Fujinon-EX 75/4.5

EBC-multicoated Plasmat enlarger lens that replaced and upgraded Fuji’s Fujinon-EP 75/4.5 in 1983.

Weight 98 g
Dimensions 75 mm
Focal Length (mm)

Max Aperture (f)

Min Aperture (f)

Aperture Blades


Image Circle (mm)

Sharp (Near)

Sharp (Far)

Rear Mount

Front Thread

Flange-Focal Distance (mm @ ∞)

RF/L Extension (mm)

Serial Numbers



  1. 16:9

    The 1986 Darkroom Techniques review by Bob Mitchell was the first to draw attention to these elite-level lenses, launched in America in around October 1983 to replace and significantly upgrade the Fujinon EP range. A similar Plasmat 6/4 design, the EX range benefited from Fuji’s latest EBC treatment and advances in design and manufacturing tolerances that made them better corrected and better built. Darkroom Techniques noted unprecedented centre-frame resolution across the range, not quite matched by equally excellent corners.

    Lucky then, that moving the test target out to arm’s length and beyond seems to resolve the problem, and Zone 3, better than expected. Pretty much all the EX lenses are Gold-awarded performers, fully belonging alongside the Apo-branded Schneidenstocks, Meogons and even reference taking lenses like the Sigma primes. In the case of the 75mm f4 chromatic aberration is a hair more problematic than the Not-Quite-Apo-Rodagon N 80/4, which is the only lens at this focal length to best it, but still better than all standard 80/4 lenses.

    Note that we initially undervalued this lens on the basis of our first sample, which we only awarded Silver. Later acquisition of a tired and rather neglected copy yielded the pleasant surprise, after cleaning, of improved performance relative to the pristine first sample. We now feel a healthy example just, barely, deserves a Gold accolade, while noting that it it lags its shorter and longer siblings by the smallest margin.

    As Bob indicated, Zone 1 is a delight: Fuji’s drawing style is among the closest to modern optics in terms of very high contrast (for an enlarger lens) and, at any distance, at any aperture, any EX delivers reference-grade sharpness here – even the 105/5.6. Bokeh is consistent with 1980s taking lenses: prone to looking muddled and with faint traces of soap-bubbles on specular highlights. A comparison with the Nikon 80/5.6 is apt: both share a straight-8 diaphragm but the Nikon consistently renders slightly smoother and less distracting defocused areas. That said, bokeh fore and aft is rarely a deal-breaker, and the Fuji’s extra stop gives it greater ‘defocusing power’. Unlike many enlarger lenses you won’t find it takes over the image with freakishly unexpected properties. Sharpness is comparable, but the Fujinon is distinctly crisper in the centre frame. As a bonus, that aperture, combined with very effective flare-reducing coatings, renders some of the cleanest and prettiest sunstars in the Delta archive. This is a solid taking lens for close-ups as well as distance, but the 75m thrives in the 1-20m range better than it works as a 1:2 or higher macro lens.

    The plastic-clad body and aperture ring (see also Nikon N) were derided in the day, but they have aged well. It’s how they rolled in the 80s. The lightweight aperture control is a bonus in a screw mount without a locking mechanism: too often, antique enlarger lenses with stiff, heavy controls try to unscrew themselves when stopping down. Not the Fujis. The 75mm also has a rotatable mount that finds new ways to leak light, but it’s a real bonus when seating the lens in an M42 helicoid that has no respect for your aperture window landing right side up when it hits the end of the thread. The Fuji scores points for suffering less focus shift when stopping down than, for instance, the EL-Nikkor 80mm f5.6 N. Unfortunately aperture click-stops are locked in. In terms of mechanical handling, though, this is up there with the nicest enlarging lenses to use.

    Note that our rating system for Zone 3 (a full-frame corner) performance isn’t based solely on the ability to resolve line pairs. Aberrations pile up here, and it’s not uncommon for a lens to resolve detail while barely being useable because of geometric or chromatic aberration. The awarded mark is therefore somewhat subjective, but I hope more accurate as a single take-away index of how corners ‘look’ – practically, how reliable are they?

    Looking at wide open performance, close-up the EX75 scores 9.0 / 8.5 (Zone 1 / Zone 3) at f4, dropping to 8.9 / 8.2 at distance. Here we see the widest gap between centre and corners, and near and far subjects. The gap between a standard 50mm f1.4 and the Fuji EX (or indeed any enlarger lens) is also huge: at f4 the Sigma Art scores 9.3 / 9.2 at close range (it’s very serviceable as a near-macro lens) and at distance a fine 9.4 / 9.3. The Fuji EX75 is perfectly useable wide open and things only get better from there: recording 9.25 in Zone 1 close-up, and 9.1 at distance peak apertures (f5.6-f8).

    For further comparisons, please see the Hall of Fame. Look for the top of the table…

    As for those maligned corners – well, I’m not seeing a problem. You have to stop down to reach the cream – but that equally applies to the Apo-Rodagon-N. These lenses were meant for single aperture shooting two stops or more from maximum aperture. In Zone 3 the EX75 cruises to marks of 8.7 (near f5.6) and 8.5 (far f8) – perfectly useable, despite not reaching the highest levels of the shorter EX, or the Apo-Rodagon-N. Mindful of how far outside their comfort zone they are being dragged here, we can only applaud a lens that remains in my top ten favourites to work with. It receives a very high recommendation, especially given the price disparity between the EX75 and the Apo-Rodagon-N and Apo-Componon-HM.

    As a medium format taking lens, we note that it covers a GFX frame perfectly. However, the image circle is notably smaller than the 90mm f5.6 and we see greater cat-eye vignetting at f4.5 than its longer sibling at f5.6. However the 75mm scores over the 90mm EX both in terms of quantity and the quality of light rendering: its maximum aperture is circular, with diaphragm blades fully retracted – whereas at its maximum f5.6 aperture the 90mm sees the world through a hexagonal window, with blades in view.

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