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  1. #1
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    Do all enlarger lenses fit all enlargers?

    I have an Omega Concept Six enlarger. I would like to set it up for medium format. It seems like the condenser lens is big enough for medium format, but it only came with a 35mm negative carrier and a weird 4x4cm square one (?). It has some Rodenstock El-Omega 50mm f/3.5 lens on it. Even assuming I get a 6x6 negative carrier, I will probably need a 75mm lens. Can I just get any old enlarger lens, or does it have to be a special one for Omega enlargers? Could I interchange lenses between this enlarger and my Beseler Printmaker 35 enlarger?

  2. #2

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    A 75mm lens will cover 6x6, a 50mm will not. The condenser lenses may need to be moved/rotated/reconfigured to handle a different focal length (at least, such is the case on my Saunders 670). In my Saunders, El-Nikkor 50mm and 75mm lenses thread in with no problem. Most (but not all) lenses are a 39mm thread. And, many, but not all, lens boards are tapped (threaded) for those lenses to fit. If not, you can probably cut your own lens board and use a threaded ring (jam nut) to hold the lens to it.

    Dan

  3. #3
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Pretty much, yes. Most enlarging lenses made since the 1970s for 35mm and medium format use M39 (Leica thread mount). For bigger lenses starting around 135mm, you may need a larger lensboard hole, and some short lenses designed for formats like 110 may have had smaller mount sizes.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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  4. #4

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    Good Morning,

    Your "weird" 4 x 4 carrier is probably for 127 negatives; most 50mm lenses would cover that format. Some carriers with an opening about the same size also were also made to hold mounted slides.

    Konical

  5. #5

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    Measure. Extend the bellows and see what range you get from full compressed to fully extended. Measure from the negative stage to the lensboard. I think that's right.

    For an 80mm to make a max size print you need 80mm. To make a 1:1 print you need 160mm. Obviously you aren't likely to need/want to make a print that small.

  6. #6

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    Your explicit question relates mostly to the lens's mount, and David has answered that question. I'll add that some very old or weird enlargers have used mounts other than the usual M39 mount. Some enlargers have interchangeable lens boards, so they can use oddball lenses -- you'd have one lens board for an M39 lens and another for another type of lens. There's also the question of the length of the lens's "neck" -- lenses vary a bit in their lengths, and this can cause problems if the bellows (or other focusing mechanism) doesn't get as close or as far as the lens requires. I've seen this issue with some Soviet/Russian 50mm lenses, which can't focus properly (particularly for smallish prints) on some Western enlargers.

    Some other answers relate to the coverage of your condensers. This is an important consideration, since if your condensers don't spread light evenly across a larger format, you'll get vignetting in your final print. I don't know enough about your Omega enlarger to give you any specific advice on this matter, though. Note that this issue is entirely unrelated to the physical lens mount issue.

  7. #7
    MattKing's Avatar
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    During one of my eBay explorations I bid on one of those batch auctions in order to get a couple of the included items. In addition to what I was looking for, I received a 135mm Ektanon Enlarging lens. My Beseler 67 enlarger only goes up to 6x7, but I thought that it might be useful to have the 135mm lens on a board, for those times like the postcard exchange when I wanted small prints from larger negatives.

    The Ektanon lens was larger than the 39mm standard thread (about 42mm IIRC) so I had a machine shop cut the hole in a blank lensboard I had. Unfortunately, that was wasted money - the bellows on my Beseler enlarger doesn't extend far enough to focus the 135mm lens.

    Oh well, it is the lessons you learn...

    Matt

  8. #8
    donbga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    Pretty much, yes. Most enlarging lenses made since the 1970s for 35mm and medium format use M39 (Leica thread mount). For bigger lenses starting around 135mm, you may need a larger lensboard hole, and some short lenses designed for formats like 110 may have had smaller mount sizes.
    Generally that's true. However some of the exotic enlarging lenses made by Nikon for example had a much larger mounting diameter. Of course those types of lenses cost thousands and were never intended for the amateur darkroom enthusiast.
    Don Bryant

  9. #9

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    I have a Schneider 50mm f/4 lens that has 25mm thread. But on my Beseler enlarger, all I need is a lens board with smaller hole.

  10. #10
    fotch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    During one of my eBay explorations I bid on one of those batch auctions in order to get a couple of the included items. In addition to what I was looking for, I received a 135mm Ektanon Enlarging lens. My Beseler 67 enlarger only goes up to 6x7, but I thought that it might be useful to have the 135mm lens on a board, for those times like the postcard exchange when I wanted small prints from larger negatives.

    The Ektanon lens was larger than the 39mm standard thread (about 42mm IIRC) so I had a machine shop cut the hole in a blank lensboard I had. Unfortunately, that was wasted money - the bellows on my Beseler enlarger doesn't extend far enough to focus the 135mm lens.

    Oh well, it is the lessons you learn...

    Matt
    You can use either wood or aluminum plates stacked, drilled in the four corners and drilled in the middle to extend the lens a couple of more inches. The machine shop probably could do it without to much expense. If you need a photo of something similar, I can send you one from a Durst enlarger that is mount like this.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

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