View Full Version : Which for 8x10: 360 Graphic Kowa or 355 G-Claron?

neil poulsen
13-May-2018, 17:56
For those that have experience with both 360 Graphic Kowa and 355 G-Claron lenses, which would be the better for 8x10? (And, 4x5.)

This would be for architecture, landscape, fine art photography. Probably wouldn't enlarge beyond 16x20 for 8x10 B&W, nor much beyond 11x14 for 4x5.

Drew Wiley
13-May-2018, 19:32
Both are overkill even for 8X10. On a 4x5 camera, I'd be concerned about the overall weight of the big no.3 shutter unless you have a very strong front standard.

13-May-2018, 20:36
Neither...Fuji 360A!

14-May-2018, 01:04
Ive owned both (and a Fujinon A 360). On 4x5 neither would be my first choice. Simply too big and heavy. Id look for something in a smaller shutter. The Fujinon T 400mm comes to mind - its a little longer but a tele design so you dont use too much bellows. Sharp enough.
For 8x10, I love my Fujinon A 360 but they are hard to find. The Kowa is smaller but usually in an older shutter, it was plenty sharp for me. The G-Claron is in its own class in terms of coverage when compared with 360mm from other makers. So I keep it for larger formats than 8x10. But if you need the faster f6.5 for dark forests etc Id look at the Fujinon CM-W and the Nikkor W but they are only very slightly faster.

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14-May-2018, 08:51
The 360mm focal length certainly wouldn't be my first choice for a longer lens on 4x5; I was simply responded that the Fuji 360A is AFAIK the smallest lens in this focal length and that I had used it occasionally on 4x5. IMO, unless you have a solid monorail the 360's in Copal 3 shutters are just too heavy for most 4x5 cameras. Personally, I wouldn't recommend the 360mm Fuji CM-W for 4x5. I own one that I use regularly on my 8x10 Deardorff and that's a chunk of glass! ;) Okay, not nearly as large/heavy as my 360mm Schneider Symmar-S... :)

Drew Wiley
14-May-2018, 10:13
The Fuji 360A is one of my most used lenses for both 4X5 and 8X10. Its modern no.1 shutter makes it both lightweight and minimizes shutter vibration on
the necessary long bellows extension, which can upset light 4x5 field cameras in particular. But they are comparatively rare and tend to be more expensive
than G-Clarons, which are very similar optically - close-range corrected plasmats also good at infinity. But the Fuji is generally found in its later multicoated
version, while the G-Claron is single-coated (don't let that worry you; it's just a tad less contrasty). You need a good lens shade anyway - both these lenses
throw huge image circles, but the bigger shutter on the G-Claron has less mechanical vignetting, so the usable image circle is bigger still, well into ULF territory. I've never had a problem with acute focus with the f/10 max aperture of the Fuji - even in dark forests. I was just in the redwoods again a couple
of days ago, under a deep dark fog. These aren't like using a wide-angle lenses with illumination falloff. They're plenty bright.

neil poulsen
18-May-2018, 20:55
Thanks for all the responses. I have the 355 G-Claron and have the option of getting a Kowa. So, was wondering.

I also stumbled across a Fuji 360mm W, which is tempting. They're really not THAT much larger. But, I think that I'm better off with the G-Claron. It's more convenient for a 4x5 kit, and I tend to favor German glass.

That said, I'll have to keep my eye peeled for a 360mm Fujinon A.

18-May-2018, 21:06
I had a 305? G Claron and it would "cover" 11 x14. No movements etc. I used the 305 on a Calumet cc-400 with the 22 inch bellows worked great. The 305 wasn't enormous, can't recall but it had a shutter bought it new way way back from Calumet. Sounds like you have a nice lens.

19-May-2018, 12:29
All in all, I find 360mm a fairly unused focal length in 4x5. My most common focal lengths used in images are probably in this order:

1) 125
2) 300
3) 180
4) 75
5) 450 very rarely

360mm is just too long on 4x5, and as mentioned above most lenses are built for 8x10 and over power the front standard. Id suggest youd be happier with a Nikkor M 300/9.

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19-May-2018, 16:20
For a short time had and used both optics. The Graphic Kowa covered a bit more in my opinion, but the G-Claron was the sharper of the two when you closed the aperture down a bit. Ended up keeping the 355mm G-Claron (was in MINT condition); but honestly since I make contact prints on Platinum-Palladium, I was never able to see any difference between bot of the optics in any my final prints.