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  1. #1

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    Old Lens Contrast

    All,
    I tested an old AGFA Doppel Anastigmatic lens at the beginning of the week, with some very cool results. However, as to be expected, the contrast is lacking. What do you think the best way of boosting this would be ? Longer Development ? I know that a yellow filter can boost contrast slightly, worth a shot perhaps ? Or should I correct this when I print ?

    Thanks !

  2. #2

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    I am guessing that this is an uncoated lens. A good lenshood should definitely be helpful. As far as having an extra sharp negative you should try a number 12 or 15 filter. Fouc with the lens stopped down and the filter in place. You may wish to try a 20% longer development time..increase your film speed by half a stop..along with your normal development and see which you prefer.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  3. #3
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    Did you use a good lens shade or compendium? I found this quite the little helper. You may also need to experiment with different kinds of film/paper combinations. You did not state in your post what you used.
    Cheers,
    Norm
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  4. #4

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    Thanks !
    I was using Efke 25 and Fomapan 100 in rodinal. Yes, its an uncoated lens, and no I didn't use a lens shade, but I'll see about rigging up a compendium.
    I will probably just increase the film speed slightly, to make my development times standard.

    Thanks for the help.

  5. #5
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    Steve, lens type has more to do with it than anything else. Most old Agfa double Anastigmats are dialyts. 4 glass 4 group. That gives 8 surfaces at 4% each to let image light get away from you and replaced with flare. Old Rapid Rectilinears are 4 glass 2 groups so 30- 35% loss becomes about 15% real quick. Big gains in contrast with that solution. That's also why we love old Dagor's and Protar's.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

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  6. #6

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    If you haven't already done so, open the aperture and shutter and look through your optic toward bright light. If there is any haze it will be quite obvious. Making sure there is no haze or other nasties in the lens itself may help you increase contrast.

    The reason I suggest this is that I have a 5 1/2 inch #31 Kodak Anastigmat that is quite contrasty. It's not coated. And before I removed haze between elements on a single coated Symmar Convertible 150mm I was cursing single coated optics. Now that lens too is quite contrasty and really can't show a practical difference between it and my other multi-coated lenses.

    Just a suggestion.

  7. #7

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    But Chris, y'r #31 KA is a tessar. Two fewer air-glass interfaces than a dialyte.

    FWIW, I have a dialyte type 130/6.8 Goerz Doppel Anastigmat that's as cleaned as cleaned can be and it makes low-contrast images. Sometimes an old lens is a silk purse in disguise, sometimes it really is a sow's ear.

    But you're right, Steve should make sure his sow's ear is clean.

    Cheers,

    Dan

  8. #8
    Ole
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    I've got two 135mm f:4.5 Eurynars - a typical dialyte. One is sharp, but produces very low contrast. The other one has been coated, and the difference is striking!

    But the low contrast can be used to good effect: It increases exposure in the shadows, just like pre-flashing. So you can expose a little less, and develop a little more and get very similar results to a coated lens. In my case - I use the coated one and keep the "original" in the closet.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimgalli
    Steve, lens type has more to do with it than anything else. Most old Agfa double Anastigmats are dialyts. 4 glass 4 group. That gives 8 surfaces at 4% each to let image light get away from you and replaced with flare. Old Rapid Rectilinears are 4 glass 2 groups so 30- 35% loss becomes about 15% real quick. Big gains in contrast with that solution. That's also why we love old Dagor's and Protar's.
    Hrmm. Thanks for the info yet again Jim, I never thought of it like that before.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm
    But you're right, Steve should make sure his sow's ear is clean.
    Thanks. It is, it actually is spottless, and honestly looks 'new' (as does the shutter...its really increadable)...Which is why I decided to mount it up and use it in the first place. I'll learn to deal with the contrast issues in one way or another as you all have suggested. Its not really a lens that I'll be using all the time, but it does give me a really nice effect. On the unfortunate side of things, its really motivating me to plunk down some cash on more old lenses .

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