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  1. #1
    Jeff Bannow's Avatar
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    Help choosing my first enlarger lens

    So, I have acquired 2 Omega D2V enlargers, but have essentially no lenses to work with. I will be enlarging from 6x7 and 4x5 primarily. I typically enlarge from 5x7 to 16x20 depending on the negative. I may also be using these in a color enlarger some time in the future.

    As I have a low ceiling in my darkroom area, I will want shorter focal length lenses to shorten the enlarger height?

    So, I am thinking I need an 80mm on a flat board and a 135mm on a 2" board. Can anyone recommend enlarging lenses that are reasonably recent design and cheap? What should I expect to spend?

    I liked working with the illuminated dials on a lens I used previously. Is this a common feature?

    Thanks for the help!
    Last edited by Jeff Bannow; 07-22-2008 at 09:40 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    - Jeff (& sometimes Eva, too) - http://www.jeffbannow.com

  2. #2

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    I'm using a D4, which is about the same height a D2. At full height, the machine needs a bit more than 5 ft., and I have a similar low ceiling problem in the darkroom. I got around the problem by using a lower table for the enlarger, but this means that I really have to lean over to use the grain focuser. Getting fine focus with the head high up on the column is uncomfortable. Still, it works.

    There have been some wide angle enlarging made, but these are expensive and rare. I've no direct knowledge of any image quality issues with these type of enlarging lenses.

    For the 6x7 negatives, you'd want to look for an 80mm f/5.6 EL-Nikkor. This lens is rated to cover the 6x7 format. Similar Schneider Componon-S and Rodenstock Rodagon lenses are not rated for larger than 6x6, but my 80 mm. Schneider works fine for 6x7 at two stops down from wide open.

    Checking the completed auctions for 80 mm. EL Nikkors, the prices range from $50 US and up. Prices for the harder to find 135 mm lenses are higher, but not outrageous.
    Last edited by fschifano; 07-22-2008 at 03:29 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Frank Schifano

  3. #3
    david b's Avatar
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    I have a Rodenstock 90mm APO Rodagon for my 6x6 and 6x9 negs and a Schneider 135mm Componon S for my 4x5 negs.

    Both are terrific lenses. Both have illuminated apertures.

    Check ebay a lot as these come up often. Any of the newer Schneider Componon S lenses can be had for under $100.

    The APO versions tend to sell for $400 to $600 depending on condition.

  4. #4

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    I'd go 135mm for starters. Good for 5x7s and 8x10s from 6x7.
    A long lens for small prints makes for easier at the easel
    focusing and realistic exposure times. Dan



 

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