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Thread: Fujinon 180 A: Quality at Edges

  1. #1

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    Fujinon 180 A: Quality at Edges

    I have a Fujinon 240A and a 300A, and I know they are top-shelf, but I have read that the image quality of the Fujinon 180A tends to fall off towards the edges. The same respected author suggests that the problem may have been corrected in more recent production. Anyone have this lens ? Any feedback about edge sharpness ?

  2. #2
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    Fujinon 180 A: Quality at Edges

    Hi Ken,

    I have a recent version of the Fujinon 180A, as well as a Fuji 240A. I have not noticed any edge fall off with either of these lenses. However, I have not done any testing specific for loss of sharpness at the edges. The 180A has an image circle of 252mm. That's more than enough for the 4X5 format. However, it's probably stretching it a bit to cover the 5X7 format, when using extensive movements. As you know, the Fuji 'A" series lenses are optimized for photographing flat surfaces, and they need to be stopped down quite a lot when using them for three dimensional subjects. Perhaps, the reported edge fall off was noticed at wider aperatures.

    Since you like your 240A and 300A, I believe that you're going to love the 180A. It's the smallest, lightest weight lens (170 gms.) in my kit.

  3. #3

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    Fujinon 180 A: Quality at Edges

    Hi Ken.

    I have the 180, 240 and 300. I absolutely love all 3 of them. I am a sharpness freak, and all 3 of these lenses perform superbly. I must say, however, that I only shoot 4x5, so the image circle for all 3 lenses far exceeds my film size. I mention this because I am only using the sweet spot of these lenses, and rarely get out towards the edge of the image circle. On those rare occasions where I've used extreme movements on the 180 I have never had an issue with inadequate resolution. 5x7 might be a different story - I can't say.

  4. #4

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    Fujinon 180 A: Quality at Edges

    I forgot to mention that my 180 is about 10 years old. If you're contemplating purchasing this lens for 4x5, go for it. You won't be disappointed.

  5. #5
    Leonard Metcalf's Avatar
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    Fujinon 180 A: Quality at Edges

    I agree with Doug and Eugene, I have a new 180 and I am already in love with it. It has become my favorite and most used lens in the short time that I have used it. Again, I haven't tested it, use it only for 5 x 4, and have pushed it, but to what extent I have no idea as I am not one for extensive record keeping. Sharpness, haven't tested them or even blown them up very large yet. But have found no flaws and use it for colour and black & white.

    Enjoy, Len

    Leonard Murray Metcalf BA Dip Ed MEd

    Len's gallery lenmetcalf.com
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  6. #6

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    Fujinon 180 A: Quality at Edges

    I'm interested in the 240A for my 5x7 -- do you users find that the small maximum aperture makes it difficult to compose and focus on the ground glass?

  7. #7

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    Fujinon 180 A: Quality at Edges

    Hi Ben.

    The f/9 aperture on my 240A has never made focusing difficult for me. A lot probably depends on the quality of your focusing screen and or fresnel. I have a Toyo 45AII which comes with an excellent screen & fresnel. Even pre-dawn focusing has been no problem. Don't let the f/9 scare you away. 240 is a long enough lens that it "snaps" into focus readily.

  8. #8

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    Fujinon 180 A: Quality at Edges

    Ben - I never noticed any problem with focusing. It never ocurred to me. Of course, it's always nice to have a loupe around. I use an inexpensive plastic 8x loupe.

  9. #9

    Fujinon 180 A: Quality at Edges

    I really like Fuji image quality and have two wide angle SWs, a 125W, 180A, 240A, and have just purchased a 450C. The 180A is an early single coated version that I bought new in 1979. The 240A is a later multi-coated lens. But as much as I like Fuji lenses, I have to admit that they don't cover as much as the manufacturer claims.

    Testing for coverage calls for a judgement decision to determine the area of adequate sharpness. I make a 2X enlargement of the area near the edge of coverage and judge sharpness at normal print viewing distance with the naked eye. Using that method my 135 Nikkor-W, which is advertised as a 73 degree lens, is sharp to 72 degrees at f22 and 76 degrees at f45. The 125 Fuji W, which was advertised as an 80 degree lens, is sharp to 68 degrees at f22 and 75 degrees at f45. The 180A is sharp to 57 degrees at f22 (195mm image circle) and 63 degrees at f45 (218mm image circle). The 240A is sharp to 55 degrees at f22 and 57 degrees at f45.

    I also have a 240 G-Claron and, although I haven't tested it beyond 60 degrees, my feeling is that it covers a little more than advertised.

    In response to Ben's question, I find it a bit of a chore to focus an f8 wide angle lens, but easy to focus an f9 long focus lens.

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