Comments on Fujinon 250 F56.3 CMW /180mm/210mm F5.6 : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have an opportunity to buy either the Fujinon lens or a Nikkor 210MM W lens or a 180mm W lens. I do own a 4x5 camera. I normally use the 4x5 landscape, but have intentions of using it also for portraiture (once I get comfortable with 4x5). The question is , which of these focal lengths would you advice ?? As for the price, the asking prices for these lenses are within $75.00 of each other, so price is not an issue at this point.



-- Peter (, March 15, 2002



Don't know much about the lenses, but given the use for (half body) portraits I would choose the 210mm. I'm a bit confused about the subject line, is there also a 250mm on offer?

With the longer lenses you keep distance from the subject/model when you make the thighter kind of shoulder/head shots. A bigger distance keeps the distortion (big nose, small ears) to a minimum. If you have enough light and want to make very tight head shots: I would choose the 250mm or even longer.


-- Huib Smeets (, March 15, 2002.

If you are planning on using one lens for a while, the 210mm is the more versatile and is a good normal lens for a 4x5. The 250mm offers a slight advantage with portraiture, but the difference isn't all that great. Keep in mind, the 250mm is only about 20% longer; therefore, if you shoot with a 210mm, then crop 20% you'll achieve exactly the same image perspective as you would have gotten with a 250mm. Moreover, you will have less difficulty with depth of field and bellows extension issues. I'd opt for a 210mm now to learn with, then eventually get a 300mm for portraits.

Nikkor and Fuji are both excellent, so either will be fine.

-- Ted Kaufman (, March 15, 2002.

That depends upon what you already got. I.e. if you got a 135mm as your standard lens, the 180 or possibly the 210 would complement it nicely. If you got a 150, the 180 is probably to close so the 210 or 250 would be the choice.

It is also a matter of weight. You said that you normally do landscapes, in which case portability is an issue. The 250 lens is huge. The 210 is considerably larger than the 180 etc.

For the portratiure, I personally consider headshots difficult with most LF cameras. The difficulty lies in the lack of DOF. For a headshot there's maybe a centimeter that makes the difference. With f/32 of f/45 you also need plenty of light. There's at least 5-10 seconds in between the last focus check to the actual triggering of the shot. (The time for setting the aperture, as it is difficult to check any focusing with f/45, and then loading the film cassette, taking out the blind slide and so on. Now lets hope that the model didn't sway that itty bitty bit.) But for headshots the 250 (out of the range given) is the best. If I really wanted to do headshots, I'd rather buy/rent an MF SLR for that.

I find that some of the works of e.g. Judy Dater is very nice. Half or full body shots where a photo session takes a few hours. Her favourite lens is/was 135mm on a 4X5 Deardoff, as it reduces the distance between her and the model.

-- Björn Nilsson (, March 15, 2002.

Just to clarify... The lenses I am choosing from are Fujinon CMW 250 6.3, a Nikkor 180 W 5.6 and a Nikkor W 210 5.6. But from the response above, its seems the general consensus is to pick the Nikkor W 210mm 5.6 as this is more of an all-around lens. The interest I have with the Fujinon is the EBC coating on the lens, plus it is one of the lighter 240/250mm lens in the market as this mounts in COPAL 1 and weighs around 1.2 lbs; just a tad heavier than the Nikkor 210.


-- Peter (, March 15, 2002.

All of these lenses are of excellent quality. One aspect of the question that isn't clearly stated is whether you already have a lens. If you do, then the choice between these lenses should be heavily influenced by the focal length of the lens you already have. If this is to be your first lens, then the choice is between the 180 mm and the 210 mm--for most people, 250 mm would be too long to be their normal lens. The focal lengths 150 mm and 210 mm are probably the most popular for the first lens. 150 mm is closer to the negative diagonal and thus meets the conventional definition of normal focal length. The advantage of 210 mm is that it gives you more coverage--with this lens you are unlikely to run out of coverage. My opinion is that 180 mm is the best compromise: it is a nice focal length for a normal lens and it has plenty of coverage. I have never run out of coverage with the 180 mm lens that I have. An advantage of the shorter focal length is that you can always crop but you can't make the negative larger.

-- Michael Briggs (, March 15, 2002.

Le me give you another viewpoint. I own both a 210 Apo Symmar and a 240 Fujinon A. The 210 is one of my least used lenses and the 240 one of my most used lenses. I use the 240 when I watn a shorter portrait lens and when I am traveling super light in the field I take the 240 and a 110Super Symmar XL.

You also mentioned the EBC coating. While not specifically focusing on the coating my personal feeling is that you will get a tad more snap and cpontrast fromt eh Fujinon than you will from the Nikkor, at least that has been my experience.

Finally, if ewight is a considerationthen why not consider the 240 A insted of the 250 CMW? The 240 A is a fantastic lens, light weight, small and great coverage.


-- Ted Harris (, March 15, 2002.


I do own a 135mm NikKor lens. I am searching for a lens to compliment this. I find the 135mm great, but at times fall short in regards to the focal length especially for distant objects. I thought about the 180mm, but it is a bit too close to 135mm. So it kinda comes down to the 250mm Fujinon and 210mm Nikkor. I will ask the dealer if I could try these two lenses for a day to find out for myself which of the two suits me in terms of focal length.

-- Peter (, March 15, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ