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Thread: Fuji 90mm f8 SW or Nikon 90mm f8 SW

  1. #11
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Fuji 90mm f8 SW or Nikon 90mm f8 SW

    Well, I bought a 90 back when I was sometimes doing a architectural interiors, so opted for the Nikkor SW 90/4.5 - distinctly bulkier and heavier, especially with an attached center filter, but massive image circle plus the brighter viewing. I was worth the extra hassle to me, since some of those interiors were relatively dim and I hate the effect of fresnel screens, and I needed all the wiggle room, especially rise, that I could get.

    But when I reaaalllly needed some extra image circle yardage, there was the 120/5.6 Super Angulon - even bulkier - not an ideal lens to lug up a 13,000 ft peak with a Sinar and whole nine yards of backpacking and mountaineering gear too - but I did that at least half a dozen times. Wish I were that young again. Now I use a tiny 125/5.6 Fuji NW instead, with rather limited wiggle room on 4x5.

  2. #12

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    Re: Fuji 90mm f8 SW or Nikon 90mm f8 SW

    IM-HO, the real difference is the image circle. If you plan on using the lens for situations where you need a lot of image circle, e.g., architectural work in cities in close quarters where you need a lot of front rise along with other things, then the Nikon wins hands down.

    I found my 90mm f/8 Schneider Super Angulon just didn't cut it in situations like these. Don't get me wrong, its a fine lens and one of the sharpest I own, but I kept running out of image circle with it and vignetting a corner when I used both front rise and some shift together.

    I got a Nikon 90mm f/8 SW and haven't really had the vignetting problem since. That's the lens that goes in my architectural kit along with the 135mm WF Ektar. My 90mm Super Angulon and my Plasmat 135mm lenses are in the landscape kit for use when I don't anticipate the need for lots of coverage.

    As far as image quality goes, both the Fuji and the Nikon should be on a par. You might want to avoid the older single-coated Fujinons in that focal length, though; just too much flare in my experience; or use a good lens hood.

    As for the f/5.6 (f/4.5) larger versions of the 90mm wides: Just too heavy for me. Great for both coverage and illumination if you have a strong assistant, pack mule or just set up beside the car. For my use (hiking and biking with lots of 4x5 gear) they are just too heavy. And, the filter size is much larger, meaning more expense for filters.

    Best,

    Doremus

  3. #13

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    Re: Fuji 90mm f8 SW or Nikon 90mm f8 SW

    There are essentially no "hobbyist" view camera lenses made in the era when sheet film was the primary means to high quality images.

    IMO, the only significant difference between the 90mm f8 SW Fujinon -vs- 90mm f8 Nikkor would be image circle. Beyond that the EBC coated version of the 90mm f8 Fujinon -vs- 90mm f8 Nikkor would be identical in higher contrast rendition as their coating technology would be more similar than different.

    That said, higher contrast in itself does not and never does make a "better" lens than a lens with lower contrast. It is FAR more complex than this often overly obsessed token among Fotographers.

    Sharpness is more orange herring than sardine as the vast majority of modern view camera lenses are designed, produced to a very high standard. Anything less would results in a lens product that cannot be sold into that market place.

    There are basically four 90mm wide angle LF lenses in this family:

    ~90mm f8 Super Angulon which was made for decades.

    ~90mm f8 Nikkor.

    ~90mm f8 SW Fujinon.

    ~90mm f6.8 Grandagon.

    ~~The f4.5 or f5.6 versions of the 90mm wide angle lenses have larger image circle, bit brighter on the GG to aid in focusing, slightly lower geometric distortion (not that significant in the majority of image making needs). Trade off will be a physically larger lens at higher cost.


    All four of these classic LF wide angles are more similar than different. Proper examples of each are more than capable of producing excellent expressive images_entirely dependent on the ability of the image maker (photographer_creative artist) to apply them to meet their image goals.

    Don't get caught up in the marketing mind-set of latest = greatest and all that marketing brain bending.. Consider your image goals, lens and process to achieve this then find a camera that best meets the needs of the lens and image goals most.



    Bernice

  4. #14
    New Orleans, LA
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    Re: Fuji 90mm f8 SW or Nikon 90mm f8 SW

    As a broad answer...I landed on Fuji lenses 20 years ago (thanks Kerry Thalmann http://www.thalmann.com/largeformat/fujinon.htm) because they sold used for much less than similar Nikons, Rodenstocks, etc. Never been disappointed. As Mark said, "...both lenses are top-quality professional optics from well-respected companies." The main thing to look at is the condition of any particular used lens and shutter before buying. Our heroes (Weston, Adams, etc.) did ground breaking work with far fewer choices than we have.

  5. #15
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Fuji 90mm f8 SW or Nikon 90mm f8 SW

    Fuji did far less advertising in this country than the others; that's all.

  6. #16
    http://www.spiritsofsilver.com tgtaylor's Avatar
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    Re: Fuji 90mm f8 SW or Nikon 90mm f8 SW

    I've been using the Grandagon f4.5 for about 20 years now - bought it used at a local photo swap for $510. Its a stellar lens with an IC large enough for 5x7 with movements. A few years back I bought the Nikon f8 from a forum member for a little less than I paid for the Grandagon. I wanted the smaller lens for backpacking but didn't find the image quality comparable to the Grandagon so I sold it. After carrying the 8x10 and its lenses the larger size and weight of the Grandagon became insignificant and I never noticed a fall-off and therefore a need for a center filter.

    Thomas

  7. #17

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    Re: Fuji 90mm f8 SW or Nikon 90mm f8 SW

    Quote Originally Posted by tgtaylor View Post
    I've been using the Grandagon f4.5 [90mm] for about 20 years now... I never noticed a fall-off and therefore a need for a center filter.
    Hi Thomas,

    Do you only use negative film with this lens, or also reversal? B&W? Colour? Both?

  8. #18
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Fuji 90mm f8 SW or Nikon 90mm f8 SW

    Falloff is there. Fact. And it's likely to be a full stop and a half, not chump change. Whether it bothers you or not is a different aspect of the question. But just because a category of film allegedly has more "latitude" than another, i.e., color neg versus color transparencies, doesn't mean that a odd color shift won't occur in the underexposed portions. Depends on the specific film and actual contrast range in play. With some black and white films, you might run out of detail in shadows toward the corners of the image - friend or villain creatively? - that's up to you. Broad areas of blank black which are hardly noticeable in a contact print might be very annoying in an enlargement. And one person's, "I don't even notice any falloff", might be another person's nightmare. Otherwise, matched center filters wouldn't even exist.

  9. #19

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    Re: Fuji 90mm f8 SW or Nikon 90mm f8 SW

    Drew, I'd just like to get Thomas's take on the questions that I asked, as someone who has been using the f/4.5 90mm Grandagon-N for 20 years . I am quite capable of considering Thomas's response, if he has the time and inclination, without your assistance. Indeed, your aggressive response yesterday to my post about Ed Burtynsky's views on digital medium format means that I am not interested in what you have to say on this question or anything else. I spent some time putting that post together, with appropriate links, in a constructive effort to make his views available for people's consideration. Your attack on, and belittlement of, Burtynsky, for no apparent reason, was just astounding.

  10. #20
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Fuji 90mm f8 SW or Nikon 90mm f8 SW

    Fine with me. It is you who was, and still are, reacting in an insulting manner. This is a web forum for heaven's sake, and one where different opinions over gear and technique are supposedly welcomed and weighed. I have 30 years of experience with 90/4.5's; but you don't seem open to my own opinions, so there you go. Your loss, not mine. It has nothing to do with personal attacks. Welcome to my ignore list.

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