Older Schneider enlarging lenses
Anyone out there compared older Schneider (or other companies) enlarging lenses with newer ones and have you seen much/if any difference in quality of your images? I'm talking about mid 60's era vrs. more modern and lenses for 8 x 10 negs. I don't know if I want to go with an older one just to save a few bucks and end up sacrificing quality in my prints.
I have an old Xenar that I use along side a Nikkor enlarging lens. Both make fine 8x10s and 11x14's. I've never felt the need to get newer variants; these do the job very well.
I have a Componon-S from the early 1980's which I have had to "retire" to paperweight duties
Visually, it looks clean, with no scratches or dings.
However, I found it focus shifted when it was stopped down - but not by too much and of course you can just focus in the stopped down condition.
The killer for me was lens flare - which surprised me - and is not easy to detect.
I only found my lens flared when I happened to compare it to another lens.
The resolving power of the lens was unaffected by these flaws and remained very good.
Personally, I would spend the extra money and buy the most recent one you can afford
I have a Schneider 180mm enlarging lens, an older one with chrome rim, it doesn't have click stops but a free rotating aperture ring which is quite annoying. It performs as well as any other of my lenses. Make sure if you buy an older one that it has click stops if you want them.
Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand
It really depends entirely on the condition of the lens. I have numerous Schneider Compon's and Componon S' some dating from the late 60's and early 70's and they are just as good as a modern new lens in practice.
However enlarger lenses aren't Multi coated (which hardens the glass surface) and they are more prone to cleaning marks and I have seen degradation in prints due to very slight flare cause by almost invisible cleaning marks. This is as likely to happen with a modern lens as a 60's/70's if badly treated.
So you need to look at a lens very closely before buying.
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)