Wider Lens for Larger Prints?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by bvy, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    My enlarger is the Omega C760. With my 50mm lens and the enlarger head (dichroic) raised to the max, I can print 35mm at roughly 13x9. It would be nice to print slightly larger without resorting to removing the baseboard, wall projecting, etc. Is it possible to use a wider lens with this set up?
     
  2. bernard_L

    bernard_L Member

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    There are a few 40mm enlarging lenses that cover 24x36... Not an enormous gain, though.

    http://www.rodenstock-photo.com/en/main/products/lenses-for-enlarging-and-ccd/rodagon-wa/
    The Rodagon-WA has a shorter focal length and a larger image angle and hence it achieves a 70 % larger projection area than a conventional enlarging lens with standard focal length. It is therefore eminently suitable for section enlargements on enlargers with a relatively short column. Clumsy wall or floor projections can be avoided.

    Schneider WA-Componon 40mm wide angle enlarging lens for 35mm and smaller format negatives. The wide angle design provides full coverage of the 35mm format while providing greater magnification compared to a 50mm lens.

    See also:
    http://www.apug.org/forums/archive/index.php/t-33772.html

    Before buying, make sure you can move the lens stage an extra ~10mm closer to the negative stage. Also check diameter, retaining ring.
     
  3. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    Any possibility will also probably come with the curse of light fall-off from center to edge. I'd forget about it.
     
  4. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I have a Yashinon 40mm enlarging lens that is actually decent for gaining enlargment size. I'd be willing to part with it at a reasonable cost.
     
  5. silveror0

    silveror0 Member

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    If this enlarger has a vertical column, you might also be able to turn it around, e.g., placing the projected image on the floor or low tabletop, and use the existing lens (obviously not convenient for mixing the usual print sizes with the larger ones).
     
  6. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    With a diffuser type dichroic head you can "often" use a slightly wider lens than normal, assuming that it is designed for that purpose of course and that you avoid being unlucky with the diffuser design (there must be some models where there is noticeable fall-off). The infamous Focomat V35 is fitted with a 40mm lens and works admirably, he wrote, smugly. :wink:

    There are other limitations though. You have to be able to focus the lens for all the printing sizes you may want to do, else coverage won't matter at all. Also, the horizontal distance between the vertical axis of the lens and the enlarger-column must be enough for you to fit a bigger easel in there, at the increased size you want to print - if there isn't room on the baseboard you may (depending on focussing again) be able to turn the column round and use the floor instead, giving possible alignment issues and also happily removing the need for having a wider lens . . .
     
  7. Bob Marvin

    Bob Marvin Member

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    I don't work with 35mm any more but FWIW I use a 60mm WA Componon to make 16 X 20 prints from 6 X 6 and 6 x 4.5 negatives with my Omega B8 and it works fine, with no noticeable light falloff.
     
  8. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    I have used both the schneider and rodenstock wa 40mm lenses. Both are very sharp but the rodenstock wins out as my schneider is a slightly older version that is larger and without light up aperture display. The wide angle enlarger lenses dont have fall of problems if using a diffuse light source. They are also some of the sharpest enlarging lenses available and come in just behind apo lenses.
     
  9. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear bvy,

    Are you sure you can only go up to 9x13? That seems odd for any enlarger. If that is indeed the case, any of the 40mm lenses will get you into the 11x14 range. A less expensive solution would be to physically increase the space between the bottom of the enlarger column and the baseboard. A few thicknesses of MDF would do the trick. You might even find some cutoffs in the scrap bin at the Home Depot (by the radial arm saw).

    Good luck,

    Neal Wydra
     
  10. Bob Marvin

    Bob Marvin Member

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    "The wide angle enlarger lenses dont have fall of problems if using a diffuse light source"

    Despite my original expectations to the contrary, my 60MM WA Componon works fine with my Omega B8 condenser enlarger, using the auxiliary condenser designed for a 75mm lens. I suspect it would also work with the 50mm "thick" aux. condenser, but I normally leave the 75mm "thin" one in place for smaller prints and can't see any reason to change it [I searched for months for that long-discontinued 75mm condenser and would rather not risk dropping it].

    I used the WA lens for the first time recently to make all the prints for a solo show and was very pleased with the results.
     
  11. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    Thanks everyone. Light falloff/soft corners were my main concern with going wider, but it sounds like there are some good lenses out there.

    This and a PM I received prompted me to double-check. And I was mistaken. It looks like I can actually get up to around 16" on the wide edge with the 50mm lens and the enlarger head at its highest position. It would still be good to reach 18" as I have some 12x18 mats and things I'd like to frame, so I may still look at a slightly wider lens to eke an extra couple inches out of my enlarger.
     
  12. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Schneider APO-componon HM 40mm/2.8 was designed to solve your problem.
     
  13. youngrichard

    youngrichard Member

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    Yes I have got one of those (not cheap) to get me up to 20 x 16" with my Durst DA900, as I have limited height in my cellar darkroom, can't get the head to the top of the column.

    Don't forget though that the limiting factor, unless you are prepared to swivel the head or drop the baseboard or use an angled column extender as made by Gnome in UK, is the distance between a perpendicular dropped from the centre of the lens to the bottom of the column, no matter how wide-angled a lens you have. If your easel has wide edges like the RR Beards which were made in UK it will seriously cut down your printed image. I use a virtually borderless easel so that I can get right out to the base of the column.

    Richard
     
  14. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    A wider lens will give you a shorter working distance. The Schneider 40mm is a nice lens, but it isn't wide enough to (for instance) make a big print from a half frame negative on most enlargers. Schneider also makes a 28mm enlarging lens, but most enlargers will not focus using it - it's just too short. Some enlargers have recessed mounting boards that will work with this and similar lenses. 35mm enlarging lenses exist, and they are a useful solution, if you can find a really good one. Some wide lenses have limited coverage and may not cover a full 35mm frame. You could also possibly adapt a wide angle camera lens to your enlarger, but camera lenses are generally less sharp than enlarging lenses, and you will see a deterioration in the image. Another possibility is to attach a close-up lens to your enlarger lens. This will shorten the focal length, but you will lose sharpness. The more traditional way to handle this problem is to either tilt the enlarger head horizontal or reverse the enlarger mechanism on the baseboard so that you can project the image on the wall or floor.