Is there a way to find reliable coverage of Enlarger Lenses?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Ed Bray, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. Ed Bray

    Ed Bray Member

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    Since buying my Devere 507 I have been looking for a couple of nice enlarging lenses (at a reasonable price), although it came with a 210mm Componon on close inspection it was a bit cloudy. I have since purchased a Nikkor 135mm f5.6 from a member on here, a 240mm f5.6 Componon (a bit dusty internally and seemingly no way to mount it) from Italy and a really nice condition 180mm f5.6 Componon from France which I got at a great price of $50 delivered.

    I have had a play with them all this evening (needed additional 39mm and 50mm Devere mounts which arrived today) and amazingly they all seem to cover the 5x7 negative, seemingly with little fall off.

    Now to be fair, I did expect the 210mm and 180mm to cover 5x7 okay but I was amazed that the 135mm also seemed to cover the 5x7 well. I checked the corners of the enlargements as best I could with my Omega grain magnifier against the centre of the image and could see little difference between any of the lenses once focused except that there was a little difference between them with all lenses which I put down to my use of a 5x7 negative in a glassless negative holder.

    I am toying with keeping the 135mm Nikkor for my 4x5 negatives and the 180mm Componon for my 5x7 negatives which would ensure that the sweet spots of each would be in use.

    So, back to my question, is there any way to identify the lens coverage of an enlarging lens? ​
     
  2. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    It has always been my understanding that one uses the lens which has a focal length that is approximately equal to the diagonal measure of the negative you are working on. Some say to round up. Others have told me to round down. I have done both with success.
     
  3. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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  4. Ed Bray

    Ed Bray Member

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    Thanks both for your comments, good link too.
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The Schneider website gives recommended coverage for their lenses, see the PDF. Schneide use th continental formats but the figures are fine for the UK/US equivalents.

    I know that my 210 Rodgaon (Rodenstock) doesn't quite cover 10x8, it vignettes the corners but a 240mm Componon (or S) is recommended, I've used a 135mm Componon for years for 5x4, again recommended bySchneider.

    Ian
     
  6. Huub

    Huub Member

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    Remember that coverage also depends on the enlarging factor. For smaller enlargements you can get away wit less coverage because the lens is further from the film. You have to test for the maximum size enlargements you possible want to make.