Fuji Lenses for 8x10, 11x14

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Given their longer focal lengths, somewhat wider image circles, and lighter weight, I'm thinking of using Fuji lenses for 8x10 & 11x14. How do these optics compare to Schneider and the other two lens providers in subtle color differences, sharpness, quality control, etc? Do they tend to be "cold" or "warm"; how would they perform for landscapes? Are they as sharp? Do the older Fuji lenses ('70's,'80's) on the used market perform well?

Also, the table under "A variety of modern and older lenses." on this site implies that Fuji produced a 250mm f6.7 optic with an image circle of 398mm. Is this a typographical error, or did Fuji produce a lens with this image circle? (It would be atypical.)

Thanks in advance.

-- Neil Poulsen (Neil.Poulsen@MERIX.COM), December 22, 1999


I have used the Fuji 600 C f11.5 and found it to be sharp and saturated. I shoot mostly B + W, and cannot comment on color, though I am told it is good. It is, as you suggest, lightweight (lightest 8 X 10 lens I use), with an enormous image circle of ca 600 mm. I am told it can cover 20 X 24 when stopped down, though I do not know it for a fact. Obviously, it is not a tele design, and you would need the bellows draw to use it. I've been very pleased with it.

Hope this helps


-- Nathan Congdon (ncongdon@jhmi.edu), December 22, 1999.

My experience is that Fuji large format lenses are excellent performers. Recent ones (after roughly 1980) have excellent multi-coating, while olders ones lack the multi-coating. Early ones used Seiko shutters, which others have said don't work very well with the passage of time. If you buy used, I'd look for multicoating and a Copal shutter. New ones are available at good prices from several retailers that import directly from Japan.

-- Michael Briggs (MichaelBriggs@earthlink.net), December 22, 1999.

I have a Fuji 250 f/6.7 (in a Sieko shutter, which is working fine). I've never measured the image circle, but it's quite large, and I've always assumed the 398mm figure is correct. I can just barely achieve vignetting with the front rise maxed out on my 8x10. It's a fine lens, very sharp. I can't say anything about color rendition, since I only shoot B&W with it. It's also a focal length that I really like on 8x10. For a while it was my only lens, and if I had to go back to just one, I'd definitely choose it, especially for landscape.

-- Chris Patti (cmpatti@aol.com), December 22, 1999.

The Fuji 600 11.5 is an exceptionally sharp lens and has proven invaluable to me in 4x5, 8x10, and 11x14 use. I see these lenses in like-new condition all the time for $1300 or $1400 and figure the only reason people don't snap them up for that cost is because of the bellows draw problem; I had custom bellows made for my 4x5 monorail just so I could use this lens (with a 600mm image circle on 4x5 you can do anything the camera's movements allow). And only a 67mm filter size!

I briefly owned a recent Fuji 360/6.3 but virtually gave it away because I do a lot of architectural work and the barrel distortion was unbelievable. But that just goes to show that you can't generalize about a company's lenses based on one lens or one design.

-- Simon (fourthpres@aol.com), December 23, 1999.

I use the Fuji 617 and give some example images at http://photo.net/photo/ so you can see for yourself! They are definitely great lenses.

-- Philip Greenspun (philg@mit.edu), December 30, 1999.

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