Ilex Paragon Anastigmat 5 1/2" for enlarging?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Jeff Bannow, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    I received the above lens along with a large lot of darkroom gear last night. Is this really an enlarging lens, or was it placed there by accident?

    The lens is in barrel, and has the associated flange. The glass is minty, and the whole thing looks nearly brand new. Amazing.
     
  2. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    Anyone?
     
  3. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Jeff,

    Just so you don't think anyone cares to comment I will take a stab. ;>) Ilex had their own shutters and I would assume that if it is a barrel lens it was either for enlarging or graphic arts (also essentially enlarging). If you don't have anything else to enlarge a 4x5 or need a really small print from a MF negative it might come in handy. At this point I'm not tossing any usable lenses that come my way so in the same position I would keep it. I do have an Ilex Paragon Anastigmat 7-1/2" in an old art deco looking Ilex shutter and it takes a pleasant photo so my guess is if you decided to use it that way you wouldn't be terribly disappointed. Of course it won't perform with a modern lens. I used it once for a color photo and it did not perform as well as the 135mm Xenar that came with my Crown Graphic. I also used an old Wallensak enlarging lens with orthographic film once. Soft but detailed (if that makes any sense).

    Enjoy the lens,

    Neal Wydra
     
  4. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    That was kind of my thinking as well. I've got newer lenses to enlarge with, so maybe I'll just stick this in a drawer somewhere.