80mm enlarging lens advice

Making your print in the darkroom
Nathan Everett
Posts: 56
Joined: 08 Nov 2013, 08:31
Location: North Rocks, NSW

80mm enlarging lens advice

Postby Nathan Everett » 17 Sep 2014, 20:16

Alright, I know it's not a large format question but was hoping that I could still draw on the wealth of experience on offer here!

Patrick has kindly donated to me his LPL C6700 enlarger and a heap of other gear, and I'm in the process of getting it all set up for printing my 6x6 negs. As part of this I'm in the market for a used 80mm lens and was hoping for recommendations. I've heard the Rodenstock Rodagon and Schneider Componon lenses are good, though they seem to be a bit on the pricey side. Are the Nikkor lenses any good? I'm hoping to get something reasonable for up to $150, maximum enlargement size I'll be doing will be 16"x16".

Walter Glover
Posts: 883
Joined: 31 Jul 2012, 22:31
Location: Leichhardt, NSW

Re: 80mm enlarging lens advice

Postby Walter Glover » 17 Sep 2014, 22:16

Nathan,

The EL-Nikkors are my preferred choice. If you find and Apo Wk-Nikkor it is like gold dust.
Walter Glover

"Photography was not a bastard left by science on the doorstep of art, but a legitimate child of the Western pictorial tradition." —Robert Galassi

Nathan Everett
Posts: 56
Joined: 08 Nov 2013, 08:31
Location: North Rocks, NSW

Re: 80mm enlarging lens advice

Postby Nathan Everett » 18 Sep 2014, 12:28

Thanks Walter, there seems to be a couple of the Nikkors floating around at the moment on eBay that seem reasonable though they're all from overseas. Whilst this isn't a problem it'd be nice to pick one up from a local seller - there is a Componon for sale located in QLD which may be a good option, seems clean and in good condition. I'm guessing that because I'll only be enlarging to 16"x16" there would be little difference in sharpness between the three lenses I'm looking at?

smbooth
Posts: 395
Joined: 29 Jul 2012, 00:20

Re: 80mm enlarging lens advice

Postby smbooth » 23 Sep 2014, 16:54

Any of the main name 6 element enlarging lens will do fine.

User avatar
Maris
Posts: 513
Joined: 27 Jul 2012, 16:02
Location: Noosa

Re: 80mm enlarging lens advice

Postby Maris » 24 Sep 2014, 07:45

I'll second the choice of an El-Nikkor. The 80mm f5.6 example I use has successfully mapped every grain of every negative I've offered it onto photographic paper. One can't ask for more.

Nathan Everett
Posts: 56
Joined: 08 Nov 2013, 08:31
Location: North Rocks, NSW

Re: 80mm enlarging lens advice

Postby Nathan Everett » 24 Sep 2014, 11:52

Thanks for the advice guys, it definitely makes buying a lens simple when the contenders are all decent! I'll let you know what I end up picking up.

Photomark
Posts: 38
Joined: 16 Jun 2013, 17:43
Location: Central Coast NSW

Re: 80mm enlarging lens advice

Postby Photomark » 20 Oct 2014, 10:00

80mm f:4 Rodenstock Rodagon , very sharp.

I have seen these lenses for around $150 on eBay but if you can stretch the budget they try to get a Rodagon N APO, 8 element lens. This is what I use for my 6x6, the APO type is really not that necessary for B&W and you can not really tell the difference just looking at the print under around 30x40cm in size, I used to do a lot of colour printing with RA4 and Cibachrome and the APO designated lenses really make a difference with that.
For very large prints I also have a Rodagon G ( 80mm and 150mm ) witch are optimized for large printing. Unfortunately the 150mm is not much good for prints under around 1 meter on the longest side

Truth is though you probably will not see any difference between all the lenses mentioned but it is always possible to get a bad lens of any brand.

Condition is the most important thing , a dust spec or two is not a problem but if there is any sort of fungus it is best to probably forget about that lens unless you are very confident you can clean it or don't mind getting it professionally cleaned but if it is very bad the lens may be ruined as the fungus does etch into the lens elements.

Schneider also make excellent lenses such as the 6 element Componon, while I have never had one for 6x6 I do use one for large format and it is a beautiful lens with he most beautiful aperture blades I have ever seen on a lens.

Nathan Everett
Posts: 56
Joined: 08 Nov 2013, 08:31
Location: North Rocks, NSW

Re: 80mm enlarging lens advice

Postby Nathan Everett » 23 Oct 2014, 12:31

I picked up a used Componon which was supposedly in mint condition; unfortunately the seller didn't know anything about lenses and it looked like the botanical gardens inside! Returned it and picked up an EL-Nikkor 80/5.6 N which is in great condition. Just waiting on some chemistry before I get printing! Thanks for all the advice and input :)


Return to “The Print”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron