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  1. #1
    thefizz's Avatar
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    Best f-stop for enlarging lens

    I have a Nikkor f5.6 105mm lens and stop down 2 stops to f11 when printing. I recently read elsewhere that for best results 1 stop was enough and then someone else said 3 stops was best.

    Any thoughts?

    Peter

  2. #2
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    I have always been under the impression that 2 stops as you are doing is the best.

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    I usually stop down 2 stops unless I want more time for dodging and burning in which case I go 3 stops.

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    Good Morning, Peter,

    I use the same 105mm El-Nikkor as you, along with Rodagons and Componons in focal lengths to suit different sized negatives. Generally speaking, such high-quality lenses will give excellent results at a variety of stops. Wide open is probably not a good idea unless absolutely necessary, and extremely small apertures may lead to diffraction problems, but I can't see the slightest difference between, say, f11 or f16 when I examine a typical 8 x 10 or 11 x 14. If I need some dodging time, I may lean toward a smaller aperture; if I'm making a larger print, I may use f11 or f8 just because it's quicker.

    Konical

  5. #5
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    2 stops is usually good, but if you have film flatness or alignment issues, 3 might be better, or if you're using an APO lens and a glass carrier and laser alignment tool, it might be optimized for 1 stop down from wide open.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  6. #6
    thefizz's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    Peter

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by thefizz
    I have a Nikkor f5.6 105mm lens and stop down 2 stops to f11 when printing. I recently read elsewhere that for best results 1 stop was enough and then someone else said 3 stops was best.

    Any thoughts?

    Peter
    Align your enlarger, then get a resolution target negative and test your lenses.
    Tom Hoskinson
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    Everything is analog - even digital :D

  8. #8

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    If you have no alignment issues with your enlarger and you are using glass carriers than for the El Nikkor 1 stop will work very nicely and two stops may offer slightly higher contrast. With glassless carriers even 2 stops down may leave you with unsharp corners if your negative will not lay reansonably flat. If you have or can make one, a carrier with an glass for a top surface and a flat glassless bottom can be the best of both worlds. Only four rather than six surfaces to keep dust free and flatnes that can really rival double glass carriers.



 

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