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  1. #1
    Uncle Bill's Avatar
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    Question on Enlarging lenses

    Having recently developed TLR madness, I started printing from 6x6 negs with a Nikkor 80 f5.6 on loan to me and I am getting great results. Problem, the owner (my brother) once moved into his new house and his darkroom set up is going to want his lens. back.

    I am on a Devere 504 with a Varicon Condenser head, I have one lens board for M-39 so I really don't want an endless quest for a second lens board so what are my options for a decent enlarging lens for 6x6 provided it's M-39. I would also like to know what is the ideal focal length for printing 6x6? I have seen online anywhere from 75 to 105mm is considered ok for enlarging 6x6. I looking for some clarification so I can narrow down my search.
    "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once and a while, you might just miss it."
    Ferris Bueller

  2. #2
    2Bugles's Avatar
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    Any of the lenses from 80mm to 105mm will work fine with little difference between the big names, Schneider Componon-S, Rodenstock Rodagon and Nikon El-Nikkor, all 6-element lenses. The most important factor will probably be condition if you purchase used, but they can be bought very economically. I just paid less than $25 for a 105mm Rodagon and plan on tying to buy a 100mm Componon-S for about the same price to compare.

  3. #3
    tony lockerbie's Avatar
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    I use a 100mm Componon S for most of my prints from 6x6, but switch to an 80mm El-Nikkor when I want a bigger enlargement. I find that the 100 just gives a more convenient working distance for prints around 10x8. The Rodagons are also excellent, but the Schneider has that convenient stop down lever.

  4. #4
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    100 Componon-S for 8x8 and smaller prints and 75 Componon-S for larger prints.

  5. #5
    Uncle Bill's Avatar
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    I should add the final variable, I print 8x10 and 11x14 most of the time.
    "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once and a while, you might just miss it."
    Ferris Bueller

  6. #6

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    Then I'd get a 105mm Nikon. It's M39. Will cover 6x9 if you ever go that way. Will give you more space when printing small from 6x6. It's not like your enlarger is short .

  7. #7
    Willie Jan's Avatar
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    I am using a durst 1200 with a 150mm lens.

    When using 6x6, I use the same lens (150). I can get to 30x30cm.
    I did some tests to compair a 80mm (componon-s) with the 150(rodagon) and the 150 looks better than the 80. So using a 105 is no problem.
    The bigger the better i think...

  8. #8
    Uncle Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Zentena View Post
    Then I'd get a 105mm Nikon. It's M39. Will cover 6x9 if you ever go that way. Will give you more space when printing small from 6x6. It's not like your enlarger is short .
    No, it's a beast.
    "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once and a while, you might just miss it."
    Ferris Bueller

  9. #9
    Anscojohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Bill View Post
    Having recently developed TLR madness, I started printing from 6x6 negs with a Nikkor 80 f5.6 on loan to me and I am getting great results. Problem, the owner (my brother) once moved into his new house and his darkroom set up is going to want his lens. back.

    I am on a Devere 504 with a Varicon Condenser head, I have one lens board for M-39 so I really don't want an endless quest for a second lens board so what are my options for a decent enlarging lens for 6x6 provided it's M-39. I would also like to know what is the ideal focal length for printing 6x6? I have seen online anywhere from 75 to 105mm is considered ok for enlarging 6x6. I looking for some clarification so I can narrow down my search.
    *******
    I use either a 5.6 90 mm VHE Vivitar (Schneider-made) or a 5.6 105 Rodenstock Rodagon. My old darkroom-rat mentors insisted an oversized lens gave more even coverage and better sharpness across the image. They may have been right.
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

  10. #10
    Martin Aislabie's Avatar
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    Bill, I have a Mk4 504 and have both an 80 and 105mm enlarging lenses.

    How big a print are you likely to want to try - I can try on mine and see what coverage you get with each lens if you want

    I can do slighly larger than 20x24 on the baseboard with a 5x4 neg and a 150mm Schneider Componon S but have never tried the 6x6 and the shorter lenses at the top of the column.

    Anscojohn has a very good point - all things being equal - going to a longer focal lenght lens gives less performance drop off towards the corners with smaller format negatives

    Martin

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