Enlarging lens(es) for 6X6 - 6X9

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Soeren, Apr 20, 2006.

  1. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    I am considering a Magnifax 4 enlarger for my future darkroom.
    It's cabaple of enlarging up to 6X9cm negs. I intend to use it mainly for 6X7 and ocasionally 6X6 and 6X9.
    Which focallenghts do I need ? 80mm, 90mm and/or 105mm ?
    I have an old Schneider Componon 80mm. Will it cover 6X7 ?
    Cheers, Søren
     
  2. ras351

    ras351 Member

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    I have a Componon-S 80mm which handles 6x6 fine and 6x7 if I stop it down two stops. For 6x9 I use a 105mm El-Nikkor. I'm not sure about the older Componon but I suspect it'll be similar and if I'm wrong I'm sure someone will let us both know. :smile:

    Roger.
     
  3. rogueish

    rogueish Member

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    The 80mm will not give you enough coverage for 6x9s. You'll need at least a 105mm. I don't know about 6x7, but doubt it. I would say a 90mm might do it.

    Ok ras351 says he uses an 80mm for 6x7 so I guess it works.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2006
  4. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    If you don't need big prints then it's better to just get a 105mm. It'll do all smaller formats. The only issue is it'll limit your max print size.
     
  5. Jerry Thirsty

    Jerry Thirsty Member

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    When someone says that a lens "doesn't cover" a particular format, what exactly are the symptoms? Just asking because I've been enlarging 6x9 with an 80mm El-Nikkor for several months and never noticed a problem. Is it an issue of light fall-off in the corners?
     
  6. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

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    Try it. I have a 75/4.5 Ektar that I use for 6X7. It is sharp as a tack right to the corners. I tend to expose at f11 so that's the aperature I tested the Ektar at. Your 80 Componon should be fine. Might even be OK for 6X9.
     
  7. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    http://www.europe-nikon.com/specifications.aspx?countryid=20&languageid=22&prodId=540&catId=152

    The Nikon 80mm is rated at 6x7.

    What does that mean? In the magnification range that Nikon claims the lens will manage the lens will provide performance up to the standard set by Nikon. In other words if your standards are different or you're working outside the magnification range then it's up to you.

    I know with camera lenses the greater the magnification the greater the coverage. I think it's the opposite way with enlarger lenses. So smaller prints will get by while large ones will show problems. Of course may be I remember the relationship wrong.
     
  8. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Thank you guys. Ill see what I can find.
    Cheers, Søren
     
  9. Early Riser

    Early Riser Subscriber

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    If I could only use one lens I'd pick a 105mm, although that limits the size a bit for the 6x6 negs. If I could pick 2 lenses I'd add a 90mm. You're almost always better off going with a longer enlarger lens than a shorter one. You'll have better and more even illumination of the negative with a longer lens.
     
  10. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Get a 105 for the 6x9. No shorter. A coated tessar type ( Ektar, Wray, etc ) would be excellent for modest prints ( 5x - 6x ). A 105 Componon from the '60s or a 105 EL Nikkor will be easy to find.
     
  11. rogueish

    rogueish Member

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    I found I wasn't getting sharpness in the corners. I was using an 80mm for 6x9s and enlarging to 8x10 and gave up after one try at 11x14. It looked like there was some light fall off. The main thing was it looked like the image moved during exposure, but only the corners. Like taking a picture of a tree on a windy day. The trunk is sharp, but the branches are fuzzy, and the leaves are hopless.

    Bob Carnie was nice enough to give me a Rodagon 105mm. Even though I thanked him many times then, I never said said so here.
    Thank you Bob!
     
  12. edz

    edz Member

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    If you have a diffusion enlarger the 80 might cover 6x7cm reasonably well. Its really a question of the entire optical system. I have a 95mm Boyer than seems to cover 6x9 reasonably well.

    These days, however, in the wake of the crash of the used market for darkroom gear there is no reason to not just get a collection together. I'd suggest something like the Schneider Componon-S 100mm. They are typically in pristine shape priced below the Rodagon 105mm and no worse--- in fact on the last model I find it mechanics nicer than on my Rodagon 105.
     
  13. Jerry Thirsty

    Jerry Thirsty Member

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    I actually just tried that last night. I had a neg I had tried printing before at 12x16 and one edge was always coming out fuzzy. I had put it down to the paper having a lot of curl on the ends and wasn't flat enough. Last night I tried again with my 150; problem solved :rolleyes: although I had to jack the enlarger head up almost to the ceiling. What's odd is that I had also printed it on 11x14 and don't see hardly any fuzziness in that area.

    Oh well. Learn something new every day.
     
  14. Stoo Batchelor

    Stoo Batchelor Member

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    Sort of 'off the subject' of the question, but about the Magnifax 4, Barry Thornton spent a good deal of time testing the enlarger and Meopta's lenses, comparing them to more expensive top end of the market lenses, and the results make for a good read. They can be found in his book 'The Edge of Darkness' along with great tips on how to set the enlarger up, wall mounting etc.

    Hope this helps

    Regards

    Stoo
     
  15. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    There's always someone around who'll call this heresy, but I've recently mounted a spare Anastar 80 mm f/3.5 lens (in shutter, as dismounted from a Kodak Reflex II) for enlarging 6x6. Previously, I'd been using the same 135 mm lens I use for 4x5, which, while an excellent lens, limited my ability to crop due to the combination of focal length and column height. The Anastar is very, very sharp, easily equal to my Vivitar FHE 135 mm in printing 6x6 negatives up to (so far) 8x8, though I haven't yet tried any tight crops -- but we'll see; a tight crop at high magnification isn't far from what the lens can do in the camera, with closest focus inside three feet, and the negatives produced that way have always looked good.

    Oh, and it fit perfectly the 40 mm holes in my lens boards... :smile:
     
  16. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Yeah I just read that book. I was looking for the Magnifax before that though.
    Thornton also mentions the sample variations. I was thinking of getting a Meopta lens since it's not to much money wasted if it turns out to be a dog.
    Of topic, Stoo what do you think about the book ?
    Cheers, Søren
     
  17. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    I like the old Schneiders I have so another one might fit right in. Where would you recommend to look for one (other than E-bay) ?
    Cheers, Søren
     
  18. Stoo Batchelor

    Stoo Batchelor Member

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    Yes, I enjoyed the book very much Soren. It was one of the first photographic books I read after learning to process my own film. It was a godsend, if a very hard read, due to Barrys 'Going around the houses' before he finally got to the point.

    Strangely, I had bought the Magnifax 4a with the Meograde head and their own 50mm lense just before buying the book, so I was chuffed to read Barry applaud the product, and took his advice when I moved up to Medium Format and bought the Meopta 80mm lense that he recommended. I couldn't really comment on how good it is compaired to others, as it is all I have used. I can say that Both of the Meopta lenses, coupled with my choice of film format, and the compensating developers that I use with the partial stand method, gives me very sharp results.

    When Nova recommended the enlarger to me, their word were 'It's built like a tank, and it is the kind of enlarger that you will pass down the generations' They were'nt far wrong. Would I buy another one? Most definately.

    As for the book, its made me one lazy photographer, because what I learnt from it means that I can forget thoughts of 'zones' etc, and concentrate on my photography. A good thing? well I think so, but then thats a whole new thread!!!

    Regards

    Stoo