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04-25-2011, 10:37 AM   #1
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what lens needed to develop 120/220 medium format film.

i have a omega c700 enlarger with a 35mm carrier and 50mm lens. i would like to start developing medium format film. im not sure if i should use b&h's 75mm lens or 80mm lens. i would like to develop upto 11 x 14. i plan on getting either the pentax 645n or mamiya 645af. my eye sight isnt very good so im looking for the cheapest af camera i can find and these 2 look like my best option. im leaning towards the mamiya since it can sync upto 125 vs the pentaxs 60th.

thanks

jorge

04-25-2011, 11:21 AM   #2
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I don't know all the ins and outs here but I can say at school on our enlargers I have to switch to an 80mm lens for my Pentax 645 120/220 film. That's switching from whatever is used for 35mm film. I'm printing 8x10 on that but I think I could easily go larger with the same lens to 11x14. YMMV
04-25-2011, 12:20 PM   #3
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Usually about the same as the "normal" FL for the format you are enlarging. There used to be some Wide Angle lenses that stretched this, but the "normal" FL is the rule.
04-25-2011, 12:50 PM   #4
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Depending on the make, a 60mm enlarger lens can cover 645 format, but you'd be better off with a 75-80mm lens since that will cover 6x6 if you ever decide to shoot that. Using a 6x6 lens for 645 also lets you use the "sweet spot" in the center of the lens coverage. The only downside is you have to raise the enlarger more to get the equivalent amount of enlargement. I would recommend looking for a used lens on eb@y rather than buying new - or check your local craigslist. There is darkroom gear going for cheap these days. Look for a Schneider-Kreuznach Componon (not Componar or Comparon) 80mm, Rodenstock Rodagon 80mm or an El-Nikkor 80mm. These are all 6-element, top-drawer designs, and if you're patient you can get one cheap as chips. The Vivitar VHE is a rebadged Schneider-Kreuznach Componon, otherwise avoid Vivitar.


Last edited by gabriel_bc; 04-25-2011 at 12:56 PM.
04-28-2011, 08:53 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
Usually about the same as the "normal" FL for the format you are enlarging. There used to be some Wide Angle lenses that stretched this, but the "normal" FL is the rule.
That's the general rule. I use a Nikkor 105mm for the 6x7. So 75-80mm is good for the 645.
04-28-2011, 10:10 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by civiletti Quote
That's the general rule. I use a Nikkor 105mm for the 6x7. So 75-80mm is good for the 645.
I use a Rodagon 80 for 6x7. As with large format lenses, focal length is only part of the equation. Coverage is the other. Most 80mm enlarging lenses should be fine for 6x4.5. The manufacturer's Web site is often a good resource for recommendations for any particular format.


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04-30-2011, 07:52 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
- provided you don't run out of column!
A VERY real risk! That is the flip side of using a longer lens with a smaller negative and with more height you have a greater risk of softness due to vibration.


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05-02-2011, 11:19 AM   #8
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thanks for the input everyone. i ended up getting a nikkor 75mm f4 lens. i couldnt find any of the other lens mentioned above but, by comparison, the nikkor 75mm has 4 elements vs the omega unit from b&h and cost less so i cant complain. i will continue to keep an eye out for better alternatives but for now i feel this is a good upgrade to what im used to.

jorge

05-02-2011, 10:20 PM   #9
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Nikkors are good lenses. My 50mm apo-rodagon is likely higher acuity than my 105mm Nikkor, but magnification used is usually lower with biger formats. If you want ultimate IQ, use a glass carrier to flatten the film. That would probably make more difference than one great enlarger lens over another.
05-03-2011, 07:26 AM   #10
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You will be happy with the Nikkor. Nikon is sort of the Toyota of enlarger lenses. Decent in every way, relatively inexpensive, and very available.


Steve
05-07-2011, 04:16 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
For many years I used the very good 50mm f/4 four-element EL-Nikkor enlarging lens.
I saw no discernible difference when I "upgraded" to the six-element f/2.8 version.

Six element enlarging lenses often have a faster maximum aperture.
The main advantage is a brighter image on the easel when composing.

With any lens it's best to make your exposures stopped down to a middle aperture, where most lenses are sharpest.

Chris
Very true, but I really do like the faster enlarging lens when I can have that: makes focusing more definitive and all. Of course for medium format, they only *get* so fast, I've got a (pretty basic) 80/3.5 Omegar for 645, seems nice enough, (Haven't printed with it, only used on a bellows for macro/duping, but I picked it up when they were very cheap on Ebay and this one's in beautiful shape. It's probably a thing where I'd put up with a slower, nicer lens (I'm kind of fond of old Rodenstocks and Schneiders and all, on the subjective qualities, but we'll see what I get when this darkroom's actually in operation. )

I've never seemed to use one of the newer types with the very handy stopdown levers, but that's a pretty nice feature, I suppose.

(Memory fails, but I think we actually had one in a lab where I worked, ...maybe it was the color enlarger, they didn't put me there much (For good reason, I think. My experience at that was quite limited, and it still is.) Counting the stops by feel really isn't that big a deal, but the levers are a nice thing.
05-07-2011, 07:35 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
For sharpest prints fine focus should always be performed at the working aperture.
A grain magnifier focus aid will confirm a slight focus shift between wide open and stopped down.

Chris
True 'nuff, mostly. In terms of seeing what you've *got,* though, which is where I start.

Does raise the thought that I had sharper *eyes* last time I actually did darkroom printing. Never cared for grain focusers, just made an adjustment with its attendant creak (Became such habit I hadn't thought of it.) I actually bought a couple of them (Cause I never wholly liked either of the most common types but suspect I'll need one, but hadn't thought much about it since I never got a wet side going here. )
05-07-2011, 10:30 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
For sharpest prints fine focus should always be performed at the working aperture.
A grain magnifier focus aid will confirm a slight focus shift between wide open and stopped down.
...and that is yet another good reason to use a grain magnifier focus aid...pretty much an essential tool in my book.


Steve
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