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.
The Schneider and Rodenstock 135 and 150 all are available as six element lenses. Both Schneider Componon-S (135mm and 150mm) have excellent MTF for moderate 4x5 enlargements and have similar image illumination at the corners.
The Rodenstock Rodagon 135mm is $614.95 and the 150mm is $799.95 at B&H.
RED= Schneider Componon-S 150mm
GREEN = Schneider Componon-S 135mm
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.
Note to the OP; the Rodenstock Rodagon 135mm available from B&H comes in a 39mm mount.
A 180 will give a more even field of illumination than 150, and 150 than 135. But you can obviously
balance this out with either a custom-ground diffuser above, or by careful dodging/burning of the
corners of the image during printing (easier in b&w work than in color). It also depends on how big
you need to enlarge, combined with how tall the enlarger is. I have sucessfully used all these focal
lengths for 4x5, as well as even longer lenses. Most modern lenses by the major manufacturers will
be excellent for typical applications (Fuji, Nikkor, Schneider, Rodenstock).
1. The rule of thumb for focal length being equal to the diagonal of the format is based on taking lenses at infinity. Lenses used at closer than infinity (i.e., greater bellows distance) can be shorter.
2. Four versus 6 elements: I'd rather have a 4 element lens perfectly aligned than 6-elements with some elements off center. Some 4 element lenses are of low cost design; others, notably the El Nikkor 50mm, and the Schneider Comparons (no longer being manufactured) are excellent performers when used at their designed magnification ratio. I have a nagging suspicion that some of our preferences for specific lenses come down to specific examples, where the alignment is exactly right tested against other examples where the alignment is off a little.
1. The rule of thumb for focal length being equal to the diagonal of the format is based on taking lenses at infinity.
The FL v. film diagonal is only a guide for selecting a focal length that will give a roughly "normal" angle of view.
It has nothing to do with lens performance, image circle diameter, FFL, or any other operating parameter.
Originally Posted by voceumana
I'd rather have a 4 element lens perfectly aligned than 6-elements with some elements off center.
None of the major manufacturers would ever sell a lens "with some elements off center".
Lens centering is very easy (thus inexpensive) to accomplish on a production line.
Last edited by Leigh B; 08-24-2012 at 03:37 PM. Click to view previous post history.
“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.” - Plato
Want the Rolls Royce? Take out a second mortgage and buy a 210 Apo El Nikkor, if you can find one
and your enlarger will even support the weight of this kind of lens. But this is sheer overkill for any
ordinary use. Second choice -an ordinary Apo Nikkor; but at a max aperture of f/9 and shortest avail
FL for 4x5 also 210mm, not always practical. So then you're left with ordinary EL-Nikkors, etc - still
damn good. My mid-budget favorite is the Apo-Rodagon N 150. These turn up from time to time and
conspicuously outperform the herd. But unless your enlarger is precisely aligned on every plane, and
you are using a good glass carrier to keep the film consistently flat, none of this means much anyway.