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Thread: Best enlarging lenses

  1. #21
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: Best enlarging lenses

    One could adapt a coke bottle to make a lens I would thing a great image can be made....

    For me I was taught try to use the best quality lens , you can always soften the image with tissue , filters to create a mood. But its hard to make a lower quality lens perform like a great one.

    Glass is very important in what we do.

  2. #22
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Best enlarging lenses

    For 35mm nothing beats this in good condition. Best with all original everything. Including the stock 40mm lens.

    https://www.bonavolta.ch/hobby/en/photo/v35.htm

    I have #10 of 18 from a college in Nebraska.

    They are still expensive.
    sin eater

  3. #23

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    Re: Best enlarging lenses

    Yet APO process lenses used for B&W print making does make a difference. Been there, done this.

    Settled on using a 180mm APO Nikkor for 4x5 and 9-1/2" APO Artar for 5x7. Tried 135mm to 210mm EL Nikkor, Rodagon (APO Rodagons work good), variety of Componon both S and non S versions, the APO process lenses does best. Using APO process lenses with sheet film demands power from the light source as working apertures of f16 to f22 is common. Adding printing filters can increase print exposure times. Most f5.6 enlarging lenses are good enough at f8 to f11. This affects print exposure times.

    Exceptions being (previously mentioned numerous times) Goerz 6" Magnar which produces FAR more modulation than the print paper can ever hope to resolve.

    Print size is only one consideration, working aperture, tonal qualities and more all figure into what enlarging lens does good for a given print maker.


    Bernice






    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh View Post
    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

  4. #24
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Best enlarging lenses

    Hi Bernice,

    APO enlarging lenses are VERY different from APO process lenses.

    My comments applied to APO enlarging lenses.

    - Leigh


    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    Yet APO process lenses used for B&W print making does make a difference. Been there, done this.

    Settled on using a 180mm APO Nikkor for 4x5 and 9-1/2" APO Artar for 5x7. Tried 135mm to 210mm EL Nikkor, Rodagon (APO Rodagons work good), variety of Componon both S and non S versions, the APO process lenses does best. Using APO process lenses with sheet film demands power from the light source as working apertures of f16 to f22 is common. Adding printing filters can increase print exposure times. Most f5.6 enlarging lenses are good enough at f8 to f11. This affects print exposure times.
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  5. #25

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    Re: Best enlarging lenses

    gona give a go to the 240 repromaster... how could it compare to 240 rodagon...

  6. #26

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    Re: Best enlarging lenses

    Thank you all for the response. Sorry I should have been more specific. 90-95% of my work is B&W. Most printing will be 8x10 to 11x14 but I am planning on doing 16x20 and maybe 20x24

  7. #27
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Best enlarging lenses

    Which?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Wellman View Post
    What are good enlarging lenses to get? Are most major lens makers fairly good or is there a difference? I'd like something for my 35mm and 4x5.

    Michael
    sin eater

  8. #28

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    Re: Best enlarging lenses

    there are lenses with three, four, six, seven and more elements

    in any focal length some of the quality factors that matter are:

    maximum aperture (faster lenses can be used with shorter exposure times, also they are brighter wide open and easier to focus)
    corner darkening (all lenses suffer from this to a certain extent, it makes the corners of a the print lighter than the center which is often aesthetically displeasing)
    flatness of field (are the corners and the center of the negative in focus at the same time at all apertures?)
    chromatic aberration (how much red and blue blur is there? regular achromat lenses are corrected for two wavelengths red and blue, apo-chromatic lenses are corrected for three wavelengths)
    range of enlargement factors it was designed for (for example 2x - 6x, outside this range results may be slightly inferior)

    most lenses improve with closing the aperture

    Better quality lenses are a pleasure to use and hold their value better. These three brands make excellent lenses at all price points Nikon, Schneider, Rodenstock.

  9. #29
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Best enlarging lenses

    I've used a lot of enlarging lenses, and still have quite a selection. The very best aren't even officially enlarging lenses, but 4-element Apo Nikkor process lenses. But these aren't available in shorter focal lengths typical of the poster's needs. So that leaves me squarely in the camp of Bob and Bob, recommending Apo Rodagon N's; and yes, you can see a difference in actual prints. But most later ordinary EL Nikkors, Rodagons, and similar offerings from Schneider and Fuji are going to do a fine job for most purposes and be a lot more affordable. I'd avoid old silver Componons and 3-element student lenses, though many of these were certainly decent within their own era.

  10. #30
    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    Re: Best enlarging lenses

    Avoid cheap lenses like Roganars and Beselars.

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