View Full Version : Problems with a Fujinon-W 1:5.6 150

25-Nov-2011, 10:17
This lens was bought from eBay back in February and I've just started to use it. It's very difficult to focus when wide open, with low contrast and high flare, but when stopped down to f8 I can focus it on the ground glass of the Tachihara. I've just got back from a visit to Shropshire and Herefordshire and paid a visit to Malcolm Taylor, the Leica repair expert, as I had concerns about the lens having a finger print etched into the front element. Malcolm took a look at it, rubbed it with his magic chammy and came to the conclusion that it was probably not the right kind of lens for a 4 x 5 camera - it could be used as a wide-angle on a larger format - and that the large image circle was causing the flare. Certainly compared to an f8 121mm Super Angulon, there was a vast difference in the sharpness on the GG.

I was expecting to have the lens and shutter serviced, the front element dismantled, polished and re-coated, but I came away with the lens (and without a large bill!) having some doubts about the lens. Should I be looking for another 150 or 180mm lens that is more suited to 4 x 5 work?

It looks as though it is multi-coated for the front elements, single-coated for the rears. There's no discernible serial number to be found, front or back. The outside of the front element is marked "Fujinon-W 1:56/150" and "Fuji Photo Optical Co". It comes in a Copal 0 shutter with a silver knurled shutter speed ring marked T, B and 1 to 1/500th of a second. The aperture range is from f5.6 to f64. The front element will take a 52mm filter.

So I'm rather confused about what I actually have as it doesn't seem to fit in with the information from Subclub or Kerry Thalmann's websites. I can focus the lens wide open, but it's not as easy as it should be with a relatively fast lens, as everything is very soft and edges are difficult to differentiate - things like branches on trees. The images I took wide-open weren't that sharp and the detail is unimpressive.

Have I bought a mongrel lens, made up of bits from two original lenses?



25-Nov-2011, 10:34
Newer Fujinon lenses with the lettering on the outside of the barrel have the serial number on the rear group's exterior barrel. The older Fujinons and Fujinars had the lettering and the serial number on the inside rim of the front barrel. So it is possible that you have a new front group and an older rear group.

The Fujinars and Fujinons are excellent, sharp lenses. Additionally, the older lenses are prized for their tiny size and large image circles. I use a set of the older Fujinons, and can attest to their performance.


25-Nov-2011, 10:51
That's one of the reasons I bought the lens, as the Fujinon reputation seemed to be very high. Certainly, I haven't been able to fault the 250mm f6.3 lens I also have.


Gem Singer
25-Nov-2011, 10:57
You have a Fujinon f5.6 150 NW front element with the wrong rear element.

Perhaps someone has a proper rear element that they sell or trade with you.

25-Nov-2011, 13:07
Have I bought a mongrel lens, made up of bits from two original lenses?

The rear cell may not be from a 150mm lens at all, and may not even be a Fujinon product.
For that matter, someone may have put a Fujinon front cell on a shutter and rear cell of another lens.

Lenses of 150mm focal length are common as hens' feathers, being roughly the 'normal' focal length for 4x5 cameras.

KEH has a dozen of them at the moment, including a Fujinon W in a Copal shutter (not Copal Press) in EX condition with caps for $349.

- Leigh

25-Nov-2011, 13:16
A picture is worth a thousand words... I'd be interested to see that thing. Some rear lens housings have a unique shape. Maybe someone here can identify the rear group.

You could use it as an interesting convertible with either the front or rear alone.

Doremus Scudder
26-Nov-2011, 02:34
... and your lens "expert" is wrong. Plasmat 150mm f/5.6 lenses, of which the Fujinon W 150mm is one (except maybe for your mongrel...) are standard, normal focal-length lenses for the 4x5 format. The 150mm plasmats will only barely cover 5x7 and offer no movements for that format, so really only offer full performance for 4x5.

Since this focal length is quite common and not expensive on the used market, it would definitely be better to just get another lens than have an expensive repair done (e.g., recoating lens elements).


Doremus Scudder

26-Nov-2011, 14:21
Malcolm doesn't normally deal with large format and was unfamiliar with this particular lens. His speciality is Leica (and he's done work for the Leica museum) and Arriflex.



29-Nov-2011, 05:48
So, does anyone have a suitable rear cell for a Fujinon NW 150mm f5.6 lens? I'm based in the UK, so would prefer to deal with someone in the EU, as that would avoid extra costs for long distance shipping, customs charges, handling charges, etc.


29-Nov-2011, 08:46
The best way to get a rear cell like that is attached to a free shutter and front cell ;) The Fujinons seem to have been popular in Japan, and if you don't mind dealing that way, you can get some inexpensive lenses. I have bought about 4 Fujinons from Japan. Just last week I got an EX++ 180mm Fujinon 80 degree lens from Japan for $130 USD. It came well-packaged in 5 days. I think the international transaction scares people away so the bids are lower. My high bid was $250.

1-Dec-2011, 12:01
I've gone for another lens, this time the Fujinon-W 180mm f5.6, as that was what I wanted in the first place. Physically a bigger lens, I should get it from Germany soon.

I'm still on the hunt for a rear cell for the 150, though, as it's such a compact lens compared to the others in my set-up.


Tony Ilardi
1-Dec-2011, 12:59
I have the Fujinon-W 180; superb lens, and not that much larger than my Fujinon 135 CM-W. Good luck with it.

1-Dec-2011, 13:33
I've gone for another lens, this time the Fujinon-W 180mm f5.6, as that was what I wanted in the first place. Physically a bigger lens, I should get it from Germany soon.

I'm still on the hunt for a rear cell for the 150, though, as it's such a compact lens compared to the others in my set-up.


Hey Nick,

If you contact this guy http://www.apug.org/forums/members/b-s-kumar/ at APUG, he always seem to have some long list of bottom of the barrel lenses with a problem like a large scratch on the front element and so on. he has a little bit of a "garage sale" going on from time to time which might just be your luck.
Some time ago he had a couple of Fuji-NW 150 with bad front element ;)

Good luck


3-Dec-2011, 09:32
The 180mm arrived this morning, and after a quick squint through to check I could focus it, I'm pleased to say that it looks and sounds fine. I now need to get hold of a Linhof/Wista type lens panel with a centred hole (it came with an off-set one) and a 67mm Lee adaptor and I'll be set-up.

I've followed Luc's advice and have registered at APUG, but no luck so far.

Doremus Scudder
3-Dec-2011, 11:33
Just out of curiosity, why do you need to change to a lensboard without an off-center hole? If the lensboard fits with the lens on it, then you can simply use a bit of rise to get the lens centered.

I use off-center holes on my cameras and, for the ones on which the lensboard can be mounted 180 as well, use the off-center on the top sometimes for a little extra rise when needed. It really comes in handy sometimes.



3-Dec-2011, 11:38
The controls make contact with the clips for holding the lens board in place, and even rotating the lens doesn't really solve the problem - it makes the controls less easy to see or to use. Incidentally, I have a Tachihara.


Don Newburn
10-Feb-2012, 10:16
Is anyone familiar with the numbering sequence(s) of some of the lens manufacturers? I have a rear
element with the "green" cast that suggests it might be from a fujinon lens. It, however has no number so if it is Fujinon, it would have to be one of the newer ones with the lens surround bearing the serial number. Problem is, it does not have the internal extended lens shroud of the newr Fuji's. On to the numbers: I have a rear lens that came with a Nikkor W f5.6/135 that I purchased from a foreign vendor. It came with a rear element that has the number 14 353 906 on it. The spaces are as shown on the lens. Any Help?..Thanks