Enlarger lens recommendations...

Stuwall

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Hi, I'm looking to buy enlarger lenses and panels for a Devere 504. Any recommendations? I have a Rodenstock & Nikon 50mm lenses so looking for 6x6/6x7 + 5x4 lenses.

Any advice welcome.
 

mpirie

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For medium format you'll be looking for 80-100mm and 5x4 needs a lens around 150mm.

There is Secondhand Darkroom.....a good source for panels as well as the auction site.

Mike
 

Stuwall

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For medium format you'll be looking for 80-100mm and 5x4 needs a lens around 150mm.

There is Secondhand Darkroom.....a good source for panels as well as the auction site.

Mike
Thanks Mike. Are Schneider lenses still well regarded? Any brand/ model recommendations?
 

mpirie

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I would imagine they are, though most of mine are Rodenstock or Nikkor.

Mike
 

Stuwall

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Thanks Mike. No immediate rush as I don't have a working enlarger to use a new lens on.
 

thronobulax

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A few thoughts here.

The El-Nikkor and Schneider Componons are both excellent lenses. I'd avoid the "lesser" Schneiders like the Componar. I've also used Wollensacks which are mediocre at best. I've never used the Rodenstock enlarging lenses and hence have no comment.

It is common wisdom that you use a 50mm lens for 35mm, 80mm for 6x6, 100/105mm for 6x7 and 6x9, and 150mm for 4x5. Beware that some enlargers do not have enough bellows draw to focus a 150mm lens (the older Omegas, for example) and you have to use an extension cone to make this work.

I've also found good utility in using an 80mm when enlarging 35mm. My enlarger is wall mounted. When moved to its lowest position
it is still far enough off the enlarging table that I cannot quite get down to 8x10. By using the lower magnification of the 80mm, all is well.
 

Stuwall

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A few thoughts here.

The El-Nikkor and Schneider Componons are both excellent lenses. I'd avoid the "lesser" Schneiders like the Componar. I've also used Wollensacks which are mediocre at best. I've never used the Rodenstock enlarging lenses and hence have no comment.

It is common wisdom that you use a 50mm lens for 35mm, 80mm for 6x6, 100/105mm for 6x7 and 6x9, and 150mm for 4x5. Beware that some enlargers do not have enough bellows draw to focus a 150mm lens (the older Omegas, for example) and you have to use an extension cone to make this work.

I've also found good utility in using an 80mm when enlarging 35mm. My enlarger is wall mounted. When moved to its lowest position
it is still far enough off the enlarging table that I cannot quite get down to 8x10. By using the lower magnification of the 80mm, all is well.
Thanks Thronobulax, I'm going to restore a floor standing Devere 504 so there shouldn't be any issue with bellows, etc. I'm covered for 35mm printing - just wondered what medium and large format lens recommendations there are out there. Been over 25 years since I made a print so will pretty much be starting over again.
 

~RJ

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The 150mm focal length is useful for the 5x4" full printing format; maybe a 300mm if you have a floorstander.

The Schneider glass is great as Apo-Componons, found at a fraction of the cost of the Rodenstock Apo-Rodagon-Ns. Not to overlook the 135mm focal length too which is great for short draw enlarging/printing. G-Claron 300mm lenses are very versatile and suitable for printing if you can handle the f9 maximum aperture too.
 

thronobulax

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The 150mm focal length is useful for the 5x4" full printing format; maybe a 300mm if you have a floorstander.

The Schneider glass is great as Apo-Componons, found at a fraction of the cost of the Rodenstock Apo-Rodagon-Ns. Not to overlook the 135mm focal length too which is great for short draw enlarging/printing. G-Claron 300mm lenses are very versatile and suitable for printing if you can handle the f9 maximum aperture too.
Another good choice - if you can find one - is one of the Artar family. I actually use a 14" Red Dot Artar and 19" APO Artar as shooting lenses (I had them shuttered) with excellent results. But they were made for process cameras if memory serves which makes them a good enlarging lens choice.
 

~RJ

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ooh...I have a Red dot Artar about 14 inch too .... but the flange is a USA standard and nothing seems to fit! Was yours custom shuttered? They don't seem to fit anything standard other than plumber's tape.

They are great imaging lenses for near field repro work too.
 

thronobulax

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ooh...I have a Red dot Artar about 14 inch too .... but the flange is a USA standard and nothing seems to fit! Was yours custom shuttered? They don't seem to fit anything standard other than plumber's tape.

They are great imaging lenses for near field repro work too.
I had SK Grimes here in the US put them in modern Copal #3s a decade ago or so. These therefore fit nicely (but barely) into the lensboards for my Wisner 4x5 Technical.

Steve Grimes died some years ago but it seems that the company continues:

 

~RJ

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That's super to hear your lens are shuttered. In the UK it's probably SRB Engineering in Luton who would offer something similar .. or lots or blu-tack in an oversized shutter or lens clamp universal types!
 

thronobulax

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That's super to hear your lens are shuttered. In the UK it's probably SRB Engineering in Luton who would offer something similar .. or lots or blu-tack in an oversized shutter or lens clamp universal types!
Yes, it was expensive - I thought - back 15 years or more ago to have this done. I'm sure it's even higher now. But, since no one is really making many of these very high end lenses any longer AND I believe new shutters are no longer being manufactured, it was a good piece of "insurance".
 

Ian Grant

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If the De Vere is a bench model I would use a 136mm lens like a Componon (or S), plentiful here in the UK. I've used 135mm Componons for over 40 years for 5x4, and they are superb lenses>

A 135mm lens allows larger prints to be made compared to a 150mm lens, it makes a significant difference where there are height restrictions.

Ian
 

David M

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Yes, a 135 is excellent for 5x4. A small added advantage is that it’s easier to see and adjust a colour or multigrade head, particularly in a narrow darkroom, as it’s a bit closer to eye level.
This is not to say that a 150 is in any way inferior.
 
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