View Full Version : Kerry, What can you tell me about this lens?

11-Feb-2007, 17:38
Hi Kerry,

What can you tell me about the Fujinon 125mm lens listed on eBay regarding whether it is multicoated and the correct filter size of the following:


When I queried the seller, he indicated that the lens had more than one coating, but not the latest EBC multicoatings and that the filter size was about 49mm.

I have a Schneider f5.6 120mm Super Symmar HM and I am considering getting one of the Fuji 125mm (with the smaller filter sizes) or one of the Schneider 120mm f5.6 Apo Symmar (or L) versions for longer hikes or even possibly backpacking with my Toho Shimo FC-45X.

Thanks very much.


Gary Smith
11-Feb-2007, 17:45
I can give you a little bit of information, I have used a lens exactly like this one. The lens probably takes a 52mm. Though Fuji changed filter sizes sometimes, without warning. The lens is multicoated, but probably not the absolute latest coatings, but I have not noticed any difference betweeen the current EBC coatings and this series on any of the chromes I have taken. The image circle is about 200mm, which is quite a bit more than 120mm APO Symmar.

Hope it helps.


11-Feb-2007, 17:59
More toys Rich? :D

11-Feb-2007, 18:01
More toys Rich? :D

Maybe, it would be a lot lighter and smaller for longer hikes than my outstanding Super Symmar HM. ;) :o


Kerry L. Thalmann
11-Feb-2007, 18:46

Your link didn't work for me. So, I assume you're referring to the current listing from seller dixie47.

Ask the seller to verifiy the 49mm filter size. I just looked back through my stack of Fujinon brochures and can't find any reference to a 125mm Fujinon-W with a 49mm filter size. They did seem to have trouble settling on the filter size for the 125mm Fujinon-W. I find examples of 46mm (late 1970s), 55mm (~1979-1982) and 52mm (~1983-1993), but no 49mm filter size in the 125mm Fujinon-W.

It's most likely the version with the 52mm filter size that was made for most of the 1980s into the early 1990s. The image circle is specified at 198mm and the weight is listed as 210g (early brochures list the version with 55mm filter threads with a weight of 123g - a physical impossibility).

I can't be 100% sure without seeing it in person, but I'm 99% sure it's EBC multicoated (if it's the one I mentioned above). Fuji began using their EBC multicoating process on some large format lenses (the original SWD series) in the mid-1970s. By the time they switched the 125mm Fujinon-W from the Seiko to the Copal shutter (late 1970s), it was EBC multicoated.

So, definitely a bit smaller and lighter than your Super Symmar HM.

A couple years back I picked up a 120mm APO Symmar for use on 6x12. I have taken it backpacking a couple times with my Toho. While the coverage is a bit tight on 4x5, it is definitely a bit more than Schneider's conservative 179mm image circle spec. Due to the limited coverage, it wouldn't be my first choice in a general puspose 4x5 lens in this focal length range (for that, I have the 110mm Super Symmar XL). However, for an occasional backpacking trip, the performance is excellent as long as you don't exceed the coverage. It does take 49mm filters, and my sample in Copal No. 0 shutter weighs 190g. If you're lucky enough to find one in a Compur 0 shutter it will weigh even less (about 160 - 165g). That would probably be my personal choice in a 4x5 backpacking lens in this focal length.


David Karp
11-Feb-2007, 20:20
The lens looks just like my Fujinon NW 125mm f/5.6. Mine is in a silver ring shutter, and definitely has EBC multicoating. It shows the multicolored reflections that Kerry mentions on his site and in the article he wrote for View Camera. It has a 198mm image circle.

It is a very nice lens. Sharp as a tack. Small lightweight. Mine uses 52mm filters. It is one of my two favorite lenses.

11-Feb-2007, 20:29
Thanks everyone.

Unfortunately with what appears to be the incorrect information provided by the seller and then requesting a second measurement of the filter size, the lens was purchased through Buy it now. :(


David Karp
11-Feb-2007, 20:41

If you are interested, call Jim at Midwest Photo Exchange. He usually has one of these, and if he does not, he can get one. The price will be good, and you won't have to worry about quality. Mine looked like nobody ever touched it before I got it. I paid a drop more than the buy it now price on the sample you were interested in for mine, and I had the piece of mind to know it was coming from Jim.

11-Feb-2007, 20:45

If you are interested, call Jim at Midwest Photo Exchange. He usually has one of these, and if he does not, he can get one. The price will be good, and you won't have to worry about quality. Mine looked like nobody ever touched it before I got it. I paid a drop more than the buy it now price on the sample you were interested in for mine, and I had the piece of mind to know it was coming from Jim.

Hi David,

Thanks very much for the suggestion. I was thinking about calling Jim and having him try to find or lookout for one. He has been very good to me in the past.


Colin Graham
11-Feb-2007, 21:11
I have the 55mm filter version, and it's a wonderful lens, despite the awkward filter size. Funny, they had a logjam of them at KEH for the longest time, but appear to have sold them all. They must be getting popular again.

Sheldon N
11-Feb-2007, 22:13
Send a PM to Gary Smith and see if he can find one for you. He seems to have had one every third week lately.

Brad Rippe
11-Feb-2007, 22:55
Rich, I have the Schneider Symmar-L 120mm for backpacking and it's a great little lens. 52mm filters, super sharp and has plenty of coverage for landscape. I actually use this lens for general purpose in this focal length. Someday, i'd like to check out the Schneider 110, but for now, this lens is all I need.

12-Feb-2007, 19:48
Thanks for everyone's comments and suggestions.

I appreciate Kerry's suggestion for the Schneider f5.6 120mm Apo Symmar particularly if it could be obtained in a Compur shutter for backpacking. As recommended by Kerry, I have already purchased a sharp Congo f6.3 90mm WA lens from Jim Galli. This lens which is quite compact and light only has an IC of approximately 175mm. After more thought I have decided that I would rather not have a second lens with such restrictive movement capabilities (Schneider's specs for the f5.6 120mm Apo Symmar is an IC of 179mm) for long hikes and backpacking.

Additionally the new Schneider 5.6 120mm Apo Symmar L with exceptional sharpness (approaching my 120mm Super Symmar HM) and 189mm IC is more expensive than I would like to spend at present.

As a result, regardless of a bit added weight, and an IC of 198mm which exceeds that of to the newer Schneider Apo Symmar L, I have a request in with Jim of Midwest to try to obtain a Fujinon NW 125mm f/5.6 EBC multicoated lens with a 52mm thread. This lens will however be substantially lighter and smaller than my Schneider f5.6 120mm Super Symmar HM which I will use closer to my vehicle.


13-Feb-2007, 21:54
just to add a little more confusion to the Fuji 125 lenses, I have a Fuji 125 W lens that is multi-coated and has a front filter diameter of only 46mm. Ser. no 440445. So far, I've not seen another one this small. It's probably my most used lens. In comparison to the one on the auction, mine looks to be quite a bit smaller in relation to the shutter.

13-Feb-2007, 21:58
I just reread Kerry's post and see that he already has reference to the 46mm size. So much for having an oddity.

Kerry L. Thalmann
13-Feb-2007, 23:15
I just reread Kerry's post and see that he already has reference to the 46mm size. So much for having an oddity.

The references I was referring to are from the laste 1970s. This appears to have been a transitional model between the original single coated Fujinon-W (Seiko shutter, 46mm filters) and the NW model (Copal shutter, 55mm - then 52mm filters).

So, is yours in a Copal shutter? Is the lettering around the front trim ring (inner lettering) or around the outside of the front barrel (outer lettering)?

Do you have a scale to accurately weigh it? The Fujinon specs say 123g, but I find that hard to believe - especially if it's in a Copal No. 0 shutter (they typically weigh about 110 - 115g) I'm curious how much lighter it is than the newer versions with the larger filter sizes.


Dave Jeffery
18-Feb-2007, 06:20
A little OT re: Used lenses and Super Symmar 110 XL Aspherical sharpness.
WARNING- Don't take apart or mess with a 110XL or any other Schnieder lens listed below.

Thanks Kerry for your lens review! I'm certain you have saved me a lot of money and headaches making my lens purchases and I really appreciate it. I owe you one big time.

Based on the information you provided I bought a new Rodenstock 150 and also a used Super Symmar 110 XL.

The Rodenstock 150 is just amazing and since you also raved about the 110 XL I expected about the same sharpness as with the 150.

I checked the out 110XL lens on the camera when it arrived here I and thought it looked sharp. One day I removed the 150 after looking through it for a long while, and then put on the 110XL and realised it just was not as sharp. It focused OK but it was not nearly as sharp as the 150. I sent it in to have it tested and it turned out to be slightly off.

I bought the lens used and I also took the lens apart once to clean it inside.

Apparently the spacing tolerance on these lenses needs to be VERY precise and I hope I can prevent others from doing anything that would alter this critical adjustment as I may have on my lens. The only place these lenses can be precisely focused is at the factory in Germany, so my lens is on it's way there.

The following is copied off of Schneider's website in Germany:

"Our ranges Super-Angulon (incl. XL types), Super-Symmar XL, Super-Symmar HM, Apo-Componon and Digitar can be only repaired at Schneider-Kreuznach. To optimize the optical parameter in the best possible way an exact re-adjustment of these lenses after repair is absolutely necessary.

Complete shutters should be only exchanged by Schneider Kreuznach directly (also here re-adjustment). "

When I bought the lens it had to be mounted on the proper lensboard as well and I also twisted the lens around to set the aperature scale on the side. Lot's of chances for knocking the focus out of whack.

Hopefully I can save some others from making the same newbie mistakes I made. Any feedback is appreciated.

Thanks again Kerry for your hard work and contribution as I now have the Rodenstock 150 he he he!

Now if I could just capture and create one decent image. The beatings continue.

Yers Truly,
Young Moskito

25-Feb-2007, 14:38
Hi All,

Just an update. First I want to thank Kerry for bringing the following German eBay auction for a Schneider f5.6 120mm Apo Symmar L to my attention:


I watched the bidding on the lens and it finally became too expensive including shipping to the US in this condition for the sale price.

Instead of the Fuji 125 NW lens and based upon Kerry's and Jack Flesher's and several other's recommendations regarding Schneider f5.6 120mm Apo Symmar L or the previous version of the lens I just purchased the following on eBay:


The lens was purchased new in 2003 and is virtually in new condition. It is a Schneider USA lens (and I have requested that the warranty card be included), with a B + W MC UV filter (I know many of you do not use them, but I do), and an Arca Swiss Lensboard. The price of shipping was included with the price of the lens.

I believe that the Arca Swiss lensboard is a Copal 0 13mm recessed 171mm X 171mm Lensboard. The board should be in hopefully outstanding condition. I will remove the lens from the board and remount it on either a Toho or Linhof Technika Board. I will sell the board here at LF Photography Forum to help to pay for the lens. Let me know if anyone is interested. Unfortunately, I do not have a digital camera to photograph the board.

I will have to call Jim at Midwest to cancel the request for the Fuji lens. From what everyone has reported about the 120mm Apo Symmar L lens it is extremely sharp even out to the edges. It takes the same filter size as the Fuji and it is about the same weight, but has an IC of about 9mm less. Additionally, with the condition of this lens and its cost, I was willing to carry the about 1/2 oz more weight than the lens in the Copal 0 Press shutter that sold at about $543.67. I will however say, the lens is costing quite a bit more than the Fuji would have had we found one.


28-Feb-2007, 14:12
The Schneider f5.6 120mm Apo Symmar L arrived earlier today. The lens is in mint condition as is the B + W MC UV filter. The lens, shutter, caps, and retaining ring weighs 7.6 oz (215.5 gm) and so far I am very pleased with the purchase.

The Arca Swiss 171mm X 171mm Copal 0 13mm Recessed Board that came with the lens I would rate at Excellent Plus. I have put the Board up for sale for $50 if anyone is interested. Here is the link:



20-Feb-2009, 10:16
I am soon to be another happy owner of a 125mm Fujinon-W lens. 52mm EBC coated version.


Big thanks to those who responded to this and other threads praising the 125mm Fujinon lens. I'm sure it will exceed my expectations. I know it will exceed my abilites.

Thanks again for all the help freely given at this Forum.

Drew Wiley
20-Feb-2009, 12:11
I have the 52mm version in Copal 0. The multicoating is every bit as good as the most
recently made lenses.