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03-16-2018, 10:35 AM - 1 Like   #31
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I will be receiving a Fujinon 135/5.6 EX EBC enlarger lens in a week ($78 shipped off eBay) and am looking forward to shooting landscapes and streetscapes with it. This is a mid-80ís lens that was from their best model line (ES,EP,EX) and was considered better than the Componons at the time, supposedly.

Here are a few more pix using the Durst 50/2.8 as well. Am coming to really like the rendering this little optic can produce with a little creative help from Lightroom...

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03-19-2018, 07:51 PM - 1 Like   #32
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Where is everybody? I've got three new vintage enlarger lenses coming online soon. And rather than concentrate solely on macro scenes, I am looking for samples with corner-to-corner sharpness for superior landscapes and streetscapes. Here are the newcomers:

50/2.8 Durst - sample pix above already show this one has real legs. Wide use of apertures is good to know as several others only perform with just a few. Focuses very easily even stopped down. This one makes into my bag...

135/5.6 Fujinon EX - actually a 36.5mm, this is a top o' the line Fuji large format enlarger tele that equates to a 205.2mm on my a6300.

Preliminary images show some incredible sharpness at infinity, but blue and red fringing showed up in some high contrast pix that I hope a lens hood will help to minimize. Wide open performance is looking very promising with excellent corners - based on simply handholding the lens inside the bellows' lens standard opening and trying to hold it still. I will need to tripod this one to get the best test results.

This one is gonna take some fiddling to get mounted on the M42 lens mount of my Russian bellows. It's a lovely, heavy piece of work with an extinct 53mm flange thread. I've got a M42>M39 coupling coming that should make for a clean mount onto the rear cell.

75/4.5 Ektar - a 5-element Heliar design that has all kinds of former cred. Historically, Kodak went all out on their Ektars, made in London I think. Haven't found any sample images yet so I am incredibly pumped to be incredibly impressed. It too will take some fiddling to get its 30mm flange threads mated up to an M42 screw mount. Tech talk online tells me Kodak spent the time conquering CA and other aberrations.

100/4.5 Ektar - a 4-element Tessar formula that has a little less street cred. Overall, longer enlarger lens focal lengths are expected to perform less admirably to their normal and short tele siblings, but I'm willing to test them to death and find their sweet spots. Stay tuned...

Last edited by Takumar105; 03-19-2018 at 08:31 PM.
03-22-2018, 01:27 PM   #33
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It's interesting to see that enlarger lenses have a second use as macro lenses. Some of the pics shown above are excellent. However, do enlarger lenses really compare favorably to lenses that are specifically designed for macro use? Are old enlarger lenses cheaper than old macro lenses? If I want to go into macro photography in a big way should I seek to buy enlarger lenses rather than macro lenses?
03-22-2018, 02:18 PM - 1 Like   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by psoo Quote
It's interesting to see that enlarger lenses have a second use as macro lenses. Some of the pics shown above are excellent. However, do enlarger lenses really compare favorably to lenses that are specifically designed for macro use? Are old enlarger lenses cheaper than old macro lenses? If I want to go into macro photography in a big way should I seek to buy enlarger lenses rather than macro lenses?
Well, not all enlarger lenses are the same and the choice is really up to you. A bad enlarger lens will get you some results but it can not compare to macro lenses in picture quality. A good enlarger lens macro setup will cost you at least 50 EUR or 60 $ and you can score a used old 50 mm macro lens for that money. But, with enlargers, you can go very cheaply up to 105 mm and old macro lenses of that length do not come close in price but they do compensate in ease of use. Just to add, every time i check the prices of 200 mm macro lenses, my head hurts, and therefore, the biggest advantage of enlargers is that you can go up to 240 mm for a very small money and have great results (it is a heavy setup though). Another + of the enlargers is that they often come with a circular iris at all apertures and that is fantastic.

If I want image quality, I shoot with Componons and Rodagons, or even plasmats of any french manufacturer, but if I want an artsy feeling, I take some old tessar design enlarger.

As I love tinkering around lenses, shooting mostly in the field, without flash, longer focal lengths work great for me as critters mind the intrusion most of the time. But, if you would like to take pictures of tiny stuff at an inch or two, then shorter lenses (30 mm or less) would do as well, but this is when things gets pricey.

03-22-2018, 04:10 PM - 1 Like   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Audi 5 cyl Quote
Well, not all enlarger lenses are the same and the choice is really up to you. A bad enlarger lens will get you some results but it can not compare to macro lenses in picture quality. A good enlarger lens macro setup will cost you at least 50 EUR or 60 $ and you can score a used old 50 mm macro lens for that money. But, with enlargers, you can go very cheaply up to 105 mm and old macro lenses of that length do not come close in price but they do compensate in ease of use. Just to add, every time i check the prices of 200 mm macro lenses, my head hurts, and therefore, the biggest advantage of enlargers is that you can go up to 240 mm for a very small money and have great results (it is a heavy setup though). Another + of the enlargers is that they often come with a circular iris at all apertures and that is fantastic.

If I want image quality, I shoot with Componons and Rodagons, or even plasmats of any french manufacturer, but if I want an artsy feeling, I take some old tessar design enlarger.

As I love tinkering around lenses, shooting mostly in the field, without flash, longer focal lengths work great for me as critters mind the intrusion most of the time. But, if you would like to take pictures of tiny stuff at an inch or two, then shorter lenses (30 mm or less) would do as well, but this is when things gets pricey.
I have an unused Taylor Hobson Ental II enlarger lens ( 2in. focal length) that I bought new in England over 50 years ago. I intended to enlarge black and white negatives but got seduced by color photography and never used the lens. I've seen it advertised for sale for about $200 so it has some value to somebody. Is this a lens that is worth trying for macro work? What can I expect from it?
03-22-2018, 06:49 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by psoo Quote
I have an unused Taylor Hobson Ental II enlarger lens ( 2in. focal length) that I bought new in England over 50 years ago. I intended to enlarge black and white negatives but got seduced by color photography and never used the lens. I've seen it advertised for sale for about $200 so it has some value to somebody. Is this a lens that is worth trying for macro work? What can I expect from it?
I think it is a great lens. It must be a collector item nowadays. I would not pay 200 for it but I am not a collector either.

60 years ago, T&H was selling patents to both Leica and Zeiss, so my first guess is that the results will be no less than fabulous. Great sharpness, probably good colors if used with a hood, coupled with reduced contrast for today's standards. I guess it is a tessar type lens, probably with some highly refractive glass (read radioactive). If it has yellowed, give it a sunbath until it clears or post-process the pictures.
03-22-2018, 07:06 PM - 1 Like   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Audi 5 cyl Quote
Well, not all enlarger lenses are the same and the choice is really up to you. A bad enlarger lens will get you some results but it can not compare to macro lenses in picture quality. A good enlarger lens macro setup will cost you at least 50 EUR or 60 $ and you can score a used old 50 mm macro lens for that money. But, with enlargers, you can go very cheaply up to 105 mm and old macro lenses of that length do not come close in price but they do compensate in ease of use. Just to add, every time i check the prices of 200 mm macro lenses, my head hurts, and therefore, the biggest advantage of enlargers is that you can go up to 240 mm for a very small money and have great results (it is a heavy setup though). Another + of the enlargers is that they often come with a circular iris at all apertures and that is fantastic.

If I want image quality, I shoot with Componons and Rodagons, or even plasmats of any french manufacturer, but if I want an artsy feeling, I take some old tessar design enlarger.

As I love tinkering around lenses, shooting mostly in the field, without flash, longer focal lengths work great for me as critters mind the intrusion most of the time. But, if you would like to take pictures of tiny stuff at an inch or two, then shorter lenses (30 mm or less) would do as well, but this is when things gets pricey.
I agree with all Audi is saying - haven't tried to do true macro work but 2:1 is pretty easy to handle on the fly. Enlarger lenses have some capabilities most other lenses don't - flat field for low or no distortion, little or no CA, etc. They also have some issues like slow maximum apertures, variable bokeh, particular ideal apertures, and require focus helicoids specific to their focal length.

Per my mall shots, however, they are great for distortion free architectural and landscape subjects, which I prefer to shoot. Some suitable for infinity images, some may not be. The Componons and Rodagons (I have both) are generally excellent, yet many others will prove to perform - just takes buying them to determine it.

I received a Fujinon 135/5.6 EX (best grade) which appears to show great promise. Just quick tested an Ektar 75/4.5 L enlarger I got yesterday and it's another decent performer.

Here's my collection - all have good qualities:

Vega 5U 105/4 - ideal for closeups
Componon 80/5.6 - good at infinity
Rodagon 80/5.6
Zeiss 50/2.8 - a bit so-so overall
Fujinon 135/5.6 - good at infinity
Ektar 75/4.5 L - good at infinity
Ektar 100/5.6 L = TBD

I'm waiting on adapter/stepdown rings to mount up the Fujinon and Ektars. I'll have pix up as soon as they are functional.

I'm trying to quit further acquisitions but it's like a smoker kicking his habit. You want to but...
03-23-2018, 03:02 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Takumar105 Quote
I agree with all Audi is saying - haven't tried to do true macro work but 2:1 is pretty easy to handle on the fly. Enlarger lenses have some capabilities most other lenses don't - flat field for low or no distortion, little or no CA, etc. They also have some issues like slow maximum apertures, variable bokeh, particular ideal apertures, and require focus helicoids specific to their focal length.

Per my mall shots, however, they are great for distortion free architectural and landscape subjects, which I prefer to shoot. Some suitable for infinity images, some may not be. The Componons and Rodagons (I have both) are generally excellent, yet many others will prove to perform - just takes buying them to determine it.

I received a Fujinon 135/5.6 EX (best grade) which appears to show great promise. Just quick tested an Ektar 75/4.5 L enlarger I got yesterday and it's another decent performer.

Here's my collection - all have good qualities:

Vega 5U 105/4 - ideal for closeups
Componon 80/5.6 - good at infinity
Rodagon 80/5.6
Zeiss 50/2.8 - a bit so-so overall
Fujinon 135/5.6 - good at infinity
Ektar 75/4.5 L - good at infinity
Ektar 100/5.6 L = TBD

I'm waiting on adapter/stepdown rings to mount up the Fujinon and Ektars. I'll have pix up as soon as they are functional.

I'm trying to quit further acquisitions but it's like a smoker kicking his habit. You want to but...
Thanks for the info. I must try my enlarger lens on my K50. Where can I purchase the adapters?

03-31-2018, 08:34 PM - 1 Like   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by psoo Quote
Thanks for the info. I must try my enlarger lens on my K50. Where can I purchase the adapters?
Ebay will have an assortment of helicoid by length - depends on the focal length of your enlarger lens, of course. That and an M42>your camera adapter mount will get you shooting. I do this for handheld pix of landscapes and closeups at suitable ISO's. For critical work, I use a bellows and a tripod.

I should make a list of the helicoids needed for a particular focal length...
04-01-2018, 01:56 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Takumar105 Quote
Ebay will have an assortment of helicoid by length - depends on the focal length of your enlarger lens, of course. That and an M42>your camera adapter mount will get you shooting. I do this for handheld pix of landscapes and closeups at suitable ISO's. For critical work, I use a bellows and a tripod.

I should make a list of the helicoids needed for a particular focal length...
Thanks for the info, Takumar, I'll check it out.
04-03-2018, 04:07 AM   #41
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I need you advice to adapt my Schneider 150mm f/5.6 Componon-S enlarger lens to Canon EF to shoot close-up and infinity as well.
Ant thoughts as to which helicoid to purchase?
Thanks a million in advance!
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