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  1. #11

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    re lenses - its all been said

    Reject prints. I used to keep everything. Eventually when you run out of space (or rooms) you will have to reconsider.
    I recently redesigned & decorated my print room and in the process sorted and destroyed thousands of old and not so old prints carefully kept and serving no purpose. Looking at them I asked myself why on earth I kept them. Now I have space, am better organised and can kind things! Makes for a smoother calmer life!
    I still keep a lot of reject or early version prints but they now have to pass certain criteria as to why, otherwise they go into the 'learning bin'.
    The ones I keep are mostly for bleach or toning tests and timing before commiting the final versions, that is really useful and saves waste and disappointment. Also valuable for 'I wonder what happens if I do this' playtime sessions. I bin them after they have served their purpose (or so I tell myself).
    As a record? It is easier, more accessible in the future and much more efficient to keep the print progress trail details in written form (IMHO)
    Tim

  2. #12
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    The downside is that you're putting the negative farther from the baseboard to make the same size print, so you're increasing the exposure time as well.
    I haven't tested this recently but you shouldn't be increasing the exposure time as long as you are comparing prints the same size. The reason light falls off with the square of distance is it's spread over a greater area. In this case the same light is spread over the same area, isn't it?

    I tend to keep reject prints for people who won't really notice the difference. It's good to be able to give people a print they like without having to give away one you know is the final print.
    Last edited by Matthew Gorringe; 12-08-2006 at 03:20 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #13
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim rudman View Post
    re lenses - its all been said
    It has indeed, so I will add one more thing!

    The traditional idea of a lens covering e.g. a 6x9 negative does not apply in the same sense here as the enlarger is really a camera in macro mode. As such, the coverage of a lens where the paper is the film and the negative is the object being photographed is larger than it would be in a normal camera sense.



    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  4. #14
    matti's Avatar
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    I have a big trash, a big box for unsatisfactory prints. A small box for ok prints. And a ring binder with ones I kind of like... I use the unsatisfactory prints to test toning etc on.

    /matti

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattg View Post
    I haven't tested this recently but you shouldn't be increasing the exposure time as long as you are comparing prints the same size. The reason light falls off with the square of distance is it's spread over a greater area. In this case the same light is spread over the same area, isn't it?

    I tend to keep reject prints for people who won't really notice the difference. It's good to be able to give people a print they like without having to give away one you know is the final print.
    If you use a longer focal length lens, you have to back the enlarger head up farther to project the same size image. I'm inventing these numbers here for the sake of argument, but you'll see what I mean.

    If for example, to make an 8x10 enlargement from a 35mm negative, with a 50mm negative, you need to be 12" away from the baseboard, with an 80mm lens, you'd need to be 18" away. Thus the inverse square law comes into effect. You have to either open the lens aperture or increase the time to compensate for the increased distance.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
    It has indeed, so I will add one more thing!

    The traditional idea of a lens covering e.g. a 6x9 negative does not apply in the same sense here as the enlarger is really a camera in macro mode. As such, the coverage of a lens where the paper is the film and the negative is the object being photographed is larger than it would be in a normal camera sense.



    Steve.
    Steve- yes but.

    The but is that the enlarger lens is designed to cover a specific film format on its "front end" (ie the picture taking end). GOOD enlarger lenses have a 'coverage' angle on the taking end large enough to evenly illuminate and render the image of the negative, plus a little, even at full aperture. Cheap lenses will only minimally do so, and may even vignette and distort the corners at full aperture.

  7. #17
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    Steve- yes but.

    The but is that the enlarger lens is designed to cover a specific film format on its "front end" (ie the picture taking end). GOOD enlarger lenses have a 'coverage' angle on the taking end large enough to evenly illuminate and render the image of the negative, plus a little, even at full aperture. Cheap lenses will only minimally do so, and may even vignette and distort the corners at full aperture.
    Yes, you're quite correct. I was trying to point out the error I used to make when I first started printing (using odd bits of inappropriate gear cobbled together) which was 'this lens on this camera covers this size of negative so it must be o.k. for that negative size if I use it on an enlarger'.

    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  8. #18

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    I throw all rejects away after getting the good prints. I work with 35mm and I use a 50mm lens for 8x10 and an 80mm lens for 4x5 prints. At low magnification the longer lens give me some more room. It's slower but then at low magnification it doesn't matter.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chan Tran View Post
    I throw all rejects away after getting the good prints. I work with 35mm and I use a 50mm lens for 8x10 and an 80mm lens for 4x5 prints. At low magnification the longer lens give me some more room. It's slower but then at low magnification it doesn't matter.
    That's actually a good point to remember - when making small prints (or even reduction prints in the case of large (4x5 and larger)) negatives, a longer lens gives you some back-off room to get in and do your burning/dodging thing, and also because it slows down the exposure time, it gives you enough time to actually do the burn/dodge. If your base exposure is 6 seconds @ minimum F-stop on your lens because the paper is only 2" from the front element of the lens, how are you going to burn/dodge the image???

  10. #20

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    Another issue about lens focal length is that you won't get as great a resolution in the final print when using a given lens to enlarge a small negative to a specific size than when you use the same lens to enlarge a larger negative to the same size. For instance, when using an 80mm lens to make an 8x10 enlargement of a 35mm negative vs. a 6x6 negative, the 35mm negative can be thought of as a crop of the 6x6 negative, and you'll get resolution in the enlargement similar to what you'd get from a larger enlargement of the 6x6 negative -- roughly 15x18, if I've done the math right.

    Of course, the question was about using one lens vs. another, and that throws in the monkey wrench that the two lenses may have different resolution characteristics. If a given 80mm lens is sharper than a given 50mm lens, that fact may more than compensate for any loss of resolution from using the 80mm lens with a "too-small" format. Also, for some of the purposes that have already been mentioned, such as getting desirable additional head height when making small prints, the loss of resolution may not matter much.

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