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  1. #1
    ChristopherCoy's Avatar
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    EL Nikkor, EL Omegar, & Wollensak

    I just scored an El Nikkor 50mm f/4, an El Omegar 75mm f/3.5, and a Wollensak Raptar 90mm f/4.5 on eBay, all for $23.99.

    I'm familiar with the first two, but the Wollensak I am not. I've read that they varied in quality from lens to lens. I'm not going to sweat it because at $8 a lens, what's the point?

    But I wondered how many of you have used one, and how do they perform?

  2. #2

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    To be honest with you I wouldn't use any of those lenses. There are a lot of things you can cut corners on but the lens on your camera and the lens or your enlarger are not one of them. You've got a few issues. First of all updated lenses are available. I purchased a mint El Nikkor 2.8 (latest model) for about $40 shipped. I paid about twice that for a Schieder 80mm f/4 Componon-S. Again it was a mint copy. If you are patient these things pop up at similar prices often enough.

    What I find with older lenses besides outdated lens design is they either have fungus from humidity or haze from long term exposure to dark room chemicals. The person who sold me one of my enlargers told me what a great deal he was giving me and how I could sell each of the lenses on ebay for $50 a pop. Total nonsense. Often buying an enlarge is the inexpensive first step. Getting all the lenses, carriers, filters, easels, etc quickly runs up the cost. It is still relatively cheap but that free enlarger you got and the $8 lens will not produce the sharpest prints. It's better to invest a little more money and have something you don't have to wonder about. $40 for a 50mm 2.8 El Nikkor is very reasonable.

  3. #3
    ChristopherCoy's Avatar
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    Fair enough.

    But that's not the information I'm looking for. I realize all of these are cheaper lenses, and since I've been printing I've used a 75mm El Omegar lens with satisfactory results. I'm not printing for gallery exhibitions yet.

    I was wondering how the Wollensak performs, and now I'm wondering if ill even be able to use it, since it seems to be a 41mm thread.

  4. #4

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    Sorry I can't specifically answer your question. My enlarger came with a Wollensak along with two or three other lenses. They were not in any kind of condition that I would use so I just got the El Nikkor and the Schneider. If it was a mint copy I would have given it a try just for fun. OCD though would have forced me to at least try and do a head to head comparison with a late model Schneider.

  5. #5

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    I had one. Was hazy so we'll never really know its true quality. But I didn't care...
    Like Noble says, buy a Componon for a few extra peanuts and never look back.

  6. #6

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    Contact Rick A. He uses Wollensak I think.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  7. #7

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    I'd say the main thing to look for is and possibility of light falloff from center to edges. That's the most objectionable flaw of all, IMO.

  8. #8
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    The Wollensak is a 90mm lens, so it is likely that it is ideal for 6x7.

    90mm lenses are a little harder to find so I would be sure to test it out before getting rid of it.

    The other two are more easily replaced.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  9. #9
    ChristopherCoy's Avatar
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    I intend to test it, but do older lenses like this ever have swirling or blurriness on the edges at all?

    It's a 90mm so considering that I can even get it mounted on a lens board, I should theoretically have enough room to play if using it for 6x6, right?

  10. #10
    ChristopherCoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by desertratt View Post
    There is exactly one way for you to determine if a lens works to your satisfaction. You have to use it yourself. Recently I bought, among other things, a 50mm f2.8 Nikkor for $5. I am not sure you scored. Hit second base, maybe.

    It was actually $14.99 for all three....the shipping was an extra $9.

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