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Thread: Fujinon-W 210 vs. Fujinon-W 210

  1. #1
    Do or do not. There is no try.
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    Fujinon-W 210 vs. Fujinon-W 210

    I recently picked up a very-badly-treated inside-lettering* 210mm Fujinon-W; both the front and rear glass surfaces have numerous light scratches, as if they were gently wiped with fine sandpaper, and there a few small spots (fungus?) inside the cells. The front and rear threads are pretty beat up so disassembly and cleaning is impossible without a >$100 trip to SKGrimes. I knew what I was buying, and paid a very fair price for a Copal 1 shutter only, but I was curious about its optical "qualities" in this condition.

    *Inside lettering means the focal length, etc., is engraved on the front trim ring and is visible when looking into the lens. This first style Fujinon-W has 80 degree coverage; the 210 will cover 8x10.

    Yesterday I put the junker and another inside-lettering Fujinon-W 210mm, in excellent condition, on my 5x7 Canham, cranked up full rise, and shot my standard vertical winter test target (pine and oak branches against a blank sky on a calm day, bonus points for snow) on 5x7 FP4+, exposed at ASA50. 1sec at f/22 put the tree trunks on Zone III and the white snow on Zone VII on this overcast day. I developed them in DK-76b 1+1, 9 minutes at 20C. (What's DK-76b, you ask? Look here: http://www.udmercy.edu/crna/agm/phenvitc.htm.)

    Disclaimer: I had to re-shoot one of the negs after I'd moved the camera as I realized I'd forgotten to close down the aperture for one of the original shots, so the fields of view are very similar but not absolutely identical.

    This morning I studied the negatives with an 8x loupe. The "junker" neg in isolation is surprisingly good. If I didn't know what it was, I wouldn't be able to guess from this negative alone. There were areas where the good lens was discernably better (details in some of the tree bark, sharpness in some branches, etc.) when compared side-by-side on the light box, but the differences were not enormous. They were greatest near the lens axis, less so at the edge with maximum rise. Considering its condition the junker did a remarkably good job.

    You'll have to take my word on this since I don't own or have easy access to a scanner. If someone wants to volunteer to do a couple of scans, I'll be happy to send you the negatives.

    My conclusion: Apparently-crappy glass isn't necessarily so!

  2. #2
    Rick Olson's Avatar
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    Re: Fujinon-W 210 vs. Fujinon-W 210

    Hello Steve,

    I have one of those old 210 WS Fuji lenses with the markings on the inside lens ring. No multicoating, scratched but takes beautiful pictures on my 5x7. I use it as my "travel lens" when I have to carry my gear in the plane (fits under the seat!). I also have a Schneider 210 that stays home, as it is larger and will not fit in the carry-on with my 5x7. I have learned that some lens imperfections mean very little when it comes to the final output. When compared to images taken with the Schneider, the quality is not great enough to keep me from using it regularly. The old Fuji 210 W(S) also has a larger image circle than their later 210 lenses, making it a pleasure to use on 5x7 when I need extra movements.

    Enjoy it!

    Rick

  3. #3
    Japan Exposures
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    Re: Fujinon-W 210 vs. Fujinon-W 210

    As always, it's all in the mind. Congrats to at least giving the ugly guy a chance.

  4. #4
    hacker extraordinaire
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    Re: Fujinon-W 210 vs. Fujinon-W 210

    A case of mind over matter--if you don't mind, it don't matter.

    I've never hesitated to use scratched glass or cheap filters on cameras. On by budget, I welcome the price brakes, and such flaws are so out-of-focus that they will not be obvious in the pictures. The penalty is in increased chances of acute flare and reduced contrast. Since I shoot B&W I don't worry about this much either since a bit of overall, contrast-reducing chronic flare never hurt anyone and in fact makes your film faster. I do worry about dust, scratches, and filters when it comes to enlargers, though. Even though sharpness might not be effected, flare and contrast can be.

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