Lens and Lensboard

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by mangorockfish, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. mangorockfish

    mangorockfish TPF Noob!

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    Setting up my old darkroom in the near future for b&w developing and printing and need a lens and lensboard for my Bessler 23C enlarger. I have always printed 35mm in the past, but am now shooting a 645 camera and have no idea what mm lens I need and what board and negative carrier. Can someone please help me out here? Thanks


     
  2. compur

    compur Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You'll need a 75mm enlarger lens. You could also use a longer lens, say, 80-105mm. Lens board is the standard 23C board. Get one with matching hole size that fits the lens. Usually either 25mm or 39mm in diameter. If you already have a board for printing 35mm negs you can use that if the hole size matches your new lens. You'll also need a threaded retaining ring to fix the lens to the board. This usually comes with the lens. And, a 23C negative carrier for 645 negatives.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
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  3. mangorockfish

    mangorockfish TPF Noob!

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    Compur, Thank you very much for the info, just what I was looking for. It's been about 40 years since I've done any darkroom work and have forgotten a lot.
     
  4. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    With the good lenses out there now, get a 39mm lens board and lenses.
    I would not bother with the 25mm lenses.

    General guideline is the enlarger lens is the same as the normal lens for that format.
    - 35mm film = 50mm lens
    - 6x6 film = 80mm lens
    - 4x5 sheet film = 135 or 150mm lens

    However, if you want to make a smaller print, having a longer lens is convenient. I have many times used a 75 or 80mm lens for 35mm film, so I would not have the head so far down to the baseboard that it gets in the way of using the easel.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
  5. compur

    compur Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    There is a very good darkroom book offered free by the author which contains a chart showing the results of the most expensive tests of enlarging lenses ever done. It can be legally downloaded here:
    Ctein Online-- Post Exposure Sample
     
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  6. webestang64

    webestang64 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    All my enlarging lenses are Rodenstock. I swear by them having printed in the darkroom professionally for over 35 years.
     
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  7. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think the big 3 names (in alpha order) and lens line are:
    • Nikon, El Nikkor
    • Rodenstock, Rodagon
    • Schneider, Componon-S
    There are other brands with excellent lenses also.

    From my old notes, I would look for a later 6-element lens.
    Example, El Nikkor 50/2.8 rather than the 50/4.
     

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