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Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Ka, Mar 23, 2004.
What's the best to less expensive, but still d**n good 75mm enlarger lens?
look for an 80mm f/4 El-Nikkor enlarging lens. Right up there with the top of the line Schneider and Rodenstock lenses (though not the APO).
What does "though not the APO" mean, Jeremy?
I have a 75mm El-Nikkor (non-Apo) which is highly satisfactory, but I think that Rodagons or Componons of the same focal length (or 80mm) would be essentially identical in overall quality. Right now, high quality enlarger lenses go for very low prices on E-Bay. Would you believe a 150mm Rodagon, in excellent condition, for $50?! The seller told me I got a good deal; actually it was more of a steal!
I thing that among the big 3 - Nikon, Rodenstock and Schneider, it's just a matter of price and how well cared for used ones are.
I've seen also good references for the top of the line Fujinons and Minoltas - but these are harder to find.
Just a follow-up to my previous post. I checked E-Bay a moment ago and found several listings for 75mm enlarging lenses and a whole slew of listings for 80mm's, including numerous El-Nikkors, Rodagons, and Componons. Bidders seems to be few and far between. It seems to be a buyers' market.
APO is a designation alluding to the apochromatic characteristics of a lens. This designation addresses the ability of a lens to focus all the wave lengths of light on the same film plane (whether that be film or enlarging paper). Different colors of light will have different wave lengths. These different wave lengths would tend to focus at different distances from the lens nodal point. This would lead to departure from sharpness at high degrees of magnification.
Most good quality lenses of modern design will prove to be sufficient for all but the most discriminating use. By these I would include the El Nikkor, the Schneider Componon, and the Rodenstock Rodagon.
The apochromatic lenses in each of the manufacturers product lines mentioned would be the lenses that are above the lenses that I have identified. One will normally pay substantially more for APO lenses.
An alternative to conventional enlarging lenses are lenses which were designed for the graphics field. These lenses are normally slower speed (won't open as wide). However these are normally APO lenses. There are normally a number of these listed on Ebay as well. These would normally be barrel mounted lenses as opposed to lenses mounted in shutter. If I were looking for a lens of this type, I would look to a Goerz Apo Red Dot Artar of the appropriate focal length.
thanks for the detail, Don. I suggested the El Nikkor over the Schneider or the Rodenstock as the El Nikkor was much cheaper when I was looking for an 80mm enlarging lens. The 80mm El Nikkor is reputed to be of a higher quality than the 75m El Nikkor from what I have read on the web--with a grain of salt...
I don't have experience with either the 75 mm or the 80 mm El Nikkor lens. For that reason I am not able to comment on any difference between them. My lenses in those focal lengths are Schneider(s) and Rodenstock(s). I do have a 150 mm El Nikkor that is extremely sharp. I prefer it over an older Schneider 135 Componon that I have.
I just spent the last hour on ebay looking at those same lenses, will be bidding before the closings. Thanks for the Detailed Information, Donald.
from what I've read on the web
the 80/5.6 is a 6 element design, the 75/4 a 4 element. 6 element designs are deemed better.
I do have a 80/4 Schneider, a Fujinon EX 90/5.6 (and had a no-name Aston 75/3.5) I did a test and my order of preference turned out to be the Fujinon then the Schneider just ahead of the Astron (which was very surprising to me!) The Schneider cost me considerable $$$!. The Schneider has some nice user features like the aperture lever that alternates between your working ap and wide open. Good for focusing then stopping the lens down to the correct aperture without looking at it. It also can dis-engage click stops but I've never used that. The Fujinon can be turned when in the lensboard so that the highlighted aperture display faces you. Handy if the lens tightens and the ap scale doesn't face the front! I gave the Astron lens away with an enlarger but I was surprised how close to the others it was... I presumed it was similar to the bottom of a old style coke bottle
Once again, I'm happy with my Meopta 80mm Anaret-S. New price is still less than you would pay for an old "major brand" on eBay, quality is very, very good. They have a reputation for being very variable, but the "-S" version generally has better quality check than the plain version.
I also have a 60mm Componon, a 50mm Anaret-S, and 150, 108, and 210mm Rodagons. I have compared print from the 80mm Anaret-S with prints made with a EL-Nikkor, and insist that mine were sharper and clearer.
I am a happy user of the 4,5/75mm Fujinon EX. Visibly outperforms my old non-S Componon 5.6/80mm from 1972. Covers 6x6 with no visible fall-off.
People have mentioned the Schneider Componon, and when buying one, make sure that it is componon not componAR, or something else which is an inferior lens.
Also there is a Rodenstock lens that is close to the Rodagon in spelling that is inferior.
So as stated before, what you want is Componon or Rodagon.
Something to watch for.
I'm going to bid on the Schneider Componon (still looking one with an S designation) and Rodenstock Rodagon 80mm f 5.6 enlarger lens.
That Rodagon has a buy it now... perhaps I should just get it, I loath waiting.
Is there a noticable difference between the Componon and Rodagon?
Not according to people who know a lot more than me.
I would probably try to find these lenses in F4 rather than 5.6.
Would someone else chime in here.
I think I bought mine used for something like $80. (Schneider Componon 80mm F4) two years ago.
Ok, your word is good enough for me.. I wait for an 80mm f/4.
As far as I know, the 80mm 5.6 are good lenses... I own a nikkor 80 5.6, but so far have only printed 7x7's with it. It's definately sharp in those enlargement ratios.
BTW, I use it at f 11, 2 stops down from wide open.
On the other hand, a professor once told me to use a 80/4 componon-s at 11 as well, just as I should the 50/2.8 at f/8, not 5.6
As an irrelevant piece of extremely biased info: I like my 80 nikkor better than the 80 componon-s I used in college. Mostly because the nikkor is mine.
If I recall correctly, I paid less than 50 for it on ebay, and it came with the adaptor for leica 39mm thread and a locking nut.
Still trying to win a bid on a Compnon S or Roganon S... but saw a Rodenstock Omegaron 75mm F4.5 lens for very little, and wondered if it were comperable to the above 80mm "s" lenses.
The Omegaron would probably give very satisfactory performance in most cases. It is not, however, Rodenstock's top-grade lens. For a long-term investment, I'd stick with Rodagons, Componons, and El-Nikkors.
ok, thanks again.