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Thread: Which enlarger lens to keep or which to unload?

  1. #1

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    Aug 2011
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    Mississippi, USA
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    Which enlarger lens to keep or which to unload?

    I have 3 enlargers (I know...too many) and want to set up a dark room to do some printing.
    1-Beseler 45MX II
    2-Beseler 23C II
    3-Durst 606

    Which of these lenses would you keep and which to sell/trade/etc?

    Fujinon-ES 135/4.5
    Taylor Taylor Tayon 135/4.5
    Vivitar VHE 50/3.5
    Beslar 75/3.5
    EL-Nikkor 50/2.8 (N)
    Vivitar 105/4.5
    Rodenstock Rodagon 80/4.0
    Rodenstock Omegaron 90/4.5
    Rodenstock Rodagon 80/5.6
    Rodenstock Rodagon 135/5.6

    Are any of these lenses good/bad/ugly?

    Thanks,
    J

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    10,336

    Re: Which enlarger lens to keep or which to unload?

    50mm El Nikkor
    80mm Rodagon 4.0
    135mm Rodagon

    All the rest are second or third rate lenses compared to the above. The 5.6 Rodagon was an early version replaced by the far superior 4.0.

  3. #3

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    Re: Which enlarger lens to keep or which to unload?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    50mm El Nikkor
    80mm Rodagon 4.0
    135mm Rodagon

    All the rest are second or third rate lenses compared to the above. The 5.6 Rodagon was an early version replaced by the far superior 4.0.
    Thanks Bob

  4. #4
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: Which enlarger lens to keep or which to unload?

    IMO sell them all and use the dough to buy an Rodenstock APO 90.

    They are lovely lenses for medium format usage.

  5. #5

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    Re: Which enlarger lens to keep or which to unload?

    Quote Originally Posted by bob carnie View Post
    IMO sell them all and use the dough to buy an Rodenstock APO 90.

    They are lovely lenses for medium format usage.
    Granted, but then he would still need a 50mm Apo Rodagon N as well.

  6. #6

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    Feb 2010
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    Re: Which enlarger lens to keep or which to unload?

    Better yet, get the Apo Rodagon-N 45, it's better than the 50-N. And make sure the Apo Rodagon 90 is the -N version.

  7. #7

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    Dec 2013
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    Re: Which enlarger lens to keep or which to unload?

    Regarding which lens(es) to keep, it depends on what formats you print. Do you need one, two, or three focal length lenses? My choices:

    35mm: EL-Nikkor 50/2.8
    6x6: Rodenstock Rodagon 80/4.0
    4x5: Rodenstock Rodagon 135/5.6

  8. #8

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    Re: Which enlarger lens to keep or which to unload?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    50mm El Nikkor
    80mm Rodagon 4.0
    135mm Rodagon

    All the rest are second or third rate lenses compared to the above. The 5.6 Rodagon was an early version replaced by the far superior 4.0.
    +1 It's not rocket science!

  9. #9

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    Re: Which enlarger lens to keep or which to unload?

    Quote Originally Posted by faberryman View Post
    Regarding which lens(es) to keep, it depends on what formats you print. Do you need one, two, or three focal length lenses? My choices:

    35mm: EL-Nikkor 50/2.8
    6x6: Rodenstock Rodagon 80/4.0
    4x5: Rodenstock Rodagon 135/5.6
    Thanks

  10. #10

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    Re: Which enlarger lens to keep or which to unload?

    The lenses worth trying are the old chrome or black brass mount lenses, as they often have a much different look for different styles of work... (The lenses listed are post 70's and for better/worse tend to produce the same(ish) look...)

    You probably should try some of yours printing, as sometimes there might be a lens with a nice (but specialized) look that might work with what you are printing... They all should be OK, but some will cut sharper/more contrasty with better edge performance, and some might only be sharpest below 8X10 enlargment size (but not above, as they were computed for the common print size), and so on...

    Sometimes while looking through a good focusing magnifier on the easel with the different lenses on, you can spot some differences if you look carefully...

    Steve K

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