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  1. #11
    Chris Nielsen's Avatar
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    Can't speak for the f/4 but I got my f/2.8 off Trademe for $30 and all I know for sure is it's way better than the no-name thing I had before :-)

  2. #12

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    I use an el-nikkor f2.8 with an Opemus6 without any problems.

  3. #13
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    I have had both. 11x14 prints from the two lenses can't be accurately sorted into two piles without looking at the notes on the back.

    The 2.8 should have a theoretical advantage as it can be used at wider f-stops with a concomitant reduction in loss of resolution due to diffraction. However, this is offset by a reduced depth of field that requires precise enlarger alignment and possibly the use of glass negative carriers. Top-of-the line APO lenses that are used at or close to wide-open have so little depth of field that glass carriers are a must.

    At a common printing aperture of f-8 or so, a good compromise between depth of field, lens aberrations and diffraction, the results from the lenses will be close to identical.

    The number of elements in a lens, 4 or 6, does not have a direct bearing on lens performance. A better lens doesn't necessarily have more elements.
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  4. #14
    outwest's Avatar
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    Some years ago, one of the photo magazines that did lens tests tested 50mm enlarging lenses from all the makers. The EL-Nikkor f/2.8 came out soundly on top. The f/4 Nikkor was, well, cheap.

  5. #15
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    I used both El-Nikkors, and I much prefer the f/2.8. Sharper, more contrasted, and not that expensive. You can find an f/2.8 for 50$ or so in mint condition on the Bay.

    Now I have a Minolta C.E. 50mm, which is everything I can ask from a 50mm enlarger lens.
    Using film since before it was hip.


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  6. #16
    outwest's Avatar
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    Nicholas is correct, of course, in that in order to take full advantage of a lens, you have to do your side of the equation. Alignment must be on and glass carriers are required. As for being satisfied with a lens for a long time, I had an 80mm that I was happy with for 10 years before I did my homework and began testing various other lenses against it. Once I saw what I had been missing for 10 years, I wasn't so happy.

  7. #17

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    I have the f2.8 but not the f4 so can't compare nor comment on factors such as lens groups, test comparisons etc. These may be important but on aperture alone, all I would say is that the light available from an aperture of f4 is plenty good enough for me to focus and I have never needed less than f8 for 8x10 prints with still quite short exposure times of less than 15 secs. If you have to do any dodging I think that times of less than 10 secs will give you problems. At f2.8 my prints would need less than about 3 secs! I cannot think of circumstances in terms of light where f2.8 would be essential and f4 not good enough.

    Your needs and printing circumstances may be different.

    pentaxuser

  8. #18

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    All other things being equal, a maximum aperture of f/2.8 vs f/4 simply allows easier composing and more accurate focusing. I've never had to use the lens wide open to make the exposure; but having the extra stop of light, and the narrower depth of focus, on the baseboard sure does come in handy sometimes.
    Frank Schifano

  9. #19
    alexmacphee's Avatar
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    I don't print bigger than about 10x8" from 35mm ; if I need larger, I go to medium format ; so in that respect, I've never really had occasion to exercise the f/4 EL Nikkor beyond that degree of englargement. However, I've been very pleased with its performance, and though if an f/2.8 came my way at a reasonable price, I might try it out, I've found no lack in the f/4 that would cause me to seek to swap it out. The extra stop might be useful for framing up, I'm sure, but I've always used a focussing magnifier, and in B&W at least, focussing on the grain is accurate and easy at f/4. I should add that, though I've been satisfied with this lens for a long time, it wasn't my first, by a good decade. All the same, if the f/2.8 came up at a good price, and bearing in mind the experience of those who've used it, and whose opinions are clearly to be respected, it'd be nuts to pass it up.
    Alex

  10. #20
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Lindan View Post
    I have had both. 11x14 prints from the two lenses can't be accurately sorted into two piles without looking at the notes on the back.

    The 2.8 should have a theoretical advantage as it can be used at wider f-stops with a concomitant reduction in loss of resolution due to diffraction. However, this is offset by a reduced depth of field that requires precise enlarger alignment and possibly the use of glass negative carriers. Top-of-the line APO lenses that are used at or close to wide-open have so little depth of field that glass carriers are a must.

    At a common printing aperture of f-8 or so, a good compromise between depth of field, lens aberrations and diffraction, the results from the lenses will be close to identical.

    The number of elements in a lens, 4 or 6, does not have a direct bearing on lens performance. A better lens doesn't necessarily have more elements.
    I agree with Nicholas except for the fact that a 6-element should always have an advantage over the 4-element variety at wide-open apertures.

    However, I like to add a thought:

    Why would anyone even think about a compromise in enlarger lens performance?

    They are very cheap (compared to taking lenses and cameras), and they are part of the image system, which is only as good as its weakest link. I think, the best strategy is: Get the best enlarging lens you can afford, because it's the cheapest way to get best technical print quality!

    Everything else is like buying a Porsche and then fit it with wooden spoked wheels. Who would do that?
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

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