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View Full Version : 240mm Apo Rodagon up on Beseler 45VXL 810



Neal Chaves
17-Feb-2016, 13:46
I have enjoyed using this Beseler 45VXL 810 enlarger since I replaced my home-brew 810 conversion 45MCRX about five years ago. At first I used the 240mm f9 Beseler lens that was included in the package, with what I thought were very good results although focusing was somewhat dim. I soon realized that many other lenses can be made to fit the 45VXL with only slight modification to the enlarger "throat" area. After relieving the enlarger throat, I was able to mount both the 240mm and 300mm Rodagons (too long for my applications) on standard Beseler 4X4 boards in the stock Beseler fixture.

Recently I obtained a well-used 240mm Apo Rodagon from a forum member at a very favorable price. This lens is mounted in a cone which is too big for a 4X4 lens board. I mounted the lens on a plate of West Marine Sea Board which replaces the Beseler hardware using the same mounting points.

The Beseler 45VXL810 is an outstanding bench top enlarger and its versatility is greatly enhanced with a few simple cuts that make it possible to mount a wide range of optics for 8X10 use. Looking down on the lens stage from above, these cuts can be seen in the lower left section of the circular opening.

Bob Salomon
17-Feb-2016, 13:50
All things being equal; glass carrier, properly aligned enlarger, all lenses in proper factory spec, etc. the Rodagon 240 enlarging lens at 2 to 3 stops from wide open will easily outperform a 240 Apo Rodagon process lens, even at its optimized aperture of f22. Compare prints at equal magnification of of the same neg at the same magnification.

Luis-F-S
17-Feb-2016, 13:56
Great, glad this lens has worked out for use on this enlarger!

Neal Chaves
17-Feb-2016, 16:26
I don't expect that I will ever see any difference between the two Rodagons in the small prints that I make from 8X10 negatives (8X10 to 16X20). I have been making prints from my 8X10 black and white negatives since the early 80s when I first enlarged back through the 375mm Caltar I had used as a taking lens. I have used a variety of lens types and designs for enlarging (one of my favorites is the Fujinon W 250 6.7) and I have never made a print that was disappointing, either to me or my critics, due to poor enlarger lens performance. Much of photo equipment marketing is based on elegant, expensive solutions to non-existent problems.

Bob Salomon
17-Feb-2016, 16:42
I don't expect that I will ever see any difference between the two Rodagons in the small prints that I make from 8X10 negatives (8X10 to 16X20). I have been making prints from my 8X10 black and white negatives since the early 80s when I first enlarged back through the 375mm Caltar I had used as a taking lens. I have used a variety of lens types and designs for enlarging (one of my favorites is the Fujinon W 250 6.7) and I have never made a print that was disappointing, either to me or my critics, due to poor enlarger lens performance. Much of photo equipment marketing is based on elegant, expensive solutions to non-existent problems.

One of those "elegant solutions" is the illuminated aperture ring on Rodenstock enlarging lenses that is not on their taking and process lenses. Needed convenience in the darkroom when you want to make sure at the last minute before exposure. And you aren't making enlargements when you print 810 from 810. That is a contact print and for that you can use any thing that lights up.

Neal Chaves
17-Feb-2016, 20:56
I no longer make contact prints from 810 negatives. If I need an 8X10 print, full frame from an 8X10 negative, I just print it 1:1 in the enlarger. I can make as many as I want and only handle the negative once. According to the factory, this Apo Rodagon process lens should have better performance at 1:1 than the Rodagon enlarging lens, but I'm also sure the difference in an 8X10 print would not be detectable to the human eye. When people start evaluating prints through a loupe instead of at a comfortable viewing distance I loose interest rapidly.

Randy Moe
17-Feb-2016, 22:11
I no longer make contact prints from 810 negatives. If I need an 8X10 print, full frame from an 8X10 negative, I just print it 1:1 in the enlarger. I can make as many as I want and only handle the negative once. According to the factory, this Apo Rodagon process lens should have better performance at 1:1 than the Rodagon enlarging lens, but I'm also sure the difference in an 8X10 print would not be detectable to the human eye. When people start evaluating prints through a loupe instead of at a comfortable viewing distance I loose interest rapidly.

That 1 to 1 enlargement is a good point. I should have done that when I made 20 5x7 contacts a couple years ago.