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  1. #1
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Enlarging lens fitted to 35mm body

    In your opinion, what are the differences optically between an enlarging lens and a camera lens? Why would one design be used for one purpose over another?

    Curious,

    - Thomas

  2. #2

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    Thomas, For one thing an enlarging lens is normally considered to be a flat field lens design. They usually are of a higher fstop maximum aperture than a lens designed for taking camera use.

    There are lenses that are of that design that are also used as taking camera lenses...examples would be the repro claron and g claron lenses from Schneider. Both of these lens lines have a maximum aperture of F9. Others that fit into that catagory are the RD Artars. The Clarons have very good coverage when used as a taking lens.

    I am not sure how one would go about mating an enlarging lens to a 35 mm body.
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

    Visit my website at http://www.donaldmillerphotography.com

  3. #3
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Interesting. On my Pentax I have a Schneider Componar, 105mm enlarging lens that has been fitted onto a focusing ring, attached to a 1.7" barrel, and finally screwed into a K-mount.
    I meant to test it last weekend on a trip, but the camera I used (a Pentax ME) had shutter problems. It's on my KX now, and I'll see if I can get something decent with it.

    I just wanted to know why or why not it should be considered as a serious attempt. Now I'm even more curious to see the results.

    Thanks, Donald! I appreciate your reply.

    - Thomas

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    Enlarging lenses are designed to take a small 2d image and make it into a larger 2d image. Camera lenses are designed to compress 3d into 2d with the least quality loss possible. Camera lenses are coated in order to handle the excessive amount of blue light in our atmosphere.

    If you are interested in the science of printing you must read "Post Exposure" by a color photographer and printer by the name of Ctein (not a typo). This book contains an entire chapter on enlarger lenses. I found the book riveting.

    Sincerely;
    [FONT="Book Antiqua"]Christopher Breitenstein[/FONT]<br>

    Http://www.wetlabphotography.com

  5. #5
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    I suppose my question must have sounded a bit naive. I aim to try this out anyway, my intent was to try it as a portrait lens. I'm sure I can find a stuffed animal or something to try it on in a studio setting.

    Thanks for the suggestion on the book. When I have more time, I might try to obtain a copy.

    - Thomas

  6. #6

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    I seem to remember that, in the early days of 35mm, Leica expected you to use the camera lens on the enlarger, which is probably why the L39 screw fit was standard on both for so long. These days you might get the enlarger lens on a camera, but there aren't many where you could focus it. Enlarger lenses have no focus ring or scale but I suppose you might get one on a large format or other bellows focus camera.

    David.

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    Ole
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    I use a 90mm Russian enlarger lens with adapters on bellows for macro photography. It's just great!
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  8. #8
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    That's interesting. I actually have a focusing ring on it. I can get as close as maybe 5 feet to infinity. It's a rotary focus with a stop. That part works great, since the maximum aperture is f/4.5 it's nice and bright - and I can see depth of field by stopping down.

    - Thomas

    Quote Originally Posted by Woolliscroft View Post
    I seem to remember that, in the early days of 35mm, Leica expected you to use the camera lens on the enlarger, which is probably why the L39 screw fit was standard on both for so long. These days you might get the enlarger lens on a camera, but there aren't many where you could focus it. Enlarger lenses have no focus ring or scale but I suppose you might get one on a large format or other bellows focus camera.

    David.

  9. #9
    AgX
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller View Post
    I am not sure how one would go about mating an enlarging lens to a 35 mm body.
    Enlarging lenses can be a good idea to form a light, quite long focus length camera lens to use with tilt/shift devices. (Their angle of view though is typically not on the wide side.)
    The results could be on the wild side though...

    The small German ZörK (Zoerk) company offers such devices and adapters.

  10. #10

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    Thomas, enlarging lenses are often, not always, optimized for enlarging at 5x or 10x, which is equivalent to shooting at 1:5 or 1:10, respectively. Taking lenses are generally optimized for shooting at infinity, not closeup. So in general enlarging lenses will shoot poorly at distance. But there are exceptions.

    Your Componar is a cheap triplet enlarging lens, the bottom of Schneider's range of enlarging lenses. I have no idea how well it will do in the application you have in mind. The best way to find out is to try it. 35 mm film is cheap ...

    Good luck, have fun,

    Dan

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