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  1. #1

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    Another boring enlarging lens question

    150mm lens, for 4x5 negatives. The largest prints I make are 11x14, so we're talking pretty low magnification here. I'm looking at the Schneider 150mm Componon S. Is there any reason to even bother looking at the APO Componon?? For obvious reasons ($$$$$$$$) I'd rather not.

    I'm quite sure at these enlargement sizes I'd see no difference whatsoever in sharpness, contrast or uniformity of illumination (prove me wrong). But one thing I've always liked about APO lenses in smaller formats is they usually reach optimum performance one stop wider than the equivalent non-APO versions (I use an 50mm APO Rodagon for enlarging 35mm). So I don't know.

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    Good Morning, Michael,

    I think you're right about not being able to detect any appreciable difference, even with somewhat bigger enlargements. As for the "one stop wider" idea: With 4 x 5 B & W negatives, exposure times, even using ƒ11 or ƒ16, are typically not very long anyway, at least up to 16 x 20 size; using a larger lens opening could even be a disadvantage if any dodging is involved.

    If money were no object, I'd probably replace all my enlarging lenses with APO versions, but I doubt that my prints would look much, if any, better.

    Konical

  3. #3

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    Thanks Konical. This is what I'm thinking too. Ideally it would be nice to have the best of everything even if it is overkill, but that only works if money is no object, and in some cases it makes little (if any) difference beyond the realm of laboratory testing.

  4. #4
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Michael,

    I agree with both you and Konical, that when magnification factor is low, APO lenses show the least of their optical advantage, and as you say, at 11x14 (about 3x) magnification, you probably could not even tell without sophisticated testing equipment.

    If it were a question of 16-20x magnification, the discussion would obviously be entirely different.

    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  5. #5
    ParkerSmithPhoto's Avatar
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    While everyone is checking in here, which one of these three 4x5 enlarging lenses would you keep (selling the other two)?

    150mm Schneider G-Claron
    135mm Schneider Comparon
    135mm Fujinon EX
    Parker Smith Photography, Inc.
    Atlanta, GA

    Commercial & Fine Art Photography
    Portrait Photography

  6. #6

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    Unfortunately I don't know anything about Fuji enlarging lenses and never used a G-Claron, so I couldn't tell you which of those three would be better in terms of sharpness, contrast or distortion. But a 150mm would typically have better coverage than a 135mm so all things being equal, I'd always prefer the longer lens for any given format for uniformity of illumination. Of course it depends on how big you're printing. I don't enlarge my 4x5 negatives to more than 11x14 so I like the longer lenses. If you're making giant prints you might want the wider lens depending on how high you can crank up your enlarger head.

  7. #7
    fotch's Avatar
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    Not familiar with any of the lens, I would prefer a 150mm Nikon, or Rodenstock Rodagon. One of my favorites is a older Kodak Ektanon Enlarging 161mm F:4.5 enlarger lens. I also have 135mm if needed.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  8. #8
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Fujinon EX is a six element lens. I'd keep that one, it is the best of the bunch; top of the line multicoated lens.

  9. #9
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    150mm lens, for 4x5 negatives. The largest prints I make are 11x14, so we're talking pretty low magnification here. I'm looking at the Schneider 150mm Componon S. Is there any reason to even bother looking at the APO Componon?? For obvious reasons ($$$$$$$$) I'd rather not.

    I'm quite sure at these enlargement sizes I'd see no difference whatsoever in sharpness, contrast or uniformity of illumination (prove me wrong). But one thing I've always liked about APO lenses in smaller formats is they usually reach optimum performance one stop wider than the equivalent non-APO versions (I use an 50mm APO Rodagon for enlarging 35mm). So I don't know.

    Thanks
    Do you have a grain magnifier. When you open your existing lens up one stop more than usual when making an 11x14 are the corners still sharp?

  10. #10

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    With the grain magnifier it looked fine to me (although there was some slight light falloff). I don't have that lens anymore though. I sold it several years ago when I started to work more on 35mm. Now I'm going back to doing more 4x5 work and need a lens so I figured I'd ask the question.

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