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  1. #41

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    Contact print can not be beat by any enlarger. Not only lens, lighting source have also great impact on final print. If you print on condenser enlarger, you lose highlights, if you print with diffused light, you lose sharpness
    I found that Leitz enlargers with high quality condensers are the best compromise between the emphasis on sharpness and the emphasis on tonality.
    Focomat 1 , Valoy or Focomat 2. Focomat 2 is the winner: little less sharp prints than Focomat 1, but great tonality ,very close to contact print.
    And about lenses: now I print with 6 element lenses, but in past I started with 3 element chrome Durst Componar 50mm 3,5 . Ctein do not even take triplet for free, but I have made many photos for published books and catalogs for local museum with this sharp and excellent lens.
    Last edited by kobaltus; 05-16-2013 at 01:36 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    This one is, ...
    Do you mean your lens is an enlarging lens? Can you please explain, ie what makes your lens an enlarging lens instead of a taking lens?

    The Xenar (and similar taking lenses such as Xenotars) where available as a barrel lens, ie without shutters. They look just like enlarging lenses.

    This is my Xenar 100/3.5, which certainly looks like an enlarging lens.


  3. #43

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    does it really matter if it is an enlarging lens or a "taking lens" ... you put an enlarging lens on your camera it's a "taking lens".
    enlarging lenses are "flat field" so when projected on to paper everything is in focus
    and it isn't a curved image plane .. a "copy lens" is an enlarging lens, a "g claron" is an enlarging lens ..

    ir really doesn't matter ...

  4. #44
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    I was just going on looks and the fact it fit the DII cone.

    If it's a camera lens, then I'll be darned. All my prints from 4x5 are through it...

    Still there are valid points to discuss about who needs to demand quality in an enlarging lens. I am willing to accept some lesser quality in my personal work, but I would want a better lens if I were to print for others.

    Every once in a while I recognize some limitation I run up against, and the latest limitation is the match from proof to enlargement. My Red Cones enlargements, while they satisfy me in several ways, don't live up to the contact print. If I had never made the contact print, I wouldn't know what I was missing. I gave up scanning a long time ago for about the same reason, not wanting to be trying to match an unrealistic proof. So my new rule of thumb ... no more contact prints. By definition, I will have no unrealistic proofs to try to match.


  5. #45
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    Well all three of them arrived. The Nikkor and El Omegar look good, ill use them for a few more months and when I can afford to ill upgrade.

    The Wollensak looks good aside from a few scratches on the lens. It'll lend itself well to the Holga type prints I like to do. My only issue with it though is that I have no way to mount it. The lens board that the Nikkor and Omegar fit on is WAY TOO BIG. The Wollensak nearly goes straight through the hole. There is a retaining ring on the Wollensak with three screw holes, so I may have my brother in law machine me a piece of sheet metal.

  6. #46
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherCoy View Post
    Well all three of them arrived. The Nikkor and El Omegar look good, ill use them for a few more months and when I can afford to ill upgrade.

    The Wollensak looks good aside from a few scratches on the lens. It'll lend itself well to the Holga type prints I like to do. My only issue with it though is that I have no way to mount it. The lens board that the Nikkor and Omegar fit on is WAY TOO BIG. The Wollensak nearly goes straight through the hole. There is a retaining ring on the Wollensak with three screw holes, so I may have my brother in law machine me a piece of sheet metal.
    tuna can makes a good lens mount

  7. #47
    ChristopherCoy's Avatar
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    A tuna can??

  8. #48
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherCoy View Post
    A tuna can??
    I had to resort to that once to use my 28mm lens. Half kidding but half serious.

  9. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by eddie View Post
    I'm completely serious. There's a reason people work with Holgas, Petzvals, etc. A well conceived photograph is more than accomplishing the utmost in sharpness and resolution.
    Eddie you misunderstand me. I meant your criticism of my post can't be serious. Read the OP. The guy mentioned he had some concerns about quality control and then asked how the lens performs. It's a general question and I recommended a lens for general use. I have never heard of someone using a specific lens on their enlarger based on the specific brand of lens they used to take the picture and it would have been ludicrous for me to include such conjecture in my reply.

    We have a saying at my work. When you hear hooves think of horses... not zebras. The lenses I recommended are industry standards that you can use to enlarge negatives made with any lens. Criticizing me because I didn't come up with a niche unusual answer based on some information that wasn't even in the OP is really stretching things a bit far. Anyway if a soft print is what you want there are numerous free solutions lying around your house that can be used to easily accomplish that goal regardless of what lens is in your enlarger. I never occurred to me to spend money and buy a lens for something like that.

    Also I would suggest in addition to reading the OP to look at the study I linked to and also read my posts. I never said all a well conceived photograph is is, "the utmost in sharpness and resolution." I think if you take the time and actually READ the material I linked to and my own posts you will find where I and Ctein actually say quite the opposite. But again you have to actually read what we wrote. You can't just argue against strawmen.

  10. #50
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noble View Post
    Once the sum of money that is being discussed gets so small I just pay my money and expend my energy worrying about more complicated issues. The converse is also true. Once the sum of money gets so large there is no way I am going to part with that amount I just keep it in my pocket and use whatever "inferior" device I currently own. Everyone has their cut offs. I personally never got involved in the APO wars because a single used APO lens costs more than my entire darkroom setup with two enlargers and two lenses...
    I'd misread you too, thought you were missing the mark. So I reached back a bit to find we have common ground...

    I agree with you on the cutoff and stick with what you have. This is why for 35mm work I use the lowly 50mm Apo-Rodagon instead of seeking the superior N version. Actually found both in same box at flea market with that 28mm Rodagon I've been talking about... the one I have to mount on a tuna can to use... Paid $5 each.

    The Xenar I've been using has served me well, and though I got a good deal on it, being on my third job out of college it was a significant investment at the time. Now I might replace it, but it's not urgent because I know its limitations.

    Ctein is sort of a local hero, hung out at Pedro Point watching Venus transit and talked with the guy who convinced him to convert to digital. And I think we've got an APUG'er who knows him.

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