Anyone know if this componon lens is good?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Jedidiah Smith, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

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    Hi, I purchased an second enlarger a while back, and it came with a lens: a Schneider Componon marked 1:4/40.
    I'm assuming this means it's a 40mm f4. Can anyone let me know if it's worth using say, compared to my standard Nikon 50mm enlarging lens?
    Thanks for the tips!
    Jed
     
  2. Allan Swindles

    Allan Swindles Member

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    Schneider enlarging lenses are superb. If my memory serves me correctly there were two versions, the Componar and the Componon, the latter being best used for enlargements over 10x and the former for enlargements up to 10x, or is it the other way round? Puzzled by the 40mm though, my own experience was with 50 and 80mm versions.
     
  3. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I don't know about a 40mm version but I have no complaints about my 80mm Componon.


    Steve.
     
  4. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    May be a 'half-frame' lens, so if you don't have a need for it, perhaps some Pen-F user would want it. I don't recall that they made a wide angle "Componon." They, of course currently have a 40mm Wide Angle APO-Componon-S, but that is not your lens.
     
  5. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

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    Hmmm. Yeah, I'm kind of puzzled by it too. I can't figure out why you'd want a 40mm lens instead of a 50mm one. Here's the exact markings on the front:

    Schneider-Kreuznach 14048073 Componon 1:4/40

    Aperture ring has detents for 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16. And of course, says "Lens made in Germany" on the side.

    Thanks for all the suggestions so far. Doesn't really seem like something I need, I guess, but maybe I'll try it out and see what the results are just for kicks? :D
    Jed
     
  6. cowanw

    cowanw Member

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    I believe you would use this to make larger enlargments ( or a larger crop) at a more convenient height than with a 50mm lens
     
  7. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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  8. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

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    Thanks Bill - that makes sense; I suspect if someone had a shorter enlarger, they might need the extra...and 40mm is not so far off the "50mm normal" that it would induce any crazy distortions.

    Bob, that is a neat chart - thanks for that! Looks like it's an oldie...wonder if it's a goody too? :smile:

    Jed
     
  9. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    I have a 60's vintage Componon f4 50mm, I did some comparison prints with a newer -S f2.8. On B&W prints, you could see slight differences in 11x or larger prints as long as you used a 5x or stronger loupe to look at them, colour prints were even closer. I really tried to justify buying the newer lens, but I wasn't successful. :sad:
     
  10. phenix

    phenix Member

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    The Schneider 6 elements enlarging lenses are Componon and Componon-S series. Componar are 4 elements lenses, and they also made a triplet I forgot the name. The difference between Componon and Componon-S is that the first (which is also an older model) has a lower contrast and is suited for enlargements over 5(or 6)x. The S model is high in contrast and suited for enlargements up to 5(or 6)x.

    Componons are made as f/2.8 lenses, artificially stopped down at f/4 (just look inside with the aperture large open and will see something like a metal ring sized at f/4, not allowing a larger aperture). I suppose they did this compromise just to keep the lens’ body as small as possible (why, I don’t know). But the lens is genuine a f/2.8.

    As for the 40mm focal size, it was made for use with 126 size negatives. I think you can try it with 35mm too, one additional stop closed than normal (I mean f/11 instead of f/8).
     
  11. richard ide

    richard ide Member

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    I have used Componon and Componon S lenses and the S is better for big enlargements. I have used a 360 mm Componon S lens enlarging 8 x 10 negatives up to 16' and it was sharper and cleaner than any of my other lenses for that degree of enlargement without using filters. I have the head of a very expensive camera/enlarger designed for up to 10x magnification and it was designed around a 360mm Componon S.
     
  12. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

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    That's some great info, thank you. I did notice that it looks inside like it should open up more, like the aperture blades are being stopped at the f4 position artificially. At first I thought something was wrong with it, but I eventually realized it must be like that for a reason, because it stops down at every detent ( it works as it should) and you just solved this mystery for me, in that it's really an f2.8 lens that's stopped down from the factory.
    I don't have any negs smaller than 35mm, but seems like a neat little lens to have, I guess.
    Jed
     
  13. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I have both a Componon and a Componar. The Componon is a 150/f5.6 with a m39 mount,from 1964, and the Componar is a 75/f4.5 with a m25 mount made in 1963. Both give outstanding results up to 11x14, although I rarely print past 8x10. I really enjoy using the older lenses, harkens me back to my early days in the DR. My first lenses were Wollensak, which I still love, but the Schneiders were top shelf and I had worked my tail off to afford them(at the time).

    Rick
     
  14. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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  15. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

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    Hi, thanks for all the info, everyone!
    The lens does look like that one, just older, of course. :smile:
    At this point, I will definitely give it a shot and see how it compares.

    Jed
     
  16. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    Someone mentioned half-frame 35mm...could that have also been for 126 format?

    I think I had a couple 126 cameras with 40 mm lenses.

    Murray
     
  17. edtbjon

    edtbjon Member

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    According to this brochure the 40mm lens is intended for 24x24 negs (which is the 126 format I believe), but maybe it's good enough for 24x36 too. There is nothing which indicates that it's a WideAngle design though.

    //Björn
     
  18. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Yes, also for Rollei SL26 users. (ADOX ADC 200 Instamatic still available??)

    As with all enlarging lenses, coverage is better at low magnification. So I'll bet it works Ok for 4x6" enlargements from 35mm, but it won't cover the corners on a 11x14" enlargement.