Recommend MF enlarger lens?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by jrong, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. jrong

    jrong Member

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    I have a Durst M670 enlarger, and a Rodenstock Rodagon 50mm f2.8 lens which I love. I now want to get myself an enlarger lens that can enlarge my 6x6 negatives -- but would like to take some recommendations as to which lens to look for. I am trawling eBay...

    Any opinions on the Rodenstock Ysaron 75mm? That's not a lens that comes up often...

    Thanks.
    Jin
     
  2. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    I'm currently using an 80/4 Schneider Componon-S and I have no complaints.
     
  3. raucousimages

    raucousimages Member

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    Rodenstock Rodagon 80mm or 105mm
     
  4. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Meopta Anaret-S 80mm here...
     
  5. jrong

    jrong Member

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    I wish I could find the Meopta Anaret on eBay!
     
  6. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  7. mikeg

    mikeg Member

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    I really like my El Nikkor 80mm f/5.6.

    Mike
     
  8. Imke

    Imke Member

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  9. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

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    This is a great time to be buying these... With a little patience, you should be able to get a 6 element Componon-S, Rodagon or Nikon for a very good price. I think most people would agree that sample to sample variations are likely greater than differences between these three choices. If you're already a Rodagon fan, look for one of those. I've used the 80mm in various versions and they've all been exceptional.
     
  10. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    I don't know about the Meopta Anaret 80mm specifically, but I do see Meopta lenses on eBay from time to time. I see a Belar 55mm, a Belar 75mm, and an Anaret 105mm right now. If for some reason you wanted an Anaret 80mm specifically, you could set up a search and check back every now and again. You might have to wait a while, but you'd probably eventually get it.

    I don't happen to own any Meopta gear, but I hear that some of their enlargers and lenses used a 25mm mount. Thus, you might need a 25mm-to-39mm adapter to use such a lens on an enlarger that provides a 39mm mount.
     
  11. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    Ditto

    David
     
  12. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    I've only really used three enlarging lenses; a 50mm/2.8 El-Nikkor (older), an 80mm/f5.6 (older too) and a 135mm/f5.6 Fujinon EX..

    My sample of the 80mm El-Nikkor just isn't as sharp and contrasty as the 135mm Fujinon EX. Just my own personal observation, i'm sure the 80mm el-nikkor is a killer.
    Mine just isn't very impressive. The 50mm however is superb. *shrug*

    I'm more than likely going to replace it with a 105mm el-nikkor. Or similar fujinon ex.

    Anyone have any experience with the old(er) Kodak Enlarging Ektar/Ektanons ?
    I've a soft spot for the good kodak glass between the years of 1940 and 1979..
     
  13. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    Agree with other postings - I have been more than satisfied with my El-Nikkors (50, 80 105) and Rodagon (150). The Ysaron (if I recall correctly) is a 4-element lens computed for amateur use (smaller prints). As others say, enlarging lenses are very cheap right now, no reason to settle for anything less than 6 elements.
     
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  15. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I would recommend the Apo Rodagon 4.5 90mm lens , this is by far my favorite lens for mf negatives and gives great coverage for 6x8 or 6x9 negatives.
     
  16. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    Is there a reference anywhere for the number of elements / groups for these enlarger lenses?

    I currently have a 80mm f5.6 Companon - S, but I'm not terribly inspired to be honest (nothing too horrible, just doesn't seem as crisp as my 50mm Nikkor f2.8) and am considering moving to an f4 or another make.
     
  17. nihraguk

    nihraguk Member

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    To my knowledge the f5.6 version of the 80mm Componon-S is not the 6 element version. Go for the f4 version instead.
     
  18. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    I went Googling for this. I only found two relevant sites:

    • This page has data on some Soviet enlargers and lenses. (The lens information is at the bottom of the page.) Oddly, some Soviet enlarger lenses seem to be 5-element designs, which I've not heard of from Japan or Germany. Speaking of Soviet lenses, I hear that the Industar-90U is a very good 75mm lens, but I don't have any personal experience with it.
    • This page describes enlarger lens theory and has information on a number of short enlarger lenses (for subminiature work), including number of elements. Unfortunately for this discussion, the table tops out at 39mm lenses.

    I'd certainly be interested in a site that summarizes ~50mm and/or ~75-80mm lenses.
     
  19. juanito

    juanito Member

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    I have an APO Rodagon 80mm f4 with my M 670 enlarger and I really love it. It takes out every detail of your MF negative.
     
  20. JosBurke

    JosBurke Member

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    I have only a Rodagon 105 5,6 mm and a Componon-S 100 5,6 mm for MF that provide plenty of coverage but I really tend to prefer the Rodagon as I have a 150 Rodagon that is noticably superior to my 135 Comparon for 4x5. I have none of the APO versions and enlarge only B&W (as yet) on a Durst L-184. And since this is an 8x10 enlarger my 8x10 lens is , you guessed it, a 300 5,6 Rodagon. I really like those Rodagons!!
    Joseph Burke
     
  21. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    David, I used to have an Omega B7 that I bought new with a 50mm f4 Componon and a 90mm Ektar..approximately 1967, with focussing tracks. For that period of time I believe that it was competetive with any of the other lenses that were available. In fact, I believe, that Kodak's lenses were as good as any other firms when they were still offering them. My understanding is that Hasselblad swiyched from kodak to Zeiss lenses for economic reasons not not quality issues. Kodak used to offer such good equipment for the darkroom..I still have two process thermometers and a thermostatic valve.
     
  22. avandesande

    avandesande Member

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    Anyone familiar with the FUJINON-EP 1:56/90?
     
  23. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    I'm never used a Fujinon enlarger lens, but from what I've read on the Internet, there are three classes of these lenses. The lowest grade is, IIRC, the ES, which are 4-element designs. The EP and EX are both 6-element designs, but only the EX is multi-coated. The EX lenses are reputed to be comparable in quality to Componons, 6-element El Nikkors, etc. Again, though, this is based on what I've read about these lenses, not personal experience.
     
  24. doc4x5

    doc4x5 Member

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    Most people will tell you that whatever lens they use is the best. I use a Nikkor 105 for 6x6 and 6x7. I like the extra coverage with the slightly longer focal length. I never go larger than 16x16 inches from 6x6, an 8x enlargement. Realistically, unless you do HUGE enlargements, or crop viciously, any of the six element high quality lenses from Nikon, El Nikkor, Schneider, Componon-S, or Rodenstock, Rodagon or Apo-Rodagon, will give you great quality. I suspect that individual variation or enlarger misalignment is a bigger variable than basic lens quality.
     
  25. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    I have an EX version of the Fujinon and use it for 35mm enlarging when the print size is real small.

    As far as I know of the Fujinon, not only the 90mm lens, but with the 50mm as well, it's the opposite of Nikkor, which I posted a similar comment on another thread.

    It's safe to say Fujinon produces less grainy pictures, but I had to add that that has to do with the contrast setting of the filters also. Fujinon is good with Fuji contrast filters, and Nikkor with Ilford. You can play around, find more about it, and give us a report.

    With the kind of negs I have, for 95 percent of the time I use a Nikkor 63mm. But with poor quality negs, I play with the Fujinon and that's better as a choice. So, what I expect on the Fujinon, I can't have with the Nikkor.

    If you're happy with Nikkor lenses, stick to what you have and get backups. If you want something really new and different to you, Fujinon lenses can be handy.
     
  26. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    Let's start with focal length. Although you will only be doing 6X6 negative at first, you may want to consider a lens that will cover the full 6X7 frame. In that case, you would want a lens in the 90 to 105mm range. The longer focal length limits the maximum size of the print you can make, however, so you need to look at how high you can raise the enlarger head. For an 8X enlargement to a 20 inch wide image, you will need about 33 inches for a 105mm lens, 28 inches for a 90mm, and 25 inches for an 80mm (normal for 6X6). In general, get the longest focal length you can live with.

    As for brands, both Rodenstock (Rodagon) and Schneider (Companon) make excellent enlarging lenses. I suspect, judging from their other lenses, that the Fujinon enlarging lenses would also be excellent. Nikon (EL-Nikor) is also very good, and some of their older (but not too old, say 70s and 80s) products were outstanding. Bought new, a good enlarging lens can be expensive. But many are now available on the used market at very low prices. With the market the way it is, stay with the top quality brands mentioned above.