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  1. #1
    athanasius80's Avatar
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    Good cheap LF enlarging lenses?

    Ok guys,
    I'm tired of using the Ektar from my press camera on the enlarger. Are there any top notch inexpensive lenses for MF and LF enlarging? I'm kinda curious about the old Kodak Projection Anastigmats and things of that sort. All suggestions greatly appreciated.
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    wiseowl's Avatar
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    Enlarging lenses seem to go for 2 a penny on e-bay these days. I recently bought a schneider comparon 150mm for under a fiver and there's plenty on there for under £50.

    Cheers

    Martin
    I'm Spartacus!

  3. #3

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    Schneider Comparons for 2x to 6x magnification, either 135mm or 150 mm.

    Not Componars if you see them and if they were made in 4x5 lengths.

    Old Componons and Componon S are also good.

    Stay away from the low end glass like Rogonar and old Wallensak.

  4. #4
    jimgalli's Avatar
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    Chris, two faves are Vivitar VHE series. These were made by Schneider and you can sneak up on them at Ebay occasionally for cheap. Here's one but apparently in sorry shape. The other stellar plasmat is the Computar which is rare, but Beseler also marketed them as Beseler Color Pro.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

    http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com

  5. #5

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    I picked up a 135mm El-Nikkor last year for I think it was about $75. It's the old style lens, all metal barrel without illuminated f/stop markings. It is in absolutely gorgeous condition and makes very sharp images with good contrast. It is much better than the old 135mm Schneider Componon f/4.5 that I'd been using previously. To be fair, the Schneider has a fair amount of haze between the elements and would benefit from a good cleaning.

  6. #6
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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    You need to go to the Camera Show in the City of Carson this Sunday. You will find top quality enlarging lenses for nominal sums as they are getting more and more difficult to sell.

    NO - this is not a commercial for a particular dealer, just an attempt to help a fellow APUGer save some cash.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

  7. #7
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    I'll second the vote for the Vivitar VHE. I have one of these in 135 mm, f/5.6. It's a sheer joy to work with on my D2; covers 4x5 easily, no sign in the prints of any light falloff, and also does an excellent job with 6x9 and 6x6 prints (though I'm now doing my 6x6 with an 80 mm f/3.5 Anastar that came without the Kodak Reflex II it was originally built onto). Heck, I'd use it for 35 mm if the enlarger column were tall enough and I could reach to focus; it's a better lens than my El Omegar 50 mm f/4.

    I got this lens with my D2, along with a bunch of boards, cones, plates, negative carriers, and a Zone VI cold light, for $250 -- which, by my calculation, means I got the lens itself for about 85 cents...
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  8. #8
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Qualls
    . . . it's a better lens than my El Omegar 50 mm f/4. . .
    I like Omega enlargers, but I've used a couple of their kit 50mm lenses that were dogs. Even the four element El-Nikkors f/4 are much better.

  9. #9

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    I agree about enlarging lenses selling cheap right now. Enlarging Ektars come up on ebay and they sell for cheap. They are first class enlarging lenses. I have a 75/4.5 Ektar that is every bit as sharp as my 80/4.5 Componon. I think I paid $10 for the Ektar.
    Rick Jason.
    "I'm still developing"

  10. #10
    joneil's Avatar
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    75mm and 80mm lenses are dirt cheap on Ebay, but 135mm and 150mm lenses aren't so "dirt cheap", but still a lot less expensive than they used to be new.

    However, if you are looking for "dirt cheap" in the 150mm ish range, a Wollensak enlarging raptar - in good shape - is a surprizingly good lens.

    joe

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