View Full Version : Opinions on this 150mm enlarging lens as LF taking lens?

Phil Hudson
11-Jan-2010, 12:01

Is this lens as good as it sounds....has anyone tried one as a taking lens on 4x5 film? Just wondering if it is (was) a "sleeper" or if its limitations outweigh its qualities. Curious that's all!

Bob Salomon
11-Jan-2010, 13:44
Creative but it is about the same as a Rodenstock Rodagon G enlarging lens. These were made from a 50mm 2.8 G optimized for work to 25x which means print magnifications from 12.5 to 50x. And in 105mm to 480mm optimized at 20x for magnifications from 10 to 40x. Needless to say these required a glass carrier, a properly aligned enlarger and the need for really big prints! At small magnification this type of lens would be a poor performer. At large sizes they are unequalled by any standard or Apo lens.

As a standard taking lens they would not be as good as standard taking lenses. But they would make an image that most would find acceptable. Many of these lenses have an illuminated aperture system that would let light come through the aperture scale and go onto the film. With Rodenstock enlarging lenses this port is colored red and green. These are so you knew what aperture you were using in the darkroom. These have to be covered up if you use these lenses as standard taking lenses.

22-May-2011, 20:45
I think that is better to revive an old thread than starting a new one, so i am posting my question as a follow-up here.

I was searching the Web for something totally different, when i found an interesting information: some Schneider Digitar lenses are respaced Componons fitted in shutter.
After some more searching a found two posts, made by two different people, that reported how Schneider actually confirmed the fact.
The lenses involved were two Componons, that were originally sold in Copal shutter, by a vendor who claimed that the two items, albeit differently marked, were in fact early Digitars. The two customers contacted Schneider by email, and both got the same answer: some early Digitars weren't marked as such, and it was possible to send lenses in barrel to the manufacturer, to be fitted in shutter and properly respaced for generic photographic use. The shims were fitted behind the front cell and had a precision of 1/1000mm, IIRC.
I am writing from another computer, so i can't give the links. I am positively sure that one of the lenses was an Apo-Componon HM, and i think that the other was a Componon-S. Googling "Digitar" and "Componon", it should be possible to find those links in the first two pages, and you should also find a couple of Ebay auctions of Schneider Digitars (sold as such) that present a different engraving.
When i came to this forum for a more in-depth search, i could only find the present thread. The link reported by the OP points to an old auction, where another version of Componon was reported as identical to its Digitar counterpart: a G-Componon!

So now we have at least three different versions of Componon enlarging lenses that have reportedly lent their cells for (at least) the first batch of Digitar lenses.
I did a quick check of Schneider literature, and i found that at least four or five examples in the Digitar line could well have been derivatives of some enlarging lenses.
Other focals are totally new, or have different speed (for example the M-Digitars, that are f/5.6, unlike the M-Componons, which are f/4).

I have no intention to buy a digital back, until they reach more down-to-earth prices, but i find the whole story very interesting. If some examples of the Componon family (Componon-S, G-Componon, Apo-Componon HM) are confirmed to be exactly the same optic cells used in a few Digitar lenses, they should be as good for those shooting 120 films. No.0 shutters can be found cheap, and shimming the cells would be no rocket science, as Schneider literature provide the total length for most, if not all, of their lenses.
I am sure that many of us would be happy to know for sure which is what.
After some guesswork i found three or four likely candidate, but it's just a guess, from a list of lenses. Unfortunately i could not find the cut view of most modern lenses, so it's difficult to be sure. Some focals are available only in the Apo-Componon line, while others can be found (with same speed/focal) in both Componon-S and G-Componon series. The design is quite different, the G-Componon has a very thick front element, but i couldn't find a cut view of the various Digitar optics...

have fun