Advice on a 150mm Enlarging lens

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by JHannon, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. JHannon

    JHannon Member

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    I currently have a 135mm lens (Schneider Componon f5.6) which seems to work well with 4X5. I have read that the 150mm has better coverage and is a normal lens for 4X5. Would a 150mm be a better choice for image sharpness? I am thinking more coverage = smaller apertures for the 150 over the 135.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    The claim is 150mm is designed for 4x5 and 135mm is designed for 9x12cm. The question is does it really matter?

    1) How big do you print? Small prints I think would be the same idea of macro LF photos. In other words the smaller the print the more coverage the lens has.

    2) Do you print full frame? The difference between 9x12 and 4x5 is pretty small. How much of the difference is going to be eaten by the film holder and negative holder.

    3) I think most of the 135mm claim 4x5 coverage. The same way 135mm LF taking lenses manage 4x5 coverage.

    So I'd say if you're happy with the 135mm then live with it. OTOH a used 150mm can be fairly cheap so buy one and compare. Keep the one you like best.

    I've no idea what you mean about smaller apertures? Do mean the 135mm will need to be stopped down more?
     
  3. vet173

    vet173 Member

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    In my research while trying to make that decision, I found that both will do 4x5. The advantage of 135 over 150 was, if you want to do large prints, you don't have to have the head up so high. The advantage of 150 with more coverage is you are working more out of the center of the lens. They are cheap enough now to get one to try, but what you have now is more than adequate.
     
  4. JHannon

    JHannon Member

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    My logic was that the 150mm (with it's greater covering power) would allow me to use say f11 instead of using f8 on the 135mm. May be flawed logic.

    Thanks to you Nick and Vet173 for your advice. I an just trying to get the best possible image for my prints. I do mostly 8X10,s but plan to sometimes go to 11X14.
     
  5. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    John,

    Your logic on the difference in apertures between the two lenses is not correct.

    For 8X10 and 11X14 you may not notice any appreciable difference between the lens you have and a 150. However, I used to use the same lens you have now. I got a 150 el nikkor to replace the Schneider and did notice a difference. Most of my prints are 11X14 and larger.

    Good luck regardless what you decide.
     
  6. JHannon

    JHannon Member

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    Thanks for the information Donald. I think I will wait. (At least until the local used camera show this weekend :wink: ).
     
  7. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    I have a componon S 135 and a rodagon 150 and to all intents and purposes the results are the same. The 150 came free with an enlarger so I wasnt going to say no!

    Coverage of the 135 and image quality at 20x16 was fine, but your componon might not be as good as my black relatively modern ´S´. I have heard a few people say that old silver componon are not that great, but a few of these might have been old and oxidised.

    Do the results look good to your eyes though?

    Tom

    Tom
     
  8. JHannon

    JHannon Member

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    My Componon is also black but has a small silver ring where the filter threads are. I don't see a "S" printed anywhere on the lens.

    It works just fine, I just didn't know enough about enlarging lenses and read somewhere that the 150mm may be a better choice for 4X5.

    Thanks for your reply Tom.
     
  9. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    If you are really curious, shop on Ebay for a good deal on a 150 mm lens. I managed to pick up a 150 mm apo-Rodagon for $49. I already have a Schneider apo Componon HM that I am very satisfied with but I couldn't resist. I haven't tested them compared to each other yet.
     
  10. voceumana

    voceumana Member

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    I have a Schneider Comparon (read the spelling of that carefully) 150 mm f5.6, that I bought used. It is a truly wonderful lens. It's a 4 element design, optimized for low enlargement ratios (I think, from 1.5x to 4x, meaning 5x7 to 16x20 on a 4x5 negative). It is perfectly sharp. Schneider no longer makes these lenses. I'm NEVER selling this lens.

    I bought an El Nikkor 135 mm solely because I could get a larger enlargement with the same enlarger setup, and might want to do so someday. (The lens was cheap on ebay.) But the El Nikkor is optimized for bigger enlargment ratios (I think 8x) so it shouldn't perform as well on smaller enlargements.

    In practice, though, there is probably more visible difference between 2 specific samples of the same model lens than between 2 different focal lengths. Has to do with centering and aligning the optics, and manufacturing tolerances.

    It would be easier to manufacture a lens with 4 elements than with 6, especially for centering.

    Both 135 & 150 lenses are intended for 4x5, if of modern design. (The manufacturer's brochures will tell you the coverage and design enlargement ratio, if you can actually find a brochure.)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2005