Originally Posted by 2F/2F
John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
The Nikkor is in fact rated for negatives up to 6x7. I doubt that it would be good for 6x9, but there's no harm trying. Check the corners with a grain focuser if you have one. If the grain is sharp and there's no light fall off, you're good. Typically though, you'll need a 105 for the 6x9 negatives, and you could indeed use it for smaller negatives too. But be advised that the maximum achievable magnification will be less than what you get with the 80 mm objective. I don't have too many 6x9 negatives and can't see any reason to but yet another enlarging lens, so I just use the 135 mm objective I have for 4x5 negatives.
For 6x7 I use a 105mm Rodagon-G at f8 and get 32"x42" prints
that are razor sharp (mostly Agfa APX100). Proves that it's better
to use a slightly longer lens.
Doesn't "prove" anything except that your 105 mm lens works. If you look at the data provided bythe lens manufacturers for their enlarging lenses you'll see that they are optimized for a range of magnification factors. Though you might not notice it, greater or lesser magnifications will be less than optimal.
Originally Posted by darkroom_rookie
I use a Wollensak 90mm enlarging lens for 6x9, and is sharp corner to corner. According to an old catalogue this lens was designed for 6x9. If you keep your eyes peeled, you could probably find one in a bargain bin for next to nothing.
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True. This lens excels at 20x and works from 10-40x, according to the data. 32x42" print being 6x7 enlarged 15x, it's almost as sharp as it can get.
Originally Posted by fschifano
Enlarging lenses are so inexpensive nowadays I would pick up a 100-105 and a 135 and see which one you prefer. With the longer focal length, you might run out of height on the enlarger if you try to make large prints.
If you decide to go to 4x5, you will have a lot more expense than an enlarging lens so I would not get ahead of myself. I think a 150mm lens is too much for that enlarger.
Lens Sizes for Enlarging
AIR, the rule of thumb back in the day was your enlarging lens needed to be at least the normal lens focal length, (unless you owned a WA Rodaogon/Componon/Whatnotogon, some of which were known to compromise corner sharpness at the baseboard). For 35mm, that was about 50mm; for 6x7, it was 90mm and for 4x5 you'd want 150mm.
Originally Posted by ymc226
But for optimal sharpness and coverage though, the Old Hands said to go the next length up to ensure the best enlargements possible. The gurus suggested 80mm for 35; 115 (or so) for 6x7; and 180 for 4x5. Thus for economy and best prints, if your enlarger had the capacity, you'd buy something in the 110 range for any roll film and never have a problem--so long as your enlager would raise high enough for the 110 lens to get your 35mm negative up to the print size you wanted.
This was the big advatage of the Beseler 23: being a double-column design, you could use a 110mm enlarging lens on a 35mm negative to make a 16x20 print and not have to worry about blurring the image because the head was up in the clouds swaying in the breeze like a Durst or Omega might.
With that in mind, I found a terrific Wollensak 4-element Raptar f/4, 127mm lens locally in fine shape for--drum roll--$25.00! Now that I'm shooting 6x9 it's perfect, covers well and sharp corner to corner. Add that to the nice, used Beseler 23 at the same shop I snagged for--wait for it--$100 and this ol' shutterbug is ready to rumble.
Wollensak lenses are not well known today, however, they were well regarded in ancient times--even if they weren't the most technically advanced glass in the world. They were very well made, and the grain magnifier would attest to their sharpness and coverage on the print paper which is where it really counts. You can get them very inexpensively nearly anywhere and be right proud of the prints you'll make. The more expensive, modern designs only help if you are doing color at home, where the improvements of multicoated, apochromatic, ED glass will be clearly observed.
Viva le (monchrome) film!!
Last edited by Monday317; 05-07-2015 at 07:22 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: If I told you, I'd have to kill you...
Cogito, ergo Bebop a Lula
Regarding wide angle enlarging lenses: I didn't like the ones I tried many years ago because, although they were sharp enough all the way to the corners, the grain distorted more as the image approached the corners. The elongated grain looked bothersomely odd to me. I don't know if most or all wide angle EL's have this trait. I've always preferred slightly longer than normal enlarging lenses when circumstances permitted.
+1; I didn't include your observation in my reply, not wanting to overkill the point. WA enlarging lenses have been known to distort some, unless you have a grand or two invested in a really good WA Rodagon or Apo-Componon.
Originally Posted by Old-N-Feeble
Cogito, ergo Bebop a Lula