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Michael Erlewine

IN PRAISE OF SPECIALIZED LENSES

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Wonderful image!!!

Is there a nikon EL 105mm f/5.6 that is not the APO version ?

 

there are a few of these advertised and they are not expensive

 

EDIT: never mind found my answer searching some more , the APO version  is indeed a different lens

Edited by armando_m
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Wonderful image!!!

Is there a nikon EL 105mm f/5.6 that is not the APO version ?

 

there are a few of these advertised and they are not expensive

 

EDIT: never mind found my answer searching some more , the APO version  is indeed a different lens

 

APO enlarger lenses are indeed a cut above the rest. Lens fringing in colour enlarging was not something that could be dismissed as an occurrence of shooting conditions. At edges and corners in particular such artefacts could be most evident and thoroughly jarring.

 

Both Schneider (APO-Componon) and Rodenstock (APO-Rodagon) made such lenses as well, and are probably more readily available second-hand than the rarer Nikkors.

 

Back in the day I bought (and still have) an APO Rodagon 50mm enlarging lens which ran rings around the standard 50mm EL-Nikkor it replaced. Most pro labs used the German products, the pro darkroom was one area that Nikon never gained ascendancy although in the amateur area their standard enlarger lenses were more affordable and well used.

 

In light of Michael's superb shot here I should give it a try on my PB-4 - I don't know why I haven't tried that yet.

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Another thing I remember is a Nikon magnifier for 35mm slides, which had horrible colour fringing. The German Schneide-Keuznach magnifier had virtually no colour fringing and was a joy to use. One darkroom "expert" in the student's photo association hadn't imagined that the difference could be so great.

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   Have you tried any of the new Sigma Art series lenses?  I really like your macro photos.

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I have not tried the Sigma Art series. I have my hands full with the lenses I already have. Those of us who wander off-campus into exotic lenses well know that aside from the regular advice that “a good photographer can use any lens,” in reality these special lenses not only have character, but they make our job a lot easier. The Nikon APO El Nikkor f/5.6 enlarger lens, a rare lens and very different from the more common El Nikkors, is one of those lenses.

 

And I can’t help but point out that this lens is extremely well corrected. According to the original literature, the APO 105mm El Nikkor was corrected not only for the three primary colors (R,G, B), but for the entire visible spectrum, as well as the near infrared and new UV light. They claimed that light transmission at the edge was as good as center. And these lenses are coated so that flare-free images can be produced. It has 8 blades, with .06% distortion.

 

The expert Ctein extensively tested 90 enlarger lenses and of them all, he wrote that the 105 APO-El Nikkor was the most perfectly-made enlarging lens available. He detected no aberrations of any type, and said it was the “one try APO on the market.”

 

I am a user, not a tester, but I believe him, because this little lens produced even more amazing images than the new Zeiss APOs. They have an incredible 3D quality. Here are some images I took with the Nikon D800E that show (to me at least) this quality. What do you think?

post-2886-0-32767600-1426334998_thumb.jp

post-2886-0-05144100-1426335020_thumb.jp

post-2886-0-06952900-1426335045_thumb.jp

post-2886-0-02636000-1426335064_thumb.jp

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Michael you are right there is a certain 3D quality to these photos, even more apparent when viewed large. Nicely done.

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Thanks for detailing your "travel through lenses", very fascinating read. As for the images, WOW, just WOW!

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I understand you so well.

 

Yet, I chose to not buy the superb 14-24/f=2.8 but instead to buy the 1.4/24G

 

Why?

 

The experience is that I very rarely use the Zooms and I do not want and need Cameras and lenses I do not use.

 

If I really need the 14-24G I can still ask a friend and borrow one.

 

But I prefer to screw the 24 on my Absolute Panohead and spin it...

 

Love you praises. Keep them coming!

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