80mm enlarger lens with 35mm format

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by CPorter, Mar 12, 2004.

  1. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    Every enlarger I've ever used has had a 50mm lens for working with 35mm negatives. I have a 80mm Schneider Componon f/5.6 that was given to me when I bought my enlarger off of a friend. However, it will not fit the lens board until I make a couple of modifications to the board. Currently, my enlarger (a Omega B-8 with a v54 cold light head) has a 50mm f/4.5 Wollensak. Is there any advantage (or disadvantage) to using an 80mm lens with 35mm negs? Would it be worth the trouble to modify the lens board so it will fit?

    Thanks for any responses.

    Chuck
     
  2. bmac

    bmac Member

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    Your maximum enlargement size will be reduced by using the 80mm lens. And some will say that you are using the "sweet spot" of the longer lens instead of the whole thing, so your side to side sharpness may be better. If all you are going to do is shoot 35mm, I'd sell it and find a nice 50mm Nikkor 2.8 or similar.
     
  3. Jorge Oliveira

    Jorge Oliveira Member

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    I agree with Brian.

    Jorge O
     
  4. AllanD

    AllanD Member

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    There is only one possible advantage with the 80mm - more even illumination. However, any decent 50mm lens will also have even illumination.

    In every other respect, a good 50mm will at least match and usually beat a good 80mm at the magnification ratios you need to enlarge off 35mm. Its what they are made for.
     
  5. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    The Companons are, generally *very good* lenses. Some time ago, there was a great movement among the so-called "insiders" to use an enlarging lens one size longer than standard (i.e. 80mm instead of 50mm for 35mm format) with the idea that they were somehow, mysteriously, "better". What is written here is true - it is best to use the lens designed for the specific format.

    This was a *very* strong myth at one time - with *no* reasonable logic to support it.
    I consider that to have the same status as the so-called "Callier" effect ... that one, in *my* book is a myth as well.
     
  6. Thilo Schmid

    Thilo Schmid Member

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    Chuck,
    the 80mm lens has a larger image circle that you do not utilize. Thus you are using only part of the performance of the lens. This will not be disadvantage for not-so-large prints (usually not a problem together with the already mentioned mag-ratio limitations). On the other hand, the larger image circle may catch more straylight, if your negs are not well masked. Even if you easel is black, straylight usually reduces contrast-transfer of the lens.
     
  7. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    Way back when I had an enlarger, it came with negative carriers for both 35mm and 2 1/4. I came with one lens - 85mm. I made many enlargements from both negative sizes up to 11x14. You have the lens - try it. You might like it, you might not.
    juan
     
  8. dr bob

    dr bob Member

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    I use an identical lens for 6x6, and 35mm when enlargement to 8x10 is required. I own a 50mm but only use it for greater enlargement with 35mm of a partial enlargement with "other" format negatives. The only advantage of the 80mm lens with 35mm is convenience: I don't have to change lenses.
     
  9. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    Thank you all very much for your ideas. I think I will go ahead and modify my lens board and try it. Then I can more closely relate those differences that you mentioned.
     
  10. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    One other thing not mentioned is the 80mm will give you a longer working distance under the enlarger and this will be an advantage when dodging and burning smaller prints. Less chance of bumping the lens with your hand during the exposure.
     
  11. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    I use my 50, 75 and 90 for enlarging 35mm negs. Depends on the working distance I need. I like to keep the enlarger head about mid column. Just my preference. The other day I used my 135mm lens to enlarge a MF neg. Just worked better for the dodging etc I had to do. All my lenses are sharp so I don't have to worry about sweet spots.