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Thread: Best lenses for 1-4x enlargement off 8x10?

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    Best lenses for 1-4x enlargement off 8x10?

    The title sort of says it all, but I'd like to get some input as to what the best optimised enlarging lenses for smaller enlargements off 8x10 are. The usual Rodagons etc state '2-8x' and optimise at 4x, but I'd prefer to find something that optimises at closer to 2-2.5x with a range of good performance from 1-4x - unlikely to find myself needing/ wanting to wet print bigger than 4x off 8x10.

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    Re: Best lenses for 1-4x enlargement off 8x10?

    When I worked for Kodak we had Fotar 10x10 enlargers, each with a set of Rodenstock Rodagons. Commonly I made 40"x40" color prints from 9-1/2" aerial color negs. They did very well for those, and other work requiring critical sharpness, and I would happily use those lenses again.

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    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    Re: Best lenses for 1-4x enlargement off 8x10?

    I make prints from 8x10 to 32x40 from my 8x10 negatives with a 300mm Schneider Componon-S. There is no discernible loss of quality at 1x size compared to 2x (16x20) prints.

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    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Best lenses for 1-4x enlargement off 8x10?

    A Rodenstock Rodagon 300mm ƒ5.6 is great for 2X-4X. I would be interested in any lens for 8x10 that is recommended for 1:1. Never heard of one. Keep in mind, please, that Rodenstock is highly conservative in its measures. Often they perform better than expectations.

    Perfect Rodagon 300mm lenses are ridiculously under-priced today. You cannot lose.

    Please keep us informed of your search. My 300mm Rodagon is on the shelf, unused for years because I quit 8x10. Keep on keeping on!

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    Re: Best lenses for 1-4x enlargement off 8x10?

    240 Apo-Rodagon is optimized for 1:1 but you won't see any difference over a Rodagon or Componon-S or etc!

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    Re: Best lenses for 1-4x enlargement off 8x10?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jac@stafford.net View Post
    Perfect Rodagon 300mm lenses are ridiculously under-priced today. You cannot lose.
    This was all sparked off by being offered an ex-pro lab 300mm Rodagon at a bargain price - which it was until you priced up cleaning the fungus and other stuff out of it - it had been used for enlarged contact sheets & not a lot of care lavished on its upkeep.

    The 300mm Comparon was the one that immediately came to mind as possibly being better corrected for smaller prints - and I vaguely recall the 300mm EL-Nikkor claimed approx. 2.5x optimisation, though it is considerably bulkier than its German brethren.

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    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Best lenses for 1-4x enlargement off 8x10?

    Quote Originally Posted by interneg View Post
    This was all sparked off by being offered an ex-pro lab 300mm Rodagon at a bargain price - which it was until you priced up cleaning the fungus and other stuff out of it - it had been used for enlarged contact sheets & not a lot of care lavished on its upkeep.
    Well, that's a separate issue/event unrelated to your query. You were offered a POS.
    I don't think a pristine 300mm Rodagon should go for more than $350 USD.

    The 300mm Comparon was the one that immediately came to mind as possibly being better corrected for smaller prints - and I vaguely recall the 300mm EL-Nikkor claimed approx. 2.5x optimisation, though it is considerably bulkier than its German brethren.
    It appears you have narrowed your search - vaguely. Widen your scope and be happy.
    .

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    Re: Best lenses for 1-4x enlargement off 8x10?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jac@stafford.net View Post
    Well, that's a separate issue/event unrelated to your query. You were offered a POS.
    I don't think a pristine 300mm Rodagon should go for more than $350 USD.
    I didn't do a very good job of saying what I meant to say! I was trying to say that wanted to know if I should continue to hunt down a first class Rodagon or if there was something more optimal for smaller prints - either way the consensus seems to be that continuing the Rodagon hunt is probably the best approach

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    Re: Best lenses for 1-4x enlargement off 8x10?

    Quote Originally Posted by interneg View Post
    I didn't do a very good job of saying what I meant to say! I was trying to say that wanted to know if I should continue to hunt down a first class Rodagon or if there was something more optimal for smaller prints - either way the consensus seems to be that continuing the Rodagon hunt is probably the best approach
    +1 you should use a 240 R, but at 1:1 you can use a 210 R
    Last edited by Luis-F-S; 27-Oct-2017 at 21:41.

  10. #10
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    Re: Best lenses for 1-4x enlargement off 8x10?

    One advantage of using a process lens for small reproduction ratios is that process lenses can be obtained for less money than a dedicated 8x10 enlarging lens.

    However, If one owns both a 305mm process lens and a 300mm dedicated enlarging lens, the differences in the respective prints at low reproduction ratios will, in my hands, not be noticed. Probably due to the small size of the product and the finite resolution of the paper.

    I think the process lens advantage might be cases where one's small reproduction ratio product might be enlarged later. For example copy work and duplicating work.

    For example I mounted this free Eskofot 305mm process lens with the intention of using it for small reproduction ratio 8x10 enlargements. However, after seeing no difference in the prints I now use the Rodagon Enlarging lens for just about everything.

    PS: for 1:1 I use a 210mm. Mostly for convenince, so I can reach the enlarging head without the step ladder. Again not seeing much difference between that and the 305mm process lens.
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