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  1. #1
    Mike Kovacs's Avatar
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    Enlarging lenses for medium format macro

    Has anyone fooled around with enlarging lenses for MF macro? I recently picked-up 50mm and 80mm 6-element Nikkor enlarging lenses and I wonder whether its worth the trouble to adapt them to my Rolleiflex SL66?

    Do they cover 6x6? If so, any idea of which f/stop and amount of extension required for coverage? I'm just trying to get a ballpark number to see if they fall into a useful magnification range for me.

    I wonder how sharp they will be? The 80/2.8 Planar seems to perform pretty well but I think the 50/4 Distagon suffers in the macro range being a retrofocus design. I don't own one but the 120/5.6 S-Planar is just too long to consider for some of the higher magnification work I do.

    I haven't got them yet - I assume they are LTM in which case I can rig up something to mount them. A blank SL66 lens board and a junked Soviet LTM lens mount ought to do the trick.

    One day those Zeiss Luminars will be mine though! I keep hoping to find some at the university, free from somebody's junk drawer...
    If it says Zeiss or Rollei, the answer is YES!
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  2. #2
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    They will cover in the macro range, and of course those focal lengths won't focus to infinity on a 6x6 SLR. I've experimented a bit with enlarging lenses on MF, and you just have to test the lenses you have. Some work better reversed, but some are about the same in either orientation. I have a custom Canon FD adapter for my Bronica S2a, and I have an LTM-FD adapter and reversing ring. For macro, I think my Tamron SP 90/2.5 is sharper than the enlarging lenses I've tried on the Bronica (and it covers in the macro range), but I haven't tried my 90mm Apo-Rodagon, which might be sharper. I have a 25mm Luminar and a Canon FD 35/2.8 Macrophoto (also a RMS mount lens), and I think the Canon is contrastier and sharper, and it usually sells for less than a Luminar.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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  3. #3
    glbeas's Avatar
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    I've shot some macro shots when I was much younger using the enlarger as a camera, focus a neg on the object placed under the enlarger then lights out and a bit of film in the carrier and light the object under the enlarger. The results were tack sharp and it was a pretty cheap lens that came with the Bogen 35mm enlarger. I'd say you are on the right track.
    Gary Beasley

  4. #4

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    About Luminar fantasies. They are still have considerable value and are hard to steal. If you need lenses for use above 1:1, few lenses -- the 63 Luminar is not among them -- are better than a reversed 55/2.8 MicroNikkor AIS. Few lenses -- the 25 Luminar is not among them -- are better than a reversed 25/1.9 Cine Ektar II above 10:1.

    David, your news about the 35/2.8 Canon is a little surprising. But I've had a couple of Luminars that were real clinkers. Mike, take note of this. Quality long ago and far away isn't always a good predictor of quality here and now.

    Cheers,

    Dan
    Last edited by Ole; 09-09-2006 at 09:12 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Personal attack.

  5. #5
    Ole
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    An 80mm El-Nikkor is made for enlarging 6x6 negatives, so there should be no problem with coverage. The 50mm will cover at macro range.

    I once bought a 60mm Componon which I didn't need only to get the lensboard it was mounted on: A Technika III 5x7" lensboard! Someone must either have been doing some extreme macro work with a 5x7" camera, or have use a converted camera as an enlarger...
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  6. #6
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    The FD 35/2.8 Macrophoto is a more modern design than the Luminars, and it's multicoated. Here's some info on the Canon FD macrophoto lenses--

    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography.../2035macro.htm

    I used it in this 4x5" shot--

    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphot...=500&ppuser=60

    and this 35mm Kodachrome 25--

    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
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  7. #7

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    When you use your 80mm Planar in the reversed position you already are getting a very close up image. What magnification are you trying to achieve?
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  8. #8
    Mike Kovacs's Avatar
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    Reversed 80 Planar gives me about 1.6x magnification. I get around 3x magnification on the reversed 50 but I'm not entirely satisfied with the performance. I don't see myself wanting more than that for 6x6. As it is, it requires exacting technique to shoot at these levels of magnification.

    I'm experimental by nature - if I can squeeze some more resolution out of the enlarging lenses, they're worth a try. If not, just as well since the Zeiss lenses will be a whole lot easier to use!
    If it says Zeiss or Rollei, the answer is YES!
    My Flickr Gallery

  9. #9

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    I wish you a lot of luck. Trying to outperform the reversed Planar will take some doing.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  10. #10
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    Hi David,

    Are you sure that the Canon Macrophoto lenses are multicoated? I'll have to check mine.

    Mike,

    The Leitz Photars are also very good and I will have to compare the Canon Macrophoto lenses to my Leitz 25mm f2.5 Photar. You can also try and get one of the discontinued Schneider M Componon Lenses or the 2 Rodenstock - f4.0 75mm 1X Apo Rodagon D or the f4.5 2X 75mm Apo Rodagon D lenses. These 2 lenses are designed for copy work and high magnification for 6X6 and 6X7 cameras. I will have to compare these to the other lenses as well. They are supposed to be superb performers.

    Rich
    Richard A. Nelridge
    http://www.nelridge.com

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