Enlarger lens help?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Darkroom317, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

    Messages:
    614
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    University o
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I am looking at 2 50mm enlarging lenses. One is a 50mm Rodenstock Rodagon f/4. The other one is a 50mm Fujinon-EX f/2.8. Which one is the better lens? I can hardly find any information on the Rodagon.
     
  2. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,193
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Pick the one with the least amount of haze or fungus. If they are both clear I'd go for the Fujinon EX. The extra aperture can aid in composing and focusing.
     
  3. monodave

    monodave Member

    Messages:
    55
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    Location:
    Peak Distric
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    The best way is to try them before you decide. I have several Rodenstock Rodagons and they are all good lenses but I know there are variations even between similar lenses of the same model.
     
  4. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

    Messages:
    779
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've used Rodenstock and Fuji and both are excellent. I doubt you will notice the difference. I just attached a Schneider Componon-S lens to my friends enlarger who has been using a no-name plastic enlarger lens and even then the difference is minimal. When you're using high-end enlarger lenses such as Rodenstock, Schneider, Fuji, Leitz, etc. the big difference will be in HOW you print/enlarge/focus as well as the negative quality in question. I wouldn't worry too much about these lenses and would probably go with the Fujinon for the extra f-stop as long as it's clear of haze and fungus.

    I notice you also shoot medium format. Why not dump extra money and get an APO 80mm or 90mm lens? That's what I chose to do and I just use my 90mm APO Rodagon f4.0 lens for 35mm and medium format. It's nicer to be closer to the paper with the 50mm and use shorter exposure times, but I'm okay with that.
     
  5. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

    Messages:
    614
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    University o
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I have an 75mm Fuji lens that I think is an EX. I am happy with it so I am leaning towards the Fujinon but it is twice as expensive as the Rodensotck. I tried to print 35mm with the medium format lens but i could not get an 8 x 10 out it. The colum would not go high enough. I just want to make sure that I get a good lens. Also, I am on a college art student budget.
     
  6. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

    Messages:
    4,250
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    Location:
    Central Flor
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Are you sure it's a Rodagon 50mm f/4? I know Rodenstock makes Rodagon in 50mm but it's f/2.8. 80mm Rodagon, on the other hand is f/4. This may be why you are having trouble finding any information on it.

    When buying a used enlarger lens, one of the factor to be really concerned about is condition of the lens. There are so many examples of "mint" lens out there that has awful fungus and haze inside. (I got one!)

    I know nothing about Fuji but Rodagon is a well repsected top-level lens short of APO version of the same lens.
     
  7. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

    Messages:
    614
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    University o
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
  8. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

    Messages:
    4,250
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    Location:
    Central Flor
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Interesting.... I did NOT know that.
     
  9. fschifano

    fschifano Member

    Messages:
    3,216
    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Location:
    Valley Strea
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    How big do you plan to print? If you're limited to printing 11x14 and smaller, I doubt you're going to see any difference between the two lenses unless one is a real dog and all hazed up. I have several examples of 50 mm enlarging lenses, and even the most lowly of them, a 50 mm f/4 El-Nikkor, produce very good to excellent results when you keep the maximum print size modest.
     
  10. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,193
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    In that case, go with the Rodagon.

    Unlike the Nikkor 50mm f4 (which is a budget 4-element lens), the Rodagon 50mm f4 is should be budget 6-element lens. Made just for a poor college student! (I have no proof of it being 6-element, though).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2010
  11. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

    Messages:
    614
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    University o
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Didn't see that coming. I just bought a Schneider Componon-S 50mm f/2.8 from the B&H used department.
     
  12. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,193
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  13. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

    Messages:
    614
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    University o
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Thanks

    I always stop down to print anyway and use it wide open to focus and compose.

    I can't wait to use this lens. I have a lot of beautiful negatives from New Mexico that I haven't been able to print.
     
  14. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

    Messages:
    1,954
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    One alternative is to buy both and sell the one you don't want.

    I have used some enlarging lenses that are not very good. Rodagons are hard to beat. I read that there is variability lens to lens, so if can get a good deal used, buy them both and see for yourself.
     
  15. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

    Messages:
    770
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Leiden, Neth
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I've used the Rodagon 50mm f/4 for 15 years. Only recently I changed to a Rodagon 50mm f/2.8 APO.

    I see absolutely no difference.

    (I only do b&w, stop down to f/5,6-f/8 and go no bigger than 12x16).
     
  16. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

    Messages:
    614
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    University o
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I just got the lens. It doesn't have illuminated f-stops and lacks the f-stop memory lever. What can you guys tells me about this lens?
     
  17. fschifano

    fschifano Member

    Messages:
    3,216
    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Location:
    Valley Strea
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have one and I think it's an older model but it is an outstanding performer nonetheless.
     
  18. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

    Messages:
    1,300
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Ca
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  19. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,193
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The MTF and technical data of the most current Componon-S should be the same for your lens, even though it is in the older barrel.

    Even though it is a fantastic top-of-the-line lens, it can get blurry on the corners with high magnification (20x and up). They make the APO High Magnification 45 to use in those cases.