Beseler Vs nikkor

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Markok765, Jun 1, 2006.

  1. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    I have a beseler 67 enlarger with a 50 3.5 lens and an thinking about getting a nikkor lens.
    I have some questions.
    how good is the beseler lens?
    How much would be a nikkor 50 2.8 lens canadian
    How better is the nikkor? i just got a 50 1.8 for my canon to use alsongside with the zoom. i find it sharper, more contrasty, and better colors and a lot faster than the zoom:5.6
    Would i have a lot better prints from it? the one i use now is fine but i might want better.
    Sorry for this being long.
    mArko
     
  2. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    There is not a lot of difference between enlarging lenses, as long as you get a 6-element lens. On the other hand, 4-element lenses are more on the budget-side of things. I don't know what category your current lens belongs to, but the nikkor 2.8/50 is an excellent 6-element lens and highly recommendable.
     
  3. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    There are a different types of Beseler lenses. The 'Color Beselar' (I think they were called) were better than the other Beselers that I've seen, but I think that if you get a El-Nikkor that is the 6 element variety you will get better results. There are 4 element and 6 element El-Nikkors as far as I know, and the 6 element lenses are the better of the two. I'm not overly knowledgable about these, but I think that all of this is correct.

    For 35mm look for a 50mm lens, and for medium format look for the 80mm. You should be able to find these fairly inexpensively.

    - Randy
     
  4. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    The EL-Nikkor 50mm f/2.8 is a six element lens. I've used them for 35 years with complete satisfaction. The EL-Nikkor 50mm f/4 is a nice four element lens. I consider the f/2.8 worth the extra money for its performance and ease of focusing. I've encountered off-brand and even kit lenses on good enlargers that were poor, and others that could produce good images when stopped down.
     
  5. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    I have a 4-element 50mm F4 EL-Nikkor, and that's good for general use. Mine was almost brand new that I paid very minimum at an online auction.

    In smaller sized prints up to 8x10", the difference between the F4 and the F2.8 models hardly matters.
     
  6. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    That's easy; Beseler lens, junk, El Nikkor excellent. I had a Beseler lens when I got a Beseler enlarger three plus decades ago as I was moving up. The lens was crap and the pictures were crap. I bought an El Nikkor and WOW the prints came out sharp and nice. Moral of the story, You get what you pay for and you pay for what you get.
     
  7. agGNOME

    agGNOME Member

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    There are some more modern Beseler 50/2.8 enlarging lenses out there that are rebadged Rodenstock Rodagon APO lenses. Maybe keep an eye out for one.
     
  8. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Shameless plug.

    I've got a 50/2.8 El-Nikkor in the classifieds right now.

    John
     
  9. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    I concur with all the above posts in praise of the 50/2.8 El-Nikkor. It is an excellent lens and worth every penny I paid for it.
     
  10. genecrumpler

    genecrumpler Member

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    With current give away prices, the 6 element f2.8 would be fine. I personally own a 4 element f4 El-Nikkor that has made great 16x20 prints sharp to the edge from 35mm negatives. At one time I was thinking about getting the 6-element lens, but I got a hasselblad instead :>).

    Now I wish I had bought the hasselblad 40 years ago and saved half a lifetime trying to get 35mm to do the job. I would have saved a ton of money on cameras that are now worth little and fill up a good part of a closet.
     
  11. Rolleijoe

    Rolleijoe Member

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    I agree with Curt to an extent. Beselar=crap. Nikkor=better. Schneider=BEST. A used beselar at the moment from KEH is $9. That should tell you something. Rodenstocks are alright, and of course a few steps better (my Chromega D5-XL came with 3 Rodenstocks on the tri-turret holder), but in my nearly 40 years of printing, nothing comes close to the Schneider lenses.

    Also as was sated above, you get what you pay for. Go on the cheap, you get cheap.
     
  12. Lachlan Young

    Lachlan Young Member

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    In my experience Rodenstocks are better than Schneider but both are beaten hands down in terms of quality of construction and equalled in performance by the Meopta Meogon S series of lenses. Marko, however, will probably find these lenses are out of his range of affordibility so I would reccommend that He look for either a new Meopta Anaret S 50mm f4.5 which has been seen to equal a Componon in terms of performance at f5.6 or a secondhand Minolta E. Rokkor 50mm f4.5 which is cheap, tiny and truly superb - after all it they were good enough for W. Eugene Smith they're good enough for me!

    Hope this helps,

    Lachlan
     
  13. Daniel_OB

    Daniel_OB Member

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    Some guys tested a lot of enlarging lenses. The best performer was 2.8/50 EL-Nikkor. It even was better then Rodenstock apo-Rodagon 2.8/50. I do not think it was very useful comparison, but EL even much less cost that apo-rodagon is for sure very good lens, and probably "close" to apo from rodenstock and schneider. If you do not want to pay $400 us for rodenstock or schneider I think EL is the best choice. Beseler are retagged rodenstock lenses, but take care what rodenstock give to them, probably lenses that didi not pass to get name Rodenstock. So get EL and you will like it. It is on par with rodenstock rodagon 2.8/50 and schneder componon-s 2.8/50.

    And the best lens is one you have and like to work with.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2006
  14. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    Somewhere on the web (I'm too lazy to go looking for it right now but I believe that the author may be here on APUG) is a comparison of enlarging lenses that showed the author's Minolta lens to be the best of his bunch.

    Just like any other kind of lens, there is variation in the quality of enlarging lenses of the same make and model. Most companies don't test every lens, so not every lens that leaves the factory is the same. I've never owned a bad Nikkor enlarging lens, but I'm sure there are some out there. By the same token, I have an old Kodak enlarging lens that's tack sharp and that would be hard to beat for B&W work. Are old Kodak lenses better? Doubtful. Is my Kodak lens better than average? Almost certainly.

    Given the price of enlarging lenses on eBay, it's probably worth buying a few, checking them out, and then reselling the ones that don't make the cut. Not as convenient as the local photo store used to be, when you'd keep taking lenses home until you got a good one, but then the photo store charged a whole lot more for enlarging lenses than they sell for on eBay these days. (50/2.8 Nikkors seem to be selling in the $25-40 range right now...actually up a little from last year.)

    Best of luck to you.
    Dave
     
  15. ronlamarsh

    ronlamarsh Member

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    By all that i have read and experienced there is a great variation in quality in all manufacturers lenses. I have come to believe that there is just a lot less in the Big Three. Beslar HD series lenses are just rebadged rodenstock or schneider, I can't remember which. I have used a rodenstock roganar-s in 150mm for 4x5 for years and have been completely satisfied.....it is a 4 element lens. I recently obtained a mint schneider componon-s in 135mm, it is a 6 element, and really can't tell the difference in peformance. But! i only go as far as 16X20 that is only a 4X enlargement, which if you look at the rodenstock specs is right in the "sweet spot" for the roganar-s. So if you are trying to make 16x20's from a 35mm neg you'd better get the absolute best lens you can that is a lot of enlarging! As an aside I was told on a forum i should be able to tell the difference from my 4 element rodenstock and 6 element schneider in prints as small as 11X14.....baloney! If anyone can see it without a 20x loupe( I don't have one but have checked with my SCHNEIDER 7x loupe) then they need to join the circus as the "man with x-ray vision". Lets all remember that normal human vision can only visiualize about 6-7 lp/mm.
     
  16. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    IMHO, this is good advice. I'd add, though, that it might be worth keeping the best two lenses, or perhaps two or three lenses with different features you like for different situations (such as a click-stopped vs. not click-stopped aperture ring). If you've got two or three lenses on hand, you'll have a backup in case of an accident -- say, if you accidentally whack the lens with a heavy object.
     
  17. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    I see that you and I have similar working methods. :smile:

    In my post I did say to keep the best one, but the reality is that I have about twelve enlarging lenses of various focal lengths in my posession. I never mean to acquire them...it just sort of happens. I think they follow me home when I'm not looking.
     
  18. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    I agree. There is little practical difference between my EL-Nikkor 135mm and the original lens from my 60-year-old DeJur enlarger. If the ultimate goal of an enlarging lens was to excel in lens tests, I'd critically compare them. However, I'm content with both. In 50mm lengths my four element EL-Nikkor comes close enough to the six element version for almost any use, too. The faster lens is better at large apertures and is easier to focus. That's a matter of convenience more than image forming ability.