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View Full Version : Are there any proper macro lenses from Fujinon?



redu
26-Jul-2011, 01:38
For table top product work. Say optimized for 1:1 to 1:5 magnification, between focal lengths 120-180 and similar to Macro Sironars, Macro Symmars or Nikkor Macro AM ED. I have been checking Kerry Thallman's Fujinon knowledgebase without any luck... couldn't even come accross a single macro word in the whole site.

Dan Fromm
26-Jul-2011, 01:50
-A and -C are process lenses. What more do you want?

redu
26-Jul-2011, 02:13
Thanks Dan, I didn't know they were process lenses. C lenses are too long for me. There is one A 180mm f9 which i believe more like g-claron 150 type. I would prefer a brighter lens for macro.

Bob Salomon
26-Jul-2011, 04:03
But a process lens and a macro lens perform differently. Process lenses are best for copying, that was what they were made for. Macro lenses are best for product/things/flowers/etc. That is what they were made for. Process lenses shorter then 600mm are designed to be used at f22 only. Macro lenses are designed to be used over a wider range of apertures.
No, Fuji has no macros.
Rodenstock and Schneider offered both macro and process lenses.

Ken Lee
26-Jul-2011, 04:24
The Fujinon A designs look just like plasmats. I have posted here before, showing that the Fujinon A looks quite a bit like the Rodenstock Sironar design.

I have never been able to find any Fuji literature that described the A series as process lenses, or even as macro lenses: only as highly corrected "super-apochromats", which is the why they have a letter A in their name. The C stands for Compact, and I don't recall ever seeing them touted for close work either. Dan knows a lot about lenses, but I believe the C designs are modified Tessar and Dynar designs, while classic Process lenses are symmetrical like the Artar, Ronar, Dialyte, etc.

From what I can tell, the A series lenses are a sort of "hybrid" or "compromise" design: the wide coverage and correction of a plasmat, the diminutive size and weight of f/9, corrected to work nicely at all distances. I may be wrong of course, but this wouldn't be the first time that Japanese optics took inspiration from German designs, and then applied some creative modifications.

I have a 240 Fujinon A and a 210 Macro Sironar. As Bob has pointed out many times here, professionals use macro lenses in the studio, and the Macro Sironar is much better to work with at close range, not only because of its wide coverage, but because its f/5.6 aperture is twice as bright as the Fujinon's f/9 aperture. When you get in close to 1:1, things get pretty dark. Under bright sunshine of course, it's less of an issue, but for table top photography, you just can't beat lenses designed for table top photography.

The Fujinon A and C lenses are really best for travel, and "the field" - where you need general purpose lenses of small size, light weight, and which take small filters. The Fujinon 240 A and the Fujinon 450 C, for example, take 52mm filters. They do this because the 240 only opens to f/9, and the 450 only opens to f/12.5.

redu
26-Jul-2011, 04:38
But a process lens and a macro lens perform differently. Process lenses are best for copying, that was what they were made for. Macro lenses are best for product/things/flowers/etc. That is what they were made for. Process lenses shorter then 600mm are designed to be used at f22 only. Macro lenses are designed to be used over a wider range of apertures.
No, Fuji has no macros.
Rodenstock and Schneider offered both macro and process lenses.

You are right Bob. I believe process lenses are designed 2D flat work in mind hence there is no need for movements and the "circle of good definition" (sometimes referred as IC) shouldn't be any bigger than the targetted film size. So these process lenses can be tiny and inexpensive to produce while maintaining superb resolution within the limited IC. Yes good for 1:1~1:5 ratio macro work, but not good for product shooting where one will need movements; lots of movements depending on the subject.

I think a good lens for product shooting, shall read APO MACRO somewhere on the barrel regardless of what make it is. Rest is just poor mans gold.

Arne Croell
26-Jul-2011, 12:59
May I humbly suggest this thread: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=9940

Ken Lee
26-Jul-2011, 13:36
Arne - What conclusion do you draw from the thread that you cited ? :)

redu
26-Jul-2011, 13:50
I guess he is pro Fuji A. At least that's what i've concluded. But my resolution is, Fujinon A is nothing more than a G Claron type of solution regarding to the question of this topic.

Drew Wiley
26-Jul-2011, 13:58
Fujinon A and C lenses are NOT process lenses. The C-series is infinity corrected and
not particularly good at very close range. The A-series are close-range corrected but not necessarily "macro" per se. It depends what you mean. If you want something to photograph diamond rings or insects, the A series would certainly do much better than general-purpose plastmats, but probably not as well as a dedicated macro lens. They're very similar to the Schneider G-Claron series. I have used both at 1:1.

Arne Croell
26-Jul-2011, 14:08
Arne - What conclusion do you draw from the thread that you cited ? :)
Well, that the Fujinon A series is corrected for something close to 1:5 which I thought was the original question. And yes, they are similar to process lenses, but at least the 240 A works fine at f/16 in my experience, not only at f/22 as Bob suggests. As for my personal preferences, I regularly use one Fuji lens, but that is the 450C. In the macro range, I would either use one of the Docter Apo-Germinar, Apo-Germinar-W, or Germinar W (process) lenses I have, or the Schneider Macro-Symmar HM - but again, that is a purely personal preference.

Dan Fromm
26-Jul-2011, 16:52
Folks, why get hung up on semantics?

Fuji didn't offer any large format lenses explicity for closeup (magnification <= 1:1) or photomacrography (>= 1:1) but they did offer lenses that will do very well for tabletop photography.

redu, why the interest in Fuji lenses?

The idea that some lenses are made for photographic flat surfaces and others for shooting subjects with depth is simply nonsense, Bob Salomon and Rodenstock propaganda notwithstanding. Curvature of field is an aberration and lens designers try to minimize some function of it and other aberrations subject to many constraints. It isn't a good thing.

redu, don't be a cheapskate and limit yourself to lenses made by companies (or divisions of companies) specializing in general purpose photographic objectives. Look for good macro lenses from microscope manufacturers. 100/6.3 Luminar (Zeiss-Winkel and, later, Zeiss BRD), 100/6.3 Neupolar (Reichert), 90/6.3 Mikrotar (also badged Jena M, Zeiss DDR), 120/6.3 Macro Nikkor, 120 5.6 Leitz Photar, ... I've had the first three, all are superb and the Neupolar is the best. Haven't had a 120 Macro Nikkor or Photar. All of these lenses cover 4x5 from around 1:8 up. The Luminar and 120s are relatively easy to find, 100 Neupolars and 90 Mikrotars are quite scarce. All can be mounted in front of a shutter, but custom adapters are needed. I use a #1.

redu
27-Jul-2011, 01:07
Dan,

I have been thinking on this 120 photar for some time. It directly fits in a size 1 shutter as well. However i am not going to shoot macro. For macro i have tominons 75 and 105 and even a g-claron 150. I need a lens with large IC for table top photograpy. 1:1 to 1:5. Even Nikkor 120 AM ED is very limited with IC.

Let me simplify my question... In other words please guide me to find a lens which would be equilavent of Macro Symmar 180.

Brian K
27-Jul-2011, 05:28
I shot studio still life, including macro work for a very long time. I used/own the Sironar 180mm and 300mm Macros, and the 240mm, 300mm, 360mm and 480 APO Ronars. And in all that time I could see very little in performance difference between them.

For larger repro ratios, that is anything greater than 1:1, I went with the macros. For things 1:1 and smaller it was often the Ronars. Now I always tended to shoot with longer focal lengths, so maybe the stand off aspect of them made the flat field aspect of them less obvious. But I was extremely happy with the results. Also and maybe this is of note, my Ronars were not cobbled off some process camera. They were late model, bought new in shutters. Supposedly the ronars that came pre-mounted in shutters were optimized for infinity by the use of shims, but Bob S would know if that is the case.

As an aside, I've tested my Ronars, sironar-S's, Nikkor-M and Fuji-A, at infinity. I've shot fine grained film and examined them under a microscope at up to 40X. And I have come to the conclusion that the Sironar-S's are very slightly superior at infinity. But the very slight improvement in quality is not worth their size and weight in the field. Part of that improvement could even be due to more accurate focus at the wider apertures. However the Ronars, Nikkor-M's, and Fuji-A's are exceptional lenses.

Dan Fromm
27-Jul-2011, 10:04
I have been thinking on this 120 photar for some time. It directly fits in a size 1 shutter as well. However i am not going to shoot macro. For macro i have tominons 75 and 105 and even a g-claron 150. I need a lens with large IC for table top photograpy. 1:1 to 1:5. Even Nikkor 120 AM ED is very limited with IC.


Redu, sorry to be a complete idiot, but that's what I am. How much image circle do you need and why? I'm surprised that your G-Claron has a smaller IC than you want.

redu
27-Jul-2011, 10:53
Dan I never think you are an idiot. Besides I know that you are one of the lens gurus here. Top knowledgeable..! I am here to learn from you guys. My humble knowledge about LF photography is only an accumulation from what leaks from you guys... along with Leslie Stroebel's suberb book.

The point is, this discussion is quicky shifting to macro work when these lenses are questioned or discussed. But actually i need to shoot table top product. Say keyboard or a ceramic dish produced by my ex girlfriend. Now do you say dark G-Claron is one suitable lenses for this job..?

Here is my story... Currently i own a Technikardan 23 and i use it mostly for 6x9 landscape and architectural work. I have 6~7 lenses from Grandagon N 45 4.5 to Komura 500 7 tele. Sadly i can not attach a scanback to TK23. Now since i have no wife but only a train of girlfriends and a cat (Jessur is his name), i haven't got a wife factor in this house. I can buy any darn photo thing as long as there is still money left for the gas and bread (water is free)

My most recent shopping list;

- Scanback
- Kardan GTL or Cambo Master
- The lens discussed under this topic.

Now which lens would you buy?

Drew Wiley
27-Jul-2011, 11:05
Both G-Clarons and Fujinon A's are superb for tabletop. Maybe not as bright as an
f/5.6 plasmat, but this wouldn't seem to be an issue. In most lighting setups you're
going to have some specular highlights on the subject which make focus easy.

redu
27-Jul-2011, 11:41
Actually to support you guys there is a good example of process lenses doing very well at the proximity of 1:1. I came accross with some cool shootout tests performed by a valuable member here regarding four lenses

Super Angulon 120 8 vs Nikkor AM ED 120 5.6 (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=33199&highlight=shootout)
Symmar-S 240 5.6 vs Gerogon 240 9 (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=33117&highlight=shootout)

what can i say... a picture tells 1000 words.

Dan Fromm
27-Jul-2011, 12:55
redu, what magnifications do you want to get in the negative and in the final print?

redu
27-Jul-2011, 13:25
redu, what magnifications do you want to get in the negative and in the final print?

Scanback's diagonal size is like 5". Ex gf ceramic dish diameter is 13".. slanted 10". So say 1:2

Final print is to be done my 24" HP DJ 130nr printer. Say 24"x36" (@ max)

Dan Fromm
27-Jul-2011, 16:53
redu, if I were you I'd try shooting 6x9 with the TK and 150/9 G-Claron and print optically (or at least look at the negative at high enough magnification to determine whether it can be enlarged enough to make a satisfactory 24" x 36" print). If 6x9 won't do, try 4x5 with film and ask the 4x5 negative the same question.

If you must (for your own reasons, which are not to be questioned) capture the image digitally, then get a scanning back and try some shots with the G-Claron. If they won't give the print quality you want, make sure the problem is the lens and not your technique. Finally, if the lens is the problem then shop for a nice macro lens from Schneider or Rodenstock or Nikon. Any one of them will do.

Don't rush, try things out. And do worry about money. You have no idea how much keeping a cat healthy can cost.

Adamphotoman
31-Jul-2011, 11:44
Redu,
I have been using a scan back since Betterlight moved to a USB2 connection. What you need to know is that this technology is very light hungry. Light Pig comes to mind. If you are shooting ceramics you will need a lot of continuous light and not tungsten. If you do use tungsten the sensor will be throttled back when you do a white balance and you will begin to work against yourself. As Dan suggested the scan back will very quickly separate superlative lenses from good and (less suitable lenses) for the task at hand. If you have the money then look for an Apo Sironar-S in the 150-210 range. They are all f:5.6 and still not too heavy. The 300 is way too heavy for backpacking although I do know folks that use the 300 in the field.These are both well suited to table top/ art copy/ and for infinity work. The Apo Sironar -N is no where near as good for table top work. The Apo Macro lenses are less suitable for infinity work and really only shine for macro work- such as jewellery sized objects.
The S version has more IC than the N and it is optimized for table top through to infinity.

I found that the Apo Sironar S outperformed Apo Symmar and Apo Symmar L and to much surprise even the 120 Nikkor AMED

I found that the Apo Ronnars outperformed the G Clarons. Now this could be sample variation. But in the last 5 or so years I have been using the Apo Sironar S for much of my work.

Here is a Quote from Bob Solomon from a much older post:
Bob Salomon , Jun 24, 2008; 01:21 p.m.
Depends on what you shoot and how you shoot.
The S has a larger image circle and will be much sharper at the edges of the N's image circle. The S is corrected for 1:10 as compared to 1:20 for the N. That means that the S will perform optimally from infinity to 1:3 (tabletop) where the N will perform optimally down to 1:10. So if you do work from 1:10 to 1:3 the S is superior by quite a wide margin.
The S has less "harshness" while it has great sharpness. The N will appear more "harsh".
The color gradations of the S are finer then those of the N and the color saturation is slightly higher with the S. There is also more spatial depth and images appear more realistic when direct comparisons are made with the same focal lengths on the same film under then same lighting with the same exposure, lighting and processing.
A direct comparison of MTF curves shows much higher and straighter curves over a longer length for the S. Light falloff is substantially less and distortion with the S is much less then half of the N. Longitudinal color aberration with the S is also much lower then with the N.
So is there a meaningful difference? Absolutely! Will you see it? It depends on what you shoot, what type of camera movements you use, what you like and what you expect. But for critical users there is a visible and obvious difference.
That does not mean that the N is an inferior optic. It means that the S is a superlative one. But if one was to take a random image shot on the N and a random image shot on the S a viewer probably could not tell which was which. But if they are the same image at the same time you will see the difference.
And then there is Bokah.
Apo-Sironar-S
The Apo-Sironar-S is a lens for universal use which has been optimized to provide the highest image reproduction quality. Its range of application usually goes from product and industrial photography to landscape and urban photography. Its special strength can be seen when complex, fine structures in the outer part of the image circle must be reproduced.

It provides an image angle of 75 and permits even more generous camera movements, than they are required for perspective correction in architectural and product photographs. Furthermore, the Apo-Sironar-S with a long focal length in relation to the image format, is ideal for the application as a “telephoto lens”, because of studio and technical cameras (if required with an additional bellows) permitting particularly large bellows extensions. Therefore problematic telephoto constructions with a barlow group, which tend to create color fringes and provide the advantage of short length only for use with cameras without bellows, are not necessary any more.

As a result of the elimination of the secondary spectrum thanks to the use of ED glass with anomalous dispersion (ED = extra low dispersion), no visible color fringing occurs even at edges with extremely high contrast. In addition, the light fall-off towards the image corners (vignetting) has been reduced for a more uniform illumination.

Thanks to this high optical performance in the edges of the field, the six-element Apo-Sironar-S can be used with a larger aperture (depending on the film format, e.g. f/16 instead of f/22) as its working aperture. This reduces diffraction and provides a special advantage for outdoor shots due to the higher shutter speed.

redu
31-Jul-2011, 13:07
redu, if I were you I'd try shooting 6x9 with the TK and 150/9 G-Claron and print optically (or at least look at the negative at high enough magnification to determine whether it can be enlarged enough to make a satisfactory 24" x 36" print). If 6x9 won't do, try 4x5 with film and ask the 4x5 negative the same question.

If you must (for your own reasons, which are not to be questioned) capture the image digitally, then get a scanning back and try some shots with the G-Claron. If they won't give the print quality you want, make sure the problem is the lens and not your technique. Finally, if the lens is the problem then shop for a nice macro lens from Schneider or Rodenstock or Nikon. Any one of them will do.

Don't rush, try things out. And do worry about money. You have no idea how much keeping a cat healthy can cost.

Dan,

The the scanning back will stay in my studio and will never travel. Eventhough i can process my own color negatives i want something practical for my inhouse work but nothing like the MF digital backs for three reasons.

1) They are too expensive. I can not justify that expense for my reasons.
2) I can not stop myself from questioning their color fidelity. (Beyer pattern)
3) They are too cropped.

For outside or inside with models my choice will be TK23 with a 69 rollex back.

BTW i got both the camera and the scanback at the meantime. A Cambo Master PC and a Powerphase (6000x8400 one). Waiting for them to arrive. Regarding the lenses i will reply in my next post below along with my comments to Adamphotoman.

redu
31-Jul-2011, 13:24
Redu,
I have been using a scan back since Betterlight moved to a USB2 connection. What you need to know is that this technology is very light hungry. Light Pig comes to mind. If you are shooting ceramics you will need a lot of continuous light and not tungsten. If you do use tungsten the sensor will be throttled back when you do a white balance and you will begin to work against yourself. As Dan suggested the scan back will very quickly separate superlative lenses from good and (less suitable lenses) for the task at hand. If you have the money then look for an Apo Sironar-S in the 150-210 range. They are all f:5.6 and still not too heavy. The 300 is way too heavy for backpacking although I do know folks that use the 300 in the field.These are both well suited to table top/ art copy/ and for infinity work. The Apo Sironar -N is no where near as good for table top work. The Apo Macro lenses are less suitable for infinity work and really only shine for macro work- such as jewellery sized objects.
The S version has more IC than the N and it is optimized for table top through to infinity.

I found that the Apo Sironar S outperformed Apo Symmar and Apo Symmar L and to much surprise even the 120 Nikkor AMED

I found that the Apo Ronnars outperformed the G Clarons. Now this could be sample variation. But in the last 5 or so years I have been using the Apo Sironar S for much of my work.

Well. Thanks for your valuable comments here. Actually in another thread very recently we had been digging this APO Sironar S. Verdict... It's cheaper to buy an equivalent Sinaron SE with the DB shutter and to find a proper shutter. Anyways.

Before buying anything more... here is what i will do.

1) Try out my G-claron 150 9 as i have been advised.
2) Something very interesting. I had bought a Computar 210 6.3 just out of curiousity. It was listed with a typo hence was overseen i suppose and i got it for stg below $100. Can't remember exactly howmuch. When i received it i just hold it in my hands to have a good look and then to place on the shelf at the position i found it sitting yesterday. Not even installed in a board. It's like brand new. Recently it came to my mind and good old LFforum gave me it's specs (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=14335&d=1215106137). Bah.. it is corrected 1:2 to infinity. Symmetric design. ED Glass. Hmm. i will give this dust collector a chance. At the end it's 150 or 180 6.3 version are priced like $150._ at the market.

Adamphotoman
31-Jul-2011, 13:34
If you do get a scan back you don't need a shutter. If you decide on a Sinar, just make sure that it is the Manual Aperture type of DB lens board. This will have the aperture scale and red button to set the lens.

redu
1-Aug-2011, 05:47
By the way there is another thread (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=9940) on these Fujinon A's with full of valuable information from what i understand A's are lenses Fujinon derived from process lenses for photographers, targetting a broad range of magnification ratios, primarily 1:1 to 1:5 and to infinity at small apertures. Correct me if i am wrong.

It might be highly interesting to find out the performances of G Claron, Computar Symmetrigon and Fujinon A under close up and infinity tests.

Ken Lee
1-Aug-2011, 05:51
That's the same thread which Arne cited here on July 26 :)