Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/05/18

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Focotar Enlarging lenses
From: apbbeijing <>
Date: Sat, 19 May 2001 06:52:20 +0800

> DIfferences between the Focotar and Focotar-2?  What focal
> lengths were available?  For color, would I be better off with an APO if my
> enlargements typically don't exceed 10X?

I am a bit of an enlarging lens junkie: I have the Focotar 50/4.5 and the
Focotar II. They are quite similar with the II having the edge for
enlargements in the corners. Neither is streets ahead of more modern lenses
such as the Nikon, Rodagon and Componon-S 50/2.8s. Very similar I would say.
However the supreme enlarging lens (which I happen to have) is the Zeiss
S-Biogon 40mm f5.6: this is as close to perfect as can probably be made. You
need a special lens mount and it does not really show its talents unless you
are making big enlargements (it is optimised for 360lpm for 10x-70x

Back to earth: if you are not making bigger than 10x enlargements you should
just get a new, clean modern Nikon, Schneider or Rodenstock lens and not
worry too much about it: but make some test prints when you buy it to make
sure it is not a dud, for there are many sub-par examples.

The Schneider Apo-Componons are probably the best range on the market now.

As for the point light source: IMHO don't bother. Ugly prints, super
scratchy results and you may need an oil immersion carrier which is a
nightmare to handle.


- -- 
Adrian Bradshaw
Corporate and Editorial Photography
Beijing, China
tel/fax +86 10 6532 5112
mobile +86 139 108 22292


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Replies: Reply from Stephen Gandy <> (Re: [Leica] Focotar Enlarging lenses)