Enlarging MF

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by nlochner, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. nlochner

    nlochner Member

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    Hello, without thinking about lenses, i bought the part to convert my 35mm enlarger to an up to 6x6 cm enlarger. Will i be able to make images with 120 film, (6x6 cm) with a 50mm lens?

    Thanks,

    Nlochner
     
  2. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Probably not very well; most 50mm enlarger lenses only "see" enough of the negative to properly cover a 35mm negative. You'll need a 75mm or 80mm lens to do justice to a 6x6cm negative. Fortunately, enlarger lenses are selling for peanuts on eBay, so you should be able to pick one up without breaking the bank.
     
  3. nlochner

    nlochner Member

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    Do i have a chance of making a good image?

    nlochner
     
  4. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    "Making a good image" is a different matter.

    But I would say that with a 75 or 80mm enlarging lens, you should be able to make a good print. With a 50mm lens you don't stand a chance of making a good print, but judging by some of the "art" I've seen that doesn't always matter (in the eyes of the art world, at least). :tongue:
     
  5. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    I just did an experiment: I put a 6x6 MF negative into my enlarger (a Philips PCS130) and projected 8x8-inch images onto my easel using a 75mm lens and several 50mm lenses (a Nikon f/2.8, a Nikon f/4, a Durst Neotaron, a Vega-11U f/2.8, and an Industar-96U f/3.5). The images from the 50mm lenses all exhibited some vignetting, although the extent varied from one lens to another. The worst were probably the Vega-11U and the Durst, while the two Nikons were probably the best. With the worst, the very edges of the prints appeared almost black (they'd print completely white).

    I didn't bother to make any actual enlargements with these lenses, nor did I try measuring light falloff. (I do have an exposure meter, though, so I could do that -- but I don't think it's really worth the effort.) It's possible that an actual print would show substantial lightening toward the edges even with the Nikon lenses.

    There's also the question of resolution. Even if a 50mm lens projects an image that doesn't fall off in brightness too much near the edges, it might project an image that's objectionably blurry in the edges. I didn't really look for that, though. Center resolution should be fine.

    As I said in my earlier post, 75 or 80mm enlarger lenses are very cheap on eBay. Even a very cheap one (like this Vivitar or this Industar-90U) is likely to do better than even an excellent 50mm lens for printing MF negatives. Such a lens will set you back less than the cost of a 100-sheet box of 8x10 paper.
     
  6. KenM

    KenM Member

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    nlochner, if you're interested in a 75mm enlarger lens, let me know - I have a Nikon EL-Nikkor 75mm that I'm planning on selling.