Enlarger lenses

jaber

Member
I am interested in getting the most possible in my B+W darkroom printing. What is the best enlarger lens? How does the Fotar compare with an Apo from Rodenstock or Schneider? Is there much difference between Apo and non Apo enlarging lenses? Has anybody used the Heiland splitgrade? It sound amazing.
 

ttam

Active Member
> For what its worth - If I remember correctly and accurately, the head of the photo division at Zeiss said that the only enlarging lens that meets with their > quality standard (and that they use) is the Rodenstock

Tsun

> Posted by John Abernathy (Jaber) on Friday, December 19, 2003 - 7:23 pm: > > I am interested in getting the most possible in my B+W darkroom > printing. What is the best enlarger lens? How does the Fotar compare > with an Apo from Rodenstock or Schneider? Is there much difference > between Apo and non Apo enlarging lenses? Has anybody used the Heiland > splitgrade? It sound amazing.
 
H

hektor

Dear John,

I would be very surprised whether you could pick the difference between the Focatar-2 (if you can find one) the Apo-Rodagon or the Apo-Componon.

Tsun,

Regarding the Heiland Splitgrade controller, I have been using it for a year. Yes it is an amazing device its real advantage being the reduction in test prints and time. The first print is always "perfect" and a second print is only necessary if dodging & burning might improve the picture. The controller has paid for itself in saved test prints!

Best wishes.

Justin
 

lcl

Member
I have been very happy with my 30 year old f2.0 50mm Summicron. The wide aperture gives a bright image for easy set-up and composing, especially for big enlargements where the image is dim. I stop down to between F4 to F8 for the exposure and even 16x20s come out sharp. No vignetting that I could detect.

However if you want to enlarge 6x6 or bigger, that's a different story.
 

jaber

Member
Regarding the printing 35mm negs,it seems that using the center of an 80mm darkroom lens would be sharper than using a 50mm. Is this true? Does something else change besides magnification?

Also Justin, or anyone else, could you give more details on the splitgrade? I've been debating for a long time on whether I should buy one. At $1850US plus shipping I want to be sure.
 
John, typically lenses made for larger formats have lower maximum resolution. Take a look at the Schneider website for MTF info about their enlarger lenses and you can verify this.

Another problem is magnification. It requires a lot of extension to get a big print from 35mm film using an 80mm enlarger lens.

Your best bet is to use the focal length made for the format, and to go with the newest optical design. If you have a V35 Leitz enlarger you are better off with the focotar, otherwise I would get an APO componon.

Best wishes
Dan States
 
H

hektor

Dear John,

I endorse Dan's remark and also suggest you go shopping for the Splitgrade. January 2002. I paid €1,000 including shipping.

Have fun,

Justin
 

jaber

Member
I have the Durst L1200 which is why ,I think, the Splitgrade is so expensive. I called Heiland themselves and they said there is only one place to get it in the US.
Thanks for the info.
 

kenneth

Member
I use a 50mm 2.8 Rodenstock Rodigon which works very well and I am unable to fault it. It came second hand with a Durst enlarger which is also perfectly adequate for my needs.

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