Threshold for camera lens in an enlarger?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by semi-ambivalent, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. semi-ambivalent

    semi-ambivalent Subscriber

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    I have a 50mm Componon-S lens on my enlarger. My darkroom is nearing completion and I'll have the ability to project to the opposite wall. Is there an enlargement factor at which the Componon's abilities begin to fail and, could I then use instead a micro-nikkor (which I have) to better results?

    s-a
     
  2. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Personally, I think 8x10 is the limit of a 35mm negative, after which it starts getting too grainy for my liking.
     
  3. semi-ambivalent

    semi-ambivalent Subscriber

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    I recall my experiences with Kodak 2475 Recording Film, in which case you might re-state your limit at 2"x3" :laugh:

    s-a
     
  4. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Contact prints with that stuff are grainy.
     
  5. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    I have a hunch that the negative will hit its limit before the lens hits its.
     
  6. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    A hunch, surely you jest Bethe. :smile:

    He should be able to get a nice 30x40" image of sharp TriX grain if his enlarger is properly aligned.
     
  7. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    I have this lens. :smile: Though I don't try to make anything larger than 11x14 with 35mm. I also have the 80mm Componon S and I've been happy with it. I do much more enlarging of medium format than 35mm.
     
  8. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    I have the Componon in 50 and 105, and Componon-S's in 50 and 80mm, they are all really nice. :smile:
    I just had the 50-S in my 4x5 Durst and ran it to the top of the column to see how well it worked. Great, except is sure shows the limits of 35mm 400 speed film.
     
  9. semi-ambivalent

    semi-ambivalent Subscriber

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    Actually, about 31x is my vertical limit with a 50mm lens (semi-low basement ceiling, with the enlarger head up into a joist bay and the work surface almost on the floor). I'm interested in enlarging small portions of small negatives and want as much in my favor as possible. Sure, this is not a 60x40 of "Moonrise" from 8x10, but at times I want the grain to be a major part of the image, not just something the viewer is asked to ignore or "appreciate".

    s-a
     
  10. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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  11. M. Lointain

    M. Lointain Member

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    Your Componon is good for the normal range, up to 20x, but this isn't written in stone because it is up to you to decide when it starts to fall apart. If you are going much much larger than that then you are better off using the Micro-Nikkor or getting a lens that is designed for big enlargements like the Rodagon-G. In the end though it will be up to you to decide what is good enough. The most important thing you can do regardless of the lens you use is to make sure your enlarger is properly aligned. I cannot stress that enough.

    Personally I would encourage you to do whatever you want. They are your images. I have seen some pretty phenomenal enlargements from normal 35mm like Tri-X. The limit is in the printer not in the film. Don't let anyone discourage you from going large.
     
  12. Ian C

    Ian C Member

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    You can project large horizontal projections if wanted onto mural paper. I’ve seen mural prints on 50” wide mural paper from 35mm negatives using a standard enlarging lens. This exceeds the usual magnification by quite a bit. When viewed from a sufficient distance the prints look reasonable for such a magnification.

    According to Schneider’s data for the 50/2.8 Componon-S, it makes acceptably accurate projections from 2X to 20X. Since the short dimension of a typical 35mm negative carrier is about 23.8mm, a 20X projection of the short side is about 746mm = 18.7”. This requires about 1102mm from negative to print.

    A better choice for large projections of a 35mm negative is the 50/2.8 Rodagon G (G = “grand” magnification). According to the Rodenstock data for the 50/2.8 Rodagaon G, its useful range is 15X to 50X with 25X being optimum.

    At 50X the projection of the short dimension of the opening in the carrier is 1190mm = 46.9”. The negative-to-print distance is about 2601mm. The Rodagon G is no longer made, but can be found used.

    If you want to use a Micro Nikkor on your enlarger you’ll need a way to mount it. This can be done with the Nikon K3 custom F-mount adaptor (provided that your enlarger has room for the mount).

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/366996-USA/Nikon_2717_K3_Female_Nikon_Bayonet.html

    Note: B&H photographed the K3 from the rear.
     
  13. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Of course, you don't mention what enlarger you will be using. There is no sense blowing up negatives on a machine that isn't sturdy as hell. You should try to mount the enlarger so it is isolated from any sort of vibration that could cause slight blur, especially at magnifications as large as you intend. Even older analog timers sitting on the counter next to an enlarger could possibly initiate enough vibration to cause a print to lose sharpness.
     
  14. semi-ambivalent

    semi-ambivalent Subscriber

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    Right Rick, I didn't. It's a 23CII. I will anchor the top of the "column" to the basement wall to stop it from waving. Clearance dictates the head is about one-third of the way up in order to clear the wall behind. The enlarger is bolted to a simple U-shaped table frame with leveling feet. It will be separate from all other furniture/counters except the column brace. Timer hangs from the wall, printing done at night, I don't move during exposure.

    I've done a bit of this before, just have a chance to re-do the darkroom so it's a nicer place to spend time. Figure I'd think of problems in the past and build in solutions rather than cobble together the mess I used to call 'my darkroom'. Now that I have more space I thought I'd push this a good bit further. Somewhere I have some 35mm frames of Tech Pan imaging the East face of Long's Peak at dawn, taken from the shore of the lake below the face. There's a hawk in the air I didn't notice at the time. When I'm moved in I'll dig them up and post that hawk. 35mm can do quite a bit if everything is working with you. :smile:

    Thanks all for the info.

    s-a
     
  15. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Member

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    Printing 20x + from 35mm you're best off with APO lenses. I don't even remember the reasons for it, but the grain starts to look funny because of some optical limitation of non-APO lenses at magnifications larger than that.
    But ultimately you decide when the quality isn't acceptable anymore.
     
  16. mr rusty

    mr rusty Subscriber

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    Holy Cow! The guy I got my enlarger from let me have both a 50/2.8 & a 80/4 Componon-S for £70. I feel that was a pretty fair price!! I didn't realise!!
     
  17. semi-ambivalent

    semi-ambivalent Subscriber

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    Thanks Thomas, but I'm trying to resist the GAS. (Now, where's that Schneider price list...)
    It's resisted.

    s-a
     
  18. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    For projection on a far wall, a 'standard' camera lens may be better than a micro-nikkor. I don't know how far away your wall will be, but think about which camera lens you would use on the camera to take a picture of the wall from the position of the enlarger and then put that lens on your enlarger. The Componon-S lens is great (I have about 5 or so) but the field won't be flat and the corners are likely to be blurry when used for a massive enlargement. Another option is to use an 80mm 'standard' enlarging lens if you have one. Enlarging lenses are pretty cheap these days, so if you plan on a lot of enlarging on the wall the Apo-Componon-HM 45mm was made for you!
     
  19. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I think Thomas is on to something!

    I can imagine that because you're using (roughly) white light to enlarge, the different wavelengths will focus to different planes, and when the enlargement factor is large enough, you start to see this as unsharpness. Then indeed, the grain could look haloed or such.

    APO just means that the wavelengths should focus more or less equally. It's sort of true with APO lenses, the problem is that most of them are optimized for particular reproduction ratios e.g. 1:1. So you may still need to stop down more and... ah sometimes I get tired of listening to myself, sorry. Enough.
     
  20. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Grain starts to look funny from diffraction. The diffracting aperture is related to magnification. At 50x f8 with a 50mm APO or non-APO lens, the effective aperture like f400.
    The loss of resolution from this unfortunate circumstance is the reason that an 8x10 internegative will lead to a better massive enlargement form a small format negative.
     
  21. semi-ambivalent

    semi-ambivalent Subscriber

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    Well I'm certainly not going the internegative route, there'd be two of them, right? If your example effective aperture is magnification based is it expressing the distance the diffracted rays have to travel, hence the amount they will diverge? If that's so then keeping the aperture as large as possible would help, yes? Maybe it's a job for the uber-magical 105mm f/2.5 Nikkor, wide open. :laugh:

    This will have to wait, I'm pulling electrical in the darkroom today and have to concentrate on telling black from white...

    s-a
     
  22. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    Some place in the 11x to 20x they will be equal. I would put my Peak / Omega in a corner and see for myself. Glass carrier required.

    I used to use my 50 4.0 Takumar preset for anything. It was as good as my Schneider componons.
     
  23. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    s-a

    good luck with your enlargement !
    i hope you have a large tray, sink ( with sponges ) or wallpaper troughs to develop the print in :wink:

    i used to regularly make 16x20 ( or larger ) enlargements from 35mm negatives they looked fine.
    i was using a durst 601 and projecting on the floor and wall ...
    grain is un noticeable if you don't have your nose to the print, and depending on the film
    sometimes there is no grain at all.

    i haven't used the film you mention, but i am sure you will know if you like it enlarged as big as you
    expect to enlarge it ... or not.


    again ... good luck !
    john