View Full Version : telephoto lens for 4x5

L Klapstock
6-Nov-2005, 10:47
Hi. I've been using a 400T fujinon lens and i'm disappointed by the sharpness. I use a 4x5 Toyo 45a. I'd appreciate any recommendations for a replacement lens that will be sharper without being enormous. I don't have the bellows for an 8x 10 lens. Thanks!

Steve Hamley
6-Nov-2005, 14:32
Schneider 400mm Apo Tele Xenar.


Eric Leppanen
6-Nov-2005, 14:46
A lot of folks seem to be happy with their Fuji 400T's. Midwest Photo has a used 9+ Fuji 400T in stock; you might try that lens out (Jim Andracki typically will let you use it on a trial basis) to see if you just have a bad unit. Otherwise, the state-of-the-art 400mm 4x5 telephoto design is the Schneider APO Tele Xenar Compact, as Steve suggested above; but this lens is relatively heavy and uses a Copal 3 shutter (which may require some additional stabilization, such as a long lens support arm). Another option is the Nikkor 360T.

L Klapstock
6-Nov-2005, 15:07
Thank-you Steve and Eric. Has anyone compared the Nikkor 360T with the Schneider APO Tele Xenar Compact 400mm? I make large (4 x 5 foot landscape prints) and sharpness is an issue.

Ralph Barker
6-Nov-2005, 19:16
I have a Nikkor 360T, and while it's a nice tele lens, I doubt that you'd be any happier with it that you are with the Fujinon. Your target print size, 12x enlargement, is going to tax the specs of the best of lenses.

Kevin Crisp
6-Nov-2005, 20:15
My first thought on this is basically what Ralph has said. You're stopping down to f:22 or below with a lens that long on 4X5? Probably. An enlargement that size is going to tax any lens and when stopped down to f:22 to 32 they all tend to perform about the same unless you have a bad sample of a modern lens. You might consider moving up to 5X7 or larger film or shooting with a finer grain 4X5 film with better resolving power. Are you judging the final result from a reasonable viewing distance, which would be back quite some distance, or examing it up close the way photographers do? Good luck. If you do find a way around this issue, please do follow up, I'd be interested to know what conclusion you came to.

Brian Ellis
6-Nov-2005, 20:55
I've owned a Fuji 400T and was happy with it but I don't make prints measured in multiples of feet. It's my understanding that telephotos tend to be inherently less sharp than comparable normal lenses. Why, I don't remember but I've read that in various places from people who seem to know what they're talking about so I assume it's true. With prints the size you're making I think you'd be better off getting a camera with a bellows that can handle a 400mm normal lens rather than using a telephoto. However, one of the optical experts here might correct my basic premise (that telephotos are inherently less sharp than comparable normal lenses) and I certainly wouldn't argue with them.

Steve Hamley
7-Nov-2005, 03:44
This may be helpful. I would expect that the 360T/400 Apo Tele Xenar results would be similar.



L Klapstock
7-Nov-2005, 06:54
thank-you very much to all of you for sharing your knowledge and experience.

Michael Gudzinowicz
7-Nov-2005, 07:00
For sharp 4x5 foot prints (12X), the depth of field with a 400 mm lens is at best only a few feet at "landscape" distances (20 - 40 yds), factoring in corrections for diffraction and film resolution. A different lens won't alter the situation appreciably.

Prints that large are possible is you restrict focal length to 150 mm or less, use a very good lens at f/11 to f/16, and limit subjects to those that work with a shallow depth of field. The other alternative is 3X prints from an ULF camera, which is "inconvenient" in many ways.


John Kasaian
7-Nov-2005, 07:44
IMHO using any movements with a tele lens is...well..."interesting" at best. If I wanted sharpness at distance with 4x5 film with honkin' big prints I'd be inclined to put a 4x5 back on an 8x10 and use a 450mm Nikkor M or 600mm APO Artar.