THE WEB'S MOST COMPLETE
FUJINON LARGE FORMAT LENS LIST
Since you are viewing this page, you are probably aware of the great lines
of large-format lenses that Fujinon made -- and unfortunately no longer make!
But on the other hand, maybe you are new to Fuji's lenses and want
to find out more. Well, to start, let's go back a bit in time. Over
30 years ago, Bob Shell, an editor for
a few words to say about Fuji's large format lenses.
On the pages below, you will find the best, most comprehensive information
available on the web about these numerous lenses -- all the way back to the
1930's! However, this information is still not 100% complete and most
certainly there are some inaccuracies. The information has largely
been gleaned from Fuji literature, but the Fuji literature contains obvious
errors. These have been corrected, where known, but others still exist.
Fuji lenses evolved over time, and this has led to numerous variations
in their lenses -- both internally and externally -- as you will see. For
example, their 150mm f5.6 lens can be found with and without EBC coating,
with a 46mm filter thread, a 52mm filter thread, a 55mm filter thread, and
even a 67mm filter thread! Some had Copal shutters and others had Seiko
shutters, but the shutters changed and "improved" over time, as well. All
of these differences and changes have led to plenty of confusion --
some of which will be sorted out on these pages. If you have
information that can help update these pages, please let us know by emailing
Before exploring the lists below, we recommend that you take a look at the
FIELD CAMERA forum
FORMAT PHOTOGRAPHY FORUM. These are both free, on-line discussion
groups with hundreds of members also interested in this topic. See
you there! You can also find a lot of useful information at
Fujinon Large Format Lens Page!
But, moving right along, here's what we have to offer on this site today:
KEYS TO THE LISTS:
SERIES: The series is the general designation given to the lens
by Fuji. Different series had different purposes, even though their
specs (focal length, f-stops, shutter, etc.) might appear to be the
same or very similar. Unfortunately, the series codes are often confused
and confusing. To begin with, Fuji often designated different series
with similar letters, such as the "W" series, the "S" series, the "SW" series,
the "W S" series, and the "SW S" series. Some of these lenses might
be exactly the same, somewhat similar, or very different. In addition,
Fuji would often mark the lens and the box it came in with different lens
letters, so the lens might be marked "A", but the box might be marked "AS".
In addition, Fuji would often mark the lenses from different series
exactly the same; for example, the "NSW" lenses and the "SW" lenses are both
marked "SW". To top it off, there is some questionable, as well
as obviously erroneous, material in some of the Fuji literature -- and some
of the Fujinon lenses that are known to exist, do not appear in any of the
Fuji literature! So we end up with a mish-mash of information, some
of it correct and some not, and all of it being passed around to the uninformed
as correct. Hopefully these pages will answer some of the questions
and clear up some of the confusion.
The Rectar series was Fuji's first series of lenses
for large format cameras. They appeared shortly after the end of War
War II and were produced until 1954. They may or may not have been coated
optics, they are only available "in barrel" -- meaning without a shutter
-- and they are nearly impossible to find.
The Fujinar series was Fuji's second series of lenses
for large format cameras, and probably just an extension of their Rectar
series. They came in several focal lengths and are only available "in
barrel". Although they were all single-coated, they have some unique qualities,
are prized by collectors, and can be hard to find.
The Fujinar-SC series was probably just Fuji's adding
shutters to their Fujinar series of lenses.
The Fujinar-W "series" probably was an "off-shoot"
of the Fujinar-SC series -- and probably was only one lens.
The Fujinon series of lenses are only available "in
barrel" -- meaning without a shutter and was probably just an extension of
their Fujinar series. .
The SWD (Super Wide Deluxe) series of wide-angle lenses
are deluxe super-wideangle lenses with wide f5.6 apertures and an eight element
design. From their inception, they had EBC (Electron Beam Coating) which
minimizes internal reflections that often occur with lenses this wide. A
wide coverage angle and short focal length facilitates photography in confined
areas and architectural photography which emphasizes interiors. They offer
greater coverage and greater swing-tilts-shifts-rise-fall.
The SW (Super Wide) series of wide-angle lenses offers
slightly less coverage than the SWD series and smaller apertures -- at
significant savings. The apertures of f8, with a 6-element, 4-group
design, helps reduce the size and weight as well. SW lenses provide excellent
cost-performance for practical applications. These lenses were the forerunner
to the NSW series.
The NSW (New Super Wide) series of wide-angle lenses
is an updated version of the SW series and offers slightly less coverage
than the SWD series and smaller apertures -- at significant savings.
Apertures are f8 and the air-spaced, 6-element, 6-group lenses are
advantageous for photography with a small lens aperture. NSW lenses provide
excellent costperformance for practical applications.
The W (Wide) series of normal lenses allows for almost
unlimited camera movement because of the wide angle of coverage. The six-element,
four-group design provides rich gradation, faithful reproduction of colors
and textures, and almost non-existent aberration and glare. These lenses
were the forerunner to the NW series.
The NW (New Wide) series of normal lenses is an updated
version of the W series and offers standard lenses that feature an improved
6-element, 6-group design providing complete aberration compensation. These
lenses are only marked "W" instead of "NW" which leads to a lot of
The L (Long ) series offers a modified Tessar-type
lens that features excellent performance with a corresponding reduction in
the angle of coverage. Consequently there are no wide-angle lenses
in this series. By reducing the angle of coverage, the number of elements
can be reduced -- as well as the price tag. Think of them as an extension
of their Fujinar-SC series. .
The T (Telephoto) series offers true telephoto lenses
that allow much less bellow draw than normally needed. These are large,
heavy lenses, but perfect for field cameras or other situations where bellows
draw is limited.
The SF (Soft Focus) series offers soft-focus results
that are perfect for many situations, such as portraits. The degree
of softness is perfectly controllable with insertable discs, as well as the
The C (Compact) series offers compact lenses in longer
focal lengths. By reducing the maximum aperture, the number of elements
can be reduced and the size and weight of the lenses are dropped to a minimum.
These are perfect for situations where weight is a big concern, such
as in backpacking.
The A (Apochromatic) series of APO lenses are designed
for optimum results in close-up work (1:5 to 1:1 magnifications), but they
work perfectly well all the way to infinity.
The CM-W series is the latest line from Fuji and are
designed to compete with the best APO lenses from other manufacturers.
There were other "seried" Fujinon lenses but not much
is known about them, such as the "W S" series, the "SW S" series, the "A
S" series, and the "S" series. What information is known is listed
here, but much is missing or simply guesstimates -- much like for the Rectar
and Fujinar series.
OPTICAL FOCAL LENGTH: This number is what is normally used
to describe the focal length of a lens. Fuji large format lenses run
from 65mm to 1200mm -- quite a spread. This number is typically the
same as, or very close to, the distance needed between the lens board and
the film plane to focus correctly at infinity.
FLANGE FOCAL LENGTH: On many lenses, the OPTICAL focal length
is not the same as the distance needed between the lens board and the film
plane to focus at infinity -- which is the FLANGE focal length of the lens.
Many wide-angle lenses have flange focal lengths that are slightly
longer than their optical focal lengths. This provides more bellows
flexibility for camera movements. For example, Fuji's 65mm SWD lens
needs 73.4mm of bellows extension to focus to infinity. At the other
extreme, true telephoto lenses will have flange focal lengths that are much
shorter than their optical focal lengths. This allows longer lenses
to be used on cameras with limited bellows draw. For example, Fuji's
400mm T lens uses only about 255mm (10") of bellows extension to focus to
infinity, so it's perfect for the many field cameras that max out at 12"
of bellows extension.
f-STOPS: The numbers listed are the maximum and minimum apertures.
On the earliest lenses the f-stops on the shutters were not equally
spaced on the dial, but on later lenses and shutters they were. Either
approach works just as well, but different people have different preferences.
ELEMENTS / GROUPS: Generally speaking, the larger the aperture
and/or the greater angle of coverage, the more elements are needed to correct
for various optical aberrations. A lens with few elements can give
excellent results if the aperture or coverage are small. Most large
format camera lenses are based on a design where some of the glass elements
are cemented together. This is why the number of groups is typically
smaller than the number of glass elements. Fujinon was a pioneer in
the manufacture of air-spaced lenses where the number of groups is the same
as the number of elements since none of the elements are glued together.
The "glue" used , such as Canadian balsam fir pitch (AKA turpentine),
eventually dries out causing element separation which produces poor results.
That can't happen with Fujinon's air-spaced designed lenses. While
more difficult and more costly to make, these lenses also yield significantly
sharper images across the entire film plane.
ANGLE OF COVERAGE / COVERING POWER (in degrees @ f22):
Not to be confused with the picture angle or angle of view, the angle
of coverage determines how wide the image circle will be. The angle
of coverage does NOT change as you focus away from infinity.
IMAGE CIRCLE (in millimeters @ f22): Not to be
confused with the picture size or picture angle, the image circle determines
which film formats can be used with the lens. The larger the image
circle the larger the picture size it can cover. The image circle INCREASES
as you focus away from infinity. To use a lens, and to have it completely
cover the film, the lens has to have an image circle with a diameter as large,
or larger, than the hypothenuse of the film format. For example, you'll
need an image circle greater than 162mm to cover the hypothenuse of 4x5 film
-- 6.4" (163mm) -- depending slightly on your film holders. All of
Fuji's lenses will cover at least 4x5 film.
PICTURE SIZE: Not to be confused with the
image circle. This is not listed in these tables because it all depends
on what size film you are using. The picture size does NOT change as
you focus away from infinity, but it does determine the picture angle.
PICTURE ANGLE / AKA ANGLE OF VIEW (in degrees):
Not to be confused with the angle of coverage (or covering power). While
this is commonly listed for smaller roll film formats, such as 84o
for a 24mm wide-angle lens on 35mm film, it cannot be listed here because
it varies depending on what film size you are using (i.e., picture
size). The angle of view DECREASES as
you focus away from infinity..
SHUTTER: Fuji lenses came with various shutters: Seiko #0, Copal
#0, Copal #1, Electronic Copal #1, and Copal #3. These are abbreviated
on the lists. E1 means Electronic Copal #1 and C1 means Copal #1, for
example. A ?0 means that the shutter was a #0, but it is unclear if
it was Seiko or Copal. It is possible to see a lens in a
shutter different from the ones listed here. One possibility is that
the lens was actually sold with different shutters -- and a few were -- but
if the shutter is not listed here, chances are it is just a replaced shutter
from the original one. So you can see the same optic in shutters
named, Copal, Seiko, Compur. It is also important to note that there
were changes made to the shutters over time. For example, some early
shutters have 1/2 stop marks, but most have 1/3 stop markings. In addition,
some early shutters have marking that are not evenly spaced -- the marks
get closer as the diaphragm is stopped down. The earliest shutters
were fine-ribbed chrome. These were later replaced by wider ribbing.
And the latest shutters were black, not chrome. You can see all
of these changes in the same lens series. Plus, there are also several
BARREL lenses which were sold without shutters -- some appear on shutters
that were added later buy the owner.
FILTER THREAD: The diameter of the front filter thread.
LENS COATING: Two coatings were applied to Fuji lenses, either
a single coating or their famous EBC (Electron Beam Coating) multi-coating.
The more glass-to-air surfaces a lens has, the more it can benefit
from multi-coating. Single coating will work fine with most lenses
in most situations. Having a multi-coated lens does not mean that all
of the lens elements or groups received multi-coating on both sides -- as
there might not be a benefit from doing that. In addition, whether
the coating is single or EBC, the coating undoubtedly changed/improved over
time. How much improvement there would be is completely unknown, and
determining any difference would be very difficult or impossible.
OTHER / COMMENTS: Additional information and comments are
listed in this column.
I encourage you to check out the various photographic
(and some non-photographic) items that I have for sale at
And if you are interested in finding out more about
wooden, folding 4x5 field cameras -- especially TOKO cameras -- check out
THE TOKO WEBSITE.
Also you might be interested in
or who knows, you might need help with your thesis. In that case, you can
try this service.
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