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  1. #1

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    Schneider 45 APO f4/50 APO Rodagon Enlarger lenses - Experiences?

    All,

    Does anyone have experience with these lenses in comparison to regular lenses (such as the Nikkor 50, regular rodagon, componon S etc) for corner sharpness at wider apertures and large print sizes? I am not worried about stopped down performance. I realise that the consensus is that at a couple of stops down their advantage is lost.

    I ask because I am making large prints from 35mm and find that all the regular lenses I have used (componon S, Minolta 4.5, Durst Neonon) struggle in the corners at wider apertures with large prints. This is what you would expect as they are conventional non-asph lenses and need stopping down more as prints get bigger. While my 105 rodagon gives amazing performance at massive prints the column/bed height is silly and so I want to work with a 45-50mm.

    I am interested in picking up an APO Rodagon or 45 F4 APO in the hope I can get the corner sharpness I need at f4+ rather than F8+ or so with my regular lens. Can anyone comment on whether they have found these premium lenses better in the corners with large prints (20x16, 20x24 etc) at the wider apertures? At 16x12 my regular lens is fantastic but crumbles in the extreme corners when I hit 20x16 and above unless I stop riiiiiiiight down and I just cannot be doing with multiple stop burning in on top of a 2 minute exposure time with MG WT Its a very distinct drop off as if it has run out of image circle.

  2. #2
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I have the 50mm Apo-Rodagon, and I thought it was a definite improvement over the Componon-S I had before it, and that was a fine lens as well.

    Are you sure the problem is your enlarging lens? Are you using a glass negative carrier and is the enlarger aligned properly? Are the negs themselves as sharp in the corners as they are in the center?
    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

  3. #3

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    David,

    Very sure on all counts. I have used a laser alignment tool and also get pin sharp image corners with the 105 rodagon at 20x16 and up, presumably due to the large IC (wide open at f5.6). I also get pin sharp images with the 50mm up to 16x12

    With the 50mm lens I own, the images are tack sharp in the centre and top, bottom and edges. Its just the extreme corners the suffer and only at large sizes at wider apertures. At f8-11 the corners are pin sharp at 20x16 and up, but the times too long. With the 105 rodagon I get better corners on a 20 x 16 wide open than I do at f8 on the 50mm lens at the same print size.

    The negs are pin sharp and I judge everything by the grain in any case not the image. I use double glass carriers. 6x7 negs printed to 20x24 also pin sharp using the 105 rodagon wide open.

  4. #4

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    Could be your current 50mm lenses are not designed for making such large prints. This might help: http://www.prograf.ru/rodenstock/enl...en.html#table1
    ___________________________________________

    Richard Wasserman

    http://www.richardwasserman.net

  5. #5
    Martin Aislabie's Avatar
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    Tom, if you look at the MTF data on the Linos web site, a Rodagon-WA might be a better bet wide open than an APO-Rodagon, although you are 1 stop slower at f4 rather than f2.8

    However, an APO at f4 will probably out perform at WA at f4 and does give much more even illumination

    Bob Salomon of HP Marketing (US Rodenstock distributor) over on the Large Format Photography Forum says that the performance of the WA lenses is above that of the plain Rodagon but behind the APO lenses

    http://www.linos.com/pages/mediabase...3-62__8230.pdf

    Martin

  6. #6

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    At least per specifications, at 16x20 or larger from a 35mm negative you're moving into Rodagon-G territory rather than Apo-Componon/Apo-Rodagon.

  7. #7
    Martin Aislabie's Avatar
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    At 16x20 you are around X15 enlargement of a 35mm Neg

    An APO 50mm Rodagon scale range is 2 ~ 20X

    So it is still comfortably within the recommended operating range

    Martin

  8. #8
    JohnArs's Avatar
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    My APO Componon f 2,8 40 mm is tack sharp into the corners ar f 4 but for huge enlargements I go down to f 5,6 or at least f 4 1/2 to be on the save side!

    Armin
    Good light and nice shadows!

    www.artfoto.ch

  9. #9
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    This type of lens is needed for large magnification. Too much curvature of field when using 'regular' lenses at large magnification.

    Main problem with wide apertures is there is very much light falloff. As you can imagine at large magnification, the lens is very close to the film, so this makes falloff worse from cosine effect. Check the light falloff curve on the Schneider site and see it is pretty bad. I did a print a few weeks ago and forgot to stop down and it really is pretty bad (falloff, not sharpness).

    I need to use my 45 schneider HM for 16x20 and larger. Smaller prints work better with a 'regular' 50mm lens.

  10. #10

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    ic-racer, thanks. I did not think of fall off as an issue.

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