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  1. #1

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    60mm lens best for enlarging 35mm negs???

    Hi all,

    Can anyone shed any light on the supposed fact that it is better to print 35mm negs with a 60mm lens (or even larger)?

    I've read some comments about it, but have not read any 'facts' for want of another way to put it. Basically, if it is very true then sure I'll run out and get one!

    Thanks, Paul

  2. #2

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    I have heard, though I'm not sure, that some enlarging lenses are optimized for different magnification ratios. For 35mm, something optimized for a large magnification factor would be good, though 60mm is definitely a good start.

  3. #3

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    telkwa, the optimal lens for 35mm negs is a 50mm lens, I know this. I am asking about the rumor that a 60mm is in fact better than the 50mm, for whatever reasons that I'm trying to establish with this thread.... considering that a 60mm lens would mean smaller enlargements than a 50mm I guess.

    Anyone care to add?

  4. #4
    clayne's Avatar
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    No, it's not very true, so you don't have to run out and get one.
    Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.

    http://www.flickr.com/kediwah

  5. #5

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    Interested to know why you say that clayne?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamincurieux View Post
    Interested to know why you say that clayne?
    Because there is no significant difference. What you're looking for is an 80, 90, or 105 mm lens. But the difference from 50mm is extremely negligible. Basically there's about a 100 other things you could do first to increase the quality of the print before buying a different enlarger lens (unless the one you're using is crappy).

    Try aligning your enlarger first.
    Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.

    http://www.flickr.com/kediwah

  7. #7

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    And, why do you say those longer ones? (35mm with a 105mm lens, erm, clayne, wouldn't that make a print the size of a stamp on my humble Durst M605?!) This is what I'm trying to find out, what will a longer lens mean to an enlargement from a 35mm neg? Please. This isn't about alignment. Rather, I'm looking for some elaboration on comments I've read that a longer lens can improve corner sharpness, that sort of thing. But it's just a comment here & a comment there that I read, so I'm trying to establish if there's anything to this idea, hopefully with some input from someone who knows something about it & would care to explain. Anyone?

  8. #8
    clayne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamincurieux View Post
    And, why do you say those longer ones? (35mm with a 105mm lens, erm, clayne, wouldn't that make a print the size of a stamp on my humble Durst M605?!) This is what I'm trying to find out, what will a longer lens mean to an enlargement from a 35mm neg? Please. This isn't about alignment. Rather, I'm looking for some elaboration on comments I've read that a longer lens can improve corner sharpness, that sort of thing. But it's just a comment here & a comment there that I read, so I'm trying to establish if there's anything to this idea, hopefully with some input from someone who knows something about it & would care to explain. Anyone?
    The concept is in using more of the central part of the lens, which is what will happen if you use a long lens with a smaller format.

    My point is that aligning your enlarger will probably give you the same or more benefit to corner sharpness than going out and buying a new enlarger lens will.

    I've enlarged 35mm with both 50mm and 80mm. The differences in corner sharpness are undetectable. In fact, I'd say that the 50mm probably produces higher quality prints - but it's an APO-N whereas the 80mm isn't. That being said, differences in quality even between those two lenses is miniscule.

    In short, you're not going to get any big wins here. But I suspect that isn't what you're looking to hear.
    Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.

    http://www.flickr.com/kediwah

  9. #9

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    It is what I wanted to hear, constructive input, that's good. If only you'd said all this, as well, in your first comment.

    Thanks,

    Paul

  10. #10
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    Curious child, your request can be answered many ways, but the best reason to use a longish enlarging lens for any format I know of, is to reduce your full frame enlargement possibilities.

    For example, say you wish to make a full frame enlargement of a 135 negative that will fit easily inside a ¼ of an 8x10" piece of paper, virtually impossible with a standard lens, but eminently do-able with a 105mm enlarging lens.

    Generally speaking, most enlarging lenses from my experience, are designed for perfect focus and sometimes colour correction, at a set magnification.

    Student, or very cheap enlarging 135 lenses, are normally optimised for enlargements of around 4x to 6x of the negative.

    Some quite incredible Apo enlarging lenses designed for the 135 format I have used are optimised for as "good as it gets" colour correction and focus around 20x or higher magnification. These are the Rodagon G range.

    There is one standout enlarging lens I have used, the 90mm Apo Rodagon (N I think) this lens was always sought after by staff in the industrial lab I worked in. As long as the format could be covered by this lens, one would get unbelievable focus and colour correction in a seemless magnification from 2x through to about 16x. I would rate this actual lens, if it is in good condition as possibly one of the best enlarging lenses ever manufactured.

    That said, whacking any good lens on an enlarger is only half the story, you really need to align your complete set-up.

    Another important piece of information you need to assess, is the bellows length requirement of longer lenses. As in, does your enlarger allow you to extend your bellows enough to accommodate the longer focal length?

    Clayne, has answered most other reasons for using a longer than usual enlarging lens.

    Mick.

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