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Enlarger lens options.



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 7th 08, 04:19 PM posted to rec.photo.darkroom
otzi
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 25
Default Enlarger lens options.

I am well aware that probably all modern enlarger lenses are pretty good.
The question arises, is the Componon HM series any advantage for black &
white printing
over the Componon -S
I am pretty thick about reading any graph curves but the Componon - S curves
seem flatter than the HM ones.

The Rodenstock charts seem to be a lot easier to understand, well they are
marketed as such anyway.
Would the lens folk of this community consider the APO-Rodagon - N enlarging
lenses to be on a par with the
HM series or the Componon - S series? And does it matter. What about bigger
magnifications, say 12X.

Would all the modern (new) enlarging lenses, apart from the amateur series,
perform equally to the eye.



  #2  
Old May 7th 08, 06:03 PM posted to rec.photo.darkroom
Charles Hohenstein
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Posts: 12
Default Enlarger lens options.

In article ,
"otzi" wrote:

I am well aware that probably all modern enlarger lenses are pretty good.
The question arises, is the Componon HM series any advantage for black &
white printing
over the Componon -S
I am pretty thick about reading any graph curves but the Componon - S curves
seem flatter than the HM ones.

The Rodenstock charts seem to be a lot easier to understand, well they are
marketed as such anyway.
Would the lens folk of this community consider the APO-Rodagon - N enlarging
lenses to be on a par with the
HM series or the Componon - S series? And does it matter. What about bigger
magnifications, say 12X.

Would all the modern (new) enlarging lenses, apart from the amateur series,
perform equally to the eye.


Isn't the APO Rodagon-N intended for copy work as a taking lens?

--
Charles Hohenstein (to reply, remove Gene Robinson)

"The sad huddle of affluent bedwetters, thumbsuckers,
treehuggers, social*climbers, homophiles, quavery ladies,
and chronic petition signers that*makes up the current
Episcopal Church . . ." -‹Thomas Lipscomb
  #3  
Old May 7th 08, 06:32 PM posted to rec.photo.darkroom
otzi
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 25
Default Enlarger lens options.


"Peter" wrote in message
...
On May 7, 5:19 pm, "otzi" wrote:
I am well aware that probably all modern enlarger lenses are pretty good.
The question arises, is the Componon HM series any advantage for black &
white printing
over the Componon -S
I am pretty thick about reading any graph curves but the Componon - S
curves
seem flatter than the HM ones.

The Rodenstock charts seem to be a lot easier to understand, well they are
marketed as such anyway.
Would the lens folk of this community consider the APO-Rodagon - N
enlarging
lenses to be on a par with the
HM series or the Componon - S series? And does it matter. What about
bigger
magnifications, say 12X.

Would all the modern (new) enlarging lenses, apart from the amateur
series,
perform equally to the eye.


As I recall, the HM lenses permit a bit more magnification with a
given set-up because they have a somewhat wider field. This permits
using a shorter focal length lens and thus more enlargement.

If you need that, it would seem to be of interest. You may be right,
that there is something given up getting the wider field.

Even so, extracting the last bit of performance from whatever lens is
also an issue. You also need pretty good technique to see the
advantage of a lens that is claimed to be better than the Componon-S
(or a Rodagon). In particular, you need to eliminate vibration,
eliminate any misalignment, focus accurately and avoid any curl or pop
in the negative (for big negatives, this may mean a glass carrier).

I just wondered if the HM was more for colour work, rather than B&W.


  #4  
Old May 7th 08, 10:50 PM posted to rec.photo.darkroom
Richard Knoppow
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 751
Default Enlarger lens options.


"Peter" wrote in message
...
On May 7, 7:32 pm, "otzi" wrote:
....

I just wondered if the HM was more for colour work, rather
than B&W.- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -


Sometimes Bob Salomon posts on this board and he would have
more
details at his fingertips.

My opinion is that unless you need the extra coverage the
obvious
choice is whichever is cheaper. It wll be hard to see a
difference in
image quality between the lenses using either B&W or color.
The
Componon-S, the Rodagon, the Nikon and the HM Componon are
excellent
lenses (usually - individual variation or especially damage
in a used
lens is possible).

One problem with "wide angle" enlarging lenses is light
fall off. Fall off is due to geometric properties and
increases with the image angle. It can be reduced to some
degree in some types of wide angle lenses but I don't think
this principal is used for enlarging lenses. As an example I
use a 135mm lens for enlarging 4x5 negatives and must burn
the corners. Standard for this format is 150mm but 180mm
would be better for corner to corner uniformity, however, it
would require a very long throw (tall column). I concur
that unless you need a wide angle lens because of lack of
projection space its better to use a longer focal length.
As far as the MTF charts from the various manufacturers
go they really don't tell you much. Rodenstock's chromatic
correction curve shows that their "apo" lenses are not
apochromatic but acromatic and AFAIK so are Schneider's.
This really makes no practical difference because both lines
are very well corrected.
For the most part the older Schneider Componon-S is
excellent and there is not a lot to be gained by using newer
and much more expensive lenses although their performance is
marginally better.
BTW, one of the reasons for the redesign of both
enlarging and camera lenses in the last couple of decades is
the lack of certain kinds of optical glass due to some
components being considered environmental hazards. For
instance arsenic was a common ingredient in glass to clarify
it and must not be used now. Since some of the glass
constants have changed the designs have had to be changed.
Not a big deal with computer assisted design but it does
require making some changes. The original Tessar could not
be built now because the glass types it calls for are no
longer available.


--
---
Richard Knoppow
Los Angeles, CA, USA



  #5  
Old May 8th 08, 01:02 AM posted to rec.photo.darkroom
Stefan Patric
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 83
Default Enlarger lens options.

On Thu, 08 May 2008 01:19:35 +1000, otzi wrote:

I am well aware that probably all modern enlarger lenses are pretty
good. The question arises, is the Componon HM series any advantage for
black & white printing
over the Componon -S
I am pretty thick about reading any graph curves but the Componon - S
curves seem flatter than the HM ones.

The Rodenstock charts seem to be a lot easier to understand, well they
are marketed as such anyway.
Would the lens folk of this community consider the APO-Rodagon - N
enlarging lenses to be on a par with the
HM series or the Componon - S series? And does it matter. What about
bigger magnifications, say 12X.

Would all the modern (new) enlarging lenses, apart from the amateur
series, perform equally to the eye.


Perhaps, this might help solve your quandary or, at least, be
enlightening.

Years ago, a friend of mine, a Rochester Institute of Technology graduate
in the photo processing and laboratory fields, owned a pro lab, a dream
of his. He had all manner of enlarging lenses of all makes and models--
Componons, Comparons, Rodagons, and some I'd never heard of. One day,
the Rodagon rep came in and gave him a couple Apo-Rodagons to try out.
They were a new design. To make a long story short: He ended up
replacing EVERY enlarger lens in the lab with Apo-Rodagons for both color
and b&w. He said that you could actually see the improved image quality
with the naked eye even in an 8x10 print, and they did prints up to 8x10
feet. But to truly benefit from the superiority and flatness of field of
the lenses, you had to use glass carriers to hold the film perfectly
flat, and all the stages of your enlarger had to be in perfect alignment
and parallel to the vacuum printing easel.

Stef
  #6  
Old May 8th 08, 04:55 AM posted to rec.photo.darkroom
Craig Schroeder
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 26
Default Enlarger lens options.

I've accumulated a large number of good lenses over some time and also
recently got about 20 more in a purchase of a pro lab /business odd
lot. I decided to test the most desirable ones for my own duty and
took time with a Versalign rig to get all planes in proper alignment
for a run through.

The 40HM, 45HM and Rodagon APO 50 were judged about equal and all were
only slightly ahead of the standard Rodagons and Componon-S but only
discernible at higher magnifications. The single Nikkor 50 2.8 was
slightly less sharp than the others mentioned but this could easily be
a single sample variation as these enjoy a good reputation. An odd
Fujinon 49.9 EFS did very well and was nipping at the APO heels and I
believe anyone would be happy with it. A 63mm Nikkor was also in this
same class as was a 40WA Rodagon.

The Rodagon 80 APO and Componon HM 90 seemed equal to each other and
in practice these show a very slight advantage for the Rodagon as
there is something about how it renders mid tone/skin tones that is
especially nice, at least with my materials and practices. Again, the
standard Rodagons and Comp-S did well against these until more extreme
enlargement sizes. A Nikkor 80 showed poorly but it had a bit of dust
internally and may not have been a good sample. A single Componon S
100 did nicely and did slightly better than a pair of 105 Nikkors.

It was fun to have all of these nice chunks of glass all in one place
for some comparisons. I learned that I could likely be happy with
most any of them but use the APOs in general use for little more
reason than the psychology of having the best glass on the machine. I
would describe myself as "fussy" regarding optics and I'll admit that
this entire exercise had me conclude that it is truly hair-splitting
to discern any real world difference in any of these good quality
choices. Perhaps if I worked in color, I would find characteristics
that would favor one over another. In black and white, my best tools
for quality in darkroom projection has turned out to be my alignment
tool and grain focuser! Any of the differences I've highlighted were
very, very slight and had me pondering long and hard to tell any
difference.

On Thu, 8 May 2008 01:19:35 +1000, "otzi" wrote:

I am well aware that probably all modern enlarger lenses are pretty good.
The question arises, is the Componon HM series any advantage for black &
white printing
over the Componon -S
I am pretty thick about reading any graph curves but the Componon - S curves
seem flatter than the HM ones.


Craig Schroeder
craig nospam craigschroeder com
  #7  
Old May 8th 08, 04:20 PM posted to rec.photo.darkroom
otzi
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 25
Default Enlarger lens options.

Thanks for all the input folks. I was curious but unconvinced. Just
wondered why so much was invested for so little gain. But these responses
were very encouraging.
Thanks.


"Craig Schroeder" wrote in message
...
I've accumulated a large number of good lenses over some time and also
recently got about 20 more in a purchase of a pro lab /business odd
lot. I decided to test the most desirable ones for my own duty and
took time with a Versalign rig to get all planes in proper alignment
for a run through.

The 40HM, 45HM and Rodagon APO 50 were judged about equal and all were
only slightly ahead of the standard Rodagons and Componon-S but only
discernible at higher magnifications. The single Nikkor 50 2.8 was
slightly less sharp than the others mentioned but this could easily be
a single sample variation as these enjoy a good reputation. An odd
Fujinon 49.9 EFS did very well and was nipping at the APO heels and I
believe anyone would be happy with it. A 63mm Nikkor was also in this
same class as was a 40WA Rodagon.

The Rodagon 80 APO and Componon HM 90 seemed equal to each other and
in practice these show a very slight advantage for the Rodagon as
there is something about how it renders mid tone/skin tones that is
especially nice, at least with my materials and practices. Again, the
standard Rodagons and Comp-S did well against these until more extreme
enlargement sizes. A Nikkor 80 showed poorly but it had a bit of dust
internally and may not have been a good sample. A single Componon S
100 did nicely and did slightly better than a pair of 105 Nikkors.

It was fun to have all of these nice chunks of glass all in one place
for some comparisons. I learned that I could likely be happy with
most any of them but use the APOs in general use for little more
reason than the psychology of having the best glass on the machine. I
would describe myself as "fussy" regarding optics and I'll admit that
this entire exercise had me conclude that it is truly hair-splitting
to discern any real world difference in any of these good quality
choices. Perhaps if I worked in color, I would find characteristics
that would favor one over another. In black and white, my best tools
for quality in darkroom projection has turned out to be my alignment
tool and grain focuser! Any of the differences I've highlighted were
very, very slight and had me pondering long and hard to tell any
difference.

On Thu, 8 May 2008 01:19:35 +1000, "otzi" wrote:

I am well aware that probably all modern enlarger lenses are pretty good.
The question arises, is the Componon HM series any advantage for black &
white printing
over the Componon -S
I am pretty thick about reading any graph curves but the Componon - S
curves
seem flatter than the HM ones.


Craig Schroeder
craig nospam craigschroeder com



  #8  
Old May 8th 08, 05:44 PM posted to rec.photo.darkroom
Nicholas O. Lindan
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,227
Default Enlarger lens options.

"otzi" wrote

Just wondered why so much was invested for so little gain.


The law of diminishing returns. When something is close to
perfection the cost of even a miniscule gain becomes
astronomical.

There is a universal "80/20 rule": you can get 80% of the
performance for 20% of the cost.

The most cost-effective approach to improving photography
is to buy a used Tessar-formula enlarging lens and spend the
savings on something worthwhile that will make a noticeable
and unequivocal improvement: a trip to someplace photogenic,
a workshop, a really good timer ...

--
Nicholas O. Lindan, Cleveland, Ohio
Darkroom Automation: F-Stop Timers, Enlarging Meters
http://www.darkroomautomation.com/index2.htm
n o lindan at ix dot netcom dot com


  #9  
Old May 8th 08, 06:48 PM posted to rec.photo.darkroom
Richard Knoppow
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 751
Default Enlarger lens options.


"otzi" wrote in message
u...
Thanks for all the input folks. I was curious but
unconvinced. Just wondered why so much was invested for so
little gain. But these responses were very encouraging.
Thanks.

Lots of snipping here.
There are a number of reasons for the newer lenses. One
is simply that lenses have a very long lifetime so buying
one often takes the buyer out of the market for some time
unless a "better" replacement can be offered. Another is
that computer aided design makes it easier to make new
designs and evaluate them. Before computers the lens design
procedure could progress only so far through mathematical
analysis at which point a sample lens had to built and
evaluated on the optical bench. The computer allows very
complex analysis to be made quickly so that new designs can
be brought much closer to optimum before one is made. Often
the difference between a computer optimized lens and one
designed by the older methods is slight. I also mentioned in
an earlier response to this thread that the optical glass
types available had changed necessitating redesign of many
existing lenses. Since many of these were designed before
computer optimization became generally available the
redisign for new glass types also resulted in either
improvement in the original design or a completely new
design.
Nearly all modern enlarging lenses are based on a
generic type known as a Plasmat as are many large format
camera lenses. These have several inherent advantages such
as low astigmatism which is important for flat field
applications such as enlarging. They are also have
relatively wide coverage angles.
Modern multi-coating also helps performance by
increasing the image contrast.
Keep in mind that any lens with fixed position elements
can be optimized for only one object to image distance. The
performance at other distances can be good but will not be
quite up to the optimum distance. Most camera lenses are
optimized for approximately infinity but enlarger lenses are
optimized for whatever distance corresponds to the
magnification the manufacturer thinks it will be used for
mostly. Some manufacturers, Rodenstock and Schneieder
particularly, specify the magnification range for their
lenses. While the lens can give satisfactory performance
outside of this range special range lenses will do better.
Both manuacturers offer lenses for relatively large
magnification, i.e., photomurals, as well as for more usual
size prints. Since the print size does not vary so much with
differences in format (one makes 8x10 or 11x14 from all
common negative sizes) the optimum magnification will vary
with the lens focal length, that is, it will be greater for
a lens for 35mm than for a 4x5 lens.
A high power grain focuser will often show up
differences in lenses that are much harder to see in a print
but may also introduce its own problems, for instance, some
grain focusers are not very well achromitized and will show
color fringes due to its own optics which are not present in
the image from the enlarging lens.


--
---
Richard Knoppow
Los Angeles, CA, USA



  #10  
Old May 8th 08, 08:26 PM posted to rec.photo.darkroom
Jean-David Beyer
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 247
Default Enlarger lens options.

Nicholas O. Lindan wrote:
"otzi" wrote

Just wondered why so much was invested for so little gain.


The law of diminishing returns. When something is close to
perfection the cost of even a miniscule gain becomes
astronomical.

There is a universal "80/20 rule": you can get 80% of the
performance for 20% of the cost.

The most cost-effective approach to improving photography
is to buy a used Tessar-formula enlarging lens and spend the
savings on something worthwhile that will make a noticeable
and unequivocal improvement: a trip to someplace photogenic,
a workshop, a really good timer ...

True. Many fuzzy images are caused by tripod insufficiency syndrome.
Of course, fuzzy concepts in the mind of the photographer can also be a problem.

--
.~. Jean-David Beyer Registered Linux User 85642.
/V\ PGP-Key: 9A2FC99A Registered Machine 241939.
/( )\ Shrewsbury, New Jersey http://counter.li.org
^^-^^ 15:25:01 up 1 day, 7:57, 3 users, load average: 4.29, 4.38, 4.35
 




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