60mm enlarging lens for 6x6??

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by NB23, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    Question for the Experts:

    I want to print 16x16 on my Focomat IIc but my 100mm lens will only go to about 12x12. Obviously, if I use my 60mm lens I will be able to go bigger. What are the drawbacks to using the 60mm lens for 6x6?

    Thanks!
     
  2. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    It may vignette for one.

    The lens may also not be sharp outside its "normal" coverage area.

    Worth a try though.
     
  3. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    Yes, theoretically it should vignette or at least show some light falloff but then again I always burn the sides and edges on all my prints so I figured it won't be a big deal. But other then that, I don't know! I'll have to try. But I'm still interested to know other people's experiences. I admit to being a snob when it comes to using my 100mm Focotar-2 but this time I really need to go bigger then 12x12...
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    An 80mm (not 60mm) lens is generally intended for high quality results with 6x6 negatives, and will certainly give you larger enlargements than a 100mm lens.
     
  5. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    Yes, I know! But I'm using a Focomat IIc and I can't use any lenses except the Focotar 95mm, 100mm, 105mm and 60mm.

    But my question was why exactly is 80mm (or 100mm) better then 60mm (or 50mm) for 6x6? I understand that each focal length is optimized for a given enlargement ratio (10X, for example) and in accordance with the height of the head itself, but if the height of the head is not a problem then why would 80mm be better then 50? What is the real reason behind this? Because saying that a 80mm lens is sharper then a 50mm lens is not true. Besides the ease of use and keeping the ratios sensibly the same why would it be bad to use a 60mm lens for 6x6 format?


    Maybe you can answer?

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 27, 2011
  6. M. Lointain

    M. Lointain Member

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    If you want to keep using your lens then why not either flip the column (if you can) and project onto the floor (or smaller table, etc.)? Or build a table with a removable top? Or mount the enlarger to the wall...?

    When I first started printing eons ago I used a 100mm lens for everything, even 35mm. Making a table with removable shelves was far cheaper than buying another lens. Of course lenses are far cheaper these days, and I was young back then.

    It just occurred to me too that the Focomat is a condenser enlarger, isn't it? You will probably have light fall off issues related to the condenser light path using a wide lens on it and that might compound the light falloff of the lens.
     
  7. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Much of it relates to the coverage angle of a lens. Using a 60mm for 6x6 is pushing into a wide angle situation which makes the design more difficult and less affordable. A wide angle lens may lead to softer focus and distortion toward the corners of the image, or as M. Lointain suggests, may get away from optimum performance of the lighting and condensers.
     
  8. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Sorry about the reference to 80mm lenses - I had totally missed the need to fit a solution within the Focomat IIc's special restrictions.

    It probably would have been possible to design a high quality 60mm lens for use with 6x6 negatives, but the market for it would have been so tiny (probably only Focomat IIc users) that no-one would have likely done it.
     
  9. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    Yes, yes, the same wide angle limitations one will find in any camera system, after all: falloff, vignetting, sharpness, distortion. Thanks for the great answers!
    I'll still make some test prints with the 60mm but I'll probably end up living with my l-o-v-e-l-y Focotar-2 100mm and its lovely 12x12 prints.
     
  10. John Austin

    John Austin Member

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    Testing times

    NO, only you can answer - Try to find an 80mm lens that will fit the narrow Leitz IIc lens mount tube, an early 80mm Componon should do it, perhaps with the Leitz ext'n tube removed

    My experience, but I am not going in the darkroom on a hot day like today as it is cold beer on the verandah time, is that the shorter early Focotars did not cover that well, so trying to push a lens designed for 35mm to 120 is asking for "interesting" results - Anyhow, try them out and see what your answers are

    I have a currently unused, unused ever, brand new first series 80mm Componon that I will try in the Leitz tube a bit later on
     
  11. John Austin

    John Austin Member

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    You owe me a beer

    I have just got the brand new first series 80mm Componon lens out of its, pristine box and measured it - It fits the Focomat IIc very easily in either side - However, the mounting thread is 25mm diameter, but comes with a flange, so all that is needed is a metal Leica screw thread body cap with a 25mm hole drilled in it to take the lens

    Absolutely simple, but never done as I am waiting to find such a body cap, so the project has remained unfinished for nearly fourty years - Now for that beer!!!
     
  12. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    You are limited by the lens' coverage. It will likely only work if that 60mm is specifically designed to be a wide-angle lens for medium format film, not if it is designed for 35mm or 126.

    Was the 60mm lens designed for 127 film?
     
  13. youngrichard

    youngrichard Member

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    I can't test it because my ceiling isn't high enough, but unless I misunderstand the problem you should be able to get up to 16 x 16 inch prints from 6 x 6 negs with the 100 mm Focotar by winding the head up with the large knurled ring on the column sitting under the head assembly. You will lose autofocus, of course.
    Richard
     
  14. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Unless you have a Wide Angle 60mm lens, you won't cover the format. I'd look for the Rodenstock 60mm f/4 Rodagon-WA Enlarging Lens.
     
  15. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    Why I asked for people in the know is because my 60mm lens does cover the full 6x6 negative and it seems to be quite evenly illuminated, too. But I'll do some tests and update.
     
  16. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    Yes!! Winding the head up! As stupid as I am, I didn't think of that. Part of the reason is that my Focomat IIc is in my other darkroom while I mostly use my Ic Color these days, in the comfort of my home.

    I will go and try that out asap! I can't ask for more then using my 100mm focotar the most I can :-D

     
  17. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    I'd love to try that!
    Buying a modified Componon from Kienzle would set me back a good 1000$ so I never gave it extra thought...

     
  18. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    The Focomat manual and Leica product catalogs I looked at do not indicate if the 60mm is a wide angle or not. So, perhaps it is. Best way to check is with a big enlargement. That will stress the coverage at the corners.
     
  19. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    But if it was a wide angle, then I don't see why Leica would have gone through all the trouble to create the IIc as a Two-lens enlarger, one for 35mm and one for medium format.

     
  20. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I don't know what they were thinking either, but 60mm enlarging lens for 35mm film won't give a very big enlargement as the 'normal' focal length for that format is about 43mm.

    The question you can answer is:
    When you raise the head all the way to the top with a 6x6cm negative and the 60mm Focotar lens, do you get good illumination and resolution at the 4 corners?
     
  21. youngrichard

    youngrichard Member

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    IC Racer, I am not sure if you are familiar with this machine. In autofocus mode the head sits at the bottom of the column sitting on a sleeve with notches that can be rotated to raise the head to correspond with the height of the enlarging easel, essential for the autofocus to work. The parallelogram arms then allow effortless autofocus adjustment from about 2x to 11x with the 60mm lens for 35mm, and 1.2 to 6x if you have the 95mm lens, a bit less with the 100mm lens.
    The column has a helical screw and by turning a knurled ring nut below the sleeve relatively easy raising of the column for another 30 cm or so increases magnification to 16x and 9.3 x; but of course autofocus is lost.
    Being only too aware of the light fall-off when enlarging to say 20 x 16 (though I don't understand it!) I doubt Leitz missed the trick of avoiding the need to provide a MF setting as well. On the other hand they weren't averse to taking your money. In the 60s these machines cost the equivalent of £10,000.
    Richard
     

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