MF Enlarger lens

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by JeffWorsnop, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. JeffWorsnop

    JeffWorsnop Member

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    Having impulsively bought a Mamiya C330 plus lenses I now need an enlarger lens.
    Question is would there be a visible difference at 7 times enlargement between a Nikon75mm 4 element f4 lens and a Nikon 80mm 6 element f5.6 lens if used at optimum f number? This would be using FP4+ developed inID11 1+1 using a Meopta colour head and Ilford MG RC paper. I should add that I can discern a very slight difference between my Nikon 50mm 4 and 6 element lenses at 12 times enlargement but with these lenses the 6 element lens is faster than the 4 element.
    And Would I be right to assume no particular quality difference between Nikon, Meopta and Companon s 6 element lenses?
    Cheers

    Jeff
     
  2. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

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    I used an 80mm f4 Componon-S for enlarging 6x6 and 645 negs and it was very good. An f5.6 lens would probably be rather dim to focus by. Still, the 6 elemsnt lenses are almost certainly sharper.
     
  3. R gould

    R gould Member

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    I use a meopta 6 element lens, I have used both nikon and companon lenses and can find no differences at up to 12x16, However my favorite lens was a minolta E rokkar, which beat all of the above, sadly my darkroom floor is concrete, without a carpet, just tiles easier to clean up any spills, and one day whil'st changing the minolta it slipped, and concrete and fine glass do not mix very well, Richard
     
  4. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I have a Schneider Componon S f4/80 available for a reasonable price.
     
  5. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Here are my two cents. First of all, having tested more than 50 enlarger lenses, there is often more difference between the same type of lens than there is from brand to brand. Buy with an option to return, or you may end up with someone's reject.

    Having said that, in general, I would always prefer a 6-element lens to a 4-element lens. I'm not sure you will see a difference between the lenses you named under the conditions you stated, but 6-element lenses have some advantages.

    1. better correction for lens aberrations
    2. better performance wide open (more resolution in the corners)
    3. good performance over a wider enlarging range
    4. wider apertures are easier to focus with
    5. better contrast (this is what people often call 'sharpness')

    Go for a 6-element lens if you can. Used prices are at their lowest ever. Nikon, Schneider, Rodenstock and Meopta (yes Meopta!) are all very good. Some of the best lenses, I ever tested were labelled 'Durst'.
     
  6. JeffWorsnop

    JeffWorsnop Member

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    Hello Rick
    What is reasonable? And how much is postage to UK?
    Cheers
    Jeff
     
  7. JeffWorsnop

    JeffWorsnop Member

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    Thanks Ralph for your considered reply. What you say is pretty much along the lines of my thoughts and that variations within marques are as significant as variations between makes.
    Cheers

    Jeff
     
  8. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    I have a few copies of each lens you mention. Its noticable the positive effects of the better 6 element 80mm, but the 75mm is not very bad, actually quite nice for small portraits. As mentioned above with the way the prices are you can get many samples of the same lens for what one was going for new not too long ago. Get a few and test.
     
  9. JeffWorsnop

    JeffWorsnop Member

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    Not financially possible I regret to say. Which is why I am looking for advice before spending money.:sad:
     
  10. marcmarc

    marcmarc Member

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    If money is an issue then wait until it is not. Have a garage sale, cut back on some other expenses (like not eating out so often) etc until you can afford a six element lens. Like Mr. Lambrecht stated, enlarger lenses are dirt cheap these days so it shouldn't take too long. Having purchased a medium format camera as you did, you obviously care about image quality. Having a six element lens to enlarge these 6x6 negs is simply another link in the chain that leads up to your final prints. Think about it - why bother shooting such a fine camera as the C330 if you are going to compromise quality at the printing stage with a cheap lens? Save your money and buy a top notch lens; you'll be glad you did.
     
  11. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Marc's point about the image link cannot be overemphazised. See attached:
     

    Attached Files:

  12. JeffWorsnop

    JeffWorsnop Member

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    Thanks for advice. I agree entirely with the sentiments and will save up to get a 6 element lens. A seconhand Componon S f4 80mm would cost £80 nd a Meopta Meogan(spelling?) the same from the Real Camera shop in Manchester. So not dirt cheap from my point of view.
    As an aside I very very rarely eat out!! My only income is my pension and
    the sale of my 28-135 minolta lens has paid for the Mamiya and I guess I would only get a measly £15 for my Minolta 700si.
    Cheers
    Jeff
     
  13. r1ma

    r1ma Member

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    Maybe find an American to help? 2 months ago, I snatched an El-Nikkor 80/5.6 for less than $10
     
  14. marcmarc

    marcmarc Member

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    We're all feeling a money crunch these days Jeff. As mentioned any of the brands listed are good to go. Be sure to let us know which one you decide on (as well as post some examples of your work). Good luck.
     
  15. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Don't they make laws against that? That's borderline theft! :wink:
     
  16. Stregone

    Stregone Member

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    Think about it this way. This is something you will never have to replace...unless you buy a crappy one :smile: