View Full Version : Enlarging lens as taking lens

15-Sep-2003, 02:42
Can a Nikon el 135mm f5.6 enlarging lens be used as a taking lens for 5x7 format? I have a 150mm g claron but in some circumstances, is just too dim. Any helpful information is appreciated. Thanks.

Emmanuel BIGLER
15-Sep-2003, 03:18
Aaron. A classical 6-element, 135mm enlarging lens covers the 4"x5" format but not much. I doubt that you can cover the 210mm circle required for 5"x7" except if you are close to the 1:1 ratio.

I would then recommend a 210mm enlarging lens... useless advice of course since you do not want to purchase another lens too soon. However using an enlarging lens for taking MF or LF pictures works fine if you respect the range of magnifications for which the lens is designed, i.e. 2x to 20X, not infinity. You need an adaptor ring and a shutter to remount it on a shutter.

Thilo Schmid
15-Sep-2003, 05:42
Aaron, a EL-Nikkor 5.6/135mm will not cover 5x7 at normal ratios (and isn't suitable for ratios beyond 1:1). Even a 150mm EL-Lens is not supposed to cover 4x5 with movements. An EL-lens does usually not require extended coverage for movements, even below infinity.

Jorge Gasteazoro
15-Sep-2003, 11:55
Leaving aside the coverage, how is the quality? I presume the lens would have to be reversed, and since these are optimized for flat field, how would a negative look when using this kind of lenses?

I have always been curious about doing this, I have a 150 Rodagon G which I think could work on an 8x10....it would be nice if anybody that has tried it would let us know.

Jim Galli
15-Sep-2003, 16:15
6 element enlarging lenses (double plasmats) are very similar in properties to regular taking lenses like Symmar's and Sironar's Nikor-W's and Fuji-W's. I'm not really sure what formula the EL Nikkor is but I can attest that I used a Schneider Componon-s 135 for about a year and a half as a taking lens. Happily the Schneider screws right into a Copal 0 shutter. I had gotten it for $9 bucks and change with a bunch of industrial camera stuff on feebay and figured what do I have to lose, give it a try. Turns out it is incredibly sharp as a taking lens and I've made a bunch of good 4X5 stuff with it. Stop down to at least f16 1/2 just like you do with a G-Claron as taking lens. A 135 won't cover 5X7. Neither will a 150. I would expect a 180 Componon-S to cover 5X7 nicely. The 180 and 210 Comp-S's go right into a Copal 1 with no other mods required.

15-Sep-2003, 20:04
Thanks to all. Guess I'll have to stick with the g claron for a while and later look for alternatives for the 5x7 coverage. Information appreciated.

Emmanuel BIGLER
16-Sep-2003, 04:37
To Jorge : in fact the lens is not "reversed", it will point outward mounted on the camera lens board like on the enlarger lens board. Simply the light path is reversed. It is not obvious at a first glance that aberrations will be corrected like in the normal use, but it works fine and there are some rationale behind. If you remember the recommended magnification range of your EL lens, you'll get superb results. For example 6-element EL lenses work fine from 2x to 20x, not 1X nor infinity, at least strictly speaking. It means for example for a 150mm lens used on a 4"x5" camera that the object size filling the format should be somewhere in between 20x25cm (2x) and 2x2.5 metres (20x). But used at infinity and stopped down like you would do by using a classical symmetrical process lens you'll get very good results as well.

The problems are in fact : remounting a shutter and the relative limited coverage of the lens w/respect to a 'true' standard view camera lens (covering 72-75 degrees).

Dan Fromm
22-Sep-2003, 17:09
Jorge, here's sort of an answer. First, as Emmanuel wrote there's no need to reverse the lens. It is designed to have the small image behind it, the large in front.

The best way to find out how your 150 Rodagon G works as a taking lens is to shoot with it. FWIW, I've done the experiment with a 105/5.6 Pro Enlarging Raptar, another Plasmat type enlarging lens. From 4:1 to 1:1 its about as good as a 100/6.3 Luminar in good order, not up to a 100/6.3 Reichert Neupolar. From 1:1 to 1:8 its a fine macro lens, nearly as good as the Neupolar. At infinity, a 101/4.7 Ektar is much much better. All this on 2x3. NONE of this may apply to your lens.

Re coverage, a good rule of thumb is that a lens covers twice as large a circle at 1:1 as at infinity. So, yeah, you should be able to use your Rodagon G on 8x10 @ 1:1, even though it probably won't cover at infinity.