Good enlarging lenses, I forget...

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by ROBMURR, Oct 22, 2003.


    ROBMURR Guest

    Been a while since I had a darkroom so forgive this question please.

    I picked up a very clean near free Beseler 67C with EL Nikkor 50mm f4..
    I remember that the Nikkor 50mm F2.8 was better than the F4..
    I always get confused on the naming of the Schneider lenses...
    Componon is good?
    Componon S is good?
    Companon? is not good?
    Old schneiders still good?
    Rodenstock Rodagon is good?
    Rodenstock EL-Omegar is not good?
    Beseler anything is bad?
    Any other brands that are good/cheap/available?
    I think my lensboard is 39mm mount...

    I will want to get a longer lens for 6x6 stuff maybe both 50 and 80mm nikkors
    or sell this one and get 2 Schneiders maybe.
    Whats the concensus these days on lenses. I know they must
    have come down in price since so much is digital..
    ROBMURR, Oct 22, 2003
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    Jorge Omar Guest

    Jorge Omar, Oct 22, 2003
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    ROBMURR Guest

    Thanks for the info, thats exactly what
    I wanted to see. Looks like Nikkor
    50mm F2.8 is in the future.
    ROBMURR, Oct 23, 2003

    John Walton Guest

    I have several 50mm enlarging lenses -- I do prefer the Componon-S and Leitz
    Focotar over the Nikon. I think that it makes a bigger difference in BW than
    in Color. Is there "bokeh" in enlarging lenses?

    I had a 50mm Fujinon but someone offered me $150 for it so I sold it to buy
    a view camera lens. This was another very good enlarging lens, but I didn't
    think it was quite up to the Componon-S.

    Funny thing about lenses -- I have a 30 year old Leitz 35mm Summaron f/2.8
    which I bought with an M2R -- this is the second sharpest lense in my
    collection and it was pretty inexpensive, around $60 at the time. When you
    do BW it does a phenomenal job, much more pleasing than the 35mm Summilux
    which I also have..
    John Walton, Oct 23, 2003
  5. I used to own one. Not any more. The Leitz Focotar-2 50mm f/4.5
    absolutely thrashed it. Look on e-bay for that lens. The El-Nikkor is
    merely OK. The Leitz lens is about the best ever made.
    Michael Scarpitti, Oct 23, 2003
  6. Shouldn't be! Think about it: "bokeh" results from out-of-focus parts of a
    picture. When enlarging, *no* part of the "picture" (i.e., the negative being
    projected) should be out of focus. Hence, any "bokeh", real or imagined, in
    the print should be a faithful rendition of whatever's in the negative, no
    more, no less.
    David Nebenzahl, Oct 23, 2003
  7. I wish Richard K. would chime in here: both of these lenses are made by other
    manufacturers (the Omegars by Rodenstock, as noted). How good/bad are these
    lenses, really? (Kind of like the Graflex Optars, some of which were also made
    by Rodenstock, if I recall correctly, and were quite good.)
    David Nebenzahl, Oct 23, 2003

    Bob Salomon Guest

    The 50mm 3.5 lenses were not from Rodenstock. They were made in Japan.
    Bob Salomon, Oct 23, 2003
  9. By who? Surely they're better than Voss, no?

    And who made the Beslar lenses?
    David Nebenzahl, Oct 23, 2003

    Bob Salomon Guest


    At various times manufacturers have included Komura, Schneider,
    Rodenstock and others.
    Bob Salomon, Oct 23, 2003

    Mark A Guest

    I think the Beslars are 3 or 4 element lenses, so it doesn't make a lot a
    difference who made them. You can buy a 6-element lens on Ebay (unless it is
    a Schneider imported from Canada) for about $50 in very good condition.
    Mark A, Oct 23, 2003
  12. The Leitz Focotar-2 is REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, good.
    Michael Scarpitti, Oct 24, 2003
  13. Who asked you, fuckhead? Did I ask "can you suggest any better lenses than
    ______? No.

    Keep your goddamn Leica-centric opinions to yourself.
    David Nebenzahl, Oct 24, 2003
  14. Why, the OP, ROBMURR

    Did I ask "can you suggest any better lenses than
    Michael Scarpitti, Oct 24, 2003

    Bob Salomon Guest

    Apo Rodagon N, Rodagon WA. Just ask the folks at the Leica factory.
    Bob Salomon, Oct 24, 2003

    Bob Salomon Guest

    Well said.
    Bob Salomon, Oct 24, 2003

    ktphotonics Guest

    Possibly the best comparison of enlarging lenses was done by Ctein in
    Darkroom User magazine (and I think one of the US journals too). One telling
    comment was concerning the need to remember that the tolerances with any one
    model were often greater than the mean difference between models or
    manufacturers. There have been several reports of Leitz lenses performing
    particularly well at full aperture.

    Over the years I circulate my 50mm lenses, with so many flooding the market,
    I pick up used ones and keep the best. All major manufacturers have at some
    time been on my enlarger.

    However the best lens does not overcome the limitations of glassless
    carriers, wobbly enlargers or poor alignment.
    ktphotonics, Oct 24, 2003
  18. Those lenses are inferior to the Leica Focotar-2 series lenses. Aren't
    you the rep for Rodenstock? Have'nt you an interest in promoting
    Rodenstock? I think Rodenstock make fine lenses, but they're no match
    for the Leica lenses, though both far surpass the Nikkor products.

    El-Nikkor = 6
    Rodagon = 7.9
    Leitz Focotar-2 = 9.5
    Michael Scarpitti, Oct 25, 2003

    John Guest

    Problem -"Wobbly enlargers"

    Solution -"Durst"



    John S. Douglas, Photographer
    reply to
    John, Oct 25, 2003

    Norman Worth Guest

    Ctein's "Post Exposure" also contains a good, if a bit dated, review of
    enlarging lenses. The general guidelines are still very useful. He
    includes some pointers on testing enlarging lenses.
    Norman Worth, Oct 25, 2003
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