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 and the
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
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
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. The earlier lenses had earlier shutters -- more often Seiko
than Copal -- where the f-stops were not equally spaced on the dial (top),
while on later lenses and shutters -- more often Copal than Seiko -- they
Either shutter style works just as well, but different people have different
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 / AKA COVERING POWER (in degrees, typically,
at f22): Not to be confused with the picture angle, angle
of view or field of view (see below), 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 at f22 at infinity):
Not to be confused with the picture size or picture angle (see below),
the image circle determines which film formats can be used with the lens.
The larger the image circle the larger the picture size (film format)
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 hypotenuse
of the film format. For example, you'll need an image circle greater
than 155mm to cover the hypotenuse of the picture size on 4x5
film -- 6.1" (155mm) -- 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 the hypotenuse of the film being used -- in millimeters
or inches. 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
PICTURE ANGLE / AKA ANGLE OF VIEW or FIELD
OF VIEW (in degrees): Not to be confused with the angle of coverage
or covering power (see above). 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
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 Copal shutters were all black, not
chrome & black. These appeared with the new CM-W series, and the
other lens series made the switch at about the same time. Plus, there
are also several BARREL lenses which were sold without shutters. These
have a diaghram built-in to the lens instead of the shutter. Some appear
on shutters that were added later by the owner.
FILTER THREAD: The diameter of the front filter thread in
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 on
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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