50mm Heroes

Everyone and their aunt made a 50mm enlarger lens. And if you use a 50mm enlarger lens, you have to ask: why not use one of the hundreds – nay, thousands – of standard 50mm taking lenses, which everyone’s aunt and uncle made too? Adding to the excitement, we even find the odd wide angle …

Projector Lens Group Test 2: Fast 90s

Just as surely as the major makers offered a bread-and-butter plastic-barrel 85/2.8, most offered an optically superior upgrade that could be specified at purchase or simply retro-fitted. These lenses typically jumped to 90mm and were always a little faster: commonly f2.4 or f2.5. The glass wasn’t just longer, it was deeper: the deluxe options eschewed …

Projector Lens Group Test 1: Basic 85s

If you average out all the lenses sold with all 35mm slide projectors, the most average – the most commonly fitted and seen – would be the plastic-barrel 85mm f2.8. Zeiss, Rollei, Wilhelm Will, Isco, Schneider, Rodenstock, Cabin et al – their entry-level bog-basic triplets were always the best sellers, most often selected by customers, …

75-80mm Heroes

Previously, I explained why focal lengths of 60-90mm are of special interest to those seeking uncompromised performance at ‘regular’ taking distances of 40cm-infinity. Here’s a summary of tested Delta lenses in this range that should be at the top of your shopping list. Gold-Awarded at Close Range:Meopta Meogon 80/2.8; Rodenstock Apo-Rodagon N 80/4; Nikon EL-Nikkor …

Rodenstock v Schneider

At this (comfortably ignorant) distance the commercial rivalries of our German brethren across the water seem to be civilised affairs predicated on fair play and the just reward of striving for excellence. BMW v Mercedes; Aldi v Lidl; Leica v Zeiss. May the best win, and may they receive sincere admiration from the loser. It’s …

Reviewing the Reviews

Publicly mulling a digital-era survey of enlarger lenses in 2014 (the seed that grew into Delta) Dr. Klaus Schmitt (creator of www.macrolenses.de) wisely advised me: “Save your time. That has all been done multiple times.” It certainly has. For instance, in the October/November 1967 edition of Camera magazine Arthur Kramer “put the best through the wringer” and …