Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/12/01

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Desperately seeking enlarger recommendation
From: "C. Kurt Holter" <>
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 1999 19:45:34 -0500

In 23 years of professional photography, the two best enlarger lenses for
35mm negs I ever used were a 50mm Focotar during my college years in the mid
1970's and the early 1990's vintage 75mm El-Nikkor I sold last year when I
dismantled my wet darkroom.

I owned both the 75 El-Nikkor as well as a 50 El-Nikkor, and the 75 would
only let me go to about 11x16ish on the baseboard of my Beseler 45 MXII
enlarger.  However, it was just deathly sharp and contrasty - way better
than the 50 of the same approximate age.

I should also add that most of the enlargers I've ever encountered in my
whole life have been less than optimally aligned, meaning that even great
glass will produce lousy prints for most people.  If you buy a cheap
enlarger, just make sure it can be aligned properly.


C. Kurt Holter