Help me decide amongst these enlarging lenses!

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by JeffD, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. JeffD

    JeffD Member

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    I am in the enviable postion of having too many enlarging lenses. I currently have an ancient Beseler 4x5 enlarger. I own a 150mm EL-Nikkor 5.6 lens, a 135mm Schneider Componon-S 5.6 lens, and a Schneider 80mm Componon-S 4.0 lens.

    Recently I won an auction on a Saunders 4500 VCCE outfit (yeah!), and it comes with a whole batch of lenses:

    Rodenstock Rogonar-S 1:4.5 f=105mm; Rodenstock Rodagon 1:5.6 f=105mm; Rodenstock-Omegaron 1:4.5 f=150mm; Rodenstock-Omegaron 1:3.5 f=50mm and El Nikkor 1:2.8 f=50mm

    The lenses from the auction are pictured here:
    http://i18.ebayimg.com/02/i/07/c3/82/3e_3.JPG


    Here is my question: I don't do much 35mm, but just in case, I guess I'll hang on to the 50mm lenses. 90% of my work is in 4x5, with a bit of medium format occasionally.
    Which of the lenses above, would you hang on to, and why?

    I don't know much about the Rodenstock lenses, and how they compare to my current lenses, although, I have liked the results from my 150mm Nikkor lens.
     
  2. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    I've had an Omegaron 150 and it was a sweet lens, sharp and contrasty. Can't say much about the others except to say the EL Nikors have a good reputation. Maybe you should try making some test prints with them and see which one has the right feel for your work.
     
  3. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    The Rodagon, Componon S, and El Nikkor lenses are all better lenses than the Rogonor or Omegaron lens. The differences between the first three listed are slight and you will probably notice very slight differences, if at all, between them. I own all three of these as well as one Omegron lens that I have never used.

    The Omegaron is an entry level lens.
     
  4. raucousimages

    raucousimages Member

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    If you want to keep only three:

    Nikkor 150
    Schneider 80
    Nikkor 50

    A fourth would be the 105 Rodagon

    I would dump the Omegarons but all the others are great lenses

    I am a big fan of Rodagons.
     
  5. rjas

    rjas Member

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    I just recieved the 50mm El-Nikkor 2.8N and its sharp and contrasty, alot more than I was expecting from such a cheap lens. If you've made your choice and aren't looking to keep any, post the ones you wanna get rid of up here. I need a 105mm for the occasional smaller print.
     
  6. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Do you have to get rid of any? -)

    The 150mm would be my first choice for 4x5. Unless you need to make really big prints that push your enlarger. Then the 135mm.

    The 80mm is the choice for 6x6.

    The Rodenstock Rodagon 1:5.6 f=105mm for 6x9

    The Nikon f/2.8 50mm is fine for 35mm.

    The only of the above I might get rid of is the 135mm.
     
  7. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

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    The Componons, Rodagons, and Nikkors you mentioned are all top quality lenses. Keep all of them, and sell off the Rogonars and Omegarons.
     
  8. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    What Donald said.
     
  9. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Printing with them is undoubtedly the answer, but assuming all live up to their reputations and match my own experiences, I would keep:

    The 150 Nikkor and 80 componon s you already have.
    Add Nikkor 5o and poss the 105 rodagon assuming you are not desperate for the cash gained by selling them.

    The same as raucous then!
     
  10. ronlamarsh

    ronlamarsh Member

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    To keep

    I would agree with the others as to keeping the componon-s rodagon etc. and agree you won't see much difference.
    The rogonar-s is a good lens, I havew this one in a 150mm version and can say I can not tell the difference betwee it and my 135mm componon-s. I have also enlarged with other componon-s lenses at another darkroom run by a picky professional and I couldn't tell the difference between my 150mm roganar- and his 135mm componon-s....neither could he.
    Bottom line is the Roganar-s is listed on the rodenstock site as an entry level lens, but it is the highest quality entry level lens you'll find, 4 lelments and highly corrected with an optimum enlarging range of up to 6X at 4X is the recomended ratio by rodenstock just happens to be 16X20 from a 4X5 neg.
     
  11. doc4x5

    doc4x5 Member

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    keep the six element lenses

    I agree with the others and would get rid of the omegarons and rogonar. The bad news is that you'll not get much money for them. Perhaps you could donate them to a school program or deserving young analog photographer.

    While with small ratio enlargements you'll not see a great difference, why enlarge with less than the best if you don't need to. The 105 Rodagon is great for all medium format when supersize is not important. It is likely no better, or worse than the 80 you have, just better coverage. I use a 105 el-nikkor for all my 6x6 and 6x7 work. It is comparable to the rodagon, but I do not make huge enlargements.

    I have a 150 componon-s for 4x5 for the same reason, no huge enlargements and probably more even coverage than a 135 though I've not done the tests.

    The el-nikkor 50 is a classic for 35mm enlarging and I still have mine though it's been years since I enlarged any 35 film. The old debates between the 135 vs 150 for 4x5 are equal to those between the 80 and 105 for medium format. With those lenses you've got it all, more than strictly necessary, but nice. Print away!

    Eric
     
  12. JeffD

    JeffD Member

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    Disapointment

    Most all the lenses that arrived with the enlarger were in awful shape. The Rogonar-S is full of fungus, or what I think is fungus. The others look like they were played with by a small child with slobber all over his hands. Oh well. Thanks for the comments.

    I'll probably be using my big EL-Nikkor 150mm most of the time, anyway, and I love the Saunders 4500 enlarger itself, which is in great shape. Go figure.

    So, I'll probably be keeping my componon-s 135mm. Only down side is it has 42mm threads, and I can't find a lensboard online that fits the 4500 series enlarger with this somewhat odd thread size.

    Any ideas?