View Full Version : Best Inexpensive Enlarging Lens?

21-Sep-2011, 13:57

I need a good quality Enlarging lens for 4x5 negs. But I can't pay more than $50 US.
Anybody have any suggestions which brands would fit this criteria?

Thanks for the help

Jon Shiu
21-Sep-2011, 14:10
Get either a Schneider Componon S, Nikon El Nikkor, or Rodenstock Rodagon, 135mm or 150mm in modern version.


21-Sep-2011, 14:29
i guess tominons are what you are looking for. Such as 135 4.5

Mark MacKenzie
21-Sep-2011, 14:30
How about Kodak Ektars? Any consensus?

21-Sep-2011, 14:45
You can find a Rodagon 135mm for $30 if you are patient. The Kodak Ektanons are ok but probably cost $15. Mine as well spend an extra 15 and get a modern enlargining lens.

Peter De Smidt
21-Sep-2011, 14:52
Yeah, most used enlarger lenses cost next to nothing these days. As a result, you might as well get a really good one. Make sure you know what thread size you need. Some of the mounts for the 150s are bigger than the standard 39mm.

21-Sep-2011, 18:19
It's really a matter of what you can get your hands on cheaply. These days they're ALL inexpensive if you watch. The top tier is the EL-Nikkor and Componon-S lenses. I suspect the 6-element Fujinon-EX and CE Rokkor lenses fit here too, if I saw one of these lenses I would not hesitate to use it. Minolta and Fuji are underappreciated, in my opinion.

The next tier is the 4-element lenses, the Componon and the cheaper EL-Nikkors again being the better players, with a few 5-element lenses doing well too. Again, Minolta and Fuji made a couple decent offerings here too. Anything other than that should probably be disregarded and you should not pay serious money for a 4-element lens in this day and age. Anything more than $10 is not worth it. This stuff is cheap, there's no reason to enlarge with less than the best.

neil poulsen
23-Sep-2011, 21:25
Keep you eyes open on EBay and maybe locally in a store or on Craigslist.

I picked up a Nikon El-Nikkor A MC lens for $60 at a local store. If you find a Caltar-SE for cheap, it's very likely a Componon-S single coated lens. I have one of these as well. For that matter, many months ago, I saw two 150mm Apo-Rodagons sell for $60 each! (They weren't properly identified; one had to read the label on the photo to know what they were.)

Enlarging lenses are selling cheap, so go for what you want.

27-Sep-2011, 10:55
I like Repromaster lenses. These are really process lenses, but I use them both on my 8x10 and 11x14 view cameras, and as enlarging lenses. I don't remember if they come with mounting flanges, or if you have to improvise a mount. I personally use an 80mm Repromaster as my 4x5 enlarging lens. That focal length is hard to find, but it will cover a 4x5 negative. Right now there is a pair of Repromaster lenses, a 210mm and a 150mm, on Ebay with a Buy-it-now price of $49.95. I use a 135mm Repromaster as an enlarger lens on my 5x7 Elwood. The 150mm lens is about the usual focal length lens for 4x5 enlarging, and you can get two lenses for the price you listed.