Lens medium format for enlarger, need help

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Sam Torpedo, May 11, 2005.

  1. Sam Torpedo

    Sam Torpedo Guest

    Hi all,
    I would buy a good lens for my enlarger to print, from medium format, up
    to 24 x 36 cm.
    Durst Neonon 80/4, Rodagon 80/4 and Rodagon 80/5,6, which one?

    Sam Torpedo, May 11, 2005
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  2. Sam Torpedo

    iga Guest

    iga, May 11, 2005
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  3. Sam Torpedo

    John Guest

    Neonon. Better than the Rodagon and probably cheaper. I have one (a 50mm) and it's
    one of the best lenses I've ever used. I think it was $15 on Ebay.

    JD - www.puresilver.org
    John, May 11, 2005
  4. Sam Torpedo

    John Guest

    But if you want the best get the Schneider 100/5.6 APO-Componon.

    JD - www.puresilver.org
    John, May 11, 2005
  5. John <> wrote:

    : >i all,
    : >I would buy a good lens for my enlarger to print, from medium format, up
    : >to 24 x 36 cm.
    : >Durst Neonon 80/4, Rodagon 80/4 and Rodagon 80/5,6, which one?
    : >
    : >Thanks
    : >Sam

    : Neonon. Better than the Rodagon and probably cheaper. I have one (a 50mm) and it's
    : one of the best lenses I've ever used. I think it was $15 on Ebay.

    I also have a 50mm Durst Neonon and find it excellent. It's noticeably
    sharper than the f4 Schneider Componon that it replaced. I think the word
    is out on these lenses though, because the last few I've seen on eBay
    have sold for more than $15.

    Warren B. Hapke

    : JD - www.puresilver.org
    Warren B. Hapke, May 13, 2005
  6. Sam Torpedo

    MXP Guest

    Is the Neonon really a 80/4? ....my is a 80/5.6 and it is good. My favorite
    is a
    Schneider Componon S 80/4 and I think the Rodagon 80/4 has same performance
    this would be my choice of the 3 lenses you mention. I print using
    masks.....so I can use
    the extra stop.....I print at 5.6 (using glass carrier of course).

    MXP, May 14, 2005
  7. Sam Torpedo

    Dr. Dagor Guest

    This topic gets discussed in this note file often. If you search the
    archive you will find lots of hits. Here are some general notes.

    1. The ideal enlarging lens is the taking lens, since it would tend to
    correct any errors. (Assuming it's a good taking lens.)
    2. Short of that, the standard enlarging lens is the "normal lens" for
    the film medium. That's typically the image diagonal, or about 50mm
    for 35mm film and 75 or 80 for 2 1/4 square. 135 is often used for 4x5
    and so forth.
    3. Enlarging lenses of small focal length (80 and shorter) tend to be
    very sharp and relatively inexpensive, so get a good one.
    4. Most makers -- Nikon, Schneider, Rodenstock in particular -- offer
    both 4-element and 6-element enlarging lenses. Take Schneider... The
    Componar is 4 element and the Componon is the 6 element offering.
    Don't waste your time with a 4 element lens.
    5. Enlarger makers, in general, don't make their own enlarging lenses.
    So Omegarons and Neonons, and such are actually made by one of the big
    6. On your list you left off the Companon 80mm which is one of my
    7. On your list, I think that the Rodagon 80/4 may be an Apo lens, and
    is therefore superior (and lots more expensive).

    Have fun.
    Dr. Dagor, May 23, 2005
  8. Sam Torpedo

    Mike King Guest

    The taking lens thing has got a lot of comments over the years, the theory
    is that printing with the same lens that took the picture will "cancel" any
    optical aberrations of the lens, maybe in 1920 and with a simple four
    element lens like a classic normal focus Tessar-type but how about that
    super-tele or extreme wide angle. A well corrected 6-element enlarger lens
    can often be had for the less that the price of an adapter for the taking
    lens. I suspect that a 4-element Componar stopped down 3-stops is more than
    equal to a taking lens used at less than it's optimum corrected distance of
    focus. I have used several Componars for years and didn't have a gripe with
    them, medium format enlarging just doesn't require as much from a lens as
    "miniature" (35mm) or "sub-miniature" (anything smaller than 35mm). I am
    upgrading to El-Nikkors but only so I have a matched set of lenses for
    aesthetic reasons and because it would be (at current prices) stupid not to
    Mike King, May 31, 2005
  9. Actually, this is the _worst_ thing you can do:

    Imagine a lens that is sharp in the middle and fuzzy at the edges -
    the print will be sharp in the center but _twice_ as fuzzy at the
    edges. All the lenses aberrations are _doubled_.

    The best one can do on this score is to have an enlarging lens with
    a 'complimentary' [not the right word] aberration. In the example
    above if the enlarger was fuzzy in the middle but sharp in the corners
    you would at the least get a uniformly fuzzy print.

    Geometric distortion can cancel but the reduction to the negative
    in the camera must be exactly equal to the magnification in the
    enlarger, i.e. a life-sized print.
    Nicholas O. Lindan, May 31, 2005
  10. The taking [camera] lens may be the worst choice of enlarging lens. The
    best resolution and minimum aberations of a lens are designed with its
    magnification use in mind. A taking lens is commonly designed to perform
    best at a subject range between 12 feet and infinity. An enlarging lens is
    designed to optimize arounf a much smaller reproduction ratio, commonly 6x
    to 10x, or a couple of feet at most for comparision. The alternative
    justification of cancellation of aberations is bogus, as explained by Mike
    [doubles up any negative effects].

    There were some optics in the 1930s - '40s for large format which at some
    usage both as a taking and enlarging lens, but I think that was more
    reflective of the limitations of the times mixed with myth - certainly
    nothing you'd strive for today.
    Randy Stewart, May 31, 2005
  11. Sam Torpedo

    Blaze Guest

    Actually good process lenses are still being made and are capable of both
    enlarging and usage as a primary optic. This might include Rodenstock's Apo Ronar which I
    believe is a 4/4 lens much like the 203/7.7 Ektar which was used by some as a closeup lens
    for 8X10 cameras.

    JD - www.puresilver.org
    Blaze, Jun 4, 2005
  12. Sam Torpedo

    Bob Salomon Guest

    Sorry, they are no longer being made.
    Bob Salomon, Jun 5, 2005
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