Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: enlarging lenses for 4x5?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    50

    enlarging lenses for 4x5?

    I need to get an enlarging lens for my 4x5 negs. Is there really a difference between the different brands? Nikon is so much cheaper than Schneider and Rodenstock. Is there a quality difference in 6 group vs. 4 group designs? What about age? I am thinking of buying an older 135mm Schneider Componar. It has a mounting flange with 4 screw holes so I don't even know if I can mount this on my Omega D5-XL enlarger. But it's clean and at a reasonable price. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks,

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Posts
    9,128

    enlarging lenses for 4x5?

    Eric,

    I'd go for the Nikon over the Componar, if the Nikon is in good shape.

    IMHO a Componar is a budget model that performs , well, like a budget model (a very generous statement!) Some may find it serves them well enough but thats not my experience. OTOH The Componon is a superb lens, as is the Rodagon and the Nikons. However, with used enlarging lenses, condition is everything. I'd shop for a sterling example of a high quality lens if I were buying used. I don't recommend skimping on a poor quality enlarging lens (I have!)---if the big 3 are too expensive for your budget(actually I think they are quite reasonable on the used market these days)I'd look for a barrel lens like the Agfa Repromaster etc... or if by chance you've already got a 150mm G-Claron and focusing at f/9 is workable for you, why not use it?

    Good luck!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  3. #3
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    1,092

    enlarging lenses for 4x5?

    One "bargain" lens I can recommend is the Vivitar VHE 135/5.6. I've got one of these, and it does a fine job with 4x5, 9x12 cm, even 6x6 and 6x4.5 (I don't have any "in between" lenses like 105 or 80 mm); I'm told it's optically identical to a much more expensive (IIRC Wollensak) lens. I've made 8x10 prints from tight crops with the head near the top of the column and was quite pleased with the sharpness. And of course a 135 mm gives 10% larger image for a given head height than a 150 mm, which is important if you have a short column or low ceiling.
    If a contact print at arm's length is too small to see, you need a bigger camera. :D

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    50

    enlarging lenses for 4x5?

    Do you think there would be a difference in actual print quality between a Schneider 135mm f/5.6 Componon-S and Nikon 135mm f/5.6 EL-Nikkor? I see both of these lenses for sale, in excellent shape, but the Nikon is half the price (used).

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Posts
    9,128

    enlarging lenses for 4x5?

    Eric,

    IMHO they'd be awfully darn close. YMMV of course, but if I were shopping for a lens I'd be happy with either one.

    I suppose if I just had to have the Schneider but couldn't afford it, I'd opt for the Nikon and sell a bunch of my prints to bankroll the Schneider ;-)

    BTW, the 135mm I use is an Omegaron(Rodenstock) which I really like, if thats any indication where I'm coming from.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    8,485

    enlarging lenses for 4x5?

    Another thought is to get one of these, used if possible. Then you won't have to think about it any more.



    I got a 150mm.



    As the accompanying MTF chart shows (see bottom of downloadable PDF document), these lenses are breathtakingly sharp.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Spain
    Posts
    154

    enlarging lenses for 4x5?

    I believe the Vivitar Donald mentions is a rebranded Rodenstock. Rodagons, Componons and Nikkors are comparable and will give almost indistinguishable results. Apo versions are reported to be even sharper but I haven't had the luck of using them. Enlarger lenses can be have for peanuts nowadays, so I'd suggest avoiding the Componar and getting the best you can afford. Regards,

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    50

    enlarging lenses for 4x5?

    Thanks again for the responses. I'll definitely get a Rodagon, Componon or Nikkor. My other lenses for 35mm and 6x7 are Rodagons and I have been very happy with those, making 20x24 prints from 35mm negs that have amazing quality. Can anyone suggest a good source for buying used lenses?

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Location
    Buford, GA
    Posts
    13,596

    enlarging lenses for 4x5?

    "I believe the Vivitar Donald mentions is a rebranded Rodenstock. Rodagons"

    No they were made by Schneider. Most of the Omega branded lenses were made by Rodenstock - at least the ones made in Germany. Some came from Japan.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    8,485

    enlarging lenses for 4x5?

    I found my Rodagon used, on APUG, for a very good price. Otherwise, try Midwest Photo.

Similar Threads

  1. age of enlarging lenses
    By Richard Schlesinger in forum Darkroom: Equipment
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 25-May-2006, 04:35
  2. Enlarging Lenses for Taking (again.........sorry)
    By Martin Courtenay-Blake in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 25-Jul-2004, 07:52
  3. Enlarging lenses?
    By Sid in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 19-May-2000, 06:45
  4. Enlarging lenses: APO or not?
    By Diego Rigatti in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 2-Jul-1999, 11:21
  5. Enlarging and Copying lenses
    By Mick Ridout in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-Sep-1998, 22:46

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •