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  1. #11
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
    The rule is that you must use a lens of focal length at least as great as the diagonal of the negative expressed in millemeters to get complete covereage. This would be 150 mm but a 180 mm is probably a better choice.
    The makers of 135mm enlarging lenses for 4x5 film have not heard of your rule.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim17x View Post
    I just pick up a 4x5 camera and need advice on an enlarging lens.. I have used El-Nikkors for medium format and 35mm and was wondering how the larger El-Nikkors are? Can i use a 135mm for a 4x5 neg or do i have to go larger?
    What enlarger do you have? There are plenty of cheap used 39mm lens boards available for Beseler 45 enlargers. A 150mm lens will need a board with a 50mm hole. It is less common used, but not that hard to find. Both the 39mm and 50mm Beseler boards are available new, but they are pricey.

  3. #13
    BradS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiltw View Post
    But I would choose a Schneider Componon-S 150mm f/5.6 for absolutely the best contrast performance, and the 135mm El-Nikkor last.
    Oddly, after trying several enlarging lenses for 4x5, I ended up liking the 135 EL- Nikkor the best. It is a fine lens.

    The 150mm enlarging lenses are all good but as you already noted, a 150mm enlarging lens needs more column height than a 135mm lens for the same size enlargement.

    I think everybody needs to try a few and find what works best for them. It is, after all, a matter of some subjectivity.

  4. #14
    BradS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
    The rule is that you must use a lens of focal length at least as great as the diagonal of the negative expressed in millemeters to get complete covereage. This would be 150 mm but a 180 mm is probably a better choice.
    One would need an impressively tall enlarger column to make an use of the 180mm enlarging lens - no?

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkipA View Post
    What enlarger do you have? There are plenty of cheap used 39mm lens boards available for Beseler 45 enlargers. A 150mm lens will need a board with a 50mm hole. It is less common used, but not that hard to find. Both the 39mm and 50mm Beseler boards are available new, but they are pricey.

    I have a Beseler MCRX 45.. I have several boards including a board that came from a 150mm lens so i wont have any issues with having a board.

  6. #16

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    I have an MCRX also. You can make a 16x20 with either a 135mm or 150mm lens on that enlarger. But you need less headroom with the 135mm, no matter what enlargement size. If you want to go bigger than 16x20, the 135mm will be the better option unless you have or build a drop-table.

    Of course, the MCRX has the bracket to allow you to shoot horizontally, but from all accounts, it's difficult to achieve good enough alignment to manage a sharp print corner to corner that way. I've never tried it.

    I mainly use an EL-NIkkor 135mm on my MCRX for 4x5. I have no problems with coverage.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    The makers of 135mm enlarging lenses for 4x5 film have not heard of your rule.
    Perhaps I should have said rule of thumb. The same rule applies to taking lenses. Yes you're right but you have to be careful in making a choice. As with most things in photography there are tradeoffs. There are 135 mm lens which will cover a 4x5 negative but they contain more elements and are more expensive. The cheaper ones may cause distortion, lower contrast, or light dropoff at the corners of the print.
    Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 08-24-2012 at 12:30 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
    ...but they contain more elements and are more expensive.
    I would never consider an enlarger lens with fewer than six elements; some APO designs have eight elements.

    The el-cheapo four-element lenses (i.e. all four-element lenses) are low hobbyist grade... Think kid in the closet stuff.

    - Leigh
    Last edited by Leigh B; 08-24-2012 at 01:19 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.” - Plato

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh B View Post
    I would never consider an enlarger lens with fewer than six elements
    I would agree with you if we were discussing lenses for 35mm. But when dealing with 4x5 negatives there is not that much magnification. A 16x20 print is only a 4X linear magnification. A good four element 150 mm may produce results indistinguishable from a six element 135 mm.
    Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 08-24-2012 at 01:22 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  10. #20
    tony lockerbie's Avatar
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    I have used the 135mm EL-Nikkor for years and had no issue at all with fall off or lack of sharpness with 5x4.

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