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  1. #11
    127 is offline
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    Feb 2004
    127 Format
    Somewhere in the articles section I posted a test of my three lenses: a Nikon, Schneider and a Minolta.

    The results show that the lens DOES make a difference, you CAN'T rely on brand names, and if you're buying used, the individual lens' history probably matters more than it's brand or design...

    The conclusion was that at least in terms of sharpness and contrast MY Minolta totally blew away MY Nikon, while MY Schneider was to old and nasty to be worth using for anything.

    Give it a go if the price is right...


  2. #12
    Mongo's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
    Pittsburgh, PA
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    There's a lot of information pointing to variations in the same lens actually being greater than variations between brands of lenses. I read your article (extremely well written and presented, by the way) but I wasn't surprised by the results. Any company that makes a good lens can make a great lens...it's the deviation between samples that tends to throw many of us off.

    As a case in point, there are about six Nikkor 50mm lenses (camera, not enlarger) in my family. My 50mm f/2 blows the others away. Is the design that much better than the deisgns of the other lenses? Probably not. I probably just got a good sample of that one particular lens (and may have bad samples of other lenses at my disposal).

    Your comment that you cannot rely on brand names is absolutely true. Even if you purchase a very high end lens...one in which every sample was QC'd before it left the factory...all you know is that the lens was good when it was QC'd. Who knows how the people packaging the lens treated it, or the loading dock crew, the shipping company, the retailer, and (probably most importantly) the previous owner. One good knock can turn a good lens into a bad lens...but at least we can test what we get and find out if it'll work for us.

    Thanks for reminding us about your article. It's a great read for anyone considering upgrading a lens.

    Be well.
    Film is cheap. Opportunities are priceless.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Medium Format
    Quote Originally Posted by images39
    I've been printing with an EL Nikkor 50mm 2.8 lens, and have been happy with it, but have been wondering if another lens would give a different "look." There are a couple of Rodenstock lenses in the local shop for reasonable prices, and I've been tempted to try one, but was wondering if there would be any real difference in terms of sharpness, contrast or otherwise. Can anyone more experienced offer insight?

    The idea of a different "look" is pretty subjective, implying lens aberasions when used for taking lenses. In terms of sharpness and contrast, the best Rodenstock lenses are not likely to provide a noticable improvement over your El Nikkor 50mm 2.8. With the exception of the 50mm 4.0 and 75mm 4.0, Nikon has never built "2nd string" enlarging lenses intented to market at lower prices to a less demanding user. Rodenstock and Schneider have marketed 2 tiers of such lenses over the years, so if you are looking at Rodenstock enlarging lenses, you really have to know exectly what model you are buying to avoid a lens which will be a disappointment compared to what you have now. If you want an exceptional lens for 35mm enlarging, and you can stand the lower magnification of the longer focal length, consider the El Nikkor 63mm 2.8N

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Stewart
    If you want an exceptional lens for 35mm enlarging, and you can stand the lower magnification of the longer focal length, consider the El Nikkor 63mm 2.8N
    Yes, the 63mm Nikkor is just a wonderful lens, though its plastic part is not. It gives a slightly different touch to the image compared to the 50mm.

    If you really want a different lens to try, go for a 50mm Fujinon. It's the opposite of the Nikkor lens type in terms of the contrast, the texture, and the resolution. The Fujinon gives more solid black and brings up more details without much grain.

    To me the choice is between these two types. When the picture is shot well to normal, the Nikkor does the excellent job. If the shot is poor, I use the Fujinon to match the quality.

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