Ilex Paragon as enlarging lens?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by mjs, Oct 31, 2008.

  1. mjs

    mjs Member

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    I've been mostly contact printing for the past couple of years or so and when I went to enlarge 4x5 the other night the image on the easel looked odd; the interior of my 135mm Rodagon was covered in either mold or fungus (yellow.) Drat! So I've been looking for a new enlarging lens. By sheer coincidence my wife went to an auction today and brought back a 6 1/2" f/4.5 Ilex Paragon lens, with aperture f/4.5 to f/45 but no shutter, screwed into a 6" square home-made lensboard with rounded corners. So I figured... it's about the right focal length. Can it be used as an enlarging lens? It's dusty but seems to be coated. I once used a lens very similar to this on my first 5x7 camera; it was sharp, although a bit low in contrast compared to Rodenstock or Fuji lenses.

    Mike
     
  2. joneil

    joneil Member

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    For what it is worth, I use a 180mm Componon enlarging lens mounted in shutter for shooting 4x5, so yes, the reverse will work too. :smile:

    I do find that dedicated enlarging lenses do work better overall, but in a pinch, go for it. Also, do not be put off by "lesser name" enlarging lenses. While I personally have nikon, schenider and rodenstock enlarging lenses, my personal favourite at the moment is a Wollensak enlarging raptar, which I bought in very good shape. Something about the "look" of the lens I like.

    joe
     
  3. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    I've got a 229mm Ilex Copy Paragon that serves as an elarging lens for 8x10. While I don't have much to compare it to I think it does a good job
     
  4. mjs

    mjs Member

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    What I'm mostly concerned about (before I build an enlarger lensboard for this beast,) is it's ability at very close distances/high reproduction ratios. As I understand it, Raptars and Copy lenses are designed to perform well at this sort of thing, while "normal" lenses aren't. I'll have to make a lensboard and give it a try, I guess.

    Mike