produced by the Artars. I found the Fujis to be to edgy and sharp; too much local contrast for my BW, so I sold them.

On the other hand, you will not lose money or value having the 24" mounted in a Copal #3. Alternatively, you may want to consider using a packard shutter mounted on a lensboard for the 24". That will cost about $125 and work well for BW. $1000 savings buys a lot of film.

And contrary to another post, you will find you have more movements available with the Artar.

Good luck.


Herb Cunningham
10-Aug-2005, 07:40
what about process lenses? You can get a 600 mm for less than $400, and it would be either a Rodenstock or a Nikkor, I have a Nikkor but it is a beast and I don't use it since I got a Cooke.

Donald Brewster
10-Aug-2005, 09:39
Have the Artar set in a Copal 3 by Grimes. You won't be disappointed in the performance.