After 30 years of asking those questions and testing and using nearly everything from Minox, 16mm, 35mm, 6x6cm, 6x9cm, 4x5in and 8x10in I have settled on a simple realization that larger format cameras make better big prints. Likewise, small prints, like 4"x5" don't benefit from a big camera. I have even done 8x10in to 4x5in reductions to test that.
Originally Posted by philosomatographer
So, I try to choose my camera [format] based on what I think the intended final print size will be.
My simple answer to th OP:
Size does matter.
Reminds me of the first time of seeing and then making 16x20 prints from 4x5 negatives in a studio, at less than 5x magnification you hardly needed to worry about dust on the negative.
Up to the 12"x16" I can't tell the difference between Hasselblad/Zeiss (120mm, 150mm) and Leica R/Apo Macro Elmarit 100mm or Apo summicron 90mm shot on Adox CMS25/Neofin Blue in studio. Apo Componon 90mm vs rODAGON n 50mm enlarging lenses were used.I printed both today, so experience is quite up to date.Anyway I agree. The format size counts!
It would be interesting to see a carefully made 16x20 print from a Leica with a 50mm Summilux asph/Noctilux 0.95 @ around 5.6, on adox CMS 20. I reckon it would be extremely sharp and fine-grained.
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Roberto, I believe that - regardless of what aficionados of both of those lenses say - even in Leica-land, it's not the fastest lenses that are the best. The "best" 50mm lens ever produced is likely one of these three:
Originally Posted by Roberto V.
- Leica Summicron 50mm f/2.0
- Olympus OM Zuiko 50mm f/2.0 Macro
- Voigtländer Heliar 50mm f/3.5
And "best" is a relative term to the application. I'm finally getting another 50mm lens for my Olympus--a late model 50 F1.4 lens. Why? Isn't my 50 F3.5 macro incredibly sharp and doesn't it have outstanding bokeh? Yes. But I do event shoots where I'm needing the fastest practical lens available. Fortunately, this particular lens is no slouch regardless, but "best" is application driven.
As to sharpest films for 35mm...
I'm a PanF user, but find that in 35mm it doesn't give me the same look as it does in larger formats. PanF in medium-format is a thing of beauty. FP4+ has tremendous grain-migration for edge-effect and I like the tonalities which give a nice rich look to the images. I really like Delta 100, except for a lack on tonal-separation in Zones II-IV.
This Adox film is on my short-list to try. At this time I'm without a 4x5 so I'm wanting to use just one system. But there is no substitute for square centimeters.
Well for 35mm you have to search in low iso rate films.
For more ln/mm you have to go Ortho, Micro film or Technical pan.
Films which can be close to small medium format:
Efke 25, Rollei Pan 25 and they can produce a pretty nice grey scale.
Films over 200ln/mm:
CMS20 - Spur Orthopan
Technical Pan (Kodak)
Rollei ATP1.1 Technical Pan
Adox/Rollei Ortho 25
But all films over 200ln/mm need a special low contrast developer. Very carefull development and more problems to get a nice grey scale.
Speaking about one of the best lenses: Leica Summicron 2,0/50mm and Rollei Pan 25 in a Pyrocatechine developer AM50 (non-staining):
I can put other pictures of Efke 25 in Beutler or a Rollei ATP1.1 Tech Pan in a nice landscape too but on screen you won't see much difference. All tag sharp but doing landscape I prefer working with my 6x7 (cm) camera too.
Just an update, I am putting more work into making 12x16in prints - which I think will become my "regular" size for 6x7cm negatives. I bought a big box of paper, and a lovely Schneider W.A. Componon 80/5.6 enlarging lens, which appears to be phenomenally good after a couple of test prints.
Does anybody have experience with the W.A. Componon? Some people snub "wide angle" enlarging lenses (it covers 6x9cm) but I figure I am using only the "good" part of the lens anyway, even if it had vignetting softness in the corners. However, I doubt that this lens is anything but perfect based on my experimentation, certainly for anything up to 16x20in in anyway.
No personal experience, but I remember reading reviews of the various Schneider WA EL lenses: Very good indeed.
Originally Posted by philosomatographer
If your real life results are good (esp. if the grain in the corners is sharp and vignetting isn't visible), then you're in hog's Heaven!
M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa