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Thread: Problems with a Fujinon-W 1:5.6 150

  1. #1

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    Problems with a Fujinon-W 1:5.6 150

    This lens was bought from eBay back in February and I've just started to use it. It's very difficult to focus when wide open, with low contrast and high flare, but when stopped down to f8 I can focus it on the ground glass of the Tachihara. I've just got back from a visit to Shropshire and Herefordshire and paid a visit to Malcolm Taylor, the Leica repair expert, as I had concerns about the lens having a finger print etched into the front element. Malcolm took a look at it, rubbed it with his magic chammy and came to the conclusion that it was probably not the right kind of lens for a 4 x 5 camera - it could be used as a wide-angle on a larger format - and that the large image circle was causing the flare. Certainly compared to an f8 121mm Super Angulon, there was a vast difference in the sharpness on the GG.

    I was expecting to have the lens and shutter serviced, the front element dismantled, polished and re-coated, but I came away with the lens (and without a large bill!) having some doubts about the lens. Should I be looking for another 150 or 180mm lens that is more suited to 4 x 5 work?

    It looks as though it is multi-coated for the front elements, single-coated for the rears. There's no discernible serial number to be found, front or back. The outside of the front element is marked "Fujinon-W 1:56/150" and "Fuji Photo Optical Co". It comes in a Copal 0 shutter with a silver knurled shutter speed ring marked T, B and 1 to 1/500th of a second. The aperture range is from f5.6 to f64. The front element will take a 52mm filter.

    So I'm rather confused about what I actually have as it doesn't seem to fit in with the information from Subclub or Kerry Thalmann's websites. I can focus the lens wide open, but it's not as easy as it should be with a relatively fast lens, as everything is very soft and edges are difficult to differentiate - things like branches on trees. The images I took wide-open weren't that sharp and the detail is unimpressive.

    Have I bought a mongrel lens, made up of bits from two original lenses?

    Thanks

    Nick

  2. #2

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    Re: Problems with a Fujinon-W 1:5.6 150

    Newer Fujinon lenses with the lettering on the outside of the barrel have the serial number on the rear group's exterior barrel. The older Fujinons and Fujinars had the lettering and the serial number on the inside rim of the front barrel. So it is possible that you have a new front group and an older rear group.

    The Fujinars and Fujinons are excellent, sharp lenses. Additionally, the older lenses are prized for their tiny size and large image circles. I use a set of the older Fujinons, and can attest to their performance.

    Kumar

  3. #3

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    Re: Problems with a Fujinon-W 1:5.6 150

    That's one of the reasons I bought the lens, as the Fujinon reputation seemed to be very high. Certainly, I haven't been able to fault the 250mm f6.3 lens I also have.

    Nick

  4. #4
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    Re: Problems with a Fujinon-W 1:5.6 150

    You have a Fujinon f5.6 150 NW front element with the wrong rear element.

    Perhaps someone has a proper rear element that they sell or trade with you.

  5. #5
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Problems with a Fujinon-W 1:5.6 150

    Quote Originally Posted by Collas View Post
    Have I bought a mongrel lens, made up of bits from two original lenses?
    Yep.

    The rear cell may not be from a 150mm lens at all, and may not even be a Fujinon product.
    For that matter, someone may have put a Fujinon front cell on a shutter and rear cell of another lens.

    Lenses of 150mm focal length are common as hens' feathers, being roughly the 'normal' focal length for 4x5 cameras.

    KEH has a dozen of them at the moment, including a Fujinon W in a Copal shutter (not Copal Press) in EX condition with caps for $349.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  6. #6
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Problems with a Fujinon-W 1:5.6 150

    A picture is worth a thousand words... I'd be interested to see that thing. Some rear lens housings have a unique shape. Maybe someone here can identify the rear group.

    You could use it as an interesting convertible with either the front or rear alone.

  7. #7

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    Re: Problems with a Fujinon-W 1:5.6 150

    ... and your lens "expert" is wrong. Plasmat 150mm f/5.6 lenses, of which the Fujinon W 150mm is one (except maybe for your mongrel...) are standard, normal focal-length lenses for the 4x5 format. The 150mm plasmats will only barely cover 5x7 and offer no movements for that format, so really only offer full performance for 4x5.

    Since this focal length is quite common and not expensive on the used market, it would definitely be better to just get another lens than have an expensive repair done (e.g., recoating lens elements).

    Best

    Doremus Scudder

  8. #8

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    Re: Problems with a Fujinon-W 1:5.6 150

    Malcolm doesn't normally deal with large format and was unfamiliar with this particular lens. His speciality is Leica (and he's done work for the Leica museum) and Arriflex.

    http://www.google.co.uk/#sclient=psy...w=1677&bih=930

    Nick

  9. #9

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    Re: Problems with a Fujinon-W 1:5.6 150

    So, does anyone have a suitable rear cell for a Fujinon NW 150mm f5.6 lens? I'm based in the UK, so would prefer to deal with someone in the EU, as that would avoid extra costs for long distance shipping, customs charges, handling charges, etc.

    Nick

  10. #10
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Problems with a Fujinon-W 1:5.6 150

    The best way to get a rear cell like that is attached to a free shutter and front cell The Fujinons seem to have been popular in Japan, and if you don't mind dealing that way, you can get some inexpensive lenses. I have bought about 4 Fujinons from Japan. Just last week I got an EX++ 180mm Fujinon 80 degree lens from Japan for $130 USD. It came well-packaged in 5 days. I think the international transaction scares people away so the bids are lower. My high bid was $250.

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