Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones View Post
I've used old versions of both f/4 and f/2.8 El-Nikkors. The F/4 version is better than many of the other brand f/3.5 or f/4 three or four element lenses, but the f/2.8 version is better yet. Wide open it provides quick and precise focusing. Stopped down to f/4 it performs well from corner to corner. It might be at its best at f/5.6. When stopped down below f/8, the effects of diffraction become visible on the sharpness of grain. The effect in the center of the image when stopping down can conveniently be seen with a strong focusing aid. Some focusing aids permit this even at the corners of the image.

Decades ago I did a quick, but critical, test of about 35 camera and enlarging lenses. Four were better than any others: an El-Nikkor 50mm f/2.8, a Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5, a Leitz Elmar 50mm f/2.8, and a GN-Nikkor 45mm f/2.8. Other 50mm lenses from Nikon and Leica lagged slightly behind those four. The Nikkor 20mm f/3.5 of 1967 was one of the sharpest in the center of the field, but much less so near the edges.
Hey Jim
Could you actually see the difference on the print or was it from the focusing aid? I have 3 focusing aids and I will check this also today.
I also have a couple of Rodenstock 50mm's and I want to check them also. I am not sure if my old eyes will be able to tell a big difference though.
All I am doing is making sure I have the best image I can get and box up the ones I don't want to use.
This will be a fun test to do just for my knowledge and information.
I have never done a lens test and it will be interesting to find out some questions that are in my mind.

I have questioned in my mind also how accurate the focusing aids are. Of the three I have, they seem to focus a bit different from one to the other. From the distance from the mirror to the view finder is what bothers me on this.
When they are made, I often wonder how accurate they are in relation to what is actually printed. The distance between the mirror and the base is what will make the difference. I am not sure I can relate what I am thinking but between the three, there is a small difference in adjusting for sharpness. Maybe I don't have a good enough focusing aid???

I am not very critical on what I print but I would like to know if there needs to be an improvement in the quality.

I have a hard time explaining what I am thinking but I hope you understand what I am looking for.

I have downsized from 4x5 and med. format to 35mm and with that small of negative, I need to know if everthing is in order as far a image quality goes.