What can you tell me about a Voss 75mm f/3.5 lens?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Poohblah, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. Poohblah

    Poohblah Member

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    Long story short, I'm looking for a cheap 75mm or 80mm enlarging lens in standard threaded mount. I found an inexpensive Voss 75mm f/3.5 lens, but I can't find any info on it. Can anybody tell me anything about it, specifically if it is a standard 39mm threaded mount?

    I'm not too concerned about optical quality since the lens will be used for 6x6 Holga negs.

    EDIT: perhaps I have spoken too soon. I've done a little more thorough Google search and lots of people are badmouthing the Voss lenses. What, specifically, are its flaws?
     
  2. E76

    E76 Member

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    I use one at school and it seems to work well stopped down to f/11 or so. Wide open, however, it experiences heavy light falloff. The optical quality seems decent, but I have nothing to compare it to. Unfortunately, cheap enlarging lenses are all the department can afford.

    EDIT: The lens does have a threaded mount and I'm pretty sure it's 39mm, but I've never measured it.
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I had a 50mm Voss lens and it was dreadful--just not a sharp lens. I used it for years before I realized what an improvement a good lens would be. Good enlarging lenses are cheap these days. Any 6-element EL-Nikkor, Schneider Componon-S, or Rodenstock Rodagon will be way better.
     
  4. Poohblah

    Poohblah Member

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    thanks.
     
  5. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    Something to think about.....a Voss or similar might be something to have in your enlarging lens arsenal. Given your interest in toy cameras, you'd think that the Voss might be fine. It is probably not a big deal for image sharpness (how much worse could it be.....turn it from a Holga to Diana image?). What it will also so is make the grain unsharp. For me, that would be bad (I like sharp grain). For you, that might be fine. I just checked ebay and it looks like you can get a decent older lens (Nikkor, Schneider, etc) for $30-ish.
     
  6. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    I had nothing to do with it!!
     
  7. Poohblah

    Poohblah Member

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    Mark, I did think of that, and quite frankly I have to agree with you. I'm going to try to find a nicer enlarging lens, hopefully I won't spend too much.
     
  8. MarkS

    MarkS Member

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    Voss was the lens that came with Bogen enlarger kits in the early '70s. My Bogen "22 Special" came with a 50mm and a 75mm. (My high-school graduation present!) Around 1976 I paid $45 for a 50/4 EL-Nikkor and was astounded at the improvement in my prints. Enlarger lenses are cheap these days, find a Schneider Componon or EL-Nikkor in good shape and don't look back.
     
  9. Loren Sattler

    Loren Sattler Subscriber

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    Different experience here

    In the 1970's I bought a used Bogen 22 enlarger that also came with Voss lenses. After a couple of years, I tried to upgrade my printing by purchasing a new 50mm Rodagon lens for $130. (if my memory is right). I was very disappointed with my purchase. I could not see the difference between the inexpensive Voss and the very expensive Rodagon in the prints. I still use the Rodagon occasionally today, but seldom shoot 35mm. Most of my time is spent with medium format.

    Enlarging lenses are so cheap these days that I would buy a top rated lens and expect to pay $30. to $50.
     
  10. phenix

    phenix Member

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    Being a triplet, for enlargement it has no use.
    Instead, it makes an excellent magnifier for prints. For film, I use a similar 50mm lens. As a magnifier, works better when looking through the front.
     
  11. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    [
    I'm not too concerned about optical quality since the lens will be used for 6x6 Holga negs.
    ***********
    It's 39 mm. But what difference does it make, if you are printing Holga negs?
    Pay no more than five dollars for it.
     
  12. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    A Voss lens almost stopped me before I got started, it was blurrrrry and could not make a projected image, period, that's p e r i o d. I don't know why the lenses were made in the first place.
    .

    This story echos probably thousands of similar experiences. I too had a Bogen enlarger, that's where I got my Voss lens, in an enlarger kit. It was when I dumped it and got an Omega B600 that I bought a 75mm El Nikkor lens. Like the story goes, it was an astounding improvement.

    I don't consider it bad mouthing, rather it's a public service.