Ordinarily I would test the lenses. My Darkroom is boxed up for a move and I am trying to simplify my junk before moving it. These lenses are redundant so I should keep only one of them but I can't test right now.
Enlarging lenses from different manufacturers tend to have different characteristics. The differences will most likely be subtle, but real. You may find, for instance, that one is appreciably better for really large enlargements. Or that the colour response of one is more consistent with your other lenses for other formats when you print colour sensitive materials.
And you may find that one (probably the 80mm) will actually work well with 6x7 or even 6x8 negatives, whereas the other will max out with 6x6 negatives.
I definitely wouldn't sell one until I've tried them both. You might like one better than the other.
I have a lot of different lenses, of a variety of different focal lengths. Most of them are on two turrets. You might find it convenient to have a 75mm lens on one turret (say with lenses used more frequently with smaller formats) and an 80mm lens on another turret (say with lenses used more frequently with larger formats).
By the way, they both appear to be the same "speed" - f/5.6 maximum aperture.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
The relatively fast El Nikkor 75/4 is a poor performer with med format negs, but is quite acceptable when you use only the center of the field,
for 35mm negs. The 80/5.6 is much better corrected, but is still really meant for 6x6 or 645 usage. I'd want something longer for 6x7 or 6x9.
I really like the 105 Apo Rodagon N; but 90 apo lenses are also available. A distinct level of snap that you don't get with ordinary enlarging lenses. Of course, Nikon once made a 105 Apo El Nikkor; but most people can't afford that, even if they can find one.
When Fuji still made enlarging lenses their top-of-the-line line was the EX series. The EP occupied a lower price point, presumably because of simpler construction. They weren't the only manufacturer to do this, Schneider and Rodenstock also offered several different lines, trading price for performance. I have to believe, given the size and weight of enlarging lenses in this focal length range, that you can find space to move both of these so you can do your own testing after you've set up a darkroom in your new location.
BTW, Nikon's literature claims that the 80mm f/5.6 is usable for 6x7, though undoubtedly a longer lens would be even better as Drew points out. I've used my 80mm El-Nikkor for this format when I needed a lot of enlargement, though I normally use a 105 to gain a little more room between lens and paper.
Last edited by Steve Goldstein; 07-21-2014 at 03:50 PM. Click to view previous post history.
The only difference between Fuji's EP and EX series was their standard coating vs. their EBC coating. The EX series has EBC coatings but the optical designs were identical. There will be a slight contrast difference but the actual sharpness will be the same. Their EX series was the ultimate and they're reputed to be better than Componon-S and regular Rodagon and nearly as good as (or as good as) Apo Rodagon and Apo Componon HM. Of course, this is use within their proper magnification range. Don't forget the Computar DL series and their re-badged varieties such as Beseler Color Pro and Hoya Super EL.