View Full Version : Compact 420 - 450mm Lens

John Downie
9-Oct-2003, 17:32

Aside from the 450mm Fujinon C, are there any reasonably lightweight and compact, non-telephoto lenses in this range? This can include non-current offerings.


Kevin Crisp
9-Oct-2003, 17:54
There are a dizzying number of B&L Protar combinations which might fit the bill. Single elements which are the equivalent or a 420mm lens or a 490mm lens perform surprisingly well when used behind the diaphram and are much less expensive than the Fuji offering. You do need to refocus a little after stopping down since the usually have some focus shift. If you buy a series 7a (two elements, which may or may not match) you can have a very decent shorter focal length plus one or two longer lenses. These are typically mounted (remounted, probably) in Acme No. 3's or No. 4's and originally were most likely in Compur's except for the really old ones.

Jim Rice
9-Oct-2003, 19:10
As long as we are talking Acme fours, a 16 1/2 inch apo-artar in shutter doesn't doesn't suck even a little bit.

My $001.5....


John Downie
9-Oct-2003, 19:31
I hope you aren't jackin' the new guy - is this a compact setup?

David A. Goldfarb
9-Oct-2003, 20:54
An Acme 4 shutter is kind of large (go to www.skgrimes.com for dimensions of Acme and Ilex shutters) but not as huge as an Acme 5, and the 16-1/2" Apo-Artar shouldn't protrude too far on either side, so I would say it's fairly compact for a lens of that focal length.

Andreas Schmidt
10-Oct-2003, 02:46
if the Apo Artar in Acme shutter still qualifies as small, then certainly a Nikkor M 9/450mm will also do. The biggest thing here is the shutter, which is a Copal 3. This lens has the advantage that it is relatively easy to find used as compared to the Fujinon.

John Downie
10-Oct-2003, 07:25
The Copal 3 is just too big - any other lenses in a smaller shutter?


Jim Rice
10-Oct-2003, 07:48

If the copal 3 is too large for you, then you won't care for an Acme 4 either.


Kevin Crisp
10-Oct-2003, 08:29
This should give you some idea of why the Fujinon lens is so popular. And it covers 8X10 too. The Acme shutter will run well for years after a service and it is quite reliable and decently accurate. But it is relatively heavy for its size. On the Protar option there are some single element protars that have smaller diameters and can be mounted in Acme #3 or Copal 1's.

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
12-Oct-2003, 11:02
It may be possible, although I am not positive, to mount a 16 1/2" Artar into a Compur no. 2 shutter. This is a custom, and very expensive solution, but may well be the only other option, other than the two suggested above, a single element lens or the Fujinon..

Jim Galli
13-Oct-2003, 07:50
YES! Hard to find, but my 420mm Schneider Repro Claron is one of my most used lenses on both 5X7 and 8X10. Single coated, in Compound 3 shutter, and very small for it's focal length. It has a bigger brother at 485mm that is even harder to find. The 485 is in Compound 4. A fantastic lens. Dialyte and sharp!

Mark Tweed
14-Oct-2003, 11:35
I agree with Jim, the 420mm Repro Claron is a superb lens and the #3 Compound shutter is smaller and lighter than a Copal #3. I also have a close option to this focal length. It means finding the components to put the package together, but with time they show up on ebay. I have a 15" (390mm) Kodak Copying Ektanon that I've set up in a Compur #2 shutter. This Ektanon is a dialyte design, like the Repro Claron, Artas, and Apo-Ronar. In fact it's about the same dimensions as my 300mm Apo Ronar (the lens components have a 43mm outside diameter and 48mm depth). The weight is about the same too. The downside to the smaller package is the viewing f-stop, which is f 16 (that spec is Kodak's). The lens when mounted in the shutter allowed a slightly wider viewing aperture, I'd say about f 12. The Ektanons from what I've read were supposedly Kodak's second tier lens, but my experience shows it to be a wonderfully sharp lens (I have the Repro Clarons, Red Dot Artars and a range of current lenses to compare it to).

The short story is that there are options out there to the Fuji 450mm C, some of which you can concoct yourself.