Lens for enlarger

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by paulgallinule, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. paulgallinule

    paulgallinule Member

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    I hope I can explain myself correctly but this is my problem. I have a 5X4 enlarger and I want to get the maximum size print possible from it but my problem is that my darkroom is in a low roofed room. With the enlarger head at it's maximum hight will I get a larger print from a 135mm lens or should I opt for a 150mm lens. Thanks for looking and thanks in advance for any help that may be out there, Paul.
     
  2. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    First, are you dealing with 35mm film?
    Second, if you want more enlargement than one gets with a 50mm lens for 35mm film, you need a shorter focal length, not a longer one.
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    He's talking LF 5"x4" :D

    A 135mm is a nexcellent choice, I've made large prints with Compono/Componn S lenses with no issues, They are designed for the format.

    Ian
     
  4. paulgallinule

    paulgallinule Member

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    Hi, thanks for replying, I'm starting to enlarge 4x5 negs and hence the large lens required.
     
  5. paulgallinule

    paulgallinule Member

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    Hi Ian,

    Thanks for the reply, you're using a 135mm lens which is working for you but if you switched to 150 would it make much of a difference to the size print if the enlarger head was at the same height.
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Yes a 135mm will give a significantly smaller enlargement at the same height, in a small dark-room with height limitations it's much better to use a 135mm. I do use a 160mm as well but I'm using a 10x8 enlarger with a drop bed and no height restrictions. I;ve used a 135mm Componon, now a Componon S since 1976 always with great results.

    Ian
     
  7. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    Can you rotate the head and project on to a wall ?

    Failing that, I'd suggest rotating the column and project on to the floor - The disadvantage with both of these methods is reaching the focus controls.
     
  8. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    as explained above 135mm will make a larger print than 150mm for the same column height, but I wonder if there's any 'wide angle' designs like the 60mm that covers 6x6, or 40mm that covers 35mm, etc that might assist someone with a low roofed room??
     
  9. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I am limited in head space for my enlarger, so I opted for the 135, which gives slightly larger enlargments than the 150mm.
     
  10. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    135 will give bigger prints than 150 for a given height. I don't know of any shorter enlarger lenses for 4x5; you could use a good 90mm objective lens (e.g. Grandagon-N or Super Angulon) in a pinch though the quality is likely to be poorer than a proper enlarger lens with flat field.

    Anyway, how low is your ceiling? I can get 16x20" prints from my 135mm lens while using only about half of my enlarger's column; it's a desktop DeVere 504 and not unusually tall. My suspicion is that you will run out of easel before you run out of ceiling clearance with a 135.
     
  11. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    I think you have a typo in here Ian, especially comparing 135 to 135 :wink: A 150mm will give a smaller enlargement than a 135mm.
     
  12. superd

    superd Member

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    Unlike camera lenses, where choice of focal lengths is substantial for any given negative size, you're quite limited in the darkroom. You can go longer, but hardly shorter on focal lengths for a given negative. I don't know of any enlarging lenses for 4x5 below 135 (although I would not be surprised if there are some with satisfactory coverage), which as stated already is going to give you the largest print size for same elevation.
     
  13. ac12

    ac12 Member

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    There is a Rodagon WA 120mm wide angle lens for 4x5.
    There may be other wide angle lenses out there, but I do not know of them.
    The WA lens will give you a bigger image for a given enlarger height.
    So 120 biggest image, followed by 135, then 150 with smallest image.
    But the cost of the WA lens is much more than the standard 135 or 150.

    In my case, I have a 135mm lens for my Omega D5, rather than the 150mm lens.
    This is because the D5 has the shorter standard height column, vs the D5-XL with the taller column.
     
  14. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Yes I did mean the other way around 150mm gives significantly smaller enlargements than a 135mm at the same height.

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2013
  15. dorff

    dorff Member

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    Not your day, Ian? :wink: Sorry, see you edited before I posted. Lack of sleep? Blame APUG. :cool:

    The gain from 135 to 120 will be 12,5 %. So on linear dimension, it should enable one to change a 16" x 20" image to 18" by 22,5", for example. From 150 to 135, the change is slightly less, but it may be such that one can fit in a paper one size larger that isn't possible with the longer lens. If you use WA lenses, make sure that your bellows assembly contracts short enough to attain focus at all column settings. I cannot for instance use a 40 mm lens for 35 mm on my Durst M605. Although I have no idea, it may be possible that some 4x5 enlargers do not allow for such short lenses to be used, unless they were designed for all image sizes down to 35 mm, or at least one or two formats down.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2013
  16. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    Durst do recessed lens boards, the two I have to hand, one measures 15mm deep, the other, 35mm deep. The downside with recessed boards is being able to adjust the aperture and/or see the scale.
     
  17. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I think due to the requirement of flat field, very high in sharpness and especially distortion free it would be very difficult to make a wide angle enlarging lens.
     
  18. ac12

    ac12 Member

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    That is why the WA enlarging lenses cost so much more.
    And that is why I bought the 135 rather than the more expensive 120mm lens.
     
  19. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    If an enlarge is spec'ed as limited to 20"x24" and shorter focal length lenses are used, does the condenser/diffuser limit the size of the print? I am just wondering about limitations caused by a condenser or diffuser.
     
  20. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Do they still make 5x4 film?

    5x4 film sounds like a larger format than 4x5 :D I guess it depends if you shoot landscape or portrait.
     
  21. paulgallinule

    paulgallinule Member

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    Hi everyone

    Thank you so much for the help, looks like the 135 for me, not sure I could stretch to the 120WA,

    Hope to post a few image from the 5x4 soon,

    Paul
     
  22. M Carter

    M Carter Member

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    I removed the column from my 6x7 enlarger and mounted it to a sturdy plywood cube, which has a wider base than the top and sides. The base has 1/4" holes on each side, and the edge of my worktable has 1/4-20 threaded nuts in the surface (T-nuts). When I want to print big, I mount the cube to the edge of the table using 1/4-20 thumb screws and put my easel on the floor. For normal printing, there's a set of holes at the back of the table.

    A cool thing about this setup is that it's easy to fine-tune the level of the enlarger; I can loosen one corner and slide a shim beneath it and re-tighten. Works like a champ.