in praise of the ur focotar
I've been printing 35mm colour 6x8-8x10s in a darkroom where the main lens is a rodenstock f2.8 rodagon (not the apo)
For kicks I brought along my grandpa's old leitz 5cm f/4.5 focotar code
DOOCQ circa 1953 to see how it would compare.
And I must say that even when comparing both lenses stopped down, there's something about the quality of the prints with the focotar that just seems nicer-- they have a little more snap somehow, nicer tonality, more pleasing contrast and I hate to say it, a Leica look (the negatives where all made with modern cv rangefinder lenses) Maybe I'm just high on blix fumes or something-- this is all pretty subtle.
Anything to this?
If so these lenses are a great bargain-- typically $150 or less on ebay for a pristine example with original box, extension tube and plastic storage bubble. The next generation focotars go for about 5 times that.
I've read in another thread here that different enlarger lenses are optimized for different print sizes. I would assume that most people weren't making jumbo prints back in the 50s.