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fred
12-29-2005, 08:47 AM
Dear all,

Not being a specialist in this matter, and not that is matters too much, now using a Nikon 50mm 2.8, only curious... :)

I purchased another M805 and with the enlarger there is also the apo rodagon 2.8 50mm (not the recent N version) enlarger lens.

How do you judge this lens comparing with the Nikon??

Many thanks!
Fred

David A. Goldfarb
12-29-2005, 09:48 AM
It's probably a better lens, but you have both of them in hand, so you tell us!

I have a 50/2.8 Apo-Rodagon, and I think it's sharper than the Componon-S that it replaced.

Bob Carnie
12-29-2005, 11:31 AM
I use this lens , for all my 35mm work , I have 5 of them and I cannot tell the difference between . I also have a 2.8 schneider and find it not being used . I am very comfortable with all the apo rodagon lenses in their different formats and these are the lenses I use .

br549
01-06-2006, 07:32 AM
I've been using a Rodagon APO 50 for a short period of time and I must admit something was alittle "off" with my prints. So the other night I made an 8x10 print from a negative with detail throughout and grain was evident, left everything setup and changed enlarging lenses only. I went from the Rodagon APO to an El-Nikkor 50 2.8. I used 5.6 on both lenses and found the El-Nikkor passed more light so I had to cut exposure time from 14 seconds to 10 seconds to match print density. I also discovered the print from the El-Nikkor is noticeably sharper than the print from the Rodagon APO!! The grain and detail is crisp in the Nikkor print and the grain and detail in the print from the Rodagon isn't quite there. Having the prints side by side makes the difference very obvious. I'm surprised by the results.

Bob Carnie
01-06-2006, 09:18 AM
Regarding the above test

Are using a glass carrier?
Did you grain focus between mounting of the second lens??
Are both apetures the same?

I have both lenses you speak of and my observations are completely different re: sharpness.

srs5694
01-06-2006, 12:36 PM
I've seen many claims that the sample-to-sample variation within single enlarging lens models is greater than the difference between high-quality models. Thus, it's entirely possible that br549 simply has a good Nikon and a poor Rodagon, whereas Bob's got a good Rodagon and a poor Nikon.

Bob Carnie
01-06-2006, 12:54 PM
good point

Ronald Moravec
01-06-2006, 01:02 PM
I used a borrowed Apo Rodagon and it was very sharp, but the prints lacked a certain look that the Schneider and Leica enlarging lenses give.

My all time favorite is the second version 4.5 Focotar with the large front element. The first version is somewhat of a dog larger than 7x mag. The very last Focotar 2 is sharp with the Leica look, but the field is not as flat as the Schneider designed version two requiring some stopping down. The middle version can be used fully open.

At one point I tested a 100mm Schneider against the rare 100mm Focotar 2. They were very close if not identical.

br549
01-06-2006, 02:24 PM
When I ran the test I did not use a glass carrier. The aperture was f5.6 on both lenses and I did a careful focus check prior to making each print. To confirm what I found I used the Nikkor and made prints from negatives I'd recently printed with the Rodagon and the Nikkor prints had the bite the Rodagon prints did not have. The difference isn't obvious unless the prints are placed side by side. I was very surprised by the results given the reputation of the Rodagon.

baronfoxx
01-08-2006, 08:07 PM
My all time favorite is the second version 4.5 Focotar with the large front element. The first version is somewhat of a dog larger than 7x mag. The very last Focotar 2 is sharp with the Leica look, but the field is not as flat as the Schneider designed version two requiring some stopping down. The middle version can be used fully open.

At one point I tested a 100mm Schneider against the rare 100mm Focotar 2. They were very close if not identical.[/QUOTE]

baronfoxx
01-08-2006, 08:21 PM
My all time favorite is the second version 4.5 Focotar with the large front element. The first version is somewhat of a dog larger than 7x mag. The very last Focotar 2 is sharp with the Leica look, but the field is not as flat as the Schneider designed version two requiring some stopping down. The middle version can be used fully open.

At one point I tested a 100mm Schneider against the rare 100mm Focotar 2. They were very close if not identical.[/QUOTE]

I also use a Focotar which is a 40mm f2.8 mounted on a V35 enlarger and find it to be superior to the Nikon and Schneider lens.
some time ago on a Leica newsgroup tests showed that the only lens to beat the above Leica lens was the 40mm Apo Rodagon and these seem to be rearer than hens teeth.

df cardwell
01-08-2006, 08:48 PM
When the 40 Focotar came out, many were ... unsatisfactory to those who were used to the Focotar 2. I was confused over this: why wasn't I getting the results I hoped for with the new Focomat ? Working in a camera shop frequented by some astonishing photographers, I asked one fellow about this. He said his "Parisian photo agency" had thrown out all the 40 focotars and replaced them with 50 Apo Rodagons. And I did too.Well, I SOLD my 40 ! The 50 cam was available then, and I haven't looked back. I did replace the Apo Rodagon with the N version years later, when I had a job to produce a show of 16x20s for a client, from Rodinal and Tri X, and found the new version had better, pinpoint acutance across the field at f/4.0 - 5.6. A pretty severe test, working often at 20x enlargements. Vacuum easel... all that. No difference in making 12 x prints.

Years passed, and now I've got a row of enlargers in the basement. There is an Apo El Nikkor, whose surly disposition is about a full paper grade contrastier that the best from schneider or rodenstock; a handful of El Nikkors from a defunct color sep house in Detroit ( apparently hand picked from Nikon, and just astonishing lenses, the EL Nikkor 50 is as good as the Apo Rodagon 50 ) and a few other examples.

All of this boiled down to this: with the sole exception of the Apo El Nikkors, a new Apo Schneider or Rodenstock are the best you can find, and equalled only by over achievers from Nikon, Minolta or Fuji. And unless you are at the limits of the their designed range, in a perfectly aligned enlarger with glass carriers, you won't see that superiority. generally speaking, the more recent the design, the better the lens. And for every under-performer, there is an over achiever.

For something mundane, like 120 portraiture, or 4x5 landscapes, a c '50s Ektar or '60s Componon is splendid.

Zathras
01-10-2006, 12:40 AM
Dear all,

Not being a specialist in this matter, and not that is matters too much, now using a Nikon 50mm 2.8, only curious... :)

I purchased another M805 and with the enlarger there is also the apo rodagon 2.8 50mm (not the recent N version) enlarger lens.

How do you judge this lens comparing with the Nikon??

Many thanks!
Fred

I have two older Rodagons, not the N style. One is an APO Rodagon and the other is a regular Rodagon of the same vintage. These are both extremely nice lenses, that blow any 50mm f2.8 Nikkor I've usd out of the water. Of course this is only my opinion and it is very subjective. I'm not trashing EL Nikkors, I've owned and used them and they can be awesome, but I like my two Rodagons better.

About a year ago, I got hold of a pristine Focotar-2 fairly cheaply, less than $150.00. This lens is a monster. I did not believe that that anthing could be better than my Rodagons, but this thing beats any other 50mm I've ever used. It now lives on my 1c.

Unfortunately, I live 40 miles away from my darkroom, :( so there are times when I need to use a nearby rental or school darkroom, and I'll use one of the Rodagons when I need to print, but can not get to my own darkroom. The Rodagons have never let me down.