from what I've read on the web
the 80/5.6 is a 6 element design, the 75/4 a 4 element. 6 element designs are deemed better.
I do have a 80/4 Schneider, a Fujinon EX 90/5.6 (and had a no-name Aston 75/3.5) I did a test and my order of preference turned out to be the Fujinon then the Schneider just ahead of the Astron (which was very surprising to me!) The Schneider cost me considerable $$$!. The Schneider has some nice user features like the aperture lever that alternates between your working ap and wide open. Good for focusing then stopping the lens down to the correct aperture without looking at it. It also can dis-engage click stops but I've never used that. The Fujinon can be turned when in the lensboard so that the highlighted aperture display faces you. Handy if the lens tightens and the ap scale doesn't face the front! I gave the Astron lens away with an enlarger but I was surprised how close to the others it was... I presumed it was similar to the bottom of a old style coke bottle
Once again, I'm happy with my Meopta 80mm Anaret-S. New price is still less than you would pay for an old "major brand" on eBay, quality is very, very good. They have a reputation for being very variable, but the "-S" version generally has better quality check than the plain version.
I also have a 60mm Componon, a 50mm Anaret-S, and 150, 108, and 210mm Rodagons. I have compared print from the 80mm Anaret-S with prints made with a EL-Nikkor, and insist that mine were sharper and clearer.
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
I am a happy user of the 4,5/75mm Fujinon EX. Visibly outperforms my old non-S Componon 5.6/80mm from 1972. Covers 6x6 with no visible fall-off.
People have mentioned the Schneider Componon, and when buying one, make sure that it is componon not componAR, or something else which is an inferior lens.
Also there is a Rodenstock lens that is close to the Rodagon in spelling that is inferior.
So as stated before, what you want is Componon or Rodagon.
Something to watch for.
I'm going to bid on the Schneider Componon (still looking one with an S designation) and Rodenstock Rodagon 80mm f 5.6 enlarger lens.
That Rodagon has a buy it now... perhaps I should just get it, I loath waiting.
Is there a noticable difference between the Componon and Rodagon?
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Not according to people who know a lot more than me.
I would probably try to find these lenses in F4 rather than 5.6.
Would someone else chime in here.
I think I bought mine used for something like $80. (Schneider Componon 80mm F4) two years ago.
Ok, your word is good enough for me.. I wait for an 80mm f/4.
As far as I know, the 80mm 5.6 are good lenses... I own a nikkor 80 5.6, but so far have only printed 7x7's with it. It's definately sharp in those enlargement ratios.
BTW, I use it at f 11, 2 stops down from wide open.
On the other hand, a professor once told me to use a 80/4 componon-s at 11 as well, just as I should the 50/2.8 at f/8, not 5.6
As an irrelevant piece of extremely biased info: I like my 80 nikkor better than the 80 componon-s I used in college. Mostly because the nikkor is mine.
If I recall correctly, I paid less than 50 for it on ebay, and it came with the adaptor for leica 39mm thread and a locking nut.
Still trying to win a bid on a Compnon S or Roganon S... but saw a Rodenstock Omegaron 75mm F4.5 lens for very little, and wondered if it were comperable to the above 80mm "s" lenses.
The Omegaron would probably give very satisfactory performance in most cases. It is not, however, Rodenstock's top-grade lens. For a long-term investment, I'd stick with Rodagons, Componons, and El-Nikkors.