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Thread: Best enlarging lenses

  1. #11

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    Re: Best enlarging lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    Sure the N/G have advantages, but if the plain Rodagon outresolves the sharpest negatives, what will be the benefit of using an N ? beyond having a faster lens...

    Sure a Pro would want an N, the 1 stop faster max aperture allows for a more critical focusing and allows for shorter exposures for big prints... but regarding image quality, I don't realize how a better lens than the plain Rodagon would improve the print...

    The advantage I see is the larger aperture for focus and at peak performance...

    Perhaps for small formats the N advantage is easier to see, in fact N was made until 150mm only...
    Don’t imagine, try it. Buy a used N and see for yourself.

  2. #12

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    Re: Best enlarging lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by bob carnie View Post
    I use Apo Rodagon lenses for all my work, I found them to be superior to regular Rodagon lenses... .
    Becasue of the coating ? More contrasty ?

  3. #13
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Best enlarging lenses

    I standardized on the Schneider APO-Componon-HM series some years ago after using other good lenses.
    So I bought all available focal lengths from 45mm up.

    With high-quality transparencies printed on Cibachrome, I could see a difference.

    Of course if you're printing black&white, the APO lenses have optimizations that are not needed.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  4. #14

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    Re: Best enlarging lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    Becasue of the coating ? More contrasty ?
    More everything! Go try one!

  5. #15
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: Best enlarging lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    Becasue of the coating ? More contrasty ?
    speed, tonal quality , apparent sharpness pick any one

    I completely switched back in the day when silver printing on an enlarger was a daily thing..

  6. #16
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: Best enlarging lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by bob carnie View Post
    speed, tonal quality , apparent sharpness pick any one

    I completely switched back in the day when silver printing on an enlarger was a daily thing..
    I should also note I was doing Cibas and RA4 optically as well as BW silver

  7. #17
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: Best enlarging lenses

    I should also point out that I use glass carriers and have a laser aligner to make sure everything is in alignment.... with out this the best lenses in the world will not help.

  8. #18

    Re: Best enlarging lenses

    I bought a complete set of the old silver Schneider Componons, I like them and Ken Ruth encouraged me to get all of them. Not expensive and plentiful. If they have milky fog inside them, take the elements out and wash them in your sink with dish washing soap. Not difficult and easy to do.

    Since I am renovating my darkroom, I wanted to add some new glass to try. I have always had a 180mm 90s vintage Rodenstock Rodagon I used for printing large and small. Just recently I have added the 150mm F.6 Rodagon, also the 105mm Rodagon, and I just bought an 80mm Rodagon. And I also just added a 120mm WA Rodagon that called my name at a very low price.

    Lots of new things to try.
    “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
    ― Mark Twain

  9. #19

    Re: Best enlarging lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by bob carnie View Post
    I should also point out that I use glass carriers and have a laser aligner to make sure everything is in alignment.... with out this the best lenses in the world will not help.
    I've had one for years, just tried it for the first time, and it's amazing and works as promised. VERY worthwhile.
    “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
    ― Mark Twain

  10. #20

    Re: Best enlarging lenses

    "New" Nikkor, which are now mostly very old. The earlier models are fine, but the redesigned versions are really great (see the Ctein mention earlier). 50/2.8, 63/28, and 80mm (5.6 I think) are easy to ID by the illuminated fstops, but longer ones are likely different at some point. My new style 150 is plain barrel without the illumination. 63/2.8 is particularly nice for 35mm, but needs a bit more column and goes for more money than the perfectly fine 50/2.8.

    I'm not saying there is nothing better, but these are truly great lenses that often go for very low prices. Your title said "best", but your OP said "good". These are great. If you really are chasing after the very best then I'd be likely to take the advice of bob and Bob.

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