EL-Nikkor vs. Componon-S
Of the Schneider lenses that I have or have handled and used, it seems that many under careful inspection, the edges of the elements have small dots that show up. Not sure if this is schniederitis or just the black edge paint wearing off. Never tested if it causes any slight problems when printing as I never had two copies of the same lens with and without the dots. Probably a non issue.
I've heard of that on the LF lenses, but this is the first time I've heard of that on the enlarging lenses.
I just checked my 150 and the dots are there on the edge of the elements.
that is my experience too.
Originally Posted by Lukas_87
The modern apo enlarging lenses like Apo Rodagon N or the Schneider equivalent will indeed perform
significantly better in terms of sharpness and internal contrast than a Componon S, El Nikkor, or conventional Rodagon, though these regular lenses can be excellent for general use. But you can't generalize much beyond this. Within all these particular series, some lenses were better than others
for certain usages. Schneideritis is essentially an edge paint issue, and rarely affects performance,
but might be an indication of the amt of use a lens has had.
Even the statement about significantly better performance of so-called Apo lens (because none of them except for the apo-el-nikkor are really apochromatic design) is huge generalization.
Enlarger lens test begin on page 77 if I remember correctly.
Not a generalization whatsoever. And not just marketing hype either. I own and use quite a variety of these lenses, and have owned various others in the past. And baloney that they aren't apo except the Apo El Nikkor. I have a whole suite of regular Apo Nikkors, and they are mfg to higher color standards than dedicated enlarger lenses, just with smaller max apertures. Yes, I'm aware of my friend Ctein's opinion of the Apo El based on tests way back when - but he doesn't own or use one of those either. They are simply too heavy for most enlargers, and frankly, overkill for most applications. Too much MTF and you actually start picking out tiny blemishes in negative carrier, on the film, etc. Too much of a good thing. But they are currently prized by folks who need a highly corrected lens for scanning backs for copying paintings etc, and do well enough at it to afford that kind of thing.
One aspect of the Componon-S range that I like is the 'stop-down' lever function that lets you jump between your working aperture and wide open. Great for checking focus, repositioning easel, etc
Yes the only real differences are the ergonomics with these more recent lenses. they all perform quite well for enlarging in the darkroom, and it just depends if you like to turn to the left or the to the right to stop down, if you like illuminated numbers and what color you like them illuminated to, if you like the option to turn off half click stops and have a totally variable aperture, or if you like a full open/stop down lever for focusing (though you should always try to focus at the aperture you are exposing with to counter any focus shift).
If you really wanted to delve into it, I suggest googling up some macro tests, with color macro work on enlarger lenses you can see slight differences in the reproduction of images and colors which may be an indication to how well they are corrected. (then again you might be seeing sample variation from lens to lens)
Then again, you might just see some web artifacts, or read something unrelated to actual enlarging, or
more likely, encounter some pure BS, a role at which the web excels. Talk to someone who actually uses specific lenses for a specific application. "Sample variation" might make sense if something was
made in the 1940's, but quality control by the major manufacturers of top-end lenses has been quite
predictable for quite awhile now. Some offer more than one quality grade of enlarging lens, so that can sometimes be a factor. The Componon series has been around a long time, with some of the Componon
S preceding the modernization of Schneider, and some after.
sample variation was the biggest single source of product quality issues in the 1990s. that's why ysx sigma black-belt training is on the rise in all major corporations.