Best enlarging lens for 35mm

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Ornello, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. Ornello

    Ornello Inactive

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  2. gareth harper

    gareth harper Inactive

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    Save yourself a few pennies and bag a secondhand Durst Neonon f2.8
    You'll never see the difference.
     
  3. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    a f4.5 lens would be the craps for focusing. I've used both Schneider APO 50mm and Nikkor 2.8 - 50mm and can't tell the difference.
     
  4. Ornello

    Ornello Inactive

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    But if you used this lens you would be astonished...at how good it is. I used to own the Nikkor 50mm f/2,8 and the difference is staggering.
     
  5. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    Staggering might be a bit of an exageration, but I will take you word for it.
     
  6. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I use apo rodagons 2.8 and find them quite nice, I am not sure I would like the speed loss with a heavy magnification that I would get with the 4.5.
     
  7. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    Ornello, do you consider version 1 to be better than version 2?

    What in particular caused you to reach the conclusion that the difference is 'staggering'?

    Was Leitz wrong in bringing out version 2?

    Why not post some results that happened as you became staggered?

    Or as the old lady said in the Wendy's commercial "Where's the beef"?
     
  8. Ornello

    Ornello Inactive

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    You use yours wide open?
     
  9. Ornello

    Ornello Inactive

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    1) Never used the first
    2) I tried a whole bunch of enlarging lenses, including the usual Schneider and Rodenstock top-of-the-line models. I had been using the Nikkor 2,8. The Focotar-2 bested them all, by a considerable margin
    3) Huh? You want me to make prints with several lenses and send them to you?
    4) Trust me. I know.
     
  10. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I prefer to use my 50 's two stops down from wide open.
     
  11. Ornello

    Ornello Inactive

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    The optimum on this lens is about f/6.
     
  12. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    If the bidding keeps the lens under $150Euro and the optimum apeture is f6 I would say go for it sounds like a good deal
     
  13. Ornello

    Ornello Inactive

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    Who knows? The last ones have gone for about $400-500
     
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  15. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    I have the first version of the Focotar. I hear the second version is an improvement. I beat the eBay price by a good bit by buying it at a garage sale for $7.00. Mine had a Leitz Valoy enlarger attached to it as well.

    It is a great lens. Combined with a Leitz enlarger, it is perfectly reasonable to print wide open and not lose a helluva lot of sharpness. We used Leitz autofocus enlargers at the paper where I used to work and we printed nearly everything wide open to get prints done quickly.

    It is kinda dark, though. I also have an El-Nikkor 50/2.8 and I now use it most of the time for the brighter image on the easel. Stopped down, I don't see any difference between the two lenses.
     
  16. Ornello

    Ornello Inactive

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    The Focotar-2 is a splendid, stunning lens.
     
  17. gareth harper

    gareth harper Inactive

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    I'll stick with my neonon, but I'm sure the seller (ornello?) is well chuffed at having a free ad and discussion on APUG.
    Cheeky.
     
  18. Zathras

    Zathras Member

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    I got mine for just under $ 200.00, but I consider myself extremely lucky. For a while after I got it, I saw quite a few go for the above prices, with nothing under $ 395.00 .

    Mike Sullivan
     
  19. Zathras

    Zathras Member

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    He's not the seller. He usually posts here or in rec.photo.darkroom when one of these lenses becomes available. In this case, I think he's trying to find the lens a good home.

    Mike Sullivan
     
  20. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    When I had a Focotar 2 it was better than a 40mm 2.8 Focotar and better than an f 4 Durst 50mm Componon. I found mine to work best between 5.6 to 8...which is Ornello findings also. There is no doubt, that the 50mm Focotar 2 is a lens of good quality , to my mind. As far as I know the lens has not been upgraded since it introduction.

    If you use glass carriers and have a ten year old lens that is by one of the best makers you will find it to be diffraction limited at about f4. There may be higher contrast a f 5.6; However, any lens that reaches its best performance at f 6 can not out perform a lens that reaches its best performance at a wider aperture..this is not my opinion this is the laws of physics and light.

    Perhaps I am incorrect. It has been years since I owned my Focotar 2 but I believe that the lens offered for sale is a Focotar (1).

    As far as it being the best enlarging lens in the world baloney is concerned I believe that the 105mm Apo El Nikkor is most certainly better but problematic for making the larger sizes of enlargements is concerned for amy enlargers.

    If one wants to make 15x or bigger enlargements than the best (2) lenses ever released into general commerce are the 40mm f 5.6 Zeiss S-Biogon and the 60mm S-Orthoplanar. Neither lens was sold directly as an enlargong lens. They were sold as a part of a machine for making micro film copies.
    My understanding is, that back in the 70's is concerned , price of the 60mm S- Orthoplanar exceeded $20,000.00 I do not know what the price of the 40mm S-Biogon was. Approximately one year ago an 60mm S-Orthoplanar was sold on Ebay. Its price was around $2,500.00
    A 100 mm was sold at that same time and it fetched approximately $6,000.00

    No Ornello I was not asking you to send me anything. From other postings I came,perhaps erroneously, to the conclusion that you retain quite a file of older data. Therefore, I had hoped you had saved test prints that you could share with this forum and we to could get the 'staggers'.
     
  21. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    There are formulae to determine the threshold of diffraction that "limits" the resolving power of any given lens - but in this case I won't bother to wrestle with them. An enlarging lens for 35mm ... 50mm focal length or thereabouts - "diffraction limited" at f/4? I don't think so. Enlarging lenses follow the same "laws" as camera lenses .. there is only ONE "set" of laws. Camera lenses are normally equipped with iris diaphrams that only close to the "limit of acceptable diffraction"... typically, *any* 50mm (or so) lens will only stop down to f/16.... close to the limit of diffraction.

    Why is it that so many are so critical of enlarging optics? A camera lens is designed around an "Optimal Aperture" but is certainly useable at a wide variety of others, and the same holds true for enlarging lenses.
     
  22. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    If a lens that reaches best performance at a wider aperture is always better then wouldn't the 40mm f/5.6 Zeiss be a bad lens? Or does it also have to do with magnification factors? Also what if the best performance of one lens at say f/5.6 is worse than the Leitz at f/6--wouldn't it still be outperformed by the Leitz? I have never experienced such massive diffraction as you are talking about with a 50mm enlarger lens (granted I use them at f/5.6-8)

    I'm not meaning to be argumentative, but I'm working on <2 hours of sleep and I am not following the logic.
     
  23. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Hi Ed

    sorry to open old discussions,
    but on a previous thread, you suggested that if one focuses an enlarging lens wide open and notices the edges unsharp of the easel, all one would have to do is close down the apeture and the edges would *snap* into focus.
    Since that discussion I have consumed quantities of beer to wrap my head around that statement .
    Are you of the same opinion?????
    If so I will drink some more beer and try to understand.
     
  24. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    Ed Dig up a copy of Post Exposure By Ctein. He has a chapter devoted to enlatging lenses and testing. I agree that an enlarging lens is just like a camera lens. They are just designed to work at different magnification ratios. It is NOT my opinion that enlarging lenses that work well in the 4-5.6 range are poor at all other stops. In fact some of them work fairly nicely wide open. I would also imagine that many photographers that work with glassless carrriers may, when there is a goodly amount of detail at the edges and corners may prefer an aperture of at least f8. I neither fault no criticize anyone for whatever methodology they want to use.

    How much difference f4, for instance, there is with f8, for the second instance, is going to also depend on other factors. How much details is in the negative, how well is the enlarger aligned, what is the light source, how big is the resulting print are some of the factors involved.

    It is worth remembering that with an 8x magnification that the effective f stop is f 36 if the lens is set at f4.

    As far as the S-Biogon is concerned it does not have an aperture. Secondarily, both lenses were desinged to have their best performance for reproduction rations from 15-70x. This is well outside of normal parameters.
    I have not used either lens. Zeiss states that these two lenses, used at these magnification ratios, will significantly out perform anything on the worlds market.

    I have high regards for both Leitz and Zeiss....among others.
     
  25. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Hi.
    Sounds to me to be a terrible oversimplification of what I must have written. That statement is not necessarily true at an *absolute* level.

    In operation, we use the Grain Focuser with the Aperture wide open, to minimize the effect of "depth of focus" - in this case a we want everything to "snap" into focus - as much as possible. Closing down the aperture will increase the depth of focus ... making the "best" focus more difficult to determine.

    If something on the borders of the field is not sharply "in focus" to start ... it will not NECESSARILY be corrected, invariably and always, by using a smaller aperture. There will be correction TO A DEGREE of "curvature of field" and "perpendicularity to optical axis" errors ... but not compete enough to say "everything will snap into focus" without reservation.

    But ... I'm not averse to quaffing a pint or two at times.
     
  26. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Uh ... well I don't know if Magnification range would be the "best" way to describe what happens ... but .. OK. The more prominent difference is that between a "Capture" lens, and a "Projection" lens.

    I didn't take it that way, or did I say that either. I replied to the idea of a lens (of that approximate focal length) being "Diffraction Limited" at so large an aperture. I did "side comment" that some here are overly sensitive to enlarging lens "errors" - more than they are about camera lenses.

    Agreed.

    Woof!! You just lost me. The f/stop is defined as the ratio of (I'll grind fine here) the aperture-to-film distance divided by the aperture diameter: f/stop = f/d. The magnification ratio has nothing to do with it directly. There are tables that indicate the "effective aperture" change from "marked" apertures (at infinity) due to the increase in aperture-to-film distance in close-up photography; using magnfication as a result of focal distance, but they are calculated on the original "f/d". I don't think that is as simple as "magnification ratio times marked f/stop."

    So ... ???