Choice of 400-500mm lens for 4x5 : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I'm planning on getting something in the 400mm-500mm range for my 4x5 Canham. I have plenty of bellows, so I've been considering the Fuji 450mm Compact f/12.5, a non-tele lens that is quite compact. However, long bellows = wind vibration. Do any of you have an opinion on this lens? The Nikkor 360/500/720 EDt looks good, other than size and price, and can be "converted" to 360 or 720 with another rear element at about 1/3 the price of an additional lens. If you assume money is not a (big) issue but that weight, bulk, and image quality are, what would you go for? The use would be almost 100% landscape wherein 0-2 mile hikes are involved. Does anyone know what 500mm Davide Muench used for a lot of his images in "Plateau Light"? Tough decision for me so I need your opinions. Thanks, ya'll.

-- Steve Baggett (, January 22, 2001


I use the Fuji 450C for 4x5 and 8x10. This lens is great for both formats. It is light, small, with excellent image quality and large image circle. I have not had a problem with the wind. I hold out my dark cloth to shield the bellows from the wind. I don't know about the Nikkor T's. I wouldn't touch a telephoto.

-- William Marderness (, January 22, 2001.

I have this 450 C for a week only but can say it's a good choice when the extension is available. The lens is tack sharp, has huge coverage (use of a lens shade recommended) if you are looking towards larger formats someday, but what amazed me most, is the smooth, absolute vibration free firing of this tiny lens. David Muench uses a Nikkor T with his Technika. This camera has too short a bellows for the 450C. But there is a macro tube made by Wista that adds 10 cm extension. I use one on mine and the tube adds strength to the camera compared to the fully extended rail. When a heavy tele lens is mounted, I think the camera is more prone to be affected by the small shake originated by the shutter, or by the wind, if not stiff enough.

-- Paul Schilliger (, January 23, 2001.


I use this 450 Fuji on my DLC. I completely agree with Paul and William: great, sharp little lens with huge coverage for even larger formats than 8x10.

Don't let someone talk you into the Nikkor 450 M. It's mounted in a big Copal 3 shutter which vibrates more, it's much larger and heavier than the Fuji, and will tax the DLC's stability when at full bellows extension.

Good luck, Sergio.

-- Sergio Ortega (, January 23, 2001.

Not much to add to the above responses, except to agree that the Fuji 450 C is the way to go. Tiny lens, huge coverage, reasonable price, great results! The Fuji 300 C is equally good, BTW.

-- Danny Burk (, January 23, 2001.

Thanks ya'll for the excellent advice. Just ordered the 450C from Badger. Hope to "play" with it this weekend. Thanks again.

-- Steve Baggett (, January 23, 2001.

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