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  1. #11

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Valley Stream, NY
    Multi Format
    EL-Nikkors are undoubtedly good. Are they better than Rodagons or Componon S lenses? Probably not. Are they as good as the competition? Yes.

    Schneider's line of current and former enlarging lenses are designated, in order of lowest to highest quality, Componar, Componon, and APO Componon. Rodenstock's designations are Rogonar, Rogonar S, Rodagon, and APO Rodagon. APO designated enlarging lenses are optimized for high enlargement ratios and are designed to be used at very close to wide open apertures. Unless regularly plan to make enlargements of greater than 10x to 12x and larger, the benefits of this type of lens are not apparent. EL-Nikkors don't use similar designations, but the only "budget quality" enlarging lenses are the 4 element 50 mm f/4 and the similar 75 mm optics. An enlarging lens from any of these manufacturers beyond the budget priced models will be excellent and anyone will be hard pressed to notice differences in a print made with any of them. Even the buget priced lenses are good as long as you keep the enlargement ratios modest, and stop the lens down to its optimal working aperture.

    Point is, don't worry so much about the brand name. I've a mix of El-Nikkors (both budget and better), Componons, Rogonars, and Rodagons in my darkroom. All of them are better than good. So you can argue minutiae all you want, but the results on the baseboard in practice are what counts.
    Frank Schifano

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Medium Format
    I first started with 2 el-nikkor lenses. I bought afterwards 2 Componon lenses (no APO nor -S) and I never used the nikon again and sold them. I don't want to say that the nikon were not good, but the componon gives more richer texture, richer grays. Let me tell you that the conjonction of a planar taking the the picture and a schneider lens for the enlargement gives really fantastics results.

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