Another boring enlarging lens question

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Michael R 1974, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,200
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    Montreal, Ca
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    150mm lens, for 4x5 negatives. The largest prints I make are 11x14, so we're talking pretty low magnification here. I'm looking at the Schneider 150mm Componon S. Is there any reason to even bother looking at the APO Componon?? For obvious reasons ($$$$$$$$) I'd rather not.

    I'm quite sure at these enlargement sizes I'd see no difference whatsoever in sharpness, contrast or uniformity of illumination (prove me wrong). But one thing I've always liked about APO lenses in smaller formats is they usually reach optimum performance one stop wider than the equivalent non-APO versions (I use an 50mm APO Rodagon for enlarging 35mm). So I don't know.

    Thanks
     
  2. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,694
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2003
    Good Morning, Michael,

    I think you're right about not being able to detect any appreciable difference, even with somewhat bigger enlargements. As for the "one stop wider" idea: With 4 x 5 B & W negatives, exposure times, even using ƒ11 or ƒ16, are typically not very long anyway, at least up to 16 x 20 size; using a larger lens opening could even be a disadvantage if any dodging is involved.

    If money were no object, I'd probably replace all my enlarging lenses with APO versions, but I doubt that my prints would look much, if any, better.

    Konical
     
  3. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,200
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    Montreal, Ca
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks Konical. This is what I'm thinking too. Ideally it would be nice to have the best of everything even if it is overkill, but that only works if money is no object, and in some cases it makes little (if any) difference beyond the realm of laboratory testing.
     
  4. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

    Messages:
    14,950
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Michael,

    I agree with both you and Konical, that when magnification factor is low, APO lenses show the least of their optical advantage, and as you say, at 11x14 (about 3x) magnification, you probably could not even tell without sophisticated testing equipment.

    If it were a question of 16-20x magnification, the discussion would obviously be entirely different.

    - Thomas
     
  5. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,192
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2010
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    While everyone is checking in here, which one of these three 4x5 enlarging lenses would you keep (selling the other two)?

    150mm Schneider G-Claron
    135mm Schneider Comparon
    135mm Fujinon EX
     
  6. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,200
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    Montreal, Ca
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Unfortunately I don't know anything about Fuji enlarging lenses and never used a G-Claron, so I couldn't tell you which of those three would be better in terms of sharpness, contrast or distortion. But a 150mm would typically have better coverage than a 135mm so all things being equal, I'd always prefer the longer lens for any given format for uniformity of illumination. Of course it depends on how big you're printing. I don't enlarge my 4x5 negatives to more than 11x14 so I like the longer lenses. If you're making giant prints you might want the wider lens depending on how high you can crank up your enlarger head.
     
  7. fotch

    fotch Member

    Messages:
    4,820
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    SE WI- USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Not familiar with any of the lens, I would prefer a 150mm Nikon, or Rodenstock Rodagon. One of my favorites is a older Kodak Ektanon Enlarging 161mm F:4.5 enlarger lens. I also have 135mm if needed.
     
  8. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,199
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Fujinon EX is a six element lens. I'd keep that one, it is the best of the bunch; top of the line multicoated lens.
     
  9. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,199
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Do you have a grain magnifier. When you open your existing lens up one stop more than usual when making an 11x14 are the corners still sharp?
     
  10. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,200
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    Montreal, Ca
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    With the grain magnifier it looked fine to me (although there was some slight light falloff). I don't have that lens anymore though. I sold it several years ago when I started to work more on 35mm. Now I'm going back to doing more 4x5 work and need a lens so I figured I'd ask the question.
     
  11. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

    Messages:
    1,035
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Location:
    Maryland, US
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I use the APO-Componon HM enlarging lenses. They're superb.

    For the sizes your working with I doubt you would observe any significant
    improvement using those over using the Componon-S lenses.

    - Leigh
     
  12. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,200
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    Montreal, Ca
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yeah those APO HMs are probably awesome, but I just can't spend that kind of money on a HM lens if I don't do High Mag work.

    So it looks like Componon S for me.
     
  13. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,158
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    Location:
    Los Alamos,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Your Componon-S is an excellent lens. The APO-Componon is noticeably better, but for 11X14s it is probably not worth the $. As I understand it, the G-Claron is of somewhat lesser quality than the Rodagon-G but is often favored for portrait printing. The Rodagon-G is excellent, but I have no experience with the G-Claron. If you can find them, the 150mm EL-Nikkor and APO-EL-Nikkor are both outstanding. For what you are doing, I would stick with the Componon-S, unless I had an urge to spend excess cash.
     
  14. semi-ambivalent

    semi-ambivalent Subscriber

    Messages:
    700
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Michael,

    But money is an object or you wouldn't have mentioned it. If you want the best of everything, a better, cheaper place to begin would be with your images.

    With 35mm negs and GAS,

    s-Taking my own advice-a

    :smile:
     
  15. Fred Aspen

    Fred Aspen Member

    Messages:
    667
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2006
    Location:
    Magnificent
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    According to Ctein...

    enlarging lenses are designed for specific magnification ranges. APOs are optimized for large magnification ratios and may not be stellar performers at 3-5X. Most 6 el. 50mm enlarging lenses are optimized at 8-10X, APOs somewhat higher. Four element lenses are usually optimized for 4-6X.

    At 3X in your application, I think the $$$ would be better spent in another area.
     
  16. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,200
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    Montreal, Ca
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    What I meant is that if I had unlimited funds it would be fun to have the best of equipment regardless of whether or not it made any difference. Obviously equipment doesn't make images.

    Nworth, I'm surprised to hear you say the APO is actually noticeably better. What do you mean specifically? And at what enlargement sizes? Color or B&W?

    Thanks
    Michael