View Full Version : Fujinon T 300 f/8 or Horseman Teleconverter 2x?

Marco Frigerio
9-Mar-2004, 01:48
Ciao!! I have a Gandolfi Variant Level 1 with a 313 mm. bellows extension...well, it happened that I have a particular project to develop and I need a lens in the 300 mm. range but, mainly for the bellows limitation of my camera, I was thinking about a Telephoto Lens like the Fujinon 300 f/8 or the Horseman Teleconverter 2x (I have a Schneider 150 mm.). I have read some negative reviews on the Horseman, anyway I'm asking to this very very helpful community some advices. Obviously I'm concerned mainly about image quality, but any comments will help to take my decision... Thank you


Tony Galt
9-Mar-2004, 07:07
Ciao Marco,

Mi piace molto leggere un'intervento italiano in questa discussione. I have recently acquired a 300 mm Fuji T f/8 for use with my Shen Hao. I haven't used it much yet, but the photos I have made with it are nice and sharp, showing good color and contrast. 313 mm of bellows would be plenty to focus it from infinity to portrait distance. Teleconverters are an afterthought, especially if they aren't designed especially for the lens they are being used to extend. There have been exchanges about them on this list and others as you may have seen. I'd go with the Fujinon.

Gem Singer
9-Mar-2004, 07:09
Ciao Marco,

I have not used the Horseman Teleconverter, but I have used the Fuji 300T. It's an excellent telephoto lens. It is mounted in a Copal 0 shutter, making it relatively small and light weight. It is a sharp lens, providing that the camera is mounted on a solid tripod.

However, there is another alternative. Use an extension lensboard and a compact 300mm lens, such as the Nikon 300M or the Fuji 300C. Both of these lenses have large image circles (compared to the Fuji 300T), and they are easier to compose on the groundglass. The entire image will show extreme movements when using a telephoto lens along with swing, or tilt, on the front. Not so with a non-telephoto standard 300 lens.

Your camera uses Linhof tech lensboards, and Ebony (among others) makes extension lensboards that will fit on the Gandolfi.

paul owen
9-Mar-2004, 08:03
Hi Marco - forget the horseman converter - its next to useless!

Sam Crater
9-Mar-2004, 13:53
Another option would be a fuji 240A which is extraordinarily sharp. I used the 400T and while it's sharp on axis it does have some color fringing near the edges with some subjects.

Ted Harris
9-Mar-2004, 16:09

You will find a number of earlier threads on the Horseman 2x converter. It is not as sharp as the modern multicoated 300mm lenses I ahve used but I disagree with Paul, it is far from useless. I own both the Fujinon 300mm A and the Horseman converter which I use with an Apo Symmar 150mm. I got the converter because the price was right and I liked the idea of not carrying an additional lens when I was traveling ultralight and using my Horseman FA which will doesn;lt have enough bellows extension for the 300mm A. I have done side-by-side product shots in the studio under carefully controlled conditions and it is sometimes hard to tell which is which. Results in the field are not quite as good but they are perfectly adequate if you want to save space weight and money.

Here is a quick scan, unenhanced, using the Horseman 2x from a project I am working on of a neighborhood 'landmark' site. Film is Provia, time was dusk and there was a very light wind. Excuse the quality it was a final shot to test the Horseman converter jsut as the light was dying for good. The only thing I have done to the picture is very slightly sharpen it after the scan.


Now an enlargement of a small part of the image.


Marco Frigerio
10-Mar-2004, 00:24
Thank you, all your advices was very useful!! Well, I knew that the Horseman was not as sharp as modern 300 mm., but I was tempted because I often travel in the Colorado Plateau and carrying ultralight equipment (even at the airports) is a plus. On the other hand, the maximum image quality is always something I'm looking for... Ted, thank you for taking time to post the scan, I really appreciated it, it added complexity to the discussion and now it's harder taking my decision.

I've read that with Telephoto lenses it's less intuitive the use of the camera movements because the focal point is located in front of the lens: any experiences or opinions?

Tony, complimenti per il tuo italiano!! E' sempre un piacere trovare qualcuno che parla la tua lingua... I'm curious: did you live or work in Italy?

Ciao Marco

Gem Singer
10-Mar-2004, 06:52

Please take the time to read my post again. It may be the solution to your problem. I mentioned the difficulties when using camera movements with a tele. It may save you time and money to use a non-telephoto lens.

The combination of a compact 300mm normal lens, plus an extension lensboard, is not only lighter weight, but less expensive than a 300 tele lens. Also, it is much easier to find a previously owned Nikon 300M than a previously owned Fuji 300T, in excellent condition. The extension lensboard will add (approx.) $100 to the cost, but the total investment will still be lower.

Marco Frigerio
10-Mar-2004, 07:20
Eugene yesterday, after reading your post, I immediately checked the Ebony website just to have a look at the extension lensboard you mentioned, and I have to admit that at this moment is the solution that appealed me the most...anyway I asked about camera movements with a Telephoto lens because I want to explore deeply all the options before spending my hard earned bucks!!! But after checking the Ebony website (and the Robert White website), I have a doubt: I've only found extension tubes (17mm and 35mm), when you mentioned extension lensboard did you mean those tubes? Thank you


Ted Harris
10-Mar-2004, 09:29

Eugene is referring to a lensboard that has a tube or collar protruding on the front of the board so that the lens is mounted xmm further in front of the bellows that would be the case with a flat lensboard. They are reasonably available for most boards. I agree that this is the best solution if you can afford the cost of a used 300M + the cost of the board. A quick look at current prices seems to indicate that the combo is not going to cost you much less than the cost of a used Fujinon 300 Tele (check MidWest's website).

Again, if the lens is not going to get a lot of use and money is tight don't give up on the converter jsut yet. You should be able to get a like new converter to use with yoru 150 Apo Symmar for around $250 or less.

Gem Singer
10-Mar-2004, 09:55
Hello Marco,

Yes, the Ebony 34mm extension tube would give you (approx.) 347 mm of total extension on your Gandolfi. That's enough to use a 300mm non-telephoto lens at moderate working distances (not enough for close ups, however).

I used a Fuji 300T on my Toyo 45AII. It focused at infinity with 195mm of extension, and it worked very well with that short bellows camera. However it was a relatively heavy (415gms) and bulky, even though it is mounted in a Copal 0 shutter. It's the very same lens that Tony Galt now owns. I still have a Fuji 400T that I use on the Toyo. It is mounted in a Copal 1 shutter and is a larger, heavier lens. It requires (approx.) 250mm of extension to focus at infinity. That doesn't leave much bellows extension for close focusing on the Toyo.

Ebony is not the only manufacturer that makes an extension lensboard. I believe that Wista also makes one that is a little longer than 34mm. I have a 34mm Ebony extension lensboard. I use it with a Fuji 450C lens on my 4X5 Ebony camera. It's made of aluminum, three pieces that fit together, and it doesn't add much more weight. It's also less bulky, with a Fuji 450C mounted on it, than the Fuji 400T mounted on a flat Linhof-type lensboard.

Ernest Purdum
10-Mar-2004, 10:56
Marco, regarding the question of using movements with a telephoto, There is no problem with front rise, fall or shifts, but trying to use front tilts or swings can drive you crazy. You are right about the problem being caused by the rear nodal point, kind of an optical pivot point, being way out in space in front of the lens. You can visualize, I think, what happens if you twist or tilt the lensboard in that case.

Lavorato io in Grosseto per sei mese, ma non scrivo nell'italiano perche il mio lavoro era in 1963. Quarentanni e troppo lungo.

Paul Schilliger
10-Mar-2004, 13:00
Some additional thoughts on the converter: The converter doesn't make a tele lens and the flange to film distance is around 28-29 cm at infinity. It makes a relatively dark lens of F11. The additional weight and extension increases greatly the risk of vibration with a flatbed camera. I have used the combo on a Linhof Technika and I was not really happy with it.The optical quality is not bad, but a 300mm is far better. With 313 mm of extension, I would suggest a Fujinon C 8,5/300 on a slightly extended lensboard. This lens is excellent and uses only 280mm at infinity. That's of course if you use it for landscape only and not for close-ups.

Paul Schilliger
10-Mar-2004, 13:03
Sorry, I should have read all the new answers before repeating what had already been said! ;-)

Marco Frigerio
11-Mar-2004, 00:41
Thank you guys, thank you very much!!!! Wow, I have a lot of stuff to think about but I think that now I have all the informations I needed...the main problem here in Italy is that it's very difficult to find used large format gear, but that's what the World Wide Web was created for, to promote Ebay ;))))...

Ernest, your italian is next to perfect, compliments, fourty years is a looong time, I think that it's time to come back and have an holyday, Italy is wonderful in springtime, but I think that you already know that!!!

Ciao Marco