View Full Version : fuji 450c or 19"Artar

Jim Bright
2-May-2004, 20:55
Greetings, If anyone on the forum has developed an opinion on which of these two is superior to the other for image quality I would like to hear your reasons. I'm looking for a long lens for 8x10 and possible 7x17 b&w landscapes. Thanks, Jim

Ted Harris
3-May-2004, 07:17
Hello Jim,

I used a fairly late Schneider Apo Artar for a number of years. I was never totallyhappy with the contrast of the lens and found the maximum aperature of f11 a bit difficult to focus in dusk or dawn light. The single coating could also have contributed to the lack of contrast. When I finally decided to switch I considered botht he Fujinon 450 C and the Nikkor 450 M. I believe you should consider the Nikkor as well.

I decided in the Nikkor. Here is the important comparative information and my comments on the lens. New the Nikkor will cost you a bit more than the Fujinon, used they run about the same. The Fujinon i sin a #1 shutter and the Nikkor in a #3. The Nikkor has a slightly smaller published image circle but I have never run out of room with the lens. I am very happy with the performance of this lens. It it is sharp and contrasty and I like the color rendition (although you did say b&w). I also find it very useful in the studio. Both the Fujinon and Nikkor are multicoated.

I thought long and hard about the Fujinon as well but when I finally made my choice it was based largely on maximum aperature ... f9 v f12.5. The Nikkor is a joy to focus and, given my ecperiences with the Apo Artar I decided I didn't want an even slower lens. The slight difference in weight was a price I was willing to pay.

The two lenses that are always part of my 8x10 kit in the field are the 450M Nikkor and a 300A Fujinon.

One suggestion, MidWest usuallyhas both lenses in stock in like new condition (that is where I got mine). Try one an dif you don't likeit Jim will let you switch for the other. But I'd try the nikkor first, just my opinion.

Chad Jarvis
3-May-2004, 08:53
Ted could quite possibly be the first photographer EVER to be disappointed with the contrast of an Artar. I stand completely contrary to his opinion. Artars are cheap and plentiful, offer excellent sharpness and contrast, and the 19" (480mm) will cover 11x14 and 7x17. I have no experience with the other lenses, so place as much stock in what I have to say as you will...

John Kasaian
3-May-2004, 11:06

I have no experience with the Fuji, but my 19" Artar is one of the very finest lenses around. I agree that the 450 Nikkor M is also a champ and worthy of consideration if you're in the market for a lens in this focal length---I think it would come down to a preference for a multi coated lens(Nikkor) over a single coated one(Artar) and a new shutter(copal on the Nikkor) verses a classic(Ilex or betax on the Artar.) Either way IMHO, its a winning combination.

Steve Hamley
3-May-2004, 11:39

I have both lenses, although I received the Artar only recently and right now it's off having the shutter CLAed. I tend to agree with Ted. The Artar is single coated and is a lower contrast lens compared to the Fuji. I don't think you'll complain about the sharpness of either lens.

Just before posting I checked prices on Midwest Photo Exchange's website and here's how the prices stack up: Apo Artar in Copal, cond 9, $1,269; Fuji 450 C new, $895; Apo Artar I assume in Ilex, cond 9, $599; 450 Nikkor M, cond 9+, $695, 450 Nikkor M, new, $995. I purchased my Fuji 450 C from them about 18 months ago that you couldn't tell from new for $795, IIRC.

The most direct comparisons are the Artar in Copal to the Fuji 450 C or Nikkor M. I have asked people why someone would pay 50 - 100 percent more for an older, single coated lens of lower contrast (unless you are looking for lower contrast), and have never gotten a good answer.

If you want a second lens with lower contrast, I'd say go for it. If you're only going to have 1 lens, the Fuji or the Nikkor are the obvious choices.


Ted Harris
3-May-2004, 12:32
BTW, according to conversations with Steve Grimes when I had my Artar mounted if you use a Copal #3 instead of an Ilex #4 you will not be able to get the full f11.