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  1. #1
    winger's Avatar
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    Enlarging lens for 4x5?

    Here's this week's stupid question. Which lens focal distance is the "right" one for 4x5? I know there will be some variation in the answers, but I'm just looking for the standard one. The enlarger I was given came with a 135mm, but I'm getting a fair amount of light falloff and am wondering if I'd do better to look for a 150mm.

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    Any of the 135mm from Schneider, Nikon, Rodenstock and Fuji should cover fine. I own 3 of the 4 mentioned and they all cover 4x5.

    Which enlarger? Make sure the mixing box/condenser combination is correct for 4x5. Depending on the enlarger, also make sure the right lens board is used.

  3. #3
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    You might get some fall off with older type 135's but if it is severe, look first to your mixing box/condenser placement, like emeraldcity_grain indicated. Also if your enlarger has a bellows stage, like the Beseler MX series, make sure it is in the proper spot. You'll love printing the big negs!

  4. #4
    winger's Avatar
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    It is a Beseler 45MX and it's set right for 4x5. I'm fairly sure it was used for 4x5 by its last owner with that lens, so I figured it was fine. Maybe it's the negs (that's usually the first thought).
    I've printed one neg pretty successfully and it really is sweet when an 8x10 is so crisp. I just have to shoot more so I have better negs to print.
    Thanks!

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    CPorter's Avatar
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    I have the 150mm Schnieder Componon-S and it's very sweet, I can't complain about this lens at all.

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    You can (read: should) test to see what the fall-off is without a negative. Then you should use the harderst paper/filter you got and expose for a medium gray.
    I don't know that enlarger (as it's not very common in Europe), but if it's a condenser enlarger, you will probably have some way of adjusting the lamp position, in which case you have to make this test at both say 8x10" size and at maximum size.
    Now, waisting a 16x20" sheet of paper for this test isn't needed, just cut some test pieces (say 4x4") and place in the middle and in the corners.
    As others have said, the 135mm if modern should be fine. Else a 150mm can help you to get a more even illumination.

    //Bj÷rn

  7. #7
    winger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CPorter View Post
    I have the 150mm Schnieder Componon-S and it's very sweet, I can't complain about this lens at all.
    My smaller format lenses are both Componon S lenses and are very nice. The 150mm is about $700 new, though. I'll check what the one I'm using is - maybe it's older?

    Bjorn, I'll take your advice and do some testing the next time I have a chance. Since the first negative I printed seems even, I suspect my other negatives leave a bit to be desired. LF is still a bit new to me (only on my 2nd box of film).

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    JBrunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by winger View Post
    My smaller format lenses are both Componon S lenses and are very nice. The 150mm is about $700 new, though. I'll check what the one I'm using is - maybe it's older?

    Bjorn, I'll take your advice and do some testing the next time I have a chance. Since the first negative I printed seems even, I suspect my other negatives leave a bit to be desired. LF is still a bit new to me (only on my 2nd box of film).
    You can also set the enlarger focused and elevated to a fairly large print size and use an incident meter to measure the center and corners without a negative in the carrier.

  9. #9
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    There have been problems with light fall off with the 45S lamp housing in combination with a 135mm lens in some enlargers. It seems the 45S wouldn't seat fully into the enlarger chassis. The user just switched to a different light source and no final resolution was made.
    DARKROOM AUTOMATION
    f-Stop Timers - Enlarging Meters
    http://www.darkroomautomation.com/da-main.htm

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