View Full Version : Longest Lens for Field Camera

25-Sep-2008, 05:35
I'm purchasing either a Fujinon A 240mm or a Nikkor f9 300mm for my Horseman Woodman kit. The 300 is right at the boundary of bellows extension (315mm on the Woodman), so would it be better to just go with the Fujinon?

Either way, do you have any solutions that permit the lens to be focused at distances closer than infinity?


Greg Lockrey
25-Sep-2008, 05:37
Top hat lens board.

25-Sep-2008, 06:15
As Greg, said either a top hat lensboard or a telephoto type lens, like a Fuji 300T or Schneider Telearton(sp?).


25-Sep-2008, 07:35
I'm having trouble locating a 300T. I need a lightweight lens for my field work.

John Kasaian
25-Sep-2008, 07:40
Howsa 'bout a 270mm G Claron?

Really Big Cameras
25-Sep-2008, 08:39

Both the 240mm Fujinon A and the 300mm Nikkor M are great lenses. I have and use both. When I want to go really light, I use the 240mm Fujinon combined with a 150mm Germinar-W and a 90mm WA Congo. When I don't mind a few more ounces, I take a four lens set that has the same 90mm Congo, plus a 135mm APO Sironar-N, a 200mm Nikkor M and the 300mm Nikkor M.

The ftf for the 300mm Nikkor M is 290mm. So, you'll be able to focus a bit closer than infinity with 315mm of extension, even on a flat board. I used the 300mm Nikkor M for years as my long lens with a little 4x5 Anba Ideda that had a max. extension of about 325mm (however that last 1/2" - 1" were pretty wobbly). I used it on a flat board and never felt the need for any additional extension. You won't be able to do macro type close-ups, but for general landscape use, you might be fine with a flat board. If you find you prefer shooting subjects closer to the camera and need some additional extension, you can always do as others have suggested and add a tophat lensboard.

Kerry Thalmann
Really Big Cameras (http://reallybigcameras.com)

25-Sep-2008, 09:06
Hi Dave,

Email sent on a 300T Fujinon...


Merg Ross
25-Sep-2008, 09:10
John beat me to it. The 270mm G-Claron is small, light, and sharp. Slow, (f:9) but plenty bright for field work. I believe that on the Toyo-AX it will focus to 12'.

Joseph O'Neil
25-Sep-2008, 09:57
John beat me to it. The 270mm G-Claron is small, light, and sharp. Slow, (f:9) but plenty bright for field work. I believe that on the Toyo-AX it will focus to 12'.

Use one all the time myself on my Tachihara, and with some room still to spare. Close tot he limit, but not quite for me.

But now that they are a "cult lens" ( a term that makes me gag! :eek: ), you may find some difficulty either finding one, or finding one at a decent price.


Merg Ross
25-Sep-2008, 10:01
I picked mine up used from Calumet a few years ago.

Walter Calahan
25-Sep-2008, 12:02
Or buy a new camera with a longer bellows to help the economy. Grin.

Good luck.

25-Sep-2008, 13:26
Looks like either one will be a suitable choice; if I need to focus any closer I'll get a different camera. I'm leaning toward the 300 right now because it is slightly longer, less expensive, and easier to find than the 240 (or the 270 f9 claron for that matter). If anyone has any other input, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks everyone.

Merg Ross
25-Sep-2008, 13:50
If you decide on the G-Claron 240mm, you may be interested in this:


It appears to be less expensive than the Fujinon of equal focal length. Either way, you can't go wrong!

25-Sep-2008, 14:15
what extension is required for the nikon 360T? you might have enough extension for that, possibly without a top hat board

25-Sep-2008, 18:20
Apart from top hat lensboards, which are such a strange article in name and sight that everyone remembers them, there are also back extenders, though I don't know if one is available for the original poster's camera.

Matus Kalisky
26-Sep-2008, 06:40
I am using an Osaka 400/8 T on my Tachi. The closest focusing distance is about 3 - 4 meters. At this focusing distance the whole setup is not really stable anymore, but focused to infinity it is no problem at all. The weight of the lens ( "only" 500g with lensboard) makes it possible. The Fujinon 400/8T and Nikkor 360T might be sharper (I find mine more than good enough), but are heavier (cca 600 and 800g respectively). Also the price is quite reasonable.

Gene McCluney
26-Sep-2008, 09:02
I wanted to use a 14" lens on one of my field cameras. What I did was to go to a hobby crafts store and purchase a small wooden unfinished box, about 3" x3" square and take the lid off, and drill a hole in the bottom for the lens, then mount the box on a surplus lensboard, drilling the lensboard out to match the inside dimensions of the box, then spray paint it all black (before final mounting of the lens). Works like a champ, and I was out about $1.50 for the box, plus the wood to make the lenboard blank.

Matus Kalisky
26-Sep-2008, 10:32
Well, top hat lens board can indeed be used, but I wouldnot probably try that with a tachi even wht one of the light f/9 process lenses. I think it would be too much for the front standard.

Doremus Scudder
27-Sep-2008, 10:03

I own all the equipment you are referring to. I routinely use my Nikkor M 300mm on my Woodman field with a homemade extended lensboard (it's made of wood and cubic, so not really a "top hat"). It is about 1 1/2 inches of extension. I can focus to a bit less than 6 feet with it. No problem as far as sturdiness of the front standard. I also use my Fujinon A 240mm a lot. Interestingly, I have to refocus almost none when changing between the two; the extension of the board just about exactly compensates.

Choosing which one is a little more difficult. If I had a 210mm or longer already, I'd probably go for the 300mm. If my next focal length down were 150mm however, I'd definitely go for the 240mm (one can always crop a bit if needed... ) The decision is yours.

Have fun,

Doremus Scudder