Which are the best Fujinon, Nikon lenses in their ranges for 4X5 and 8X10

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I am going to Japan in the summer and I intend to buy the scarce as hen's teeth Fujinon and Nikon lenses while I am there. Could anybody who has had extensive knowledge and experience tell me which are the best lenses Fuji or Nikon makes in all the different focal lengths compared to Schneider and Rodenstock. I am looking for lenses which are absolutely top of their class for 4X5 and 8x10 formats. Thanks. :-)

-- rene z. quan (renequan@hotmail.com), June 04, 1998


I understand the Fujinon lenses being scace here in the USA but since when are Nikons? Is there Nikon LF glass made that we don't see here?

-- Ellis (evphoto@insync.net), June 05, 1998.

I'd consider each of the Fujinon C series: The 300 because it has 380mm of coverage compared to 325mm for the Nikkor M, the 450 because it's in a No. 1 shutter compared to the No. 3 shutter of the Nikkor M and because it has greater coverage, and finally the 600 because it is a compact lens with fantastic coverage (nearly 16 x 20) and in a class by itself. (I have to admit my knowledge of German lenses is rather limited.)

-- Stewart Ethier (ethier@math.utah.edu), June 05, 1998.

Considering the recent lenses put out by Schneider and Rodenstock and the total silence for years from the Japanese glass blowers I would opt for the European glass in a heartbeat. You want "absolutely the top of the class" and I don't think the asian glass will measure up to the latest Rodenstock Apo sironar series and XL Schneiders. I also thing the Schneider Tele lenses will be better if for no other reason than they had the competition lenses in hand when designing newer stuff to beat it. Schneider and Rodenstock are pushing the envelope constantly, not sitting on their hands. Their commitment to large format remains constant while Nikon and Fuji seem to be sitting back doing nothing lately.

-- Dan Smith (shooter@brigham.net), June 08, 1998.

I agree with Dan, however if a popular vote were taken you would find that Nikkor Ts and Fujinon Ts are the teles being used in large format today. Nikkor Ts are more desirable because of the Apo designation, although in actual picture taking circumstances I find there is not much difference between them, and in some ways the Fujinons can be more advantageous. The Nikkor Ts command a high price on the used market which equates with their desirability. The Schneiders teles may be sharper, especially in near studio situations, however they are not practical in field use since they are significantly heavier (and faster), and very significantly more expensive.

I think Nikkor Ts are in a vulnerable position since any of the major manufacturers can (with today tech) make a smaller faster tele. If the past is any indication, Nikon will not improve its lens line unless there is a financial hemorrhage, and then only in a belated fashion. The bean counters are firmly in control at Nikon. Fuji on the other hand is such a large amorphous company that only the almighty knows if their lens line will ever be updated.

Rodenstock and Schneider are clear in the forefront of large format lens design today although with in both companies there are designs that need to be updated.

The Nikkor Ts and the Fujinon CS 450mm/600mm would be your best bets.

-- Pat Raymore (PATRICK.F.RAYMORE@KP.ORG), June 08, 1998.

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