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Thread: Rodagon-G 360 for enlarging 5x7 12 times

  1. #31
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Rodagon-G 360 for enlarging 5x7 12 times

    Componon S lenses were decent for their era, but kinda like a Ford or Chevy if hanging onto our car model analogies, and not a Porsche or Ferrari. I used a 180 Rodagon for 20X24 and 30x40 inch Cibachrome prints from 4x5 chromes. They were quite nice and nobody would notice anything "lesser" about the result unless it were placed side by side to my later work, which involved a custom additive colorhead, larger 8x10 film, and true apo enlarging lenses. But the slightly less saturated look went well with the older Ektachrome 64, which handled complex off-hues like sage coloration better than current films, but had trouble with clean greens due to the bit of red contamination. It's all been fun, and I've kept most of my older enlarging lenses because sometimes it's a quick way to fine-tune color printing contrast without resorting to a different mask density.

  2. #32
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Rodagon-G 360 for enlarging 5x7 12 times

    Seems odd that you would not be happy with the results of the 210 rodagon and that your test of the different lenses showed different results for each lens of suitable performance for the task. I have about 13 enlarging lenses, I can't tell which lens is used for any print by lookng at the print (though they are not all the same viewed through the grain magnifier).

  3. #33
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Rodagon-G 360 for enlarging 5x7 12 times

    Yeah, well I drive a stick-shift 4WD truck, and would probably instantly crash into a tree if I ever stepped on the accelerator of a Ferrari even in first gear. It's like that with lenses too. You don't realize the distinction until you have such choices in front of you, and then it becomes real. And I mean real. If I went from an old style Componon, for example, which was a decent lens long ago, to an Apo Nikkor at the other extreme, the difference in contrast, microtonality, fine detail and hue saturation would be quite evident even to the public. The upgrade from an ordinary Rodagon to an Apo Rodagon N, within comparable focal lengths, is apparent at close inspection, especially with respect to the superior microtonality in black and white prints; and Apo Nikkors optically outperform even those. All these little nuances cumulatively add up. But I don't even think of it in terms of one option being "better" than another, but as an option per se, to be chosen as the best fit for a particular image, much like we might select a somewhat older view camera lens for its special rendering qualities instead of sheer clinical detail ability. I once had a wonderful marriage between a 210 Componon S taking lens and 4x5 old-style Ektachrome printed with a Rodagon 180. Now I'm mostly working with much sharper, more contrasty taking lenses, distinctly improved enlarging optics, significantly improved color neg films (plus b&w work), and a whole new type of color printing medium capable of handling extreme detail, Fujiflex replacing Cibachrome. It all about matching everything up as efficiently as possible. When I want a softer image, I know how to do that too. It's all good.

  4. #34

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    Re: Rodagon-G 360 for enlarging 5x7 12 times

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    I'd just use a 240/9 Apo Rodagon. It's small, and superb over a very wide range of magnifications. Extremely even and sharp by f/11, so really no slower for printing than ordinary enlarging lenses, though not quite as bright for sake of initial focusing or composition. The 180 Rodagon is a fine lens too, but will be a tad less contrasty or even. But both can be found quite affordably these days. I have both.
    I have both too. The Apo is optimized for 1:1 and usable for 1:3 to 3:1. The Rodagon is optimized for 4X and usable from 2x to 8x. This guy wants to make 11x enlargements off 5x7. Not exactly in the Apo Rodagon range, more in the Rodagon or Rodagon-G range. You like Nikkors, that's an opinion, and everybody has one.

    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    I have about 13 enlarging lenses, I can't tell which lens is used for any print by lookng at the print (though they are not all the same viewed through the grain magnifier).
    Funny thing IC, I can't either.

  5. #35

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    Re: Rodagon-G 360 for enlarging 5x7 12 times

    Lost in Translation Part Two
    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #36

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    Re: Rodagon-G 360 for enlarging 5x7 12 times

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Yeah, well I drive a stick-shift 4WD truck, and would probably instantly crash into a tree if I ever stepped on the accelerator of a Ferrari even in first gear. It's like that with lenses too. You don't realize the distinction until you have such choices in front of you, and then it becomes real. And I mean real. If I went from an old style Componon, for example, which was a decent lens long ago, to an Apo Nikkor at the other extreme, the difference in contrast, microtonality, fine detail and hue saturation would be quite evident even to the public. The upgrade from an ordinary Rodagon to an Apo Rodagon N, within comparable focal lengths, is apparent at close inspection, especially with respect to the superior microtonality in black and white prints; and Apo Nikkors optically outperform even those. All these little nuances cumulatively add up. But I don't even think of it in terms of one option being "better" than another, but as an option per se, to be chosen as the best fit for a particular image, much like we might select a somewhat older view camera lens for its special rendering qualities instead of sheer clinical detail ability. I once had a wonderful marriage between a 210 Componon S taking lens and 4x5 old-style Ektachrome printed with a Rodagon 180. Now I'm mostly working with much sharper, more contrasty taking lenses, distinctly improved enlarging optics, significantly improved color neg films (plus b&w work), and a whole new type of color printing medium capable of handling extreme detail, Fujiflex replacing Cibachrome. It all about matching everything up as efficiently as possible. When I want a softer image, I know how to do that too. It's all good.
    Apo Nikkors, are you talking about the F 9 process lenses? I helped to scrap a immense process camera at work, two lenses the short one was a 60 inch Rodagon. I should have kept them, I traded them to a guy. My friend still has some of the Kodak litho film, 3x4 foot. The vacuum back would have made an awesome easel, but it had to weigh 150 lbs. There was an Ilford processor that passed through the wall, huge. The only thing I regret is there was a smaller plate burner, left it behind.

  7. #37

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    Re: Rodagon-G 360 for enlarging 5x7 12 times

    Quote Originally Posted by Duolab123 View Post
    Apo Nikkors, are you talking about the F 9 process lenses? I helped to scrap a immense process camera at work, two lenses the short one was a 60 inch Rodagon. I should have kept them, I traded them to a guy. My friend still has some of the Kodak litho film, 3x4 foot. The vacuum back would have made an awesome easel, but it had to weigh 150 lbs. There was an Ilford processor that passed through the wall, huge. The only thing I regret is there was a smaller plate burner, left it behind.
    Sure it wasn’t an Apo Ronar?

  8. #38
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Rodagon-G 360 for enlarging 5x7 12 times

    No, not everyone has a relevant opinion. Apo Nikkors were among those highly preferred for high-end graphics standards far in excess of the needs of ordinary photography. Mine were cannibalized from a $200,000 process camera 22 feet long - not exactly the kind of original purchasers likely to buy "just anything" based on mere rumor. As taking lenses these are superbly corrected all the way from very close up to infinity; but in their originally marketed application, this same feature means they're highly useful over a very wide range of magnifications. That's why the big labs used them for mural work, but I use them close-up for extremely fussy enlarged dupes and internegs onto 8x10 film. In terms of 360's, I use both a 360/5.6 El Nikkor for sake of ease of composition under the relatively dim look of orange-masked color negs, though it's huge, as well as a 360/9 Apo Nikkor for its more compact size and even better optics, when it is more appropriate, or else a 305 Apo Nikkor to save headroom in 8X10 film printing when I want to work in my smaller, lower-ceiling room, like this time of year, because the smaller room is much easier to heat. Now if the best of both worlds ever ever comes up again, meaning an Apo El Nikkor 360, I can even imagine the asking price. The last one that I'm aware of sold for $11,000 over 30 years ago. But there can be too much of a good thing - meaning that a lens which that high an MTF can reproduce almost every nearly invisible blemish, scratch, or Anti-Newton texture on the carrier glass itself. That's what kept me away from them, even the one time I had an opportunity to buy a 210 Apo El rather reasonably (1K). Anyway, the pin-registered back I cannibalized from that same big process camera weighs about 400 lbs. I can stand on it without deflecting the focal plane, an ideal trait here in earthquake country.

  9. #39

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    Re: Rodagon-G 360 for enlarging 5x7 12 times

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    Sure it wasn’t an Apo Ronar?
    Yeah , you're correct. I just remember that my 11 X14 camera has 60 inch bellows, and I think the smaller lens weighted 10 lbs. The biggest process camera I ever played with was a baby, 16 x 20 Robertson. So much fun. If I was a billionaire I would put one of these in the back of a truck and shoot ULF Ektachrome and Ektar. Just call up and place a few million dollar order.

  10. #40

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    Re: Rodagon-G 360 for enlarging 5x7 12 times

    As hard as it may be to believe, there are more than one "relevant opnion". I'll take Bob's opinion and the German optics over the Japanese any day. L

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