Best value in an enlarging lens for 645

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by David R Munson, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. David R Munson

    David R Munson Member

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    I'm in the early stages of converting a small second room in my crappy apartment here in Changwon, ROK, into a darkroom. I've gotten most of the core equipment out of the way and outside of paper and chemistry am ready to go with 35mm. Most of my best work is with 645, though, and while a neg carrier is obviously necessary, I'm trying to figure out what my best bet is for an enlarging lens for 645.

    It needs to be something in the range of 75-90mm, and if it'll cover up to 6x7cm that would be a major plus. I will be enlarging up to 11x14" at the most, and primarily 8x10" and under (I'm a small print guy). It will be going on an LPL 7700 Pro with a triple condenser lamphouse, as pictured. It needs to be something I can dig up here, even if I have to find someone on eBay willing to ship internationally.

    Once upon a time I had a Computar 80mm f/4.5 enlarging lens and it was completely fantastic. There's even on eon eBay right now, but dude doesn't ship abroad. Past that, I've never actually shopped for an enlarging lens in this range.

    I'm having some trouble finding sources of used darkroom equipment here in Korea, and what lenses I have found are currently a bit out of my budget. Does anyone have any suggestions for a reasonably-priced (read: underrated) enlarging lens in this range? It can be ancient, it can even look like hell if the glass is decent and it does a good enough job.

    Also, if anyone has any feedback on the LPL Universal glass masking negative carrier, please feel free to put it here.

    Thanks!
     

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  2. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    I like the LPL glass carrier and would suggest getting the Anti-Newton Ring Glass for the top glass. Keeps the negative nice and flat. You can modify it to print the whole frame with black borders.

    An El Nikkor 80mm/5.6 lens is a nice lens to have. Also the Schneider Componon S 80mm/F4 is fine.

    Jon
     
  3. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    There seem to be quite a few APO-Rodagons on ebay right now in 80mm and 90mm. This will certainly give you sharp images.
     
  4. photomem

    photomem Member

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    I use the Rodenstock Rodagon 80mm for enlarging my 645 Negatives. I always get sharp images and the aperture action is smoother than the Nikkor (in my opinion) but you can definitely tell when you are at a stop when turning the ring. (Handy when you mount the lens backwards and the aperture settings are pointing away from you.)
     
  5. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

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    I have a Hoya 75mm f4.5 (39mm mounting thread) that I use for 6x6 and 6x4.5. 6x7 might be pushing it a bit at the corners, but I have never tried it. I have a (very secondhand) 105mm Nikkor for 6x9. I doubt the Hoya is still available new (mine must be 20 years old if it is a day), but it works.
     
  6. David R Munson

    David R Munson Member

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    All suggestions duly noted. I'm hoping I can dig something up this weekend while I'm trying to find chemistry and paper in Busan.