View Full Version : Using an Enlarging Lens for Macro

Sideshow Bob
23-Feb-2007, 11:46
This question came up about an enlarging lens I had for sale. Does anyone have experience using these with 4x5?

23-Feb-2007, 12:05
most enlarging lenses are designed for 1:5 or 1:10 enlargements. None are "optimized" for 1:1. I use Rodagon enlarger lenses for copy work together with my BetterLight scanning back and they are great.

Dan Fromm
23-Feb-2007, 12:46
Bob, if you go to Schneider's archive, you'll find that they recommend Comparon (Xenar tweaked for enlarging) over Componon-S (Symmar S tweaked for enlarging) for 2x - 6x enlargements. This corresponds to shooting at 1:2 to 1:6. I think that's a small hint. But Componons (plain and -S) are also recommended for printing from 2x to 10x. Another hint.

FWIW, I have a 100/5.6 Componon S and a 105/4.5 Comparon and I've shot them against each other at 1:1, 1:2, 1:4, and 1:8. I can't see much difference, both are usable.

I've also done rather more serious tests of my 4"/5.6 Enlarging Pro Raptar at 1:1, 1:2, 1:4, and 1:8 against a known good 100/6.3 Luminar, at f/11, f/16, and f/22. Dead heat. Same result, rather more surprising at 2:1 and 4:1 wide open and with the Wolly mounted normally, not reversed.

Remember that the circle covered at 1:1 is twice the diameter of the circle covered at infinity, so a lens made to cover 100 mm at infinity (that's those 4 inchers) will do fine close up on 4x5. So will a 6 incher.

And remember that when shooting at magnifications above 1:1, if the lens is not made for that application and is not perfectly symmetrical it should be reversed. Most 6/4 plasmat types are sort of, not perfectly, symmetrical.



Ernest Purdum
24-Feb-2007, 12:02
To add a hint to Dan Fromm's comment, Comparon lenses often go for very small prices. This may at least in part because of confusion with the rather similarly named Componar, an economy lens.

The Pro Raptar may also be found at a good price, but the problem is finding one at all.

Sideshow Bob
24-Feb-2007, 12:31
Don, thanks for all the great info. I should have mentioned the lens I’m talking about, it is a 150mm f4, APO-Componon HM MC. I have a spec sheet showing the design as “4 groups with 6 lens elements”, is that the same as a 6/4 plasmat that you listed? I have a scanning back so I’m going to test it at different magnifications and I’ll let you know my results.