Fujinon LF lenses

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Can anyone tell me the difference between Fujinon SW, SWD and SWDS wide angle lenses?

-- Sverre Aurstad (sverre.aurstad@bokklubbene.no), April 21, 1998


Currently Fuji makes two lines of wide angles. SWDS - which is their f5.6 series with a coverage angle of 105 degrees. (65,75,90mm) And NSWS - series which is their f8 series covering 100 degrees. (90,105,125mm)

The SWDS (Super Wide Deluxe Series) was at one point only coated but quickly become multi-coated when Fuji developed their proprietary multi-coating. Optical diagrams show 8 elements in 6 groups with some usually shaped elements within. Optically they seem on par with fast wide angles from Rodenstock, Nikon, etc. I own the 65 and 90mm.

The NSWS (Normal super wide series) has a much more interesting history. It was first made as the SW series which came in a sieko shutter and as a 6 element 4 group design. This was the industrys standard design. It came as a 65,75,90, and a 105 mm lens. It was later coated an sold as the SWS series. With the development of Fuji proprietary EBC multi-coating Fuji decided to break from the industrys standard. The new design, called the NSWS, has a all air spaced 6 elements in 6 groups and applies an ingenious mounting (made possible by the design) method that significantly increases the accuracy of element placement. In addition this design gives them two additional degrees of freedom. I have the 90mm f8 and consider it one of the finest lenses that I have ever owned. Not as constrasty as my 120 or 150 Scheinder HMs but just as sharp. Unlike the older SW it is sharp right to the corners. The eveness of illumination is exceptional and can be seen right on the ground glass. The down side is (and there is always a down side) that it is slightly heavier than the Nikon (90mm f8) and slightly slower than Rodenstocks (90mm f6.8). If this is the price to pay for optical, excellence, then I will pay it.

Every maker has gems. This is one of Fujis gems.

Drop me an e-mail if you need further information.

-- Pat Raymore (PATRICK.F.RAYMORE@KP.ORG), April 24, 1998.

Several people have e-mailed me with additional Questions concerning the Fuji 90mm F8 NSWS lenses, so I have decided to post the answers to a few of the questions for all to see.

What are the weak points to the Fuji 90mm F8 NSWS? Well, I think that it is a hair bigger than the other offerings by the majors. It does not cover as much as the Nikon 90mm f8 but does cover about the same as the Rodenstock and the Schneider F8s. I think it is more prone to flare than my Nikkor F4.5s (90mm f4.5, 75mm f4.5). Maybe because it is all air-spaced.

How can you tell older models from the late versions? The older versions are in Seiko shutters and the surface of the barrels are ribbed. Late versions also have a green hued "EBC" multi-coating.

Are the older versions as good as the late versions? I have no idea. In optics newer is usually better. Of course that is such a general statement and in specifics there are plenty of exceptions.

Are they built with the same quality as the other majors? Yep.

Hope this has been helpful.

-- Pat Raymore (PATRICK.F.RAYMORE@KP.ORG), June 12, 1998.

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