Workflow simplification (enlarger lens choice)

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Fred Aspen, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. Fred Aspen

    Fred Aspen Member

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    To simplify things in the darkroom I decided that I want to enlarge my 35mm negs to 5x7, my 6x4.5 and 6x6 negs to 8x10 and won't be enlarging MF to 11x14 except on the rarest of occasions. I am using a 23CII XL.

    I want to use a single focal length quality enlarging lens that will, of course, be a compromise, but it will cut down on the variables. I don't think print quality will be seriously affected at these magnifications but I may be mistaken.

    I remember Gainer suggesting this same system but I can't find the thread, I think he suggested an 80mm lens.

    So, would the best choice for the three formats above be a 75mm, an 80mm or a 90mm?

    I have fiddled with a three element 75mm to get a sense of image sizes which gave me decent working head elevation but I am concerned about edge sharpness which would point me in the direction of a 90mm but that would demand the head be in the clouds for 35mm, I think. Maybe a good 80mm is the best compromise.

    Anyone who operates in this fashion, I would appreciate your input.

    I don't think there is much difference in the quality of the six element MF lenses but I'll dig up my copy of Post Exposure (Ctein) and see what he says.

    So APUG, what say ye?

    Thanks!

    -Fred
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2008
  2. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    Well, not much to say on my part except that I tend to use the 80 all the time. I am doing nothing bigger prints than 8x10". If you intend to do only 5x7 with 35 mm, you'll have no problems with the height of the enlarger head. I think that even a four element lens will be good enough for the sizes you want, but with the prices of equipment being so low, why not go the whole way?
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Any of the 3 would do, but an 80mm or 75mm would give you more flexibility. Don't get a three element lens, the edge quality drops of unless stopped well down.

    Ian
     
  4. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    If your goal is simplification, then just print everything 8x10. The 80 mm 6-element lens should suffice. 5x7 is so small that dodging and burning can be a nuisance and therefore a disincentive to print well which I would deem oversimplification. Besides, then you need two sizes for storage boxes, two sizes of every paper you print, etc.
     
  5. Fred Aspen

    Fred Aspen Member

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    Jerold,

    I use the 35s for 'happy snaps' and don't massage them. I only have one paper size - 8x10 - and cut in half for 5x7 work and trim off the extra inch. The larger prints I manipulate as needed and hang them around the house for a couple of months before I hang a new series.

    -Fred
     
  6. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    So you are one step ahead of me. Then I would ditch the 35mm for snapshots and get a medium format camera with one or two lenses for snapshots. You can print everything 8x10 that way and enjoy the large negatives. With used gear so cheap, now is the time to try.
     
  7. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    I worked with a 75mm for a while but have since adopted
    a two up full frame method of proofing. Needless to say
    with print sizes of 31/2 x 5 from 120 I was working
    uncomfortably close to the easel. So now, 105mm.
    Exposure times are now more reasonable.

    Two up is quick and easy using a speed easel. I pick
    frames with potential then run usually two sheets, 4 full
    frame prints. Normally a sheet is processed, evaluated,
    then the exposure fine tuned with the second.

    Be flexible. Some of those 35mm are going to look
    great at 7x10. Any high quality 80mm should do.
    Likely my pick although I need good coverage
    out to 6x7 frame size. Dan
     
  8. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    That is two up on 5x7. Dan
     
  9. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    75mm. Of the three listed, it will give you the best enlarger head working distance for 35mm work. You could even go as short as 60mm with the Rodenstock Rodagon-WA 60mm.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2008
  10. Fred Aspen

    Fred Aspen Member

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    Thanks, all, for your helpful input.

    Dan, I will have to pick up a speed easel. I have bid on a couple but haven't gotten one yet. I used them years ago and they worked great.

    I found a 75mm Beseler 6 el. Color Pro and a Fujinon 105 4 el lens that I will be experimenting with over the next month.

    Again, thanks!

    -Fred
     
  11. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    If you are proofing full frame to some specific
    SIZE it can be quick and easier to do if you use,
    what I've termed, the FOCUS ONCE method. Specific
    column hights are established for each format. Column
    height is set for correct print SIZE with sharply focused
    image. The one focus.

    After that, when returning, position the head and SIZE
    the image. No need to focus. Of course the method is
    not limited to proofing.

    BTW, IMO Full Frame proofing has any other method
    of proofing beat hands down. Dan
     
  12. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    I think they are great. The major use of my monster 4-bladed masking easel is to hold down the legs on various Ganz Speed-EZ-EL's* so they don't shift around so.

    * - With a name like that you know it was a product of the 50's.
     
  13. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Another from the 50's. Essentialy a single size speed easel
    with a spring loaded bed. Activating a front lever depressed
    the bed leaving plenty of room for quick paper insertion. Great
    for mass production.

    For two up printing a speed easel is very convenient. Simply
    rotate the paper 180 degrees then reinsert. An exact sized
    card, WIDE Blade, is positioned over one end of the paper
    for both exposures. The card's down side should be black
    otherwise foged paper will result. Dan