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  #1  
Old 15th February 2009, 12:29 AM
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kennethcooke kennethcooke is offline
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Default Camera lens as Enlarger lens

If one reads early literature particularly Leica information it recommends using the camera lens that one has taken the picture with as the lens to use on the enlarger. Personally, I don't hold with this on two counts. Firstly an enlarger lens needs to be very flat field and secondly adhesives used in the manufacture of camera lenses may be effected from any heat given off by the enlarger lamp. I do hold with the theory that certain focal length enlarger lenses are suitable for specific film format which 50mm is the ideal for 35mm albeit Leitz produce, as standard a 40mm for thier Focomat V35 which mens that baseboard to optics distance is less on equivalent size images compared with a 50mm
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Old 15th February 2009, 06:58 AM
Dave miller Dave miller is offline
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I doubt that there will be a problem with overheating since any heat reaching the lens has already passed through your negative, if that can stand it, then so can your lens.
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Old 16th February 2009, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennethcooke View Post
If one reads early literature particularly Leica information it recommends using the camera lens that one has taken the picture with as the lens to use on the enlarger.
They were wrong!

Your enlarger is a macro camera making a one to many magnification in a short distance. Your camera lens is not a macro lens and is making a 1 to 1/nth magnification over a very long distance. Very different lens design is required to optimise the two of them.
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Old 27th April 2022, 03:25 PM
snusmumriken snusmumriken is offline
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The famous/infamous Soviet suitcase enlarger was intended to use your (Leica threaded) camera lens, IIRC. I never heard anything user reports about the enlarger, but it was a nice idea for roving photographers.

I read somewhere that the ideal focal length for any format equals the diagonal of the negative. I don't recall why, but anyway it would make 40mm closer than 50mm to the ideal for 35mm film.
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Old 27th April 2022, 04:05 PM
Michael Michael is offline
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Through the '30s, Leica were certainly recommending that camera lenses (the 5cm Elmar in particular) be used in their enlargers: hence the standard thread. Although the Varob was first produced in 1933, it was simply a screwmount Elmar without adjustable focus. Their first true enlarging lens, the Focotar, was not produced until 1953 or '52. I have also seen mention of a Varob-Hektor.

I am open to correction on that last but one sentence: my Leica literature tends to ignore enlarging equipment. This is a subject I'm going to try to look at further.
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Old 27th April 2022, 04:07 PM
MikeHeller MikeHeller is offline
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When I first enlarged negatives in the 60's, I used the 5cm Elmar lens that was on the wartime grey Leica IIIck my father passed on to me on a Leitz Focomat enlarger. I seem to remember producing some 2016" prints by reversing the head and projecting onto a board on the floor onto which I had marked the paper size and onto which I pinned the enlarging paper with drawing pins.

I still have a couple of them and IMO are very acceptable if lacking the contrast that has become more fashionable.

Mike
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Old 27th April 2022, 05:01 PM
JOReynolds JOReynolds is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argentum View Post
Very different lens design is required to optimise
...the characteristics. All lens designs are the result of compromise and it shows. Aspherical elements were the answer for the most demanding applications such as reconnaissance and satellite imaging. But I remember a wooden camera mounted on springs that had a brass-barrel lens and was used to reproduce newspaper pages dot-for-dot.
I helped test a 3 1/4" TTH Ental in the early 1960s and it had the highest resolution of any enlarger lens at typical B&W wavelengths and 5X enlargement. But I tested it with colour film on a 4x5" camera at infinity. The resolution was poor, with visible fringing when enlarged.
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Old 27th April 2022, 06:00 PM
Richard Gould Richard Gould is offline
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In theory yes you can,but you won't get great results by a long way, Enlarging lenses are built to different standards, different designs, different designs to do 2 different things, better to use a lens designed for the job, and once, in my youth, had one of those Russian enlargers in a suitcase, at a time when I had to put up and take down darkrooms at the start and finish of each session, it was cheap, and as a student money was tight, but I used a enlarger lens, an old and very second hand Ross resolux, IIRC, that I got for a couple of quid
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Old 3rd May 2022, 07:02 AM
John King John King is offline
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Default Enlarging lens or camera lens

I would not even think of using a camera lens on an enlarger - but my mentor when I started out printing did have an enlarger lens flange adapted to take the filter thread from a Zeiss Biotar (58mm F2) mounted in the reversed position with the front element facing the film. The results were quite respectable, - a lot better than the original Wray 50mm f4.5 'Supar' which came as standard with his enlarger.

In those days the crem de la crem enlarging lens was the TTH Ental 50/F4 which was a couple of weeks wages in those days. They still attract quite a respectable sum even today.

Before AF for 35mm cameras became the norm, there were a number of companies that used to make adapters for reverse focussing camera lenses on extension tubes or bellows. On the other hand an enlarging lens will make quite a respectable macro lens as well. (Normally mounted on tubes or bellows).
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Old 3rd May 2022, 08:51 AM
Lostlabours Lostlabours is offline
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It was largely dependent on the lens design. The early Leitz Elmar lenses were recommended for enlargers.

A CZJ Tessar, or similar design, is another option, faster plasmat lenses were not suitable, although could reversed for macro work. I did use TTH Ental enlarger lenses at school and university. Schneider has sold Componon enlarger lenses for macro work for decades, some mounted in shutters.

Ian
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