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  1. #21

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    You must be buying lenses made in East Balookistan and sold in WalMart. Every single modern lens I've
    purchased in the last thirty years has been superb. Englarging lenses, view camera lenses, MF lenses,
    35mm lenses. Never a quality issue. Not once. Of course, I'm going for top brand stuff, Japanese Nikkors and Fujis, Kern optics, German Schneider. Even all my older Apo Nikkors are optically superb.
    About the only cheapo enlarging lens I own is an 80/4 El Nikkor - a poor performer with medium format
    film, but surprisingly good at the center of the field for 35mm use - significantly better than my old 50mm Componon S.

  2. #22

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    I have a CompononS 100mm in mint shape. It is sharp as a tack. Both El Nikkor and Componon S are great. I am selling the 100mm so if interested, email me at lightwisps@yahoo.com. Don

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DREW WILEY View Post
    ... About the only cheapo enlarging lens I own is an 80/4 El Nikkor ...
    Which El-Nikkor 80/4 is that? Do you mean the 75/4 or 80/5.6. I have the old and new 75/4 and find them a little different in their performance, the N is sharper at the edges. I think the 75/4 N is brilliant bang-for-buck. No one wants them. Fools.

  4. #24

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    The 80/5.6 El Nikkor is a much better corrected lens. The 80/4 was a budget version with one less element, less than ideal corner MTF with MF film, and a slight focus shift from wide open to one stop
    down. But for 35mm it's a very nice bargain - brighter initial focus, and quite sharp with good internal
    contrast when using just the center of the lens. Plus I picked one up a virtually new one for next to nothing. In MF don't shoot 6x6 but 6x7 and 6x9; so a 105 would be the traditional "normal" for that,
    though I personally prefer to use a 150 Apo Rodagon N - again using just the center of the lens. It's
    a "wow" lens, and they also made a 105 in that series. I once owned a 105 Componon S. It was quite
    good, but certainly not in the league of the expensive Apo Rodagons.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DREW WILEY View Post
    ... The 80/4 was a budget version with one less element, less than ideal corner MTF with MF film, and a slight focus shift from wide open to one stop down. ...
    I can't seem to find any references on the Interweb about this lens (the el-nikkor 80/4). Can you supply any links or references about it?

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukas_87 View Post
    Even the statement about significantly better performance of so-called Apo lens (because none of them except for the apo-el-nikkor are really apochromatic design) is huge generalization.

    http://ctein.com/PostExposure2ndIllustrated.pdf
    Enlarger lens test begin on page 77 if I remember correctly.
    Nice link. I am surprised at how few studies actually get done in the photographic world. Everyone just gets by on anecdotal generalizations. Looks like the author really put in some work. I didn't jump on the APO band wagon. Premium enlarger lenses can be purchased for next to nothing but the prices for modern good condition APOs are a bit prohibitive. I will scrape by with what I have for now. If APOs get more reasonable I'll see what I can get and test.

    Another interesting thing in that book is the shocking lack of QC across the board. I guess tightening standards would make lenses prohibitively expensive.

  7. #27

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    There's a reason even used apo's sell for a premium and get snatched up fast. You web junkies can form
    an opinion any way you wish. But those of us who actually use these lenses know why they're still in demand. And it isn't marketing hype ... never was. The other thing is that many apo lens designs had
    well-known industrial and graphics applications all along, that ordinary photographers simply aren't aware of. And they're still being made for high-end industrial applications, though often in fixed aperture. If you want high-quality relatively affordably, Apo Nikkors are quite common, and will
    beat the pants off most ordinary enlarging lenses, if you can work at f/11 with relatively large film.
    They never made short focal lengths. Not to be confused with conventional El Nikkors or the very
    expensive and now rare Apo El's.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by DREW WILEY View Post
    There's a reason even used apo's sell for a premium and get snatched up fast. You web junkies can form
    an opinion any way you wish. But those of us who actually use these lenses know why they're still in demand. And it isn't marketing hype ... never was. The other thing is that many apo lens designs had
    well-known industrial and graphics applications all along, that ordinary photographers simply aren't aware of. And they're still being made for high-end industrial applications, though often in fixed aperture. If you want high-quality relatively affordably, Apo Nikkors are quite common, and will
    beat the pants off most ordinary enlarging lenses, if you can work at f/11 with relatively large film.
    They never made short focal lengths. Not to be confused with conventional El Nikkors or the very
    expensive and now rare Apo El's.
    I take it then that there is no online information or references regarding the El-Nikkor 80/4. Alternatively maybe you just meant the 75/4.

  9. #29

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    Oh ... I'm certainly senile enough to confuse 75 with 80. I have to check next time I pull the lens drawer
    open. I haven't printed any 35mm for about a month. Got some kinda intense 8x10 interneg work going
    on at the moment. I'll try to remember to look and see the exact focal length; but the characteristics of
    this lens are exactly as described - really good for 35mm at a bargain price, probably OK for 645, but
    then less than ideal for anything larger.

  10. #30

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    Just to mess up your choices even more, for 6x7 the sharpest lens I have used is a 90mm Fuji EX, and that will supposedly do for 6x9 too . . .

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