Well for 20x24 yea I'd go with the APO.
Well for 20x24 yea I'd go with the APO.
Obviously you're getting a lot of opinions by people who haven't done critical testing. All the later Schneider,
Rodenstock, and Nikkor lenses will work well, but the premium Apo-Rodagon lenses will provide better fine gradation and a bit of extra sharpness. It's hardly worth it unless you're camera lenses and film are also equal to
the task, because 20X24 is quite a bit of enlargment for such a small negative. But if sheer crispness is what you're after, spending more and getting the apo lens will help. The only truly better enlarging lenses out there
are the Apo El Nikkors, which are dramatically more expensive, and I'm unaware of anything shorter than 105mm
in that series. I personally use a 150 Apo Rodagon for medium format, and it's conspicuously better than the
Compnon S lenses for both black and white and color use. It's also faster for all practical purposes (better corrected at max aperture or just one stop down).
Thanks Drew, I actually plan on printing as large as 40" x 40" so is there another lens besides an 80 I should be looking at for 6x6?
And I don't mind splurging on Apo glass, I want to do this purchase once....
Apo El-Nikkor is for you, then!
At those sizes the enlarger alignment is super critical. The alignment, the quality of the light, the condenser's performance at distributing light evenly, the stability... And then there is the dodging and burning, the filtering techniques, filter choices and so on. There are so many variables that in the end, you might be just fine with any high-quality lens. At that level, each little step is worth 1% and the Apo-Nikkor itself will only add 1% in quality.
These days I'm printing 16x20 FB prints. About 20 Prints per 5 hours session. From those 20 prints, I usually lose about 5 due to dry-down and overall unsatisfactory look (I want perfection). Everything plays a role for the perfect print: Even your mood while printing plays a bigger role then the enlarging lens. If you're somewhat tired while printing, believe me, you can end up throwing all your valuable prints in the garbage for having printed on a wrong Contrast filter the whole time. Even half a value can contribute to unsatisfactory results.
If I was you, I'd put a lot of time in building skills and on a great Focomat Ic enlarger, first.
By the waym where do you plan on getting 40" paper??
I am already turning out great prints, the mural sizes are for later as customers request them. Ilford makes mural paper in RC and fiber up to 56" wide by 98 feet in rolls. I will get the 80 Apo but printing larger may happen when I visit San Fran, they have a great rental darkroom I will use, Rayko Photo Center...
Damn, 40x40 is massive! I was printing some 11x14 FB today and forgot just how large that was. My goal one day is to print 16x20, which was obviously the reason for starting this thread. But space is an issue and all mistakes are just magnified more and ultimately cost more $$$ each time you mess up. I'm still not sure. I admire printers that print large.
Yeah, it is pretty big.
I am going to order a 42" x 98 foot roll of Warmtone fiber and have it shipped to my father in law in the bay area where he will store it for me. It's like $800 but gives me 28 = 42 x 42 inch print possibilities. Considering these would be small editions and and print to order, they will have a per unit cost of less than $100 each but go for upwards of 3 grand for individuals and slightly less for interior designers, etc.
So now the question becomes what lens do I get for this task, will my 90mm F/4 Apo-Rodagon work with a Durst CLS2000 diffusion enlarger or should I go with another lens...?
I just took in an nice order of paper today, 100 sheets of Warmtone in 11 x 14 and 16 x 20, yummy!!
Yeah, the rolls! But those are a PITA!
At those sizes I'd only consider RC. Washing 40" wide FB prints will be an incredible task.