Enlarger turret for lens, how useful in a home darkroom?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by ac12, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. ac12

    ac12 Member

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    I got a 3 lens turret with my Omega D5 enlarger,
    It seems like a neat thing to have, but I wonder how practical it is for a home darkroom.
    I'm wondering if it is better to just use a single lens on a slide in lens mount.

    On the D5, when I change formats, besides the lens, I have to adjust the position/height of the lens carrier, so why not just swap lens boards at that time? I can see this if I was still in school where the guy printing would have to print from various sizes of film. But at home things are more stable, I am printing usually from just 1 film size. And I've never used a lens turret before, so I have no practical experience to compare it with a single lens setup.

    I would appreciate hearing from those of you who use a 3-lens turret on your enlarger.

    thanks
     
  2. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I use one on my D-6 Pro Lab with adjustable bellows and adjustable condensors. I'm set up with a 50mm, 90mm, and 135mm and cover 35mm, 6x6 and 6x9 with the 90mm, and 4x5. It's a snap to switch between formats. I don't think it would work with a machine that requires a different length cone for each format.
     
  3. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    I used one on my D5. I only had one slide in lens board, so I would have had to unscrew and remount lenses to change.
     
  4. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I have a turret for my Beseler 45MX that I got on Ebay for cheap. It saves me having to switch lenses by unmounting the lens and mounting another lens if I switch printing different formats. I used to keep my 3 mounted lenses in a box wrapped in bubble wrap. Now all 3 are on a turret. It's handy, but not a necessity.
     
  5. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear act12,

    I love mine (Omega D2 Dichroic Head). It won't work with my 40mm though. I have to keep that on a separate board, but they just slide in and out.

    Neal Wydra
     
  6. ac12

    ac12 Member

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    Are there any issues aligning the lens stage with a turret vs. a single lens?
    My turret "seems" ridged enough.
     
  7. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I use a similar set up and it works well. If I were to use a 50mm or 90mm lens for 4"x5" the enlarger head would have to go through the easel. If I used the 135mm for 35mm film, the enlarge head would go through the ceiling.
     
  8. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    They work fine. Unless it has be very used and abused, a turret should be no different than using a single lens board. (I have 7 seven turrets in use on D5-XLs -- all with 50mm, 80mm and 135mm lenses on them.) The 50's are all Nikkor 2.8 and I use a spacer to get them to clear when rotating the turret...another lens mount, for example.

    You might consider looking for an 80mm lens, also -- I find using one lens size up for small prints to be very nice. One is using the primo center section of the image circle that way -- and the enlarger does not have to be so low for small prints -- easier to work under...such as lifting the easel up to slip in the paper, for burning, etc. I use the 135mm for 6x6 negs for up to 8"x8" enlargements.

    Vaughn
     
  9. ac12

    ac12 Member

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    I have 50, 80, 135 and 150 lenses. The 80 and 135 came with the enlarger.
    I was planning to get a 105 for 6x9, but that depends on "IF" I get a 6x9 camera. The 105 would then replace the 135.

    My plan was to use 50(35mm)+80(6x6)+150(4x5) lenses on the turret.
    My other option would be 80(35mm)+135(6x6 & 6x9)+150(4x5) on the turret, and put the 50 on a single lens mount. Or, 50+80+135 on the turret and put the 150 on the single lens mount.

    Man this is getting more confusing that I thought.
    Interesting idea of going up one step in lens focal length, I had not thought of that. I do remember VERY SHORT exposures with the 50mm lens and small 4x5 prints. The only time I remember using longer lenses for 35mm was in high school when I had to make wallet size prints for the yearbook or newspaper. I could not get the enlarger head down far enough, so one of the other guys told me to use a longer lens...problem solved.

    Vaughn, you reminded me of something. In the local junior college, all the enlargers setup with 80mm lenses, you have to ask the teacher for a 50mm lens to make large prints from 35mm film. Except for the few students printing 11x14 or 16x20, the 80mm worked just fine for most of the students with 35mm film. Except for one gal who was trying to print 11x14 from 35mm film. She was standing on a stool to reach the focusing knob, the head was cranked up all the way to the top of the girder. The enlarger had an 80mm lens, and she did not know to ask the teacher for the 50mm lens when she made her large prints. Although I also think the 80mm lens was installed for convenience, since it handles both 35mm and 6x6 films w/o changing lens.
     
  10. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    With the D5, the use of the 150mm requires one to remove the top condensor lens completely, and if I remember correctly, a piece of heat-absorbing glass is recommended. I have used the 135mm for 4x5 (for 16x20 prints) -- perhaps for 100s of different negatives over the years (but it has been 20+ years since I have done any serious amount of silver gelatin printing). It was fine, though I always ended up doing a bit of corner-burning...but may have done it with a 150mm lens anyway.

    We have the D5-XLs, which might have had a taller column than your old school's.

    I have recommended using a 135mm lens to students for very small prints from 35mm many times. Seeing them carrying in a box to put their easel on is a good clue!
     
  11. ac12

    ac12 Member

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    Vaughn
    Luckily my D5 has a color head, so no worries about the condenser lens.
    I have the standard model, not the XL chassis. Where I'm going to put my darkroom, I have a height constraint, so an XL chassis won't fit. Funny that it was hard to find the shorter chassis.

    Hey, how did you know I put a box under my easel in high school :smile:
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I have five lenses distributed between two turrets, and switch between them.

    50, 80, 90, 105 and 150mm focal lengths.

    The loaded turrets are easy to store and easy to use.

    Now if only I could get my hands on that 63mm Nikor that I'd like, for a price I'm willing to pay, my turrets would be complete.

    They are definitely worthwhile.

    One caution though - the turrets come in two versions, and only the thinner one works (barely) with some of the 50mm lenses.
     
  13. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

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    I also have two turrets for my D5XL. One is the "modern" setup. Schneider Componon-S 50/100/150 lenses. The other is the "period" setup. Kodak Ektar 50/75/100 lenses.

    The first is for general use. The second I'm using to print from my late father's stash of b&w negatives. His negatives were made in the early-to-mid 1950s. And so were these Ektars. It's a nice, authentic match that gives true period results.

    I couldn't deal with having to manually mount between six lenses. Actually seven, as I also have a Componon-S 80/4. Turrets are the only way to go. Some will tell you there are alignment issues with turrets. But my negatives project with perfect edge-to-edge sharp grain. And I have gone to some trouble to assure this, including the use of double glass AN carriers.

    Ken
     
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  15. ac12

    ac12 Member

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    The part number on my turret is 404-867.
    Is that the thicker turret?

    Looks like I will just have to test my turret with my 50mm EL-Nikkor with a spacer so the turret will rotate. Have to go to Ace Hardware to get a 6/32x3/8" screw to put the spacer under the lens adapter.
    If I cannot focus at max height, then I will have to put the 50 on a single lens mount.

    I don't think they make a turret for a Durst L1000.
    I'm back to single lens handling on that enlarger.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 2, 2013
  16. rbeech

    rbeech Member

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    I bought a turret for my D-5 and have been very happy with it.
     
  17. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

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    That is the thinner mount turret. The thicker mount turret is the 404-866.

    From KHB Photografix:

    "Note: Early D-6 enlargers used an early version of the turret (Cat. #404-866) with a thicker mounting flange. The two types of turrets look alike but are not interchangeable. If your enlarger is an early D-6, we can substitute the early turret on request."

    Also take a look at this KHB Photografix Omega D5/D6 Lens Mount Reference Chart.

    Ken
     
  18. ac12

    ac12 Member

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    I got the 6/32 screws, mounted the 421-056 plate with a spacer, the turret rotates with the EL-Nikkor 50 in place. Now to see if it will focus at max height. I just have to put the enlarger back together again :-(
    The plate for the 80mm lens arrived and is now on the turret.
    The only lens plate left to get is the plate for the 150mm lens.
    A single lens mount is on the way for whichever lens does not stay on the turret, the 50 or the 150.

    I'm watching for either an EL-Nikkor 105mm or a Componon-S 100mm for 6x9, or as an alternate for 6x6.


    Hey Matt
    There are 2 of the 63mm lenses on eBay; opening bid on one $75, $99 on the other.
    I'm curious, what is the reason that you want the 63mm lens?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 2, 2013
  19. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    The D6/D5XL is a bit "challenged" by 50mm lenses - the bellows needs to be completely compressed in order to focus when you are doing a moderately large enlargement of a 35mm negative.

    Normally, I use the Omega masking accessory with my D6, but when I am enlarging from a 35mm negative, I have to remove it in order to permit the 50mm lens to be closer to the negative

    So a slightly longer focal length would be good.
     
  20. Noble

    Noble Member

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    I'm about to pick up a second enlarger for less than $40. If you have the space you may be able to just get another enlarger and use that for one format and the other for a different format. Then everything is set up when you turn the thing on. No adjustments of any type needed. I thought I was kind of sick in the head for thinking of getting another enlarger just for that but in the "how many enlargers do you have" thread quite a few people seem to have the same sickness.
     
  21. ac12

    ac12 Member

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    I do have a MF Omega.
    I was contemplating using the MF for 35mm and 6x6, and the D5 for 6x9 and 4x5.
    But I am not sure that I will have the space to set up both enlarger when the darkroom gets built. I had not planned on multiple enlargers, so construction plans will have to change.
     
  22. ac12

    ac12 Member

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    Ken & Matt,
    You guys are making me think....and that can be bad. :smile:
    Now I'm thinking like you, TWO turrets. 50+80+105 (35mm+6x6+6x9) and 135+150 (4x5) or some variation of this.

    Noble,
    I was talking to one of the guys at the local photo shop and rather than the MF and LF enlarger setup that I had been thinking about, he suggested 2 LF englargers. Just set one up for 35+MF and the other for 4x5. That way I still have the option of going to 4x5 on either enlarger if I need to. And the baseboard of the 4x5 enlarger isn't that much larger than the baseboard of the MF enlarger. Then what to do with the MF enlarger? Oh more decisions...
     
  23. ac12

    ac12 Member

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    Ken & Matt
    You guys did it to me.
    I'm buying a 2nd turret from Collin.
    It's all your fault ;-)
     
  24. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    You will thank us :smile:
     
  25. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I had a Nikon N-75 with a 28mm to 300mm zoom lens. I was happy.


    Then I joined APUG.
    I inherited a Mamiya C330 with three lenses.
    Sold the Mamiya C330 with three lenses and bought a Hasselblad 503CX with one lens.
    Then a 45° prism.
    Then three more lenses.
    Then more film backs.
    Then a Hasselblad 903 SWC.
    Then a Nikon F-100.
    Then a 4"x5" Pacemaker Speed Graphic.
    More lenses
    Then a 4"x5" Graflex Model D.
    Then Grafmatic backs.
    Then more lenses.
    An enlarger
    A drum print dryer
    A Jobo processor
    Two more 35mm cameras
    Then a Tessina camera
    Then a WideLux camera.




    I used to be satisfied. Now I am an APUG member. :blink:
     
  26. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    It is always nice when a person with a compulsion finds his proper home. :whistling: