New Xenotar 80mm 2.8 vs Older Xenotar 80mm 2.8
I was told that the Xenotar 80mm 2.8 medium format lens was changed/improved or otherwise been made better when it was redesigned for the "Rollei 6008AF" system.
In other words, the older Xenotar lenses, like the one on the Exakta 66 camera, is not as good as the later AF version for the Rollei 6008AF camera.
Can anyone tell what was changed in regards to:
1) Optical formula
Photodo.com actually gives the newer Rollei Xenotar a better grade than the older Exkata Xenotar:
The later Rolleiflex TLRs with the Xenotar supposedly changed too. An extra element or something. I have both an old and a new. Both great.
I am going to do a project with models, outdoors. I plan to shoot as wide-open (aperture) as possible.
Then, I will scan and print.
can you tell me which lens you think produces sharper images at the wider apertures.
if you go to photodo.com, it seems that the Rollei Xenotar gets a better overall score.
However, if you look at the MTFs for he Exakta and Rollei Xenotar, it look s like the Exakta does better wide-open.
Finally, how far down do you think I will need to stop-down the lens, in order to make images that hold up to a 40x40 (inches) enlargement?
I have a 14x sectional enlargement in front of me, a portrait of a young woman. Although the detail I enlarged was very close to the edge of the 6x6 frame, it shows a little bit more detail on her skin than she'd like to see (I used Delta 100). It's not über-sharp, but surprisingly good. I used a Rolleicord with the more simple Xenar at f/5,6, not wide open, but considering the wide-open performance of a Tessar/Xenar is worse than that of a Planar/Xenotar, I'd expect the sharper lenses to produce at least the equal result wide-open as the Xenar stopped down a bit.
However, if you want to print to 40x40 inches, this is an 18x enlargement from MF. Excellent results can be achieved this way, no doubt, but for a really punchy result, you might want to consider LF.
If you were shooting test charts then 2 stops from wide open. All and any are good wide open for most of the center but the edges will not hold up to absolute sharpness but who cares? The individual sample of lens you get and it's condition will be more important than the theoretical differences of these various Xenotars that might be out there. And while sharpness is important the character of the lens to me is far more important. Frankly for portraits my favorite Rolleiflex is a beater 2.8E Planar I picked up in an alley in Beijing back in '99 that looks single-coated to me, is sharp as heck, and has a lot of micro-scratches, but the more moderate contrast and creaminess I get for my B&W work is simply superb. Bottom line is I think for what you want to do any one in good shape and properly cleaned and tested for proper focus and such will be fine.
Originally Posted by carlprad
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I wouldn't bother with the difference between the lenses; improve your technique
" A loving and caring heart is the beginning of all knowledge " ~ Thomas Carlyle ~
Ask yourself some questions
Firstly, how big do you plan to make the prints and how will they be displayed?
Secondly, if you plan to work with a model don't you think you have more pressing concerns than a few micro-differences between to almost identical lenses?
The quality of your tripod, selection of film stock and clean processing is more important to final print quality than tiny differences in lens sharpness - In any case, sharpness is only one of the many properties of a lens that has to be taken into consideration - If you want to work wide open the edges will be unsharp anyway unless the subject is larger than the frame - Also consider which lens has the better correction for spherical aberration, which will affect the way the out of focus areas are depicted, bad correction will give sharp edged discs of light which are far more distracting than a slight softness at the edge of the frame (there is a trendy pseudo-Japanese name for this which we will not mention)
I note you are planning to make digital squirt prints - If you are after ultimate quality perhaps consider making silver jelly prints if you can find space for a darkroom or know of one you can use - Making silver jelly prints will help keep Ilford and Foma alive and well - I can't be expected to spend my pension doing this on my own
more important, what scanner are you planning to use?
I will probably use an Imacon or the new medium format Plustek that is coming out soon.
If we're talking about two lenses made by the same manufacturer to the same quality standards, or two high-end manufacturers like Rollei and Schneider who have consistently good QC, I doubt you can tell a difference on the large scale. Unit variation will outweigh any real difference in the optical formulas. Even if there was a difference it would probably only be visible wide open and it would be pretty marginal.