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  1. #1

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    Workflow simplification (enlarger lens choice)

    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 Fred Aspen; 07-06-2008 at 12:47 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2
    Jerevan's Avatar
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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?
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

  3. #3
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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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. #4
    jeroldharter's Avatar
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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.
    Jerold Harter MD

  5. #5

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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. #6
    jeroldharter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Aspen View Post
    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
    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.
    Jerold Harter MD

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Aspen View Post
    I have fiddled with a three element 75mm to get
    a sense of image sizes which gave me decent working
    head elevation ... Maybe a good 80mm is the best
    compromise. So APUG, what say ye? Thanks!
    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. #8

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    That is two up on 5x7. Dan

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Aspen View Post

    So, would the best choice for the three formats above be a 75mm, an 80mm or a 90mm?
    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 ic-racer; 07-12-2008 at 07:58 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #10

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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

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