Recommendations on a 135mm enlarging lens for 4x5

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by stradibarrius, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    What are some suggestions for a good 135mm enlarging lens to enlarge 4x5's?

    Opinion on Rodenstock Rodagon 135mm f/5.6?
     
  2. Richard Wasserman

    Richard Wasserman Member

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    I use a 135mm EL-Nikkor and am very happy with it. I use it when making larger prints than my 150mm Rodagon will allow, and really can't tell them apart.
     
  3. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    I had been dropped to the ground a newly bought Rodenstock Enlarging lens. I got it , all blades were looking like bombed. I turned the dial and everything went perfect. This is perfect engineering.
     
  4. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I have a 1960ish Wollensak 135 that I really love, came with my Omega Pro Lab 4x5. Many people are to quick to dismiss any of the Wollys because they aren't modern, but at one time they were top shelf glass.
     
  5. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    You simply can't go wrong with any of the three big makers: Rodenstock, Schneider, or Nikkor. As long as they are the newer models and multi-coated they will all perform great. Some people say the APO version of the 150mm lenses from Germany are sharper, but I have no experience with them.
     
  6. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Why 135 and not 150?
     
  7. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    +1
    better coverage with a 150mm
     
  8. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    I like 135 better than 150 because I don't need to raise the enlarger head up as high. I can't see the dials when it's up super high. I also print medium format sometimes without changing the lens, and again it helps with the height.

    I use a Nikkor 135 5.6 and have no problems with coverage on 4x5 use. It's not like a regular camera where you'll be doing a bunch of tilts and shifts and such.

    The only other LF enlarging lens I've used was a 160-something mm wolly which was very cloudy and seriously hurting the contrast. Probably an abused specimen. I also didn't like it because it had no clicks for the stops.

    The nikkor clicks for each stop, which is nice in the dark for me. The 80mm componon-s lens on my other enlarger is selectable to click or not to click, has illuminated stops, and has a lever to go wide open for focusing and return to a preselected aperture. It's very nice to use and I'd be tempted to get one for LF, but the nikkor is working great and without complaint.
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The 135mm Rodagon's and Componon's are designed and optimised for 5x4 enlarging, in fact a 105mm almost covers 5x4 with vignetted corners, in practice with an enlarger at the distances involved we are only using the middle of the image circle.

    I've used 135mm Componon's and more recently a Componon S for over 30 years for 5x4 and also have a 150mm Rodagon & a Componon S. Up to at least 24"x20" there's no differences in coverage/edge sharpness.

    For larger prints I've nearly always used the 150mm Componon S mainly because that was the lens on my horizontal enlarger.

    There can be significant advantages in using a 135mm, particularly with a desktop enlarger where column height is a restriction to maximum print size.

    Ian
     
  10. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    For many years I used the original lens on a 4x5 DFeJur enlarger. A much newer EL-Nikkor hasn't made me a noticably better printer.
     
  11. Adrian Twiss

    Adrian Twiss Member

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    I also have an EL NIkkor in 135 and Componon S in 135. Both are sharp and give even illumination with 5x4.
     
  12. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    Rodagons are excellent lenses.

    The real question is - in what sort of shape is the 135 you are looking at ?

    If it has been loved and cared for then it should be excellent, if it looks like its been used for baseball pratice - then you might want to look else where.

    It would be worth while trying it or having it demonstrated before you buy if at all possible.

    Fit into an enlarger and poject the largest image size you can manage.
    Then look for even focus across the width of the image and potential flare.

    Martin
     
  13. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    Barry,

    Pick up a good used lens from any of the big 3. If you want a 135mm because you are planning on making larger prints and there is an enlarger head height issue, then fine. If that is really not a consideration, you can often find 150mm lenses cheaper. As mentioned above, any of the newer lenses should perform well for your purposes.

    FWIW, I have a 135mm and 150mm El-Nikkors, and a couple Rodenstock 150mm lenses. All more than do the job for me with 4x5.

    Best,

    Doremus Scudder
    www.DoremusScudder.com
     
  14. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    Thanks for your help. I bought an Omega D5XL with 4 lenses. A 135 , 105 and 80mm that are all Rodenstock and a 50mm Nikkor.