A good enlarging lens

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Ektagraphic, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    I need to pick up a 50mm lens for my enalrger and I was wondering what is the best bang for the buck. Best rather inexpensive lens. Thanks
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    You can find many excellent lenses at bargain prices these days. There's no point in buying a cheap poor quality lens when there are plenty of Componon's Compoon-S's, Nikkor's, Rodagon's around.

    Try placing a wanted advert here on APUG.

    Ian
     
  3. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    How are the new bessler lenses?
     
  4. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    How are the Nikkor?
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Bessler don't make lenses so they must be re-badged, the cheap one the "Beslar" may not be that good at wider aperture, it's a budget lens.

    Both Schneider and Rodenstock made budget lenses Componar's & Rogonar's they were Triplet design and nowhere near as good as the Componon and Rodagon. The names are rather similar, there's alsoa a Comparon.

    A cheap new enlarger lens is false economy when there are plenty of good high end lenses floating around second hand.

    Nikkor's are good.

    Ian
     
  6. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    I use both Rodenstock and Schneider lenses. My Rodenstock is a 50mm 2.8; the Schneider is a 105 f3.5.
    Both are pin sharp stopped down and whilst I have traded up with my enlargers, I've always kept these lenses.
    From memory the 50mm was AUD$295 and the Schneider was US$65 - but that was about 10 or so years ago.

    Best money I've invested in the darkroom! Ian is correct - don't skimp on the enlarging lens. Cheap ones are akin to exposing through the base of a Coke bottle and will leave you very uninspired by the results. You've spent good money on the camera lens - now do the same with your enlarger. You won't be disappointed. :smile:
     
  7. Laurent

    Laurent Subscriber

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    I recently bought a 50/2.8 EL-Nikkor for €50. It's as sharp as I need, and I'd call it "cheap enough". .
     
  8. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    Would any lens be able to just go right on to my Besler 23C.
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    If it has a Leica 39mm screw thread lens holder yes.

    Ian
     
  10. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    What if it doesn't say, or if it is not the 39mm Leica screw mount?
     
  11. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

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    The six element German and Nikons are darn solid performers and are being virtually given away on the auction site. I see no reason to settle for less quality than this in today's market. Make certain there isn't even the slightest haze in any of these (small amounts destroy the contrast) and you'll spend years growing out of them as good performers.
     
  12. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    Are all of the Schneider lenses 39mm leica screw mount?
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    No some older ones weren't but usually they have an adaptor. But you can get the newer models Componon-S for next to nothing. Older lenses were in metal barrels/mounts newer lenses ABS or similar.

    You'd almost certainly get one here if you placed a wanted advert. If you know any old pro labs ask them every colour print head had a turret full of high quality lenses.

    Ian
     
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  15. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    How is the Meopta Belar from Freestyle?
     
  16. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Not the best at all. The top Meopta lenses were made by Schneider, the Anaret-S it's identical to a Componon S. same lens cells.

    Ian
     
  17. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    ************
    Best bang for the buck? Find a clean, used Minolta Rokkor enlarging lens.
    Another sleeper might be the Vivitar VHE enlarging lenses: rebranded Schneiders, I am told.
    Otherwise, do as others say and go for a good used Rodenstock, Nikkor, or Schneider.
     
  18. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Not all the Vivitar VHE's were Schneider's but my 150mm definitely was, it was marked made in Germany on the lens cells.

    The Minolta's are good but they tend to scratch easily so you need to check them well, I have 2 or 3. Some Dusrt lenses were excellent too, they mainly used Schneider's and picked the best, andding Rurts to the name but not hiding the origin, ie like a Linhof marked LF lens. But Durts also had a budget but excellent pair of 50 &75?/80 mm lenses made for them by Pentax.

    Ian
     
  19. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    Some of the older Componons were in a 25mm mount, but if you stick to Componon-S, recent Rodagons and Nikon enlarging lenses it's almost a sure thing that a 50mm lens is going to be in the 39mm Leica thread mount. That is now the standard.
     
  20. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Lens boards for Beseler 23 series enlargers are reasonably easy to find in sizes other than 39mm, so concentrating on 39mm Leica thread mount lenses is more a question of convenience than necessity.

    Here is an Ebay listing for a good prospect, already on a Beseler board:

    http://cgi.ebay.ca/NIKON-EL-NIKKOR-50MM-1-2-8-23C-FILM-ENLARGING-LENS_W0QQitemZ360191672334QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item53dd18c00e&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

    I'm not sure what I think, however, about the feedback score of the seller.

    Matt
     
  21. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    I have found a perfect Nikkor and a Schneider for $50 and they are both in great condition and both are f/2.8. Which would you go with?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2009
  22. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    If only one has illuminated aperture numbers, I would choose it.

    Matt
     
  23. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    They both do.
     
  24. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Do you have any other lenses for other formats? If so, and they are Schneider, I'd match them with Schneider, or if they are Nikkor, I'd match them with Nikkor.

    Otherwise, I'd have no preference.

    Do you have any information about the seller(s)?

    Matt
     
  25. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    I don't have any other lenses. I just got into darkroom. Is the Schneider more sharp.
     
  26. werra

    werra Subscriber

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    Get both of them :tongue:

    Or you will suffer in nasty 'what if', 'maybe' etc thoughts.