Good cheap LF enlarging lenses?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by athanasius80, May 17, 2006.

  1. athanasius80

    athanasius80 Member

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    Ok guys,
    I'm tired of using the Ektar from my press camera on the enlarger. Are there any top notch inexpensive lenses for MF and LF enlarging? I'm kinda curious about the old Kodak Projection Anastigmats and things of that sort. All suggestions greatly appreciated.
    Thanks!
     
  2. wiseowl

    wiseowl Member

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    Enlarging lenses seem to go for 2 a penny on e-bay these days. I recently bought a schneider comparon 150mm for under a fiver and there's plenty on there for under £50.

    Cheers

    Martin
     
  3. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    Schneider Comparons for 2x to 6x magnification, either 135mm or 150 mm.

    Not Componars if you see them and if they were made in 4x5 lengths.

    Old Componons and Componon S are also good.

    Stay away from the low end glass like Rogonar and old Wallensak.
     
  4. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Chris, two faves are Vivitar VHE series. These were made by Schneider and you can sneak up on them at Ebay occasionally for cheap. Here's one but apparently in sorry shape. The other stellar plasmat is the Computar which is rare, but Beseler also marketed them as Beseler Color Pro.
     
  5. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    I picked up a 135mm El-Nikkor last year for I think it was about $75. It's the old style lens, all metal barrel without illuminated f/stop markings. It is in absolutely gorgeous condition and makes very sharp images with good contrast. It is much better than the old 135mm Schneider Componon f/4.5 that I'd been using previously. To be fair, the Schneider has a fair amount of haze between the elements and would benefit from a good cleaning.
     
  6. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    You need to go to the Camera Show in the City of Carson this Sunday. You will find top quality enlarging lenses for nominal sums as they are getting more and more difficult to sell.

    NO - this is not a commercial for a particular dealer, just an attempt to help a fellow APUGer save some cash.
     
  7. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    I'll second the vote for the Vivitar VHE. I have one of these in 135 mm, f/5.6. It's a sheer joy to work with on my D2; covers 4x5 easily, no sign in the prints of any light falloff, and also does an excellent job with 6x9 and 6x6 prints (though I'm now doing my 6x6 with an 80 mm f/3.5 Anastar that came without the Kodak Reflex II it was originally built onto). Heck, I'd use it for 35 mm if the enlarger column were tall enough and I could reach to focus; it's a better lens than my El Omegar 50 mm f/4.

    I got this lens with my D2, along with a bunch of boards, cones, plates, negative carriers, and a Zone VI cold light, for $250 -- which, by my calculation, means I got the lens itself for about 85 cents... :wink:
     
  8. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    I like Omega enlargers, but I've used a couple of their kit 50mm lenses that were dogs. Even the four element El-Nikkors f/4 are much better.
     
  9. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

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    I agree about enlarging lenses selling cheap right now. Enlarging Ektars come up on ebay and they sell for cheap. They are first class enlarging lenses. I have a 75/4.5 Ektar that is every bit as sharp as my 80/4.5 Componon. I think I paid $10 for the Ektar.
     
  10. joneil

    joneil Member

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    75mm and 80mm lenses are dirt cheap on Ebay, but 135mm and 150mm lenses aren't so "dirt cheap", but still a lot less expensive than they used to be new.

    However, if you are looking for "dirt cheap" in the 150mm ish range, a Wollensak enlarging raptar - in good shape - is a surprizingly good lens.

    joe
     
  11. mtnjunkie

    mtnjunkie Member

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    Ebay and patience can get you a 135mm enlarging lens for pretty close to dirt cheap. About a month ago I got a el nikkor 135mm in its box and allegedly new, for $55. While I have my doubts about the brand new claim, it is flawless as far as I can see. Stay patient, and don't forget to look for misspellings, and miscategorizations on ebay.
    150mm lenses seem to be a bit more still.
    Good luck
    Mike
     
  12. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Maybe I got a good one, but my El Omegar is quite okay at f/8 to f/11. I can print 13x17 mm negatives from my Kiev 303 to 5x7 with it and it stays sharp (that's about 10x, equivalent to 10x15 inches from 35 mm), which is about all I'd normally ask of an enlarging lens (if only because my enlarger's column isn't tall enough, nor baseboard big enough, to go much larger without a bunch of rigamarole). I'd love to have a better lens, but on my budget, if it's good enough, something else needs the money worse.