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Thread: The Lens Ravings of a Quarantined Large Format Mind...

  1. #21
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: The Lens Ravings of a Quarantined Large Format Mind...

    Quote Originally Posted by Salmo22 View Post
    The Nikkor 300mm f/9 lens is currently the longest focal length in my 4x5 kit. Out of boredom, but with genuine interest, Iíve been doing some research on the Fujinon C 300mm f/8.5 lens. I note that on eBay the Fuji regularly fetches $200 to $300 more than its cousin, the Nikkor M 300mm f/9. Iíve wondered why? If folks pay more money for the Fuji, it must be better - right?

    Besides the negligible .5 wider aperture, the most noticeable difference is that the Fuji appears to cover 380mm compared to the Nikkorís 325mm. While this isnít much of an issue for a 4x5 user like myself, I suspect it is a big deal for 8x10 shooters. It is my understanding that the Nikkor barely covers 8x10 without any movements, while the Fuji covers 8x10 with movements. I suspect this is why the Fuji fetches more $$$ than the Nikkor. Both are diminutive compared to their burly f/5.6 counterparts. I must admit to wondering why 8x10 users worry about the size/weight of their optics? The darn camera weighs a ton all by themselves. I guess every ounce counts - especially when backpacking? I currently subscribe to Edward Weston's belief that; ďAnything more than 500 yards from the car just isnít photogenic.Ē

    As I researched this issue further, I started to notice online comments from large format photographers regarding a variety of "older" lens designs (i.e. Fuji, Nikkor, Zeiss, Goerz, etc) that have maximum apertures in the f/8, f/9, etc range. Lots of comments about these lenses having wonderful contrast and being razor sharp. While some of these lenses have multi-coating (Nikkor M), many are only single coated lenses. The f/5.6 lenses (Nikkor, Rodenstock, Schneider, etc) appear to have six elements and multi coating. The Nikkor M and Fuji A or C lenses typically have four elements and often single coating. As noted above, Nikkor Mís are multi-coated. While the f/5.6 six element multi-coated lenses are wonderful, they are also larger and heavier. At the moment, size and weight isnít an issue for me. Maybe that will change?

    Here is the $64 question; is it possible that these older design four element lenses have better contrast and are sharper than their more modern f/5.6 brethren? While multi-coating certainly helps with flare, how truly important is that if single or non-coated lenses truly have better contrast and acutance? I assume there are no perfect lenses and that all optical designs have compromises. Is it possible that more lens elements and more coating can impact contrast and/or sharpness?

    Clearly a hair-splitting thought process. Please feel free to slap me around and educate me properly

    PS - The negatives Iíve made with my Nikkor M 300mm f/9 have shown wonderful contrast and acutance.

    PSS - I shoot black and white film exclusively. Maybe if I shot color film and/or transparencies, the advantages of the more modern lens designs would be apparent.
    I think you need to get out a little and get some fresh air.

  2. #22

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    Re: The Lens Ravings of a Quarantined Large Format Mind...

    It's all about the better bokeh that you get when shooting wide open with the Fuji.

  3. #23
    Jeffery Dale Welker
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    Re: The Lens Ravings of a Quarantined Large Format Mind...

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    I think you need to get out a little and get some fresh air.
    I could not agree more
    "I have this feeling of walking around for days with the wind knocked out of me." - Jim Harrison

  4. #24
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: The Lens Ravings of a Quarantined Large Format Mind...

    Maybe the aperture needs to be opened up a little more before people can get through it and enjoy fresh.

  5. #25
    Jeffery Dale Welker
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    Re: The Lens Ravings of a Quarantined Large Format Mind...

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Maybe the aperture needs to be opened up a little more before people can get through it and enjoy fresh.
    "I have this feeling of walking around for days with the wind knocked out of me." - Jim Harrison

  6. #26

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    Re: The Lens Ravings of a Quarantined Large Format Mind...

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    I think you need to get out a little and get some fresh air.
    ++1!

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