150mm enlarging lenses

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by michael_r, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    I'm looking into a new 150mm enlarging lens. So obviously, there's Schneider and Rodenstock. The Schneider Componon S and Rodenstock Rodagon are of equal quality and in reality I don't see much point in arguing between the two. The Schneider is approx $100 cheaper (typically around $650 new) than the Rodenstock so I figure I'll probably end up with the Schneider. But here are some curious findings after spending some time looking for prices on line.

    First, this place Helix Photo (never heard of it before) is selling the Schneider 150 Componon S for about $200 less than anywhere else:

    http://www.helixphoto.com/Darkroom/Lenses/Schneider.html

    Why? What is going on here?

    Second, Helix Photo is also selling new (?) EL Nikkors. It seems I could actually buy a new EL Nikkor 150mm from these guys. It's about the same price as the Rodenstock but people always rave about how good some of the EL Nikkors were. So again, what is going on here?

    http://www.helixphoto.com/Darkroom/Lenses/nikkor150.html
     
  2. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Why buy a new lens when I can sell you a like new condition Rodagon 150/5.6 for $300 plus shipping.
     
  3. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

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    They're probably selling them cheaper because their sales for those lenses are plummeting due to the lack of demand and the amount of these lenses hitting the used market. Enlarger lenses get very little "wear and tear", so used ones at a huge price cut is an attractive deal. My question would be, "why new?". I searched "schneider 150mm" on ebay and turned up a few hits with a couple days left and the auction is only at $15 and $35 respectively. Both have clean glass and will produce the same results as a new one.
     
  4. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I currently have 13 enlarging lenses. Around 2002 I bought 3 brand new Schneiders from B&H. However, in use, there is no difference between those and my older, somewhat hazy or scratched Componons in silver barrels. I put the older silver lenses into use when I got more enlargers, rather than buying more new lenses.
     
  5. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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  6. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    You should be able to get a good used one for $100-150, tops. If you want to shop around for a bit, you can probably get one for $50- 100.
     
  7. fotch

    fotch Member

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    The Devil is in the details. A couple of days left is meaningless, its the last couple of seconds that count. Snipe programs bid at the last seconds trying to avoid running up the price. If you checking epay for prices, check SOLD, its the only thing that counts.
     
  8. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Once upon a time, Helix was a major Chicago chain catering to pros & amateurs alike.
     
  9. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    sent yu private message with a possible solution to ur problem.
     
  10. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    the newel nikors are just perfect in my opinion. i use them in all formats.any bit as good as their name brand competition.
     
  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    If you look or ask around you may find some lens turrets from old roll head printers. Most labs just scrapped the lot yet a turret may have 6 or 7 lenses fitted. A few years ago I was given a ouple of these turrets fitted with Componon & Componon S lenses ranging in FL from 50mm through to 150mm all in excellent condition. (Unfortunately for the OP I gave away all the spares at the time here on APUG).

    Ian
     
  12. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I think my 150mm f:4.0 Apo-Componon was around $350 used maybe 4 or 5 years ago, and it would be hard to find a better enlarging lens for 4x5".
     
  13. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Indeed, there are probably some really good used lenses out there. Regarding ebay though, in general I hate ebay. It's useless until the last nanosecond, at least for anything in excellent condition. I don't have time to be glued to ebay trying to get a deal on something.

    Anyhow I just thought it was curious this Helix place was selling new Schneiders at such a discount, and even more curious they had new 150mm EL Nikkors for sale, given these haven't been manufactured in 7 or 8 years.
     
  14. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    It's been my experience that getting something used is not always the best way to go, especially from ebay, often, you get what you pay for and I realize that there are times when you get a great deal on something used. However there are some things, just some, that I will drop the extra bucks for to have new. At the time I bought my 150mm Schneider Componon-S, there was nothing offered from anyone here at APUG, which I would have more of a tendency to accept their assessment of condition, especially if that person were a prominent member. So, I purchased new and have not regretted it.
     
  15. ChuckP

    ChuckP Subscriber

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    The darkroom department at Helix has been dramatically reduced in recent years. They probably still have some traffic from students taking darkroom courses. You should just call or email them to find out the current status. Never know they may have some old stock left and want to move it.
     
  16. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    I've only bought used for enlarger lenses. I've had El-Nikkor and Componon-S on my MF enlarger. On my 4x5, I only have a Nikon 135mm which does quality work, but it only has full-stop clicks. Schneider probably does half stop clicks; a handy option for some people. The Schneider componon-s likely has an illuminated aperture dial as well. Something I find quite handy on the smaller enlarger. Again just a convenience easily replicated with a red-led flashlight.
     
  17. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    schneider ,rodenstock, nikon... never noticed a difference all: top-quality stuff. isettled on nikon for large format and the darkroom.