Focomat + focotar vs. magnifax + el nikkor

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by darkosaric, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Hi all,

    first disclaimer :smile: - test was done, but glass in negative carriers and glass on scanner are full of dust, so final print is far away from usual cleanness. Also focomat negative is not 100% - I must peal negative mask to show 110% percent of negative to be able to get black border around picture.

    But test is good enough to see difference: el nikkor has much more contrast, also you can see that in el nikkor (75mm f4) there is a little less resolution in details. Focotar (40mm f2.8) is lower in contrast, more details.

    Also what I noticed that focomat light is not very bright like magnifax, but I need to check later do I have original bulb in focomat.

    Here are the links:

    Focotar:

    http://darkosaric.deviantart.com/art/Focomat-test-339814019

    El nikkor:

    http://darkosaric.deviantart.com/art/el-nikkor-magnifax-test-339814179

    Focotar detail:

    http://darkosaric.deviantart.com/art/focomat-detail-339814222

    El nikkor detail:

    http://darkosaric.deviantart.com/art/el-nikkor-magnifax-detail-339814256

    edit: click 2 times on photos on links to see full size of photo.
    Film: efke 100, rodinal 1+100. Camera M6 + summicron 50mm type 3 + orange filter.

    regards,
    Darko
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2012
  2. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    Without being able to compare them side to side, I am going to stick my neck out here and say the Nikkor seems to have the edge, Especially in the detail shots. Contrast looks the same or possibly stronger on the Nikkor too.

    I use an LPL with a Nikkor and cannot fault it except when doing colour printing. On big enlargements there is always a bit of colour fringing where detail is visible against a blue sky. I would change it for an Apo Rodagon but really cannot justify the cost.

    I did improve the sharpness after I converted a glassless carrier with one piece of Anti Newton Ring glass from a 35mm slide mount which I fixed to the upper half of the carrier. This holds the negative very very flat indeed.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2012
  3. ooze

    ooze Member

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    Hi Darko,

    I would say the enlarger light source is another variable. I presume you are talking about the Focomat V35 and Magnifax with condenser head. In that case the V35's mixed diffuser/condenser light versus the Magnifax's purely condenser light might significantly factor into the equation.

    Regards,
    Omar
     
  4. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Yes, it is V35, and Magnifax with condenser head.
     
  5. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Did you also try the lenses stopped down to f8? I suspect they will be similar at that aperture.
     
  6. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    I did not - since focomat has not so bright light bulb - I used it on f2.8, and el nikkor was on f5.6.
     
  7. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    That should not be a surprise.
     
  8. Lukas_87

    Lukas_87 Member

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    Compare it with 2.8/50 mm EL-Nikkor. And both lens on their sharpest settings (should be around f/4-5.6).
    It's kind of unfair to compare 6 element lens designed for 36x24 mm frame against 4 element lens designed for medium format...
     
  9. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Yes, I should do that. But right now I can't - my el nikkor 50/2.8 is not available, being on another place at the moment.
     
  10. kobaltus

    kobaltus Member

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    I would also say that the enlarger light source is the most important variable here.It is old enlarger question: diffusion vs condenser. In Darko s test focomat scan has better tonality, magnifax scan has higher contrast. High contrast and blocked tones in magnifax scan are result of condenser lens quality. My Magnifax has better condensers than my old Krokus, but it does not reach the quality of condensers in my Leitz enlargers. With focomat 1, valoy or focomat 2 very sharp prints with beautiful tonality could be done. Very similar to contact print.
     
  11. georg16nik

    georg16nik Member

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    Leitz V35 uses hybrid light source. Its not diffuser nor condenser.
    For 35mm this is the most efficient approach and Leitz did spectacular job.
     
  12. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    I'm going to stick my neck out and comment without reference to tests. I have used a Leitz 40/2.8, 50/4.5 and El Nikkor 50/2.8. The 40/2.8 was the sharpest under the loupe. A clean late Leitz 50/4.5 and El Nikkor are similar. I have Leitz 50/4.5s which have lower contrast than the El Nikkor. Condition of the lens make a large difference. The older Leitz optics tend to not be as clean as a late model El Nikkor.
     
  13. Bigpaul

    Bigpaul Member

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    Thanks for your interesting post. My only experience with Leitz lenses is with a 50mm f4.5 Focatar 2, although my findings are broadly in line with yours here. Prior to getting the Focatar, my go-to lens for 35mm was a Minolta CE Rokkar 50mm f2.8. In comparison, the Focatar is slightly less contrasty, but does resolve just a tad more detail, and I significantly prefer the tonality to the much more "in your face" Minolta. I've used both lenses in Condenser (Focamat 1b) and Diffusion (Durst) enlargers, and have a similar preference for the Focatar in both.