Heads up 35 mm shooters

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Donald Miller, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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  2. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    It is a zoom enlarging lens. It was quite expensive when being made.
     
  3. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Claire, Yes, I think that you mentioned this awhile back. Kreonite has a plant in Wichita and this apparently came from their stock.
     
  4. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    I'm looking into setting up a bathroom darkroom (my first) for 35mm. Would something like this be a way premature purchase? Worth getting? Only compatible with certain enlargers? I haven't really looked into prices of used enlargers, lenses, etc.
     
  5. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Most enlarging lenses have fixed focal lengths, with different focal lengths for different negative sizes -- 50mm for 35mm film, 75mm or 80mm for 6x6, etc. You can find an excellent 6-element lens used for $50 or less on eBay, although prices for new lenses are substantially higher ($140-$160 for a 50mm f/2.8 Nikon el-Nikkor at B&H, for instance). Most enlargers that are available on eBay these days also come with lenses, although many of these are cheap 4-element lenses. Such lenses often sell for under $100 new, but aren't much less than 6-element lenses used.

    I've never used one, but my understanding is that zoom enlarging lenses are used mainly as cropping aids or to adjust paper size without raising or lowering the head. This makes them convenience items, not necessities. I have no experience with the lens in the auction linked to earlier, so I can't comment on its quality or usability. I can say that, although I wouldn't turn one down if somebody gave one to me, I'm not willing to spend $165 for that convenience, particularly not when I don't know how the final print's image quality would compare to what I get now with my 6-element Nikon el-Nikkor f/2.8 or even my 5-element Vega-11U f/2.8.
     
  6. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    Considering the low cost of top quality used traditional enlarging lenses from Nikon, Schneider, and others, why spend more money on something that few people really need? Enlargers often come with decent lenses. If you get one without a lens, then shop for the lens. Most modern enlargers and enlarging lenses use the 39mm Leica thread mount. Some old enlargers used different lens mounts, and these enlargers and lenses are less versatile.
     
  7. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    I think that one of these lenses used with a 35mm camera and bellows would make a very nice macro setup.
     
  8. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    When I run the Noritsu 601 daylight enlarger I think it has a version of such lens with motorized zoom. It's neat for such a machine but for a conventional enlarger I don't think it's of much convienient.
     
  9. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Sounds good. I'll stick with a conventional lens. Just to note, the same ebay seller is selling the same lens new without a box for $125.

    If it was something that was nice and convenient, I really wouldn't have minded spending an extra $60-70 over the conventional picks. Crap, compared to how much is spent on everything else in this hobby, it's a drop in the bucket.
     
  10. floydking

    floydking Member

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    I'm a little bit suspicious of anything 'zoom' and I certainly have never used one for enlarging. If I were starting from scratch I would buy the el Nikkor 50mm that I use now and stick with other el Nikkor primes. Why use something more complicated than necessary, that's always been my paradigm. A little unadventurous perhaps, but it's certainly served me well so far.