in praise of the ur focotar

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by jpberger, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. jpberger

    jpberger Member

    Jun 13, 2009
    Vancouver Ca
    35mm RF
    I've been printing 35mm colour 6x8-8x10s in a darkroom where the main lens is a rodenstock f2.8 rodagon (not the apo)

    For kicks I brought along my grandpa's old leitz 5cm f/4.5 focotar code
    DOOCQ circa 1953 to see how it would compare.

    And I must say that even when comparing both lenses stopped down, there's something about the quality of the prints with the focotar that just seems nicer-- they have a little more snap somehow, nicer tonality, more pleasing contrast and I hate to say it, a Leica look (the negatives where all made with modern cv rangefinder lenses) Maybe I'm just high on blix fumes or something-- this is all pretty subtle.

    Anything to this?

    If so these lenses are a great bargain-- typically $150 or less on ebay for a pristine example with original box, extension tube and plastic storage bubble. The next generation focotars go for about 5 times that.

    I've read in another thread here that different enlarger lenses are optimized for different print sizes. I would assume that most people weren't making jumbo prints back in the 50s.