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  1. #1

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    Enlarger lens help?

    I am looking at 2 50mm enlarging lenses. One is a 50mm Rodenstock Rodagon f/4. The other one is a 50mm Fujinon-EX f/2.8. Which one is the better lens? I can hardly find any information on the Rodagon.
    Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts: Journalism - University of Arkansas 2014

    Canon A-1, Canon AE-1, Canon Canonet GIII 17, Argus 21, Rolleicord Va, Mamiya RB67, Voigtländer Bessa

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  2. #2
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkroom317 View Post
    I am looking at 2 50mm enlarging lenses. One is a 50mm Rodenstock Rodagon f/4. The other one is a 50mm Fujinon-EX f/2.8. Which one is the better lens? I can hardly find any information on the Rodagon.
    Pick the one with the least amount of haze or fungus. If they are both clear I'd go for the Fujinon EX. The extra aperture can aid in composing and focusing.

  3. #3

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    The best way is to try them before you decide. I have several Rodenstock Rodagons and they are all good lenses but I know there are variations even between similar lenses of the same model.

  4. #4

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    I've used Rodenstock and Fuji and both are excellent. I doubt you will notice the difference. I just attached a Schneider Componon-S lens to my friends enlarger who has been using a no-name plastic enlarger lens and even then the difference is minimal. When you're using high-end enlarger lenses such as Rodenstock, Schneider, Fuji, Leitz, etc. the big difference will be in HOW you print/enlarge/focus as well as the negative quality in question. I wouldn't worry too much about these lenses and would probably go with the Fujinon for the extra f-stop as long as it's clear of haze and fungus.

    I notice you also shoot medium format. Why not dump extra money and get an APO 80mm or 90mm lens? That's what I chose to do and I just use my 90mm APO Rodagon f4.0 lens for 35mm and medium format. It's nicer to be closer to the paper with the 50mm and use shorter exposure times, but I'm okay with that.

  5. #5

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    I have an 75mm Fuji lens that I think is an EX. I am happy with it so I am leaning towards the Fujinon but it is twice as expensive as the Rodensotck. I tried to print 35mm with the medium format lens but i could not get an 8 x 10 out it. The colum would not go high enough. I just want to make sure that I get a good lens. Also, I am on a college art student budget.
    Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts: Journalism - University of Arkansas 2014

    Canon A-1, Canon AE-1, Canon Canonet GIII 17, Argus 21, Rolleicord Va, Mamiya RB67, Voigtländer Bessa

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  6. #6

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    Are you sure it's a Rodagon 50mm f/4? I know Rodenstock makes Rodagon in 50mm but it's f/2.8. 80mm Rodagon, on the other hand is f/4. This may be why you are having trouble finding any information on it.

    When buying a used enlarger lens, one of the factor to be really concerned about is condition of the lens. There are so many examples of "mint" lens out there that has awful fungus and haze inside. (I got one!)

    I know nothing about Fuji but Rodagon is a well repsected top-level lens short of APO version of the same lens.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  7. #7

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    Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts: Journalism - University of Arkansas 2014

    Canon A-1, Canon AE-1, Canon Canonet GIII 17, Argus 21, Rolleicord Va, Mamiya RB67, Voigtländer Bessa

    http://darkroom317.deviantart.com/

  8. #8

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    Interesting.... I did NOT know that.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  9. #9

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    How big do you plan to print? If you're limited to printing 11x14 and smaller, I doubt you're going to see any difference between the two lenses unless one is a real dog and all hazed up. I have several examples of 50 mm enlarging lenses, and even the most lowly of them, a 50 mm f/4 El-Nikkor, produce very good to excellent results when you keep the maximum print size modest.
    Frank Schifano

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkroom317 View Post
    I have an 75mm Fuji lens that I think is an EX. I am happy with it so I am leaning towards the Fujinon but it is twice as expensive as the Rodensotck. I tried to print 35mm with the medium format lens but i could not get an 8 x 10 out it. The colum would not go high enough. I just want to make sure that I get a good lens. Also, I am on a college art student budget.
    In that case, go with the Rodagon.

    Unlike the Nikkor 50mm f4 (which is a budget 4-element lens), the Rodagon 50mm f4 is should be budget 6-element lens. Made just for a poor college student! (I have no proof of it being 6-element, though).
    Last edited by ic-racer; 12-20-2010 at 06:41 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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