What would you do with the lens to control scene contrast? Say on a sunny day, or a cloudy day.
The lens is not the only thing that controls contrast, but I can't imagine ever buying a Leica Summar lens.
ntenny and E. von Hoegh, thanks, what I'm wondering, is based on Ralph's post, how is a lens used to control contrast? Lets say you have just one lens, either "antique" or "modern." What would be done with the lens to control contrast? And I don't mean swap out, I mean lens technique.
BTW, Nathan, I agree with E., the lens is really good. Mine is a No. 4 13", which I use on 8x10. That lens has no problem giving a lovely image on color or B&W. And yes, I use a compendium shade. Makes a view camera look like it has a real purpose! ;)
BTW, that lens on 4x5 will give you incredibly sharp (corner to corner) negatives. Show one to someone who just shelled out $$$$ for a brandy-new Apo-Something.:D
Remove the "protection UV filter" if one is present. They do add flare, in dire conditions especially.
If you work with a tripod, project a shade on the lens with your hand (or whatever) in such a way that the hand is not in the picture but the shade falls on the lens.
I think whoever originally said that contrast was "controlled" with the lens meant that it was affected by the characteristics of the lens, not that there are ways to change it by adjusting the lens. Hence my "replace it with a different one", which may have sounded like I meant something was wrong with the Busch lens---but if I wanted to change the contrast of the resulting negative, and I was limited to using the lens to do that, I'd do it by going and getting a lens with different contrast.
(Though I guess the couple of posts above, pointing out that flare affects contrast and so shades and aperture choice have effects, are right too.)
I do know this: with BW I find the difference to be not quite as apparent (adjust development, printing, etc) but with chromes I hugely can see a difference. One has a punch and the other looks dull, and when it's all said and done, I could compare the same scene with same conditions and film and clearly tell which one had better glass/coatings in relation to contrast. A side effect of a higher contrast lens is apparent sharpness too. Whether or not it's actually sharper isn't the issue, but the perceived sharpness because of the high contrast lens will definitely stand out.
EDIT: this is comparing two sets
First being the difference in chromes with a Minolta Hi-matic and my Pentax 50mm 1.4 -- clear and bright with the Pentax, much more subdued with the Minolta.
Second being when I went from a Fuji GW690 to my Mamiya 7II. Side by side on a light table, one doesn't take much observing to pick out which is which.