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Thread: Fujinon lenses - EBC coating & Shutters

  1. #1

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    Fujinon lenses - EBC coating & Shutters

    I've noticed the older Fujinon lenses are single coated and have Seiko shutters.

    The newer model are EBC multicoated and have Copal shutters.

    How important is it to get the newer model over the older one? Is there a real difference?

  2. #2
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Fujinon lenses - EBC coating & Shutters

    Not all their multicoated lenses have EBC stated on them. Another indicator is outside lettering on the front lens element, versus lettering within the exterior rim. And of course, multicoated lenses actually look multicoated, with distinct reflections patterns evidencing those multiple coatings; but that means you need to see the lens in person when it's in question.

    The condition of older shutters is always an important factor in itself. But assuming it's in good shape, one would have to trace the gradual evolution of specific Fujinon series and their respective focal lengths. Minor improvements in optical formulation might have arrived along with multicoating itself, or might not have. In some cases, someone might prefer an older single coated version with inside lettering because it had a larger image circle than the later equivalents. So you need to be a lot more specific about exactly which lens series and focal length you have in mind; otherwise, it can get complicated.

    Some were never multicoated, like the Fuji tessar L series. That doesn't mean they are inferior, but were engineered with a specific application in mind not needing it; in the case of L's - portrait studios.
    Frankly, all my own Fuji's are multicoated. I once had a 250/6.7 W which wasn't; but it used a special glass type providing similar excellent performance. And sometimes I want to dial back the contrast a little. For example, my multicoated 240A is superb; but when I want a tad less contrast, instead of looking for an older Fuji A, I simply reach for the very similar but single-coated Schneider 250 G-Claron instead. They too were never multicoated, and didn't need to be.

    Multicoating is a factor, but not always necessary for very high quality optical performance. Everyone knows that one of the purposes of multicoating is to reduce flare. But in view camera photography, it's quite easy to use a compendium lens shade to control flare.

  3. #3

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    Re: Fujinon lenses - EBC coating & Shutters

    Personally, I've never noticed any visible image differences between my single coated Fuji lenses vs other multi-coated LF lenses I own; as long as one is aware of flare situations as mentioned above. I do prefer the one-step switch to open/close a Copal shutter vs the extra step of cocking a Seiko shutter, but that's nit-picking.

  4. #4

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    Re: Fujinon lenses - EBC coating & Shutters

    This time, Drew, I am replying to one of your misinformative posts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    ...I once had a 250/6.7 W which wasn't; but it used a special glass type providing similar excellent performance...
    Nonsense. Coating, whether single- or multi-, is applied to reduce reflections at air/glass surfaces. The single-layer coatings on my Fujinon 250mm f/6.7 lens, as well as every other one Fuji manufactured, are there for that reason. The glass used to make elements in those lenses in no way accomplishes anything like reflection reduction from multicoating.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    ...single-coated Schneider 250 G-Claron instead. They...were never multicoated, and didn't need to be...
    Of course they didn't need to be. Because such a lens never existed. Around that focal length, Schneider made G-Clarons in 240mm and 270mm. I have one of the latter, purchased brand new, and it is superb, even with its single-layer coatings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    ...in view camera photography, it's quite easy to use a compendium lens shade to control flare.
    In a studio, perhaps, but in the field a compendium is just one more piece of equipment to carry around and set up while often trying to outrun rapidly changing light. The simpler things can be made under those circumstances, the better.

  5. #5
    (Shrek)
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    Re: Fujinon lenses - EBC coating & Shutters

    Functionally the Seiko shutters are just as reliable and easy to service as their comparable Copal or Compur shutters, in my experience, I've repaired 2 or 3 without issue. As for coating, the EBC coating was magnificent for it's time, but it's now 50 year-old technology and all of the multicoated lf lenses made since are of comparable performance unless you're a commercial photographer shooting product, but there are no such photographers anymore still using lf, nor labs capable of consistent work such that it would matter.

    Shooting B&W, the only time I care if my lens is single- or multi-coated (or just 'coated') is if I plan on shooting directly into the sun or other strong light, which I sometimes do if I like the composition. Multi-coated or not, if the sun is shining on my front element when I'm taking a shot, I shade it. Hand, dark slide, shade, whatever is handy.

  6. #6

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    Re: Fujinon lenses - EBC coating & Shutters

    Good reliable, predictable, acccurate-precise shutter is FAR more important than EBC coatings, multi-coatings or _coatings. View camera lenses do not have the complexity or number of lens elements as small film or digital imager lenses, plus there is no fixed back focus compensation required for a view camera lens.

    Consider the uncoated Dagor and why it has GOOD contrast, due to the small number of glass to air surfaces. Then consider a modern zoom lens with piles of air to glass surfaces. It is due to modern complex multi coating technology that allows these complex zoom lens designs to function at all.

    The Fujinon EBC coating is much a marketing moniker more than technology innovation, by that time Nikkor, Rodenstock, Schneider were ALL applying multi-coatings to their view camera offerings.

    As for view camera lens shade outdoors, use the dark slide to cast a shadow on the lens. Post film exposure, the dark slide goes back home to where it lives.


    Bernice

  7. #7
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Fujinon lenses - EBC coating & Shutters

    Oh, don't bring up dagors. That dang MC 14 inch Kern I once had was just soooo contrasty with only four air/glass interfaces (plus multicoating), it was actually over the top and a liability when shooting already contrasty chrome film. I found myself replacing it with the previous single-coated Kern dagor instead.

    I also did the same stunt for my Nikon recently, and fished up an early single-coated lens that was post- A1'd, just to give me a lower contrast option. Hood in place, of course.

  8. #8

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    Re: Fujinon lenses - EBC coating & Shutters

    Quote Originally Posted by Jody_S View Post
    Functionally the Seiko shutters are just as reliable and easy to service as their comparable Copal or Compur shutters, in my experience, I've repaired 2 or 3 without issue. As for coating, the EBC coating was magnificent for it's time, but it's now 50 year-old technology and all of the multicoated lf lenses made since are of comparable performance unless you're a commercial photographer shooting product, but there are no such photographers anymore still using lf, nor labs capable of consistent work such that it would matter.

    Shooting B&W, the only time I care if my lens is single- or multi-coated (or just 'coated') is if I plan on shooting directly into the sun or other strong light, which I sometimes do if I like the composition. Multi-coated or not, if the sun is shining on my front element when I'm taking a shot, I shade it. Hand, dark slide, shade, whatever is handy.
    In my experience Seiko shutters can have a failure mode that actually leaves them unfixable without spare parts. Specifically I have seen the cocking ring get stripped out (it has sort of gears on it). Only way to fix is by finding the cocking ring part somehow. Also I had one where the tab on the slow speed escapement just broke off, no way to fix without another slow speed escapement. Maybe I just have bad luck.

  9. #9
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Fujinon lenses - EBC coating & Shutters

    Is there any choice? Not many lens formulas came with the choice of single vs multi coating.

  10. #10
    (Shrek)
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    Re: Fujinon lenses - EBC coating & Shutters

    Quote Originally Posted by domaz View Post
    In my experience Seiko shutters can have a failure mode that actually leaves them unfixable without spare parts. Specifically I have seen the cocking ring get stripped out (it has sort of gears on it). Only way to fix is by finding the cocking ring part somehow. Also I had one where the tab on the slow speed escapement just broke off, no way to fix without another slow speed escapement. Maybe I just have bad luck.
    In normal use they're just as reliable? I've had similar issues with Copal and Compur shutters, I recently fixed a Shanel shutter that was jammed by a piece of a lever falling off and into the ring that moves the blades. I removed that little piece and it works perfectly now, and I never could figure out where it broke off. It was obviously of the same metal as the shutter mechanism, there were just no broken edges in the shutter and it continues to work perfectly til this day. Clockwork shutters are inherently fragile and require a gentle touch, no matter what make, but with normal use and proper storage, the Seikos do not stand out as unreliable compared to any other. Or maybe I've just been lucky with mine?


    They certainly fare better than some of Wollensak's early offerings like the Autex, of which I've only ever seen one still working.

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